A brand new science fiction novel from the author of The Sex Gates and The Pet plague. Twins Steve and Jane grow up in a dystopic earth ruled by giant corporations. Faster than light space travel has been discovered, but extracts a terrible price. The immutable mathematics of the theory dictate that only half the ships leaving earth will make it to their destination, and of those which do, only half will return safely to earth; hence the name: Crazy Ships. With those odds, crews and colonists are drawn from the criminal class or from political prisoners and sentenced to serve on a ship.
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Double Dragon Publishing
October 01, 2003
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Excerpt from Crazy Ships by Darrell Bain
Janie cupped her firm young breasts as she watched her reflection in the mirror, just as she did almost every morning. Of course she knew from the extrapolation of her registered genome almost to the millimeter how large they would get, but at fifteen it was hard to wait.
But I'm almost there, she thought.
Janie was almost fully mature. Nearly a year ago she had had her implant, the one that not only rearranged the normal estrogenic hormones in order to prevent conception, but also discontinued her monthly periods for the next five years. For that, she was grateful. With the simplicity of thought that youth is subject to, she wondered why there had to be periods at all. Why couldn't they figure out how to keep women from having them?
Oh, well. It's over with for now. The next time will be when I decide to get pregnant -- if I ever do.
"Hey, quit playing with your tits and get dressed! We'll be late for school." Startled, Janie spun around to see her brother Steve's head and shoulders projecting through the image of the bedroom door. His short brown hair was still damp from his shower, but she could see that he was already dressed. Flushing, she stuck out her tongue at him and turned away. Steve could always manage to embarrass her. He was right, though. Her little thumbnail watch told her that she was running late when she squeezed her forefinger against her thumb, and if she didn't hurry, the Miss know-it-all teaching program would be sure to have something to say about it. Quickly, she pulled on briefs, jeans and pullover, shook out her hair, and told the bathroom she was finished. It began cleaning up after her even as the door dissolved away into nothingness. She ran out to face the new day.
Steve waited for his sister impatiently. He was anxious to start the morning's lessons. This was history week, his favorite subject. He wished it came up more often, but at their age, the teaching program didn't allow much variation in the schedule -- at least not the one their parents subscribed to. Sometimes he thought they were too strict, but he had to admit that he and Janie were far more advanced than most of their friends. It wouldn't be long before they would be ready for an adult program, where the general would evolve into specifics, preparing them for a profession. Or more likely, he thought, we'll study genetics and business and go to work for Dad and Mom. It was either that or become a corporate executive and he could think of nothing he would rather not do. In a way, he would hate to see the landmark of the adult program arrive. It would almost certainly mean that he and Janie's programs would diverge, separating them for a part of every morning. He was interested in history and computers; she tended more toward biology and graphics.
"I'm here! We can start, now!" Janie burst into their common room and plopped herself down beside her waiting twin brother. She wiggled for a moment while her half of the couch adjusted to her contours then gave him her usual morning peck on the cheek.
"About time," Steve remarked. He reached down, and Janie's hand came entwining into his own, completing their morning ritual. The two youngsters were almost identical twins, sexual differences aside. Both had the same short, curly brown hair, almost the same length, and their features plainly derived from the same genetic inheritance: long lashed brown eyes, high cheekbones, full, sensual lips and even white teeth. Steve was slightly the taller, youthfully lean muscled, but still wanting some height, while his sister's body had already reached nearly her predetermined height, though she still had a bit of filling out to do in the breasts and hips.