Welcome to this week’s Friday Author Spotlight! This week we have C.L. Spillard visiting with her stand-alone fantasy novel, The Price of Time. She’s also sharing an excerpt from the book, but before we get to that, let’s get to know the author.
C.L. Spillard is a complex interplay of matter and energy in a pattern of waves whose probability cloud is densest in York, United Kingdom.
Following the profound influence, in a mysterious process not yet fully understood by science, of the American moon landings on the young pattern’s quantum-based self-awareness mechanisms, C.L. Spillard developed an interest in Physics and the plight of humanity on our small, blue spheroid. This led both to a lifelong career in Physics and a penchant for environmental activism.
C.L. Spillard’s wave-pattern enjoys proximity to a second pattern originating in St Petersburg (Russia), and these two have since generated two younger ones who are now diffusing over the planet stuffing themselves with knowledge as if it were going out of fashion.
She came face to face with her Guardian Devil. She made a wager she could foil his devastating plan. She didn’t mean to. Now she has no idea where to begin…
Some people have a Guardian Angel. Some aren’t so lucky, and have a Guardian Devil.
And lifelong green campaigner Verity Player of York has just come face-to-face with hers: evil genius Stan Satanic Mills.
He’s the mastermind behind the spread of an idea so simple and so fundamental to everyday life – that few people would think to question it.
But Verity has long ago grasped its infernal logic. She knows it as the mechanism that lurks behind humanity’s apparent death wish. And now, facing its creator, shes the only mortal who can fight to make him halt it before its final, devastating phase.
Desperate, she bargains for a sporting chance. But this comes at a price: the forfeit of her precious conscience if she fails, in the surreal game that opens before her, to strike the first blow by New Year…
“Anyway, this is it.” Mills flicked the light switch.
Verity gasped. Her eyes widened.
A globe, some six feet in diameter, floated a few inches above the flagstone floor. The world’s physical features were picked out in minute detail: translucent contours in shades of green, ocean depths in shades of blue. The colours of deserts, snow-capped mountains, grasslands and forests underlay these. Winds and ocean currents also showed, as fine streamlines. Clouds drifted slowly, following the familiar patterns of weather systems over the surface. The whole glowed, with a soft, warm light, from within.
The brightest spotlight in the room illuminated the far side of the globe in a horizontal beam, and Verity noticed the North Pole tilted towards her. Thus, she stood facing a Northern winter midnight. She saw the British Isles near her, at just above head height. A pale grey wisp of smoke drifted southwards from Yorkshire: plumes from the power stations of Megawatt Alley. She could just about see the Arctic ice, what remained of it at any rate, if she stood on her toes.
“Ever visited the Camera Obscura in Edinburgh?” asked Mills.
“Of course! Several times actually.”
“Well this is much the same. Projection of the Earth in real time.”
Verity stared at the globe, feasting her eyes on the detail, almost hypnotised by the slow movement of the weather. “He is…” she lost the words. “I love him.”
“If you touch it, or him, as you so touchingly call the Globe, you’ll get a resonance. But chances are you’ll not like what you feel.”
She lasted less than twenty seconds before reaching out and caressing the Globe. It felt soft to the touch, and she noticed her fingers pass through the surface, to material beneath. She could feel the texture of the rocks! She singed a fingertip on an Icelandic volcano.
She walked round to her left to inspect the Americas, and found herself facing the Gulf of Mexico. It tasted disgusting. She had no idea how she could know this, not having eaten any of it. To its north lay the Marcellus shale fields. She could feel the splitting there, like a migraine. She walked out to the Pacific and saw the extent of the gyre of plastic waste: began to choke on it. Moving round further, she found China made her nauseous; as she retched she caught an elbow on an Indonesian forest fire. She bent down and held the sore skin against Antarctica to soothe it.
She felt the resonance: the poor Globe suffering. She stroked the Indian Ocean: wanted to heal the Globe.
“You know my Plan.” Mills began.
The Conference and its associated drama had taken her mind off the bigger picture, but here it faced her in stark terms: Mills intended to force through the destruction of this beautiful Globe.
Her eyes flicked, for an unguarded moment, towards the far corner of the room: the dark medieval implements.