Falcon Ridge Publishing has recently reprinted my short story, The Verdant Gene. It was originally published in February 2014 by WMG Publishing in Moonscapes, part of their Fiction River anthology series. Verdant was also briefly available as an audio story, read by the wonderful Jane Kennedy, to promote the anthology.
THE VERDANT GENE
We landed on Verdant one hundred and three years ago, in what turned out to be Year Three of the thirty-year Cycle.
In a stroke of cosmic bad luck, the probes that explored Verdant and mapped its solar system did so at apogee, when Castor and Pollux, the twin moons, were stable in the sky at the farthest they would be from Verdant, and each other. How were we to know that this stability would only last a year?
It took the original colonists a few years to realize that Verdant’s moons were slowly drawing closer to each other and to the planet. The attendant tides and wild weather soon made the colonists relocate the settlement to higher, more protected ground, but it was only at Year Fifteen of the Cycle, at perigee, that the colonists understood the full impact of the moons’ strange dance.
There have only been three Perigee Years since we landed on Verdant. With each one, we were better prepared to survive the physical onslaughts of storm and surge. But with each one, we lost more and more people to the Cycle madness.
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