Mister Sun was almost forty thousand seconds behind the moment when he finally emerged from the shiny, sad pens of LAX into the wet heat of the late afternoon. It takes forty thousand seconds, more or less, to fly from London to Los Angeles and then negotiate the boxes and runs of the airport. That’s how he thought of it. Eleven hours would be a sleep of exhaustion and a leisurely breakfast. It didn’t carry a sense of urgency. Forty thousand seconds sounded to him like time running away without him, leaving him stuck in a dim and disconnected past. A lot could happen in forty thousand seconds.
Mister Sun put his shades on. It had been winter in Britain for the previous eighteen months or so, and he only saw authentic daylight when he traveled, or on television. Los Angeles light, stinging as it was, had a familiar quality to him. It was a strange thing, he reflected, to recognize a certain flavor of daylight from afternoon films in the Sundays of his childhood.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.