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Ninety miles an hour, some later claimed, as if anyone in Danville, indeed anyone on the Southern Railway, knew what ninety miles an hour looked like, and Charlie would never offer his opinion, since at the time he was paying attention mostly to the little boy on the trestle, standing motionless a hundred yards ahead of the train. Heart-stopped and cottonmouthed, Charlie stared at the boy as Number 97 hit the bend, kept going straight, and jumped the tracks. The locomotive leaped into space, then ploughed roaring into the steep slope, pulling the cars with it. People all along the hillside gasped as the engine wallowed down the ravine, tumbling as it went, the cars behind whipping to and fro like a cow’s tail, until they all smashed in the creekbed at the bottom. The sudden silence was louder than the whistle had been, until every witness in North Danville began screaming and crying and talking at once. The little boy on the trestle, who would have been, should have been killed, had the train followed its normal path, stood there unscathed. He waved his cap once more at Charlie, ran eastward to the end of the trestle, plunged into the bushes, and was gone.
|What I Write||
Since my first story was published 21 years ago (in Patrick Nielsen Hayden’s World Fantasy Award-winning Starlight 1 anthology from Tor), I have been a major-award finalist 27 times. My wins include a Nebula Award, a Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award and three World Fantasy Awards. A 1994 graduate of Clarion West, I have taught Clarion West twice (in 2005 and 2015) and Clarion three times (in 2004, 2013 and 2016). In spring 2017, I was elected to the board of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.
A complete bibliography, with links, can be found on my website.