'Thick, black soil wedged under her nails like cake. Shards of dinnerware, weathered glass and terracotta littered the dirt between weedy carrots and slug-laced silverbeet.
'Close up, against the high brick wall, the last arc of the sun was warm but the evening chill was already in Milla’s digging fingers and in any trace of shadow. The sleeves of her woollen jumper were damp and the smell of wood-smoke was settling over the street.' (Publication extract)
'It didn’t take long for things to turn ugly after Thomas dropped the map.
'He crossed the longboat’s gunwale and set foot ashore, and the crumpled parchment fluttered from his pocket and settled face-up on the sand. Thomas let it rest just long enough for all to see before snatching it up.' (Publication extract)
'The year is 2050. You’re driving to work one morning.
'Only—you’re not driving. The car drives itself. You’re speeding down the freeway at well over 100km/h. You’re minding your own business, perhaps checking the news, or even taking a nap.
'The next moment however, you are rudely interrupted by a buzz from your phone (or whatever passes for communications by then). You don’t recognise the caller. The voice on the other end of the line is unfamiliar.' (Publication extract)