Solitair vs. The Hugos 3: A Taste of Honey

Although high born, one needn’t go round haughtily seeming so; Aqib quickly fixed his expression. “Of course it’s wonderful that the gods employ so many from Olorum on their estates. The food those menials grow, and the wealth they bring back cross-bayou to the Kingdom, has helped to make us Olorumi the richest and most prosperous of the world’s peoples”—true, but was that quite the politic thing to say, Aqib?—“though, naturally, the wonders of Daluz, your nation’s prowess at war, for instance, and the storied loveliness of your cities, have no match upon the sphere.”

The soldier laughed. “We’re for sure no courtiers, us two! Aqib, it really ain’t no need for you to get all mealy-mouth on my account.” It was such a nice laugh. Just as I do, Aqib thought, he lacks the forked or silver tongue necessary at court. Plain speech won’t offend him.

(The following post contains ending spoilers. If the above excerpt hasn’t scared you away from wanting to read this story, do that now.)
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Albie Awards 2015: Novelettes, Part 2

“I don’t recognize this sailor. She has the dark gray hair and flattened facial features common to the blue shark mods. There are fourteen blues currently serving on this vessel. I can’t be blamed if I can’t tell them apart. Sometimes I’m not even sure they can tell themselves apart. Blues have a strong schooling instinct, strong enough that the labs considered recalling them shortly after they were deployed. The brass stepped in before anything permanent could happen. Blues are good for morale. They fight like demons, and they fuck like angels, and they have no room left in their narrow predators’ brains for morals. If not for the service, they’d be a danger to us all, but thankfully, they have a very pronounced sense of loyalty.”
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