Hugo Award finalist and Robert A. Heinlein Award-winning SF writer Michael Flynn returns to space opera with Up Jim River. There is a river on Dangchao Waypoint, a small world out beyond Die Bold. It is a longish river as such things go, with a multitude of bayous and rapids and waterfalls, and it runs through many a strange and hostile country. Going up it, you can lose everything.
Going up it, you can find anything. The Hound Bridget ban has vanished and her employer, the Kennel (the mysterious superspy agency of the League) has given up the search. But her daughter, the harper Mearana, has not. She enlists the scarred man, Donovan, to aid her in her search. With the reluctant assent and financial aid of the Kennel, they set forth. Bridget ban was following hints of an artifact that would "protect the League from the Confederacy for aye." Mearana is eager to follow that trail, but Donovan is reluctant, because whatever is at the end of it made a Hound disappear. What it would do to a harper and a drunk is far too easy to imagine.
Donovan's mind had been shattered by Those of Name, the rulers of the Confederacy, and no fewer than seven quarreling personalities now inhabit his skull. How can he hope to see her through safely? Together, they follow Bridget ban's trail to the raw worlds of the frontier, edging ever closer to the uncivilized and barbarian planets of the Wild.
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About the Author
Michael Flynn lives in Easton, Pennsylvania.
Michael Flynn lives in Easton, Pennsylvania. He is the winner of the Robert A. Heinlein award, and a Hugo Nominee for Eifelheim. He is the author of the Firestar series of novels, and is an Analog magazine alumnus whose fiction now appears regularly in all the major SF magazines.
Read an Excerpt
ALAP (VILAMBIT) This is her song, but she will not sing it, and so that task must fall to lesser lips.
There is a river on Dangchao Waypoint, a small world appertaining to Die Bold. It is a longish river as such things go, with a multitude of bayous and rapids and waterfalls, and it runs through many a strange and hostile country. Going up it, you can lose everything. Going up it, you can .nd anything.
A truism in the less- than- United League of the Periphery holds that every story begins on Jehovah or ends on Jehovah. This is one of those that begin there. It is a story of love and loss and .nding— and other such curses.
What makes the saying a truism is that Jehovah’s sun— the Eye of Allah— is a major nexus on Electric Avenue, that great network of super luminal highways that binds the stars together. More roads converge there than anywhere else in the South Central sector, and so the probabilities favor—or the Fates pronounce— that sooner or later everyone passes through.
And when they do, they come to the Bar of Jehovah, for unless your pleasures run to such wildness as hymn- singing—and what can be so wild at that?— there is no other place on the planet so congenial. The hymn-singing is good and surprisingly affective, but many of those who wash up on Jehovah seek to anesthetize the memory of the past, and not to anticipate the glories of the future. For many of the patrons, there is no future, and there is not even the memory that there may once have been one.
In a Spiral Arm where “the strong take what they can and the weak suffer what they must,” Jehovah is the pearl without price, she whose worth is measured in rubies; for she is too valuable a prize to be taken. “A hundred hands desire it,” the saying runs, “and ninety- nine will keep the one from seizing it.” And so it is a refuge of sorts for many, and a cash cow for the Elders. And if cash cows remind one of golden calves, that can be overlooked at round-up time.
And so colorful and cryptic Chettinad merchants rub shoulders with their rivals from the Greater Hanse; the crews of tramp freighters with Interstellar Cargo; with Gladiola seed ships, and League marshals and colonists and trekkers; with touristas, too: those starsliders who come in on the great Hadley liners for their quick blick and then off again! to stars worth longer visits.
And so also, with the detritus of the Spiral Arm: those who tramp from star to star, one step ahead of a creditor or a spouse or a League marshal; those whose lives and dreams have become to dream their lives away.
One of these is the scarred man. He has a name, or he has many names, but that one will do for now. It is no longer clear, even to him, which of his names are real, or if any of them are. He has sat so long in his niche that he is very nearly a .xture of the Bar, an ornament like the great gilt- worked chandelier mobile that casts an uncertain and ever- changing light upon a patronage equally changing and uncertain. He has become, for a small and self- selected group of connoisseurs, something of a tourist attraction himself. He has come because his past is too heavy to bear, and here he may slide down his load and rest. Recently, certain elements of that past have come to press upon him . . .
. . . But this is not his story; or it is not quite his story.
And lastly— and these are most rare—come those who are not driven by their past, but drawn by their future. It might seem odd that the path to the future would pass through the Bar of Jehovah; but the path to heaven is said to wind through purgatory.
As, too, the path to hell.
Excerpted from Up Jim River by Michael Flynn.
Copyright © 2010 by Michael Flynn.
Published in November 2010 by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.
All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.
What People are Saying About This
"With well-drawn characters and a colorful universe, this narrative tour de force brings space opera to the next level." -Library Journal
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
It was fun and intriguing.
Love this series, and book two really opens up the universe for exploration.
The Kennel of the United League of the Periphery assigns top Hound Bridget ban to obtain an artifact on the frontier planet Dangchao Waypoint that allegedly will help them remain safe in their galactic war against their enemy the Confederate of Central Worlds. Bridget ban knows the Confederacy will go all out to possess or destroy the artifact. Arriving on the planet, she begins the dangerous trek up river only to vanish. The Kennel conducts a quick inquest before deciding all beginnings and endings are with Jehovah; as Bridget ban obviously is. Outraged with the instant official write off of her mother, who was a loyal hound, Bridget's daughter Mearana rejects the notion that her mom is dead. Mearana decides to rescue her mom, but knows she needs professional help so she chooses her mom's former lover, Donovan, who is insane so Mearana believes he might agree to do the job with her at his side; though he also could get them killed as the Confederacy Those of Name tortured him into seven distinct personalities. He agrees to take her to Dangchao Waypoint along the river of death. Returning to the far future universe of The January Dancer, Michael Flynn provides an entertaining search and rescue mission science fiction thriller as the location of a remote lethal sector of the human dominated galaxy comes across as powerfully vivid. Enhancing time and place is almost mythological use of references and :archaic" vernacular dating back to twentieth and twenty-first century earth that focuses on a presupposition of knowledge and understanding of previous civilizations. More traditional in outlook than its predecessor, Up Jim River comes across more like a series of TV episodes along the line of Lost or 24, but with an unhinged hero. Readers will enjoy this fast-paced S&R quest on a planet filled with wilds. Harriet Klausner
Im loked out of that result to. Can we ave camp here