Richard Quarry’s “Devolution Day: A Saga of Fire and Mice” appears in Small Gods, book 6 in the Blaze Ward Presents anthology series.
The library had grown too hot to study pre-calc.
The ultramodern building, with light pouring through its five stories of glass panels honeycombed around white steel triangles, was prone to warmth. But never before enough to make Darcy Mayfield see drops of sweat splatter on the open pages of her book (just a dumb bunch of squiggles anyway) and feel scratchy moisture trickling down from the armpits of the sweatshirt she’d unwisely worn.
So seeking relief, Darcy went up to the fifth floor for something more, like, real world. She was paging through Seven Days to an OMG Bod! — she’d sweat her way there if they didn’t get the air-conditioning back on line — when she heard a stuttering snort from the end of the stack. Like a horse, only deeper.
She looked up. And gave a start.
Chill, she warned herself. Just some stupid prank. Don’t give the idiots the satisfaction of knowing your heart just did a triple backflip.
“Looking for something?” Darcy said icily.
A long face, equine but not a horse, stared at her with hang-dog melancholy. Behind it a slab-sided neck rose to humped shoulders, sloping down to where they were hidden beyond the row. Its fur was dun, with one jagged white stripe that she could see. It appeared taller than a horse, but thinner. She knew it had to be some kind of African antelope, but had no idea which.
An antelope, in the Public Library?
—from “Devolution Day: A Saga of Fire and Mice” by Richard Quarry
Which god(s) did you write about in your story, and why?
In A Saga Of Fire and Mice the “small gods” we see are a race of extinct giant gerbils, a full eight inches tall, intelligent, and armed with slingshots and the ability to devolve humans back into ancient animals. Clearly a singularity, the question remains, have they acquired god-like powers, or are they fronting for some other Entity? The idea of proto-gerbils causing the extinction of the dinosaurs was a side note in my sf novel Geneslide.
What are you working on now, and what’s fun about what you’re writing?
I am currently writing what is projected to be a six-volume epic fantasy tentatively titled The Dance of Sword and Heron. I like to work in different genres and different backgrounds, so part of the fun for any project is studying and portraying these various worlds, from the medieval setting of my current project through to the distant future, with stops at such sites as the Golden Age of Piracy, the early 20th century revival movement, and the Vietnam era in between.
Tell us about the Evolved!
I just put up the seventh and last volume of The Evolved in July. It begins as near-future science fiction then progresses several centuries into the future. The series asks a central question of science fiction: when humanity can shape its own evolution, who’s to say what’s human? When we achieve a form of Group Mind and even conditional immortality, will we finally be able to jettison our traditional greed and savagery, or just play them out on a larger theater?
Anything you’d like to share with the readers, promotional or otherwise?
To the ever-growing legion of ebook readers supporting indie-published authors, thanks. I am so gratified you are finding your dreams here.
About Richard Quarry
Like many writers, I’ve knocked around a bit. Caseworker, drywall hanger, and Juvenile Corrections Officer have been my most notable jobs, along with a stint as semi-professional jazz trombonist (incredible fun, laughable money.) I currently live in Seattle with my wife Claire, a Nurse Practitioner in Oncology. Hobbies? An indie-writer? I take some time out here and there for my Rogue exercise bike, tai chi, and reading. Because if you don’t love reading fiction, why write it?
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