Last Kingdom, Lost Kingdom: An Excerpt
Ho Lin
[Total Pages: 13]
Lin Page 1

[Author's Note: The conclusion of the novella "Landfall" was scheduled to run in this issue, but other events intervened -- namely, National Novel Writing Month. (see for more details). Following is an excerpt from the novel. The complete novel, in all its unpolished glory, can be found at]

To hear a reading of this piece by the author, visit the Multimedia section.

IT WAS LATE, VERY LATE. Even in the most advanced city, night still penetrates, and the halogen lamps burn alone, fighting their

losing battles. I couldn't sleep that evening, and the noisemaker was malfunctioning -- it was supposed to be Burney Falls, all forty-plus meters of torrential spray, but the sound was cutting out at random intervals. If I'd had the training, I would have tried to decode these dashes and dots, make some linguistic sense out of the chaos, but no such luck. I was left to stare at the starless ceiling, my teeth grinding with every unanticipated hit of silence.
     Finally my eyes closed, and I was almost there -- my thoughts had wandered toward the question of hats, and which was a better choice, a fedora or deerstalker? An utterly random bit of business, because I had never owned a hat or had a particular desire to. I had enough where-