The last soldier's last stand.
Alone. Leda is the last living member of the brigade, the sole defender of her world. War took everyone she knew, leaving her in the company of memories and ghosts. Or is it madness? The siren blares. The enemy is coming. Or is it? The approaching vessel isn’t a friendly design, but it answers with the correct code. Leda must figure out whether the arrival is reinforcements or the final assault. In an aging flyer, she ventures out to meet her world’s fate, the last stand.
Space opera. Short story.
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About the Author
Can also find my books in print at B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/m.-pax M. Pax is author of the sci-fi series, The Backworlds, and the new adult science fiction fantasy The Renaissance of Hetty Locklear. A Browncoat and SG fan, she’s also slightly obsessed with Jane Austen. In the summers she docents as a star guide at Pine Mountain Observatory where the other astronomers now believe she has the most extensive collection of moon photos in existence. No fear, there will be more next summer. She lives in stunning Central Oregon with the Husband Unit and two lovely, spoiled cats.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Quick, interesting story. I've read all the Back World e-books & enjoyed them very much.
For a science-fiction novella, this story is well-deserved of five stars. M.Pax convincingly creates a strange world and infuses it with mechanics that seem so real to the person living in it that it can be no less real for us. Of particular interest to me was the second skin or armor that Leda wore. It not only had intelligence but was responsible for her extreme longevity. The only thing that I don't like about the story are the things that are NOT addressed. For example, there is a huge history here that begs to be told. I hope that the author explores it in future tales. If you like your science-fiction as hard as a computer case, you will like this novel. Told in third-person, I thought that it could easily stand a place next to the works of Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Heinlein (though there is no snark in her writing as there is in Heinlein). The vocabulary and sentence structure though is definitely similar in flavor as is the sobering plot.
Semper Audacia is the story of a warrior; the last of her kind, defending her home world via an orbital outpost. The planet's population too has dwindled and is just hanging on. Their ancient foe attacks and the last guardian springs into action accompanied by a battalion of ghosts; the memories of her fallen comrades. The odds are almost hopeless. Almost. She must try; it's what she does, it's what she is and has been all her life. But then a wrinkle - the enemy battleship transmits a valid "friendly" code even as it's powering up weapons. If the enemy are finally responding to their pleas for peace, attacking the ship would fling her people back into eternal war. If it's a ruse, her people could be exterminated. She chooses a decidedly unconventional solution. Semper Audacia is Mary Pax's first novella, and it comes on the heels of several short stories, including Plantgirl, Translations, and Small Graces, all of which are delightful reads and are available for free from Smashwords. B&N and iTunes. Mary employs a unique writing style which I would describe as "Literary Sci-Fi". Her economical prose is tight, active, and colorfully descriptive, yet draws upon the reader to participate in the story, not just observe it. It is not the type of reading that you can skim and understand but her writing is so vital that you don't want to skim it; it implores you, like a hot bath, to slide in and immerse yourself in the experience. Each of the stories she offers contain unique and surprising elements. Semper Audacia contained several moments that caused me to marvel at their uniqueness. The book itself is very well written and edited. You'll find no amateurish stumbling blocks such as sentence fragments left over from an edit or transposed words that made it past a spell checker but are the wrong word for the context. Punctuation and grammar are - as far as I could tell - flawless. Her characterization and scene setting is clear and vital, but done without a single wasted word. Audacia is a professional grade release from an exciting new author.