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Flashback by Gary Braver


Author: Gary Braver

Publisher: Tor Books


Publish Date: October 30, 2007

ISBN-10: 765348535

Pages: 480

File Type: Epub

Language: English

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Book Preface

Homer’s Island, Massachusetts

FROM HIS PERCH ON SKULL ROCK, they looked like pale eggs sunny-side up moving just beneath the water’s surface. Some kind of jellyfish. Half a dozen, pulsating vigorously through the black surf like muscular parachutes.
Odd. Jack Koryan had spent several summers of his childhood out here and could remember only a few occasions seeing jellyfish in the cove, most of them washed ashore by the night tide-dinner-plate-sized slime bombs with frilly aprons and long fat tentacles. But these creatures were small round globs, translucent jelly bells with nothing visible in trail.
Maybe some tropical species that the warm water brought in, he thought.
Jack watched them pump by in formation, driven by primitive urgings and warm eddies. Somewhere he had read that jellyfish were ninety-five percent water—creatures with no brains, bones, or blood. What enabled them to react to the world around them was a network of nerves. What a lousy fate, Jack thought—to relate to the world only through nerve endings: a life devoid of thought, passion, or memory.
The cool, moist air had picked up, ruffling the water’s surface. The tide was coming in, and soon the rock would be covered.
Skull Rock.
It looked just as it had forever—a domed granite boulder rearing out of the surf about fifty yards offshore, it’s crown whitened by generations of barnacles, the base maned with sea grass, a necklace of shiny black mussels hugging the high-tide line like exotic pearls. When they were kids, he and his cousin George would fill a pail with the mollusks for his Aunt Nancy’s Armenian dishes or bouillabaisse.

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