First Lines: e-Reader Special

Lately, I’ve been using my e-reader a lot. Once I finished King Lear, I kept on trucking and made my way through whatever was loaded on it. Which, for the largest part, are short(er) stories I had lying around. So, I’ll tackle those a few at a time.

First: Zombiecorns and The War for Banks Island, two zombie-apocalypse novellas by John Green, available to those who made a donation to the Project for Awesome.

Neither novella is particularly made of awesome, but both have enough rewarding qualities and are entertaining enough. Zombiecorns has nothing to do with unicorns (as they were left of the ark for a reason), but deals with the fallout of the zombie apocalypse brought on by corn. You know how corn is getting too smart for it’s own good. The War for Banks Island is the sequel, and takes place twenty years later.

As a side-note, I used The War for Banks Island to geek out, and create an epub myself, as they are little more than web pages in a zip-file. If you follow the instructions, it’s actually quite easy.

John Green — Zombiecorns
Pre-zombification, my father was already obsessed with corn.
John Green — The War on Banks Island
On the morning of the elections, I woke up early so I could beat the line at the polling station and get to the lab by 8.

My second attempt at creating an ebook was a Jonathan Stroud short story called Green Fields, which is available on The Guardian website for a limited period here. As with my first attempt, marking up the html took the most work. A little dash of css did the rest. The story’s a nice little ditty, too.

Jonathan Stroud — Green Fields
Before he entered the room, Frank Fisher checked the contents of his satchel.

Mythical Creatures is a standalone story in the Kevin J. Anderson’s Terra Incognita universe. It’s about a priest who must confront his faith after he is cast overboard and then rescued by a mythical creature that the scriptures tell him cannot exist. Like his colleague’s in the series proper, he’s a cruel and annoying, overzealous asshat. As the (mercifully very short) story adds next to nothing to the series, I could have done without it.

Kevin J. Anderson — Terra Incognita: Mythical Creatures
The prow of the Compass cut the rough gray waters like a knife carving a Landing Day roast.

Finally, two stories that are nice additions to their overarching series: The Death of Joan of Arc and Billy the Kid and the Vampyres of Vegas, “Lost Tales” from Michael Scott’s The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel-series. Despite their titles, both deal primary with the legendary warrior Scathach. In the first, she saves Joan of Arc from being burned to death at the stake, and in the second, she and Billy the Kid take on vampyres (those with an ‘y’ drink blood, the others don’t) and other scum in Vegas. I can’t quite recall if this collaboration fits in the continuity of the series, but as they’re fun stories, I can’t really be bothered enough to look it up.

Michael Scott — The Death of Joan of Arc
I am convinced this physician is killing me.
Michael Scott — Billy the Kid and the Vampyres of Vegas
I never wanted to be immortal.