Charlie Stross's new novel, Saturn's Children, is out — this is Charlie's Heinlein tribute, and unlike everyone else who does classic, adventure -story Heinlein tributes, Charlie's written a novel in the style of the late, indulgent, sex-saturated Heinlein, from the period before a cutting-edge surgery fixed a problem with the blood-supply to his brain (seriously). Orbit, the book's UK publisher, has also put an excerpt online.
Today is the two hundredth anniversary of the final extinction of my One True Love, as close as I can date it. I am drunk on battery acid and wearing my best party frock, sitting on a balcony beneath a pleasure palace afloat in the stratosphere of Venus. My feet dangle over a slippery-slick rain gutter as I peek over the edge: Thirty kilometers below my heels, the metal-snowed foothills of Maxwell Montes glow red-hot. I am thinking about jumping. At least I'll make a pretty corpse, I tell myselves. Until I melt.
And then –