Life After Wartime (The Quiet War) by Paul J. McAuley
By Paul J. McAuley
3 lengthy tales and fourteen brief tales and snapshots set within the aftermath of a brief, sharp asymmetrical struggle among Earth and colonists of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, and within the next golden age of exploration and colonisation of the sunlight approach. stocks an identical destiny background as Paul McAuley's novels The Quiet War (short-listed for the Arthur C. Clarke Award), Gardens of the Sun (short-listed for the toilet W. Campbell Memorial award), In the Mouth of the Whale, and Evening's Empires.
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Her face, when she looks up, blinds me for a moment. Or maybe my tears do. She radiates no happiness-somegreat grief is bred too deeply into this girl's ffne bones-but there is a change which permits hands to be remembered and a mouth to live again. It cnuld have been fear and its removal, an excisionwhich works wonders with dogs and humans, and *ight, I imaging even with nations. And so she may turn her head away from sorrow, and when she does,the breath catches in my throat; in the nocturnal texture of her hair }ies a single streak of silver, a hue of just the dead- w Sturgeon ls Nioe and,Well .
Not unlessyou want to, and then not for me. Giles, maybe you cant paint because you want to do other things. Well, do them. Do them all; finish thom until they're all done and there's only one tbing left. " -Then the money'sfor paintingt" Oh, she is so patient; oh, how I hate anyone as patient as that. 'No. ltt just for you. Do whatever you want. -I care about that now. oAnd now she has the door open. *Come to the bank. Come get your money. " llhe bank, yes, and then what? " But no, this doesnt hurt her, and no, she is not anryt there's only one thing that touches her, and that one thing reaches through the closed door as we walk in the corridor, stretches down the stairs and past the lintels and the newels and the curb's Strngean Is Akoe and' WeH , .
Door? the gato of gold . . but no, it is no longer a meadow, but a room where I keep my easeland my . . and now I see them both, the room and the meadow, as if one were painted upon glassand through it I saw the other; and which? which the painting? Aiee! my brains are mixed and muddled again, I arn one, the otheg,both, neither. f seea curtain of sky with mountains for its ragged hegt . . a dirry wall, with one small bright spatter of my blood whero I struck it, and the dazed dun maiden raising her stafi, which is a small blue book with gold letters on it.