A snippet of April #10 –

Rough and unedited as always. Fair sized because it will be in the Amazon preview anyway.

Chapter 1

Eileen sat back and observed the party with a detachment that was calculating, and beyond her years. That was her personality. She suffered from being too smart, and had made a good start on learning to hide it. Fortunately there was no local school organized yet, and most of the others her age just thought she was socially dull. That was far easier to forgive than smart.

She was dressed in nice store bought. It wasn’t so long since The Day when the grid went down and modern commerce ceased, to mean manufactured clothing was uncommon yet. Especially, nicer things were saved for special occasions. The roads would be open again, local governments in control again, and commerce with other states and regions reestablished before they got all that rare. Goods were already being brought in at very high prices.

For now however, there was an economy of scarcity, and the hand of government had lifted enough that nobody batted an eye at weapons worn to the celebration. Safety on the road here was uncertain. Neither were intoxicates absent, even though minors were present. Whether those minors partook was once again a family concern, although there was community involvement, since people felt free again to report what they saw the young people do to parents.

The things Eileen had on she hadn’t owned two years ago. That was true of most of the young people in the barn. Almost all of them grew too fast to be wearing what they owned two years ago, but fancy clothes were precious now, and nobody tossed anything store bought in the trash, until it was worn out and had done duty as rags.

The difference was some of the young ladies, and a few of the young men dressed like it was three years ago and they were visiting a night club. A few in contrast looked like they might be part of a wedding party or a christening, and one unfortunate young man looked like he belonged in a period movie about disco dancing. That party clothes were precious didn’t mean there was a great selection or prices were not tiered sharply. The quality of haircuts had dropped precipitously, and makeup was rationed even tighter than nice clothing.

Eileen on the other hand had on a pretty blouse and jeans that weren’t worn ragged. Almost nobody had saved a pair of jeans for good. They had reverted to work wear again by default, and seeing a nice pair was unusual now. She didn’t bother with makeup and didn’t need it. She had on ankle hiking boots worth more than a sequin dress, and her only real concession to formality was real diamond earrings and a gold chain. Most of her peers didn’t have the depth to be able to distinguish real jewelry from fake, but her elders did. She looked like she was prepared to go help in the kitchen if need be, or ride home on a horse, without ruining her outfit. Others were not so practical. Some had changed their outfits when they arrived rather than ruin them on the road.

The young guys were awkward and dazzled by the girls who looked like they just stepped out of a TV screen or an old magazine to them. There was still satellite TV service and some working receivers owned by folks with their own power. A few had moved them to an outbuilding or garage and made a business of them. Popcorn was planted for next year. The magazines were now wrinkled and dog-eared from renewed popularity. They weren’t discarded after a read-through, since new were rare. They were in fact a trade item now.

Several young men had been bright enough to ignore the flashier clothing and aggressive come-hither looks present, and see Eileen as a very worthy target of their attention. She looked old enough they offered her a cider or stronger drink and they came up with drink already in hand, overly confident.

Since such a favor seemed to be a license to linger and talk, or even in a few cases stake some sort of claim for the evening, she declined them. Considering her worthy wasn’t sufficient to guarantee she reciprocated. She was picky.

Victor Foy came by with a beer in his hand and nodded at her. Eileen nodded politely back. Then Vic looked to each side at her female companions, and scowled. “You mean to say there isn’t a young buck here with the wits to bring you a drink?” he growled.

His manner didn’t put Eileen off, it amused her. “Don’t blame them. I had a few offers, but their demeanor suggested they thought they were setting claim markers around me. If you want to bring me something I’d welcome it.” The girl on Eileen’s right gasped at her boldness, and she and Vic both looked at her amused.

“Cider?” he asked, accepting the duty.

“That would be nice,” Eileen said. “Dad started some apple trees, but it’s still a treat for us.”

“He’s too old for you,” the gasping companion hissed, as soon as he departed. The other girl asked, “What’s duh-meaner mean?”

Eileen wasn’t giving vocabulary lessons today, but she answered the hisser.

“Now really, I know he’s older, but I think he’ll last long enough to return with a cider. he’s hardly wobbling on a cane and ready to fall on his face any moment.”

“You’d be safer if he was,” the girl warned her. “He’s entirely too spry, and I see how he looks at the young girls here.”

“Yes, he gives a subtle glance instead of drooling with his mouth hanging open like the young fools,” Eileen agreed. “On the whole I’d rather a little less desperation.”

“You’re hopeless,” the girl concluded, and left to seek better company before it rubbed off. The other girl was afraid she’s be confided in, or worse required to speak, so she followed after the other quickly.

“I hope you didn’t chase your friends away for me,” Vic said when he came back.

“They just happened to be by me. We aren’t friends nor likely to ever be friends. Why would you think I’d chase them away?” She really wanted to know.

“Most of the young men are intimidated by a group of girls,” Vic said, handing her the cider. “It’s a strategic error really if the girls want to meet someone. They feel better having some company, but they don’t realize they’re intimidating the poor fellows.”

“Shouldn’t their mothers tell them how counter-productive that is?” Eileen asked him.

“It’s a guy thing. I’m not sure most of the moms ever figured it out, and the fathers aren’t going to share it, because most of them would be happy if their girls didn’t notice that boys exist until they’re about thirty or so.”

“So, I’m getting the rarely revealed inside male scoop here?” Eileen asked.

“Yes, but I’ve played cards with you, you’re bright enough to figure it out on your own. This is a fairly bright bunch,” Vic said, waving his beer inclusively.

“The attack on Vandenberg sorted out a lot of the stupid in California. This area now has about three times what the summer population ran, pre-Day. You had to be bright, or prepared, or incredibly lucky to get out of the populated areas before the roads got jammed, the water stopped, and the fires started. But even sorted out, you have to remember half of them are still below average,” Vic said, and smiled like it was a private little joke.

“Which were you?” Eileen asked, very directly, and sipped her cider. It wasn’t exactly hard, but it had just enough bite to be good without any fizz.

“I was smart enough to already be here, and not need to run.”

40 Responses to A snippet of April #10 –

  1. Joyce September 9, 2017 at 11:50 am #

    Thanks! This was an unexpected treat!

  2. Cheryl September 9, 2017 at 10:07 pm #

    Cool looking forward to it even though we know how Eileen and Victor eventually end up thanks to Family Law 4. But I look forward to the whole story

    • Mac September 11, 2017 at 9:23 am #

      I can move them forward as well as fill in back story now. Getting there is just as much fun. That’s why people write prequels. I could even do an April prequel if the mood hits.

      • Eric September 15, 2017 at 11:13 pm #

        Id love to see a book on happy building m3

        • Mac September 16, 2017 at 8:03 pm #

          Will keep that in mind.

  3. Silke September 10, 2017 at 12:10 pm #

    I was almost afraid after Family Law 4 that it would have meant probably an end to April.
    So thanks for the snippet 🙂
    It is great we’ll be able to read more about April’s family & friends.

  4. Anonymous September 11, 2017 at 6:33 pm #

    Thank you!

  5. Mike M September 11, 2017 at 8:06 pm #

    Thank you! Looking forward to the next novel.

  6. Colleen September 14, 2017 at 2:26 am #

    Thank you, I loved catching up with how Eileen and Victor met, the incidents surrounding their leaving earth need to be expanded on a bit and this starts the ball rolling nicely.

  7. Matthew September 17, 2017 at 3:00 am #

    Is there a time line out for release of April 10? I know at one point you were saying we might be seeing a few releases together.

    • Mac September 17, 2017 at 3:41 am #

      April 10 is too far out to try to time beyond, next year. I’m finishing at least one stand alone first.

  8. Jørgen Gangfløt September 17, 2017 at 4:23 pm #

    I love this series and I’m re-reading it yet another time just because I felt like it. But also because something odd happened.

    Due to several things that happed in my life I turned of my tv and it stayed of, due note that I watch dvd’s and blueray. So basically I use my tv but not AS AN tv (it gets a bit weird)

    Anyway, after a while I started no notice this weird ‘something is off’ feeling when ever I read online news, so I dialed back that as well and read several hundred books instead.

    Sure I lost track of everyday stuff going on in the world, but I kept up with some news by looking for it instead of just reading papers online.

    After a while I found something strange, when I looked at the news again it seemed quite insane, it seemed like some kind of stupid insanity had permuted the entire world. I’m not saying this as a fact rather it what i felt like.

    Then I found your April series… and I realized that what I was ‘seeing’ is something akin to the earth-think concept, as most don”t see the stupid because they are surrounded by it everyday.

    I now find my self in a position where I wish I had the means to either buy an Island, build a huge space station or move to Mars (each place self-sustaining and away from the insanity). I even got this anti bored project going (to occupy my mind thats free from all the everyday noice and insanity and it frees up a lot of time to do so), I began designing a large scale space station concept using cutting edge tech advances. Not on paper or a pc, but in my now mostly empty mind.

    There a so far only 4 tech things I need conformed as working before my idea becomes workable. (Still need alot of fine tuning and engineering to make it work, but tech vise..):
    1. Cheaper lift,
    2. mass production of graphene nanotube weave
    3. my radiation and ballistic protection idea based on an aeorogel variant merged with graphene, (Nasa is working on it)
    4 graphene infused aluminum with the strength of steel (Demo material has been made so it is possible)
    (5. material stress testing, thermal stability and max stress-bearing weight, way way out of my expertise as I am more of an idea person)

    But heres the thing, I find that working on this space station idea is kind of very hard in a fun way and figuring out things like interlock mechanisms for hull plating, perfect ease of repair, modularity and so on.
    (I think I solved a interlocking dilemma for the hull construction just a few day ago, the mechanism is similar to how some Ikea furniture is put together, it locks, draws together and is removable piece by piece, not unlike lego or mechano).

    So far I only worked out an idea for the construction of the hull (including materials that might do the trick), balancing system and a few other things, most of internal stuff is still not done in any detail beyond rough power, water and selvage functions.

    It might be a fantasy, but it keeps my mind of the of the earth-think insanity and to me at least it is fun figuring these things out.

    So thank for sparking the idea.
    (And hopefully someday something like my idea will be made).

    • Mac September 18, 2017 at 8:33 pm #

      A lot of people would like to opt out or ‘Go Galt’. Cheap lift would be nice but I’m afraid it is like flying cars – always a few years off. Eventually I think the tech will get to where you can build your own spacecraft just like you can build a very nice plane right now. But not soon.

  9. Ben September 18, 2017 at 7:02 pm #

    Mark me down as also being interested in a Happy story …. Happy as a younger man, that is.
    Easy, too, and April’s parents. And Jan …. there’s a full length novel hiding in that man.
    It would be interesting reading an overview on the building of the stations while learning the back stories of the “old geezers” in April’s life. How were they funded? How did the fractious nations portion out the building and expense of ISS2, or single nations or corporations such as Mitsubishi fund and undertake such massive endeavors, etc, etc.
    Anyway, I look forward to whatever you send us next …. (Maybe I’ll ask Santa for a new Chandler story for Christmas and let him lean on you a bit.)

    • Mac September 18, 2017 at 8:34 pm #

      I’m 70. I’ll try to live long enough to get all that done….

      • Mac September 19, 2017 at 5:10 pm #

        If I needed to maximize my income I’d do something like that, but I really don’t need my book money to live. I set it aside for luxuries. I bought myself a GMC Canyon pickup from it recently. It seems like it would be a time eater to expand. Now, if somebody approached me to collaborate or suggested a story I’d consider that if I respected their writing. But I don’t want to search for somebody.

        • Jay October 19, 2017 at 8:13 am #

          How about doing it like Eric Flint and his 1632 universe. Het let unknown authors come in and do short stories. The succesfull ones he published with some of his own. He then collaborated with the best writers to do complete books. His setup is quite awesome if i do say so myself.

          • Mac October 19, 2017 at 10:31 am #

            It is an amazing business. He runs basically a franchise. I’m retired. I don’t want to run a business. I’ve owned businesses before and could do it again if I wanted to, but why? I don’t need the money. I’d have less time for writing and spend more time trying to manage others. I never enjoyed supervising. Indeed, I tended to be one of those kids the teachers lamented did not play well with others. We have never moved to a bigger fancier condo or bought a vacation house just because I have some extra income. We don’t owe a mortgage or car payment or credit card debt to be motivated to crank out product. That mentality that I have an extra $500 a month income so I have to run buy something just doesn’t motivate me. That all the car ads on TV advertise $$$/month instead of naming an actual cash price is terrible. I don’t need the stress. Next thing you know I’d have DEADLINES. The horror…
            If a writer I respected asked to do a collaboration I might try it, but the ones I know can’t find enough hours to do their own ideas.
            Now I admit Eric will leave a functioning franchise when he dies. I assume it will be an ongoing money machine for a lot of people – including his heirs. His books will sell for a long time because he has very cleverly locked in the time period from which Grantville came so they will never become technically dated. We can’t argue their new time line because it is completely detached from ours as the very basis of the story. Pretty smart. It will however be awkward to try to add technology to the series beyond what we have now. I can’t see the books taking a leap off earth and to the stars easily. Perhaps book #276? Its detail is all based on European history. I’m expecting him to see that the indigenous peoples are treated differently as the biggest branch from our time line.

      • Mike Morrow September 20, 2017 at 2:19 pm #

        Apparently if you are currently 70 you should shag your tail out and get yourself some LET. ?

        • Mac September 28, 2017 at 8:25 pm #

          I wish.

  10. Scott carle September 19, 2017 at 4:46 pm #

    Have you thought about licensing out some of the spinoff stories to another author you respect. Michael anderle has created a group of maybe 6 to 8 authors that are all working in his uinverse doing spinoff series. Seems to be working very well for him. You might email him and see if he will talk about it with you. He is very involved in helping other authors.

    • Mike M September 29, 2017 at 8:05 pm #

      Very few authors stress individual liberty like Mac does. While I’d love to see additional books giving up that bedrock perspective would taint it for me.

  11. Mark October 12, 2017 at 3:40 pm #

    Agree with you Mike. Mac is probably the closest author I have read that captures the individual liberty feel of Heinlein.

  12. Robert Cahill October 15, 2017 at 10:16 pm #

    Except Heinlein ….

    I’m re-reading April too and a bit upset that I will have to wait for 10.

    It sounds like I should read Family Law.

    • Mac October 16, 2017 at 8:16 am #

      You haven’t already???

    • JimH October 16, 2017 at 10:34 pm #

      Robert Cahill: You definitely should read the Family Law books too. In fact, if you’re at all like me, you’ll be kicking yourself that you didn’t already do that. Great books. Great merge of storylines (April series and Family Law series). Superbe universe by Mac.

  13. John Leggett October 26, 2017 at 6:23 pm #

    Any chance for another snippet of April #10?

    • Mac October 31, 2017 at 9:03 pm #

      No but I’ll look for something else.

  14. Rick harding November 2, 2017 at 10:49 am #

    Been reading sci fi for 63 or 64 years and I’ve finally found another Heinlein like author to follow. I usually read quickly and move on but you’ve more than kept my interest. Now, I’ve finished the April series and Family law and started on whatever else I can find. The tangents suggested in your stories (grid lattice idea communication, emancipation, political theory, controlled gravity propulsion, complete separation of elements mining, and on and on) are certainly thought and conversation provoking. I appreciate the recognition that some young people are able to make intelligent decisions and come to rational conclusions without the “benefit” of age. I have been fortunate to be around some whose observations and questions awed me. Thank you for the excellent writing. I’m looking forward to much more.

    Some of the weird spelling and word substitution through all your books I’ve read lead me to believe your editor(s) is not paying close enough attention, or you’re using a speech to text program that makes interpretation mistakes. Just a few: he’s not he’d, essene not essence,

    • Mac November 2, 2017 at 1:18 pm #

      Thank you. S and d substitution is one of my common fat finger typos but I will look for essene and fix it. Couldn’t find it – must be corrected already in current upload.

      • JG December 30, 2017 at 12:46 am #

        April, Book 9 chapter 22:

        “Ah, that’s fine then. If it takes a little longer than I thought maybe I’ll be able to chip in a little more. You might be able to cover the cost yourselves, but more money lets you build to better specs, with better accessories, and faster when you do start. Time is still of the essene, isn’t it?” Dave asked.

        I have this habit of reading and annotating errors (hilighting red in Kindle)… it started as a way to improve my own writing and self editing.

        Thanks for the entertainment… I just read through all of the Family Law books, followed by the April series.

        • Mac December 30, 2017 at 7:31 am #

          Unfortunately I didn’t get any highlighting. I read it carefully and did see essene instead of essence. If I missed anything else please let me know. I appreciate it and will correct it. – Mac’
          I see I use duffle for duffel also…

  15. Colleen November 7, 2017 at 10:21 pm #

    I am nearly finished reading the April Series through for a 3rd time and I am eagerly awaiting number 10. I have read and re-read the Family Law series and love the tie-in with April. I came to your books from the Family Law series and you are one of my most recommended authors. Please keep up the good work.

  16. Melvyn November 12, 2017 at 7:52 am #

    I re-read the Family Law series afew months ago and I’ve just finished re-reading the April series. Not trying to joggle your elbow but I’m ready formore anytime. I’ve started reading your new releases on KU first then buying the book because if I’m right that means you get paid twice and you’re books are worth it.
    Please keep up the good work

    • Mac November 18, 2017 at 9:13 pm #

      Thank you. I’m glad you like them that much.

  17. Celia B December 5, 2017 at 12:31 pm #

    Read Family Law first then the April series. Have been an avid sci fi reader for 40 years. Beyond the sci fi of these series what I found most intriguing is the concept of “Earth think”.

    Like one of the above, we gave up TV several years ago and haven’t missed it at all. Your April series captured my feelings about what I’ve always referred to a “yellow journalism” – make it up if you have to to sell it, sell it, sell it.

    And, hey! If I find that “remastering unit”, I’ll be sure to LET you know. Your writing is just too refreshing to let it go (said as one old fart to another).

    Write on!

  18. John Leggett January 18, 2018 at 2:09 pm #

    Mac do you have an update on April 10?

    • Mac January 19, 2018 at 9:08 am #

      I’m barely started on April 10. I’m finishing up a stand alone and then I’ll get back to the series.

  19. John Leggett January 19, 2018 at 4:37 pm #

    Okay I got the impression that April 10 was done. No problem what is the status on the stand alone.

    • Mac January 22, 2018 at 10:04 am #

      133k and having trouble ending it. It may need a sequel instead, which I didn’t plan.

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