Endless glacier, arctic cold, fierce megastorms, and a pirate base only a Commando-worthy assault can destroy. Will they succeed?
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Author: P. M. Griffin

Former Stellar Patrol RangerHerrel Meridian signs on Caelia Sept Owen’s Sunstone for a mercy mission to discover why the scientific team located on the planet Kore has failed to make its scheduled reports and to render assistance if required only to discover everyone slaughtered with singular brutality. Caelia’s husband is among them, but he had survived long enough to learn and record the assailants’ purpose and the probable location of their base.

With their own and the camp’s communications equipment destroyed and fearing to risk an escape in their starship, the pair have little option but to go after the raiders themselves, before the young colony that is their true target is also annihilated.

Their journey across Kore’s immense glacier proves one of intense difficulty and ever-present peril as they endure the merciless arctic cold, concealed crevasses a thousand feet deep, and massive storms whose winds and gale-driven ice particles can strip the flesh off the bones in a matter of minutes. At its end is a pirate base whose destruction rests on a daring plan which would have challenged a War-time Commando unit. Fail, and all their sufferings and the scientists’ deaths will be in vain.


Title Glacier
Author PM Griffin
Genre Science Fiction
Release May 29, 2018
Designer Charlotte Volnek
Length 255 pages
ISBN 978-1-77392-010-8
Price $5.99

Science Fiction, Adventure, Glacier

Ice, Crevasse, Megastorm, Pirates, Massacre, Combat


To his mind, they had but one option. It was possible, but it would not be easy.

Without giving himself time to think too deeply about what he intended to do, Herrel drew up the rope and fashioned it into a makeshift harness for himself. He put it on, all the while knowing it was a nearly useless and potentially deadly aid, then he flexed his fingers and stared at them. He had once boasted to his companion about what he could accomplish with them. Soon, that claim would be put to the ultimate test.

The ice was rough, the former Ranger judged as he studied it closely. Bare hand ascents and descents and free souling were not strange techniques to him. He had negotiated climbing walls as challenging and of considerably greater height than the distance he was required to go here during his training and twice in his active career. What he had not dealt with previously was the slickness of the ice and its punishing temperature and that of the air around it.

Meridian steeled himself and grasped the ice just above the rim of the fissure. He held his breath, but the shock of the cold was less than he had anticipated. He would be able to endure it, for long enough at any rate.

He tested his hold carefully and found it solid. With a quick, fervent prayer to the Spirit ruling Space and all the worlds it contained, he lowered himself over the edge.

Herrel knew this would be no fast climb and contented himself with a slow, steady descent.

The ice face was not utterly slick—he could not have managed that—and it was pocked with protuberances and small cracks and breaks which gave his fingers and toes good purchase, but still it was a challenge beyond anything one of his former profession would voluntarily have taken on.

Twenty-five feet, a little less. That was no great span in itself to be descended and climbed. As with everything else in this forsaken land, it was the temperature that made the difference here. His fingers were sensitive as well as strong. Every time he clamped them on the ice, a shock of cold went through him like a jolt from one of the electrified pellets used so extensively in surplanetary combat by the soldiers of both ultrasystems. He expected it and could stand it, but the need to work his fingers each time he released his hold to keep the circulation going in them slowed him tremendously.

His feet worried him. They had not been so superbly adapted to this sort of work as were his hands, and he had always preferred having them appropriately shod when climbing even during his cadet days and regretted bitterly his failure to bring his old Ranger climbing footgear with him when he had lifted from Throne of Kingdom. He was paying for that bit of stupidity now and might have to pay a heavier price still. This country was not forgiving of error.

The man compressed his lips into an ever-grimmer line and let himself down another step, feeling for a toehold as he moved. There was little wind down here. In so much, he was favored, but beyond that, he would simply have to take his chances. If he could keep his hands, his precious fingers, relatively intact and functioning, he would ask for no more. All the rest would have to await his attention when he once more had the leisure to give it.

He reached the place where Caelia was clinging at last. She had been following his progress, and he saw her eyes were huge with astonishment behind their lenses.

There was ice on her mask, he noted, where the lower rims of the goggles met it.

He came in close beside her. “Put your arms around my neck. Link them over my collarbone, not at the throat.”

He paid her courage the compliment of not asking her if she could bring herself to do it, although he recognized in full the terror such an ascent had to represent for her. He was afraid of it himself, roped as he was and with all his experience on cliffs. As a spacer, he had lugged many a burden heavier than the Athenan woman up the core ladder of his parents’ freighter and given it scarcely a thought.

This situation was infinitely different. Here, he was depending on his already partially numb hands to move them both, all the while hoping Caelia Sept Owen would have the physical strength to maintain her grip until they reached safety once more. Of her inner strength, he had no doubt whatsoever…

“The rope?” the Athenan asked. Her voice was tight but clear. “If you’ve tied it to the sled, can we use that to draw us up?”

“No good, not without the engine going and someone there to guide it.” His own thoughts grew bleak at the mention of the vehicle. He had harnessed himself to the line as a backup, but it was a dubious one. The sled was light, fashioned to permit them to handle it without mechanical help when needed. If they fell suddenly, the resulting jerk could pull it over on top of them. The stark reality was that he was going to have to make this climb unaided and without the security of a lifeline or any other support.

She nodded and put her arms around him as he had instructed. “Whenever you’re ready, Captain.”

“Hold tight and slip off the ledge. Keep your body as close to mine as you can so we’ll have a single center of gravity.”

Caelia’s eyes remained open. She was too terrified even to close them. She slid away from her refuge, and in the next instant, she was dangling above the chasm, supported only by her own hands and by the strength in Herrel Meridian’s.






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