Friday, January 25, 2013

SFFS: Snippet #6 from Atomic Zion

IN HONOR OF MY DAD'S BIRTHDAY TODAY!

Atomic Zion

Delving further into chapter two of my SF Thriller, Atomic Zion, we continue with Marcos Skovasja in Prague.

DESCRIPTION:
Atomic Zion was influenced by my time as the Educational Marketing Director at Frank Lloyd Wright's House on Kentuck Knob and by reading stories from Michael Crichton, Robert Ludlum, James Rollins, and Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.

Back Cover Blurb...

On the night of his 92nd birthday, a former Wright Apprentice is thrown from the fifth floor of the Guggenheim Museum in New York. The only clue to clear his grandson of the murder is a note written in Navajo code which warns "The Bear has awakened."

These four words throw Nick Vanko into the middle of a decades old international cover-up where Wright Apprentices encoded WWII-era secrets about genetic experimentation into their blueprints. In order to stop a being who isn't quite human from unleashing a biological weapon upon the U.S., Nick must find Broadacre City, the fabled utopia designed by Wright, but supposedly never built. Searching by his side are an old Navajo CodeTalker, a woman who sees emotions as colors, and a Mossad agent who is really working for the Russian mafia. But can Vanko trust any of them?
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SNIPPET #6:
His eyes scanned the same fading graffiti it did everyday on the looming walls--messages of rebellion and dissatisfaction and stenciled images of Kafka signed with secret names only other vandals recognized.

The street took a bend to the right where stone and brick giants pressed toward one another, blocking out the sky as they watched Marcos pass. The lonesome brewery waited up ahead, crouched between an abandoned rectory and the end of the city.

Fermenting hops permeated the air the closer he drew.

Shadows, fragmented into every hue of grey, dappled the brewery door.

Operational for nearly one hundred fifty years, Plivek's Brewery showed an evolution of style evident among its hodgepodge pieces. Part of it pretended to be a castle with two asymmetrical rounded towers capped in terra cotta and eroding copper finials in the form of flying beasts. Marcos' boss told him this stuccoed addition came early during the present century, while the main section with its weathered wood rubbed black with preserving oil retained the long eaves and vertical lines of architecture dating well beyond the brewery's occupation.

Yet even in that small time, Plivek's, like Prague itself, had survived many occupiers, including the Soviets. Now if only he and other Czechs could survive the mafia and men like his boss, Dmitri Crenov, who were part of a new wave of Russian oppressors rising out of the rubble of Communism.

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Find other wonderful snippets at Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday!

18 comments:

  1. I really like this description - very evocative and effective. It created a superb picture in my mind of the scene. I particularly liked the images of Kafka signed with names only other vandals recognised. A really good snippet - thanks!

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    1. This is one of my favorite passages, Peter, so I'm glad it worked well for you. I'm heading back to Prague this year to do research for the next book in the AZ series, and each time I read this part I'm reminded of why I want to return.

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  2. I once lived near The Abington Park Hotel, or the APH as we called it, and it had it's own brewery behind it; oh-me-gosh the smell! Thank you for the trip down olfactory-memory lane ;) Great stuff Heidi - can't wait to see where this goes :)

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    1. Chantal, once you've smelled that smell, you can always remember it, huh?

      ;)

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  3. I was going to say the same thing as Peter about the graffiti. I like the imagery of that. I'm catching up with past snippets now. I want to know who Marcos is and what he does. His observations remind me of my drive to work, seeing the same things, knowing them in my mind without having to see them. I look forward to more!

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    1. I'm all about the imagery, Matt, thanks to Seton Hill.

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  4. Love the description. But does gray have hues? That would imply green-gray, blue-gray, red-gray etc.

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    1. Yes, Sue Ann, you've got it right--I meant blue-grey and green-grey, etc. Color is an important theme within the novel.

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  5. "... signed with secret names only other vandals recognized." Love that line! And the whole snippet gives such a great sense of both place and history.

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    1. This book was the most difficult for me to write so far, Cary, because of all the research. So glad it's coming through in an entertaining way.

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  6. Once again, I really like your imagery. I can practically see everything in my head. I like that you included the smell of fermenting hops. It really adds an extra something.

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    1. I'm all about the imagery, Tara. ;)

      Thanks!

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  7. My goodness, you're good at this. Reading this was a totally immersive experience, absolutely wonderful and a bit creepy. Fan-tas-tic.

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    1. You are too kind, J.M. But I love it! Thank you.

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  8. Shadows, fragmented into every hue of grey, dappled the brewery door.

    I adore this line. And the dismal atmosphere that it evokes.

    A great snippet, Heidi! Can't wait to read more

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  9. Utterly wonderful description in this snippet. Really felt as if I was there. It puts me in mind of living in Edinburgh and walking past a brewery with that smell. :)

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    1. I've been working on making my settings pop, Gayle. Glad it's working!

      :) Heidi

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