Here is a draft excerpt (A) from my new novel THE GRAND OLIGARCHS OF QINSATORIX (in preparation)
CHAPTER 1: THE FISH ROT FROM THE TOP DOWN
During the afternoon of the summer solstice of Anno Domini 2412. Her Imperial Highness the Crown Princess Natasha of Qinsatorix, reputedly the most influential interstellar oligarch of them all, lay buck-naked on her turquoise satin couch on the Christi-Crispus patio as an exaltation of sparrowhawks and a richesse of martingales circled overhead, and the chaffo-finches chirped in the fragrant Okyfenoky bushes.
Meanwhile, a decilupuss and carriage came speeding along the shore of Lake Nefertiti. The decilupuss, a ten-legged wolf-like creature with a loud purr, was ridden bareback and at full gallop by an Apollo lizard slave girl. The plucky slave was closely pursued by the ornately decorated dragon-shaped carriage, which was packed with partying Sunrise Badger fans celebrating the unexpected victory of their University football team in the Cotton Bowl.
To the right, the purple and green Fantasia trees on Picnic Point stretched towards the murky orange horizon as the Aton Sunstar, the Star of Bethlehem, shimmered overhead. To the left, a fleet of naval yachts spread their colourful sails and fired their ceremonial boom-drones through the clouds as they sped towards the Gates of Achilles and the mighty Tiber beyond. In the foreground, the blushing pink roses seemed to weep for times which could have been but which never were.
The Imperial Icarian Palace in Trivoli, the capital of our parallel Universe sister planet Qinsatorix, bore a distinct resemblance to a long-legged turtle. Its upper floors were encapsulated by a huge platinum shell, and the Babylonian Gardens stretched from its acanthus-covered Corinthian feet to the lake path. And over four thousand years of proud Icarian history were recorded on murals and tapestries decorating the walls and ceilings of the palace corridors,
Princess Natasha's spacious and capriciously decorated apartment was housed in one of the 'feet of the turtle'. While she enjoyed entertaining her relatives and intimate friends in the Von Coburg drawing and quartering room, she would sometimes gladly escape through the crystal glass French windows to seek solace on her delightfully tranquil patio.
Natasha, who'd recently turned sweet twenty-three, was only half-Icarian. She was nevertheless as golden-skinned as her illustrious father and sported her own brand of curiously-shaped breasts, together with a bright red obloid instead of a tummy button, and a green pubie-shunter. As she'd been physically adjusted and mind controlled as a child, she also boasted a highly complex implanted entongulator rather than a common or garden tongue.
When the princess rubbed her obloid she did so quite compulsively while reciting the three times table. On the occasion in question, she also thought, with aristocratic cunning, about her smart-arse of a husband Prince Hamlet who'd been recently transposed in irons from Denmark to help her breed the Imperial stock. It'll be a challenge keeping that human monster under control, she concluded. While he may be of some help in political terms, it would be dangerous to let him become too powerful.
Not to forget my spot-ridden twin brother Caleb, pondered the princess. He could try to join forces with one of the top brass military commanders. Thank goodness I popped out of my dear mother's womb a couple of minutes before he did.
And Caleb might even form an alliance with the Pelimodes, realised the princess, Maybe we should scorch-fry Southern Artica and exterminate those God-damned birds once and for all. The global warming would doubtlessly help the economy, particularly in the Archipeligos. All those interstellar tourists with their roubles, eurocents, and vulcanos----.
Natasha noticed a gardener sweeping the leaves and honeysuckle petals off the beautifully maintained light-blue lawn. As befitting a squat-nosed Apollo of the impoverished Quasitundo tribe which had recently migrated in desperation from the Inner Moon, his head was pear-shaped, his face and eyes were metallic and square, and his body resembled that of a well-groomed gorillochimpus.
The homely Apollo moved closer. When he grinned, he flashed a mouthful of emeralds for teeth, Natasha was so intrigued that she threw her legs in the air and touched her pubie-shunter though in the extremely delicate and refined manner that befitted the time-honoured courting customs of her Icarian ancestors. The Apollo moved even closer, and gawped.
“What do you have to say for yourself, my good fellow?” inquired the princess.