A taste of The Dragons of Andromeda, sequel to The Arks of Andromeda, by W.H. Mitchell which is out today.
On the planet Aldorus, outside the city of Regalis, a sanitation robot roamed the grounds after the park had closed for the night, emptying the rubbish bins of trash left by people during the day. On a set of six wheels, the trashbot rambled along from one bin to another, lifting each with a pair of robotic arms and dumping it into a hopper.
Near midnight, the trashbot was checking bins by the lake when sounds began drifting from the dark somewhere off the main trail. Unlike the animal noises common during the night, these were different, faint and rhythmical.
As the compactor in his body pressed a clump of paper cups and a small raccoon into a tidy cube, the robot rambled over the carefully cropped grass to a cluster of bushes. Peering through the branches, he noticed an outcrop of rock and the entrance to a cave. The drumming clearly was coming from inside.
Organics, the robot thought, are always up to mischief.
He entered the cave.
Inside, a group of seven people sat around a fire, the flickering light casting shadows on the walls.
This doesn’t look like a picnic, the robot thought.
In sackcloth robes and with hoods over their heads, each person also wore an amulet in the shape of an eight-pointed star, a black pearl in the center.
One of them pounded a large drum in his lap while the others chanted:
FROM THE VOID
THE OLD ONES COME.
THE END IS NEAR,
AS HEARTBEATS DRUM.
BOW YOUR HEADS;
RECEIVE YOUR FATE.
THEIR LOVE IS HATE.
FROM SKY WILL FALL.
PRAISE THE GODS!
THE END FOR ALL!
A Bite of... W.H. Mitchell
Q1: What do you most enjoy about writing your books and why?
Bringing the “world” of the Imperium Chronicles, with its landscapes and characters, is my favorite. Building an ecosystem has taken a lot of time and populating it with people who are interesting is a lot of fun.
Q2: If you had to choose which character you are most like in your books, who would it be and why?
In some ways I identify with Henry Riff, the hapless romantic in love with someone who doesn’t love him. That reflects how I was for much of my younger life (prior to getting married), when I felt out of my league most of the time. I also like my robots. They too are outsiders in a lot of ways.
Q3: Are you more of a cat person or a dog person and why?
Although I pretty much love all animals (except humans), most people would probably say I’m a cat person. I’m both highly curious and skeptical of the world around me, and spend a lot of time sleeping. On the other hand, I hardly ever use the litter box except in emergencies.
W.H. Mitchell in his own words
Born and raised in Omaha, NE, W. H. Mitchell has called Kansas City his home for more than a decade. With a degree in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Mitchell’s writing has been compared to “Frank Herbert through the eyes and voice of Douglas Adams.” He currently lives in Olathe, KS with his wife and two cats.
You can follow W.H. Mitchell on Facebook, Twitter and his own website.