"And, as always, the wake of the sun caused temporal havoc. A Razalian hour passed normally enough, then shrank to ten minutes, then sneezed out a good half-day, then stabilised at an hour and a bit. Bobbing on the top of planetary time like corks in a bucket, the three moons spread out and were still - this time like kids glued to a screen. For, as the sunlight disappeared and the minutes passed more confidently, Razalia shook off its desolation. Across its face, a million torches shone under the amethyst skies: Razalian faces, each its own sun." Small, unfinished, more like a blueprint for a world than the real thing, Razalia props up one end of the Arc of the Fifteen Planets. In some places, its landscape looks like the efforts of a water-colourist suddenly called away from his easel. The Razalians live with the gaps - those spaces of unfathomable white - in many of their ridges, valleys, forests. And then the white begins to move..."
The Mercury Annual
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