Published as an e-book in 2011.
Strata is a stand-alone novella by two Writers of the Future Award winners.
It’s the middle of the twenty-second century. Earth’s oil and gas reserves have been spent, but humankind’s thirst for energy remains unquenched. Vast solar mining platforms circle the upper atmosphere of the sun, drawing power lines up from the stellar interior and tight-beaming the energy back to Earth. For most of the platforms’ teeming masses, life is hard, cramped — and hot. Most dream of a return Earthside, but a two-way ticket wasn’t part of the benefits package, and a Sun-Earth trip doesn’t come cheap.
Kawe Ndechi is luckier than most. He’s a gifted rider — a skimmer pilot who races the surface of the sun’s convection zone — and he needs only two more wins before he lands a ticket home. The only trouble is, Kawe’s spent most of his life on the platforms. He’s seen the misery, and he’s not sure he’s the only one who deserves a chance at returning home.
That makes Smith Pouslon nervous. Smith once raced the tunnels of fire himself, but now he’s a handler, and his rider, Kawe, is proving anything but easy to handle. Kawe’s slipping deeper and deeper into the Movement, but Smith knows that’s a fool’s game. His own foray into the Movement cost him his racing career — and nearly his life — and he doesn’t want Kawe to throw everything away for a revolt that will never succeed.
One sun. Two men. The fate of a million souls.
Bradley P. Beaulieu began writing his first fantasy novel in college, but in the way of these things, it was set aside as life intervened. As time went on, though, Brad realized that his love of writing and telling tales wasn't going to just slink quietly into the night. The drive to write came back full force in the early 2000s, at which point Brad dedicated himself to the craft, writing several novels and learning under the guidance of writers like Nancy Kress, Joe Haldeman, Tim Powers, Holly Black, Michael Swanwick, Kij Johnson, and many more.
Brad and his novels have garnered many accolades and most anticipated lists, including two Hotties - the Debut of the Year and Best New Voice - on Pat's Fantasy ... (more)