Home > The Gate To Futures Past (Reunification #2)

The Gate To Futures Past (Reunification #2)
Author: Julie E. Czerneda


 

Acknowledgments


   How about that cover? Matt Stawicki, you are a genius! Thank you. My thanks also to the fine folks at DAW. Josh, you never cease to amaze with your dedication to quality and how you find ways to answer my authorly whims. Sheila, we’ll be down to celebrate.

   Drumroll, please, dear readers. It worked!

   I refer to This Gulf of Time and Stars, my return to the story of Sira and Morgan begun so long ago, I’ve decided to call it “then.” Then, I’d no idea where it would go or that anyone else would read it. Now? Oh now, I do know, and you’ve come along with me. Thank you.

   Especially those who dared be first to blurb, for this was a great deal to ask. Hey, read my novel, it’s about stuff you haven’t seen before or if you have, it was . . . “then!” My heartfelt gratitude to these fantastic authors whose work I love, for reading mine for me: Doranna Durgin, Kari Sperring, Violette Malan, Vonda McIntyre (who read Gulf while packing to be the Worldcon GOH!), Stephen Leigh, Marie Bilodeau, Ursula Pflug, Kristi Charish, Catherine Asaro, Tobias Buckell, and Rhondi Salsitz (as Jenna Rhodes). And, because time travel works in here, I’m able to thank Karina Sumner-Smith for crying (twice) over Gate. When you can do that to your friends? Life is good.

   When a blog tour works, why not triple it? (Ask me one day.) I was hosted around the world online for the 21 days of my #TimeAndStarsTour and, while I’ve no room to name all of my wonderful blog hosts here, please know how very much I appreciate your hard work, enthusiasm, and skill. We rocked the internet! I’m grateful to DAW Books, particularly Katie Hoffman, Sarah Guan, and Nita Basu, for prizes and support, as well as Audible books for theirs. Allyson Johnson? Fun, wasn’t it? Thanks!

   There’s one host I must acknowledge. For years, SF Signal has been The Place to celebrate—and think—about genre work. You’ve been a mainstay for myself and so many. John, Kristin, and Paul, thank you from the bottom of my heart. It’s been a honor. And Paul? What you’ve said about my work has inspired me and I won’t forget.

   There’ve been adventures in the real world too. Thanks, Coldwater Steampunk, for hosting me, and to Nicola and Saskatoon’s Word on the Street for making me part of your excellent festival. The University of Saskatchewan Biology Department welcomed me back with open arms, giving me memories to treasure. Thank you all, especially Interim Dean Peta Bonham-Smith, Professor Jeanette Lynes, and Biology Department Head Ken Wilson. Thanks also to Betsy Rosenwald for publicity and Dot Clemens-Brown, who took excellent care of me. When I dedicated Gulf to Jan, I never imagined returning to USask or that we’d sit together at Timmies to talk about him again. My deepest thanks to Jean Smith and her family for their welcome.

   As if 2015 wasn’t great enough, (and it was, trust me) I’d SFContario and Canvention. Thank you, readers, for surprising me so utterly with the Prix Aurora Award for Best Novel (for A Play of Shadow) that I cried out, “WHaaaAT?!” Eloquent, that. (Thanks, Chris, for the after party and all else.)

   The winner of the DUFF (Down Under Fan Fund) auction, Alex Lindsay, generously gave me his family to tuck into this book as characters. Hi Family! Surprise! Alison (Alisi Di), Paul the navy guy (Pauvan Di), and Emily (Milly Su). I hope you enjoy what I’ve done to you. Other character-namers continued into this book and I’d like to acknowledge them as well: Holly (Holl) and Lee (Leesems), as well as Ruth and Tim (Ruti). It’s been a ride and I’m thrilled you were part of it. Those who know me will guess the brothers-three now become planets (Yont, Hilip, and Oger). Welcome, Susan Bound and Lee Datzell (Susibou Di/Susi di Annk and Lee di Annk). Susan, thank you for so generously sharing your memories of Andre Norton with me. And my hearty congratulations to Agatha and Brad, fans of Sira and Morgan. Clear skies!

   To our beloved Kate, Kevin, Josh, and Alfie. Here’s to summer barbeques, gardens, wildlife, and the Bills. The path between’s a bit longer now; it’ll always be open.

   To my family, wherever you may be when reading this. Stop and pinch yourselves every so often, because isn’t life amazing? (By all means, say “WHaaaAT?” too.)

   Last and never least, thank you, dear readers.

   To quote Roger?

   “Let the adventure begin!”

 

 

Previously, in the Clan Chronicles


   Sira di Sarc could pass for Human. She isn’t. She’s one of the humanoid Clan, aliens who live, scattered, on Human worlds. The Clan have an innate ability to move their thoughts—and bodies—through the dimensionless M’hir, an ability they use to manipulate Humans vulnerable to mental suggestion and to keep their true nature secret.

   Sira is the most powerful of her kind yet born, and a Chooser, a female ready to Join for life and Commence, her body becoming reproductively mature. To the dismay of her kind, no unChosen is a match for her strength in the M’hir; should they try, she can’t help but kill them. Deliberate breeding for greater strength has brought the Clan to this, and Sira knows she’s only the first. Within a generation no Joinings will be possible. The Clan faces extinction.

   Desperate for a solution, willing to experiment only on herself, Sira blocks all memory of who and what she is, adding compulsions to seek out a Human telepath and attempt to Join with him. Clan find Humans repugnant, their vast numbers terrifying. Sira’s hope, however faint, is that being near one with a similar Power will trigger her body to Commence.

   Instead, she meets Jason Morgan, captain of the Silver Fox and learns how to love.

   Together, her mind and memory restored, Sira and Morgan fend off attempts by the Clan and others to seize Sira’s Power for themselves. In so doing, they learn the M’hir isn’t simply a dangerous void, but filled with its own version of life, including the Rugherans, who exist there and here. Sira assumes leadership of her people and, with the help of Enforcer Lydis Bowman, brings the Clan into the Trade Pact.

   Surely, with the expertise of thousands of other species, her own can be saved.

   But the Clan didn’t evolve in Human space. They arrived there, through the M’hir, having fled their original home. Their memories were left behind and most Clan believed their kind went through a stratification, into those able to use the M’hir and those who could not. All they have is a handful of tattered belongings and family names. To most Clan, including Sira, their past is unimportant.

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