But sometimes it's three or four things. Sometimes a punk-ass kid wants to haggle with you over an unopened ten-pack of Type Two BASF Chrome Maximas and you're on the phone with your goddamn choir director and your walkman runs down while both your earbuds are out. And you don't notice right away. And then the Noise comes swooping down on you like a summer storm, and you've got problems a whole truckload of responsibility batteries aren't gonna fish you out of.
The note had been scrawled in a language few would recognize and fewer still spoke, and the handwriting was as familiar as her own. Her hands shook, very slightly, as she refolded the letter and laid it at the center of her desk. She hadn't expected this so soon. She'd thought she had a few years left, at least.
A not-especially-well-planned camping trip on Mars, misguided historical reenactment, and the many uses of chemical heat packs.
Some particular trick of the moon, the weather, and the Earth's closeness to the sun had pulled the tide all the way to 5th Avenue, a good half-block further uphill than usual.
Yacht racing, gender politics, and mistaken identities inconveniently revealed out on the open ocean.
A science fiction novella of quick thinking, compromises, awkward romance and the dream of Mars.