I was lucky enough to be one of about fifteen people in a small conference room who listened as Ian McDonald read a chapter from one of his books at this year’s NORWESCON. Imagine an Irish accent as you read the following excerpt:
Preview: The Dervish House by Ian McDonald
The sound of an exploding skull is a deep bass boom that sucks every other sound into itself so that for a moment after the blast there is only a very pure silence.
Then the silence shatters into screaming. The tram jerks to a halt; the momentum almost throws Necdet from his feet. To go down in this panic is to die. Necdet can’t reach a handrail and steadies himself against the bodies of roaring passengers. The crowd surges against the still-locked doors. Their bodies hold the headless woman upright. The man in the fine velvet suit shrieks in an insane, high-pitched voice. One side of his purple jacket is dark glossy red. Necdet feels wet on his face, but he can’t raise a hand to test it or wipe it away. The doors sigh open. The press is so tight Necdet fears his ribs will splinter. Then he spills out onto the street with no sense of direction or purpose, of anything except a need not to be on the tram.