Child Of The Eagle: A Myth Of Rome by Esther Friesner
This is an alternate universe tale of a Rome in which Brutus saved the life of Julius Caesar at the behest of a mysterious woman. He is granted power and long life on condition that one day, he perform one simple task. This is a very good story about changed history and the price of the divine.
“It was in terms destined to drag that dead man’s life down below the level of gutter muck.”
“If he passed you in the street, you drew aside your toga as though the very touch of his shadow on your clothes was an unspeakable pollution.”
“I have more at stake in being Caesar’s son than your son ever could. Be careful of the child: His desires are not yours.”
“You aren’t his only son.”
“If the former dictator had had the courtesy to stay dead.”
“A painful misalliance.”
“Brutus mouthed the name as if it were a lump of wormy meat.”
The Bunny Years by Kathryn Leigh Scott
This 1998 book details the inside story of the Playboy clubs in the 1960s by the women who worked as Bunnies and reveals where they are now. There are tales of sexism, poor working conditions, painful costumes, ridiculous work practices and this is an enjoyable slice of social anthropology.
“I’ll give you a hundred bucks to drop that tray.”
“The ‘brown-shoe crowd’.”
“Code for; I’m not a hooker.’”
“I thought it was the most European thing I’d ever seen.”
“The Bunnies decided to go out on strike, and the Teamsters helped us organises the walkout.”
The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi
From the author of ‘Ship Breaker’ comes this tale of a devastated future. There is alienation, unapproachable awfulness and lunatics. The relentless bleakness wears you down.
“How much farther they’d gotten with that kind of provocation waving.”
“Pretty sure. He tried to shoot me in the head.”
“Nobody survives on their own.”
“She only sees how it used to be. Before."