The journey lasted just an instant. It felt like it involved a flip. Baru was well-schooled enough to know that was illusory, just a function of switching from four spatial dimensions to three. He knew the fact, but not well enough not to feel it.
Before he could see it, the new world collapsed around him. One, two, three seconds, and just as suddenly he adapted. Again, merely a mental side effect that Baru already knew about, caused by the sudden lack of sensory information. He frankly expected worse. Rumor had it that some interdimensional travelers felt the constriction for hours, and had paralyzing nightmares about the experience in perpetuity.
He peered out the window at the planet bobbing below. It would be Earth, naturally. There were other planets in this dimension, some with intelligent life and some with the same blandly generic greenery, but this was the one most nearly hospitable to Tivolian physiology. While not exactly comfortable, it was the only planet close enough that the political notion of conquering and colonizing it periodically arose. The idea never gained serious traction, not out of any moral or military reason but simply because nobody wanted to live there. At best it would be a prison colony.
Baru idly wondered if he would set foot on Earth’s surface. Maybe he should take advantage of the opportunity, just to say he’d done it, but he wasn’t one of those people who grew up dreaming about setting foot on strange new worlds. In fact, he might avoid it just to enjoy the reactions that other people would have.
“You went all the way to another dimension and didn’t even get off your ship?” they’d shriek in horror. He would arch his eyebrows; and make a small, superior smile; and airily note that “It is impossible to understand the motivations of an artist without being an artist oneself.”
Of course, he might have to, should whatever food and water supplies on there were on board run out. Baru resolved not to let that happen. He was confident he had all the information he needed to find his way home, so it was just a matter of working his way through it. He saw no reason to delay.
Something from Exile Issues, which genuinely is my main project, although so much of what I post here is from other things that are still in the future. It comes from early-on in the book; Nathan (known as Baru on his home planet) has just officially been kicked out. I’m still doing my first edit of the book, which is taking longer than anticipated. Partly it was tough to get enthusiasm for the project—it’s awfully intimidating to have a whole book filled with things that I didn’t do right and have to make them right—and partly because I’ve been splitting my efforts. The latter is dangerous, although I think I’m still on the safe side of the line; I’ve gotten back into the habit of working on Exile Issues, while having other things in the works has nice side effects like feeding this blog and preventing burnout and giving me a head start on projects when I finish this one.
Speaking of burnout: December 29 would technically be the blog’s 6-month anniversary. Really, though, October is when I got serious about it, and even then there were hiccups until Mid-November. Since then, though, nearly daily posts, and everything’s still going good. So I’m going to call this an accomplishment.