The Clan Chronicles # 3 - Stratification

Reap The Wild Wind


What can you do...

When your home becomes a prison

And the world beneath your feet can't be trusted?

Where can you run...

In a universe where everyone's a stranger

And nothing you knew before can help you survive?

First Published 2009 by DAW Books Inc.
ISBN 978-00756405601
Cover art by Luis Royo
Main Selection of the SFBC


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Click to Show or Hide Snippet (could be spoilers)
She'd made fiches the size of her hand glide through the air, of dresel wing, thread, and sticks. She knew the amazing aircars of the Strangers, the noisy winged flyers of the Oud, had been carried by an esan's doubled wings.

How could anything like this fly?

Aryl clutched her pendant, almost deafened. The machine descending before the cliff was larger than the buildings behind her. Twenty -- more -- aircars could have fit inside it. Like the Oud flying machines, fire came out of it. Like the Humans' aircar, there were no wings.
Her eyes narrowed. Scars marred its skin. There were objects fastened to it, or protruding from it. Along its underside, what must be feet. On its back? Those objects were sharp and aimed forward, like horns or knives. Best to assume they were as dangerous as they looked.

The fire ceased, as if turned off like a glow; with that, the rumble ended, but the machine wasn't silent. It whined as it came to rest, feet adjusting to the uneven ground with a series of metallic clangs. Suddenly, even the whine stopped.

Silence. Aryl's ears buzzed.

A ramp extended like a tongue to taste the dirt. Above it, a door opened into the belly of the machine.

And out they came ...


Excerpt from Rift in the Sky © 2009 Julie E. Czerneda and DAW Books Inc.
Used with permission.
Treat - Click to Show or Hide
I don’t, normally, outline my stories. Given the complexity of Rift (and of our household at the time of writing), I had no other choice. The process took three full weeks, and by the end I'd outlined the location, characters, and plot involved, per scene, per chapter, for the entire book. Before writing a word. The paper itself was taped to my desk at one end, with a covering piece rolled up on a thick piece of dowel unless visitors were present. After all, every Post-it note held a spoiler. What you see here is the middle 1/3rd of the outline. (Newsgroup friends please note the prevalence of “Purple Fairy Plot Poo.”) Will I do this again? I don't know. It worked for this story. I'm not sure it would work for any other.


Outline page
The end. And the beginning.

Rift is the most technically difficult book I've ever written. After all, it connects everything from Stratification with the Trade Pact, plus prepares the remaining backstory for Reunification. It's also the most emotional book I've ever written. Have I done it justice? You'll have to judge for yourself, dear reader.

From Om'ray to M'hiray.

From Cersi to the Trade Pact.

From Aryl to Sira.

Here is the story I promised to tell you.

- Julie