Fragment by Craig RussellFragment by Craig Russell


byCraig Russell

Paperback | October 1, 2016

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As the planet and the oceans warm, in the Antarctic a cool layer of newly minted ice shields the surface ocean from the warmer, deeper waters that are melting the ice shelves. New giant icebergs float off Antarctica — some the size of the Island of Montreal. On one eventful day in the Antarctic’s Scott Base, a group of marine biologists are introduced to an attraction far more impacting than the "calving" off of icebergs from the world's land ice. What they encounter is the most powerful event in nature they have ever experienced whose magnitude seems almost incomprehensible.

Soon the world would know what they knew:

As though connected by rods, Kate and the two men turn south. South, toward a marvel that is part of the everyday existence here. It is a cliff, a hundred meters high, that thrusts up out of the ocean. They still call it ‘The Barrier’.

It is the seaward edge of the Ross Ice Shelf.

Not a level sheet, the Shelf is an icescape where plates the size of suburban neighborhoods shift with the seasons, shaped by the slow processes of wind and tide.

But now Kate can see swift movement where there should only be frozen stillness. All across the southern horizon, the edge of the world lifts. Atlas has shifted his grip on the globe and there is a shockwave in the ice.

As the terrible force of Fragment becomes known, it is not only the human world that will have to contend with its treachery but also the animal world, especially that of the sea. And so it is that within the survival instincts of several species lay the remedy and plan that must be forged to save millions from disaster and potential death. But first, as the Fragment morphs from phenomenon to global threat and begins its drift toward South America, the parade of humanity will have its way: the military with their military prescriptions, the media with their desire to exploit the disaster, the scientists with their passive desire to know more and more, and those few dedicated marine scientists who were there at its birth and will eventually be lead to action by the most unlikely of all allies — a blue whale named Ring.

Craig Russell’s novel, Black Bottle Man won the 2011 American Moonbeam Award gold medal for Young Adult Fantasy. It was also a finalist for the Canadian Prix Aurora Award for best English Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel, as well as for two Manitoba Book Awards in the same year. Russell has directed a variety of theatre productions r...
Title:FragmentFormat:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 8.5 × 5.55 × 0.52 inPublished:October 1, 2016Publisher:Thistledown PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1771871113

ISBN - 13:9781771871112

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Read from the Book

East of Tierra del Fuego, off the southern tip of South America, lays an archipelago of seven hundred small islands. The Argentines insist on calling them the Islas Malvinas. To the rest of the world they are the Falklands.The two main islands (christened West Falkland and East Falkland, with the usual British flair for the obvious) are most famous as the 1982 battleground between Margaret Thatcher’s Britain and President/General Leopoldo Galtieri’s Argentina, during the eponymously named Falklands War. (Undoubtedly called The Malvinas War in Buenos Aires.) This place has been a bone of contention between those two countries for over a hundred years.Resource poor and with a population of only a few thousand, the islands are of no great value in and of themselves. But in the world of two-hundred mile resource limits and undersea oil fields, Britain is reluctant to relinquish this crumb of Empire. Besides, the local people are so unrelentingly English it would be like selling off your eccentric grandfather.These islands are a place of pure wilderness beauty. The beaches teem with penguins and seabirds, seals and sea-lions. Powerful Antarctic currents keep its waters abundantly stocked. A few lucky tourists visit these enchanting islands each year, but fishing is the Island’s main source of income.On the east coast of East Falkland Island, the capital and only town, Stanley, stands on the north shore of a promontory which stretches a long thin finger still further east out into the Atlantic.Yesterday’s television news reports about the Fragment received some local attention, but icebergs cruise past Stanley every year. A few run aground on the shallows. No one is alarmed.One more iceberg, even a very large one, won’t cause anyone much inconvenience.But no one is in church today. No one seeks good luck under the Whalebone Arch. Today every resident of Stanley shivers on the low ridge south of town, looking south, out to sea.That southern horizon is a ribbon of glittering white. As far as the eye can see, the Wall rises up out of the sea, like the White Cliffs of Dover come to call on this farthest flung English possession.The people of Stanley watch and no one speaks. The air grows colder. Sinuous fog slithers from the table-top mountain of white, across the narrowing miles. This is no iceberg to be stranded on the beach.“Someone ought to do something.” The mayor says.No one does. They are birds transfixed by a viper.If the Fragment’s course had been half a degree to the east, it might have missed the Falklands entirely, leaving behind only a memory of growing awe and fading fear.Then, with a sound like Thor’s hammer the Fragment’s western wing-tip strikes bottom south of Stanley.With a hundred cubic miles of momentum behind it, it is a titanic train wreck. The sound is tremendous. Ice shrieks, hell is unleashed. People fall to the ground, hands on ears, unable to muffle the sound. The Fragment does not slow. No jerk or momentary stop hints that the leading edge has touched the sea bottom. It keeps coming, rising higher and higher out of the ocean.Magical sea-carved shapes appear. Atlantean caves vomit seawater. Minarets of ice topple forward and break to grease the Fragment’s slipway. The current’s speed here is fifteen miles an hour and the Fragment matches that, inch for inch.Now everyone can see the danger. People run for their cars to try and escape up the long peninsula. Some make it to higher ground inland, ahead of the on-rushing ice. The rest do not.When the Fragment is gone, the promontory where Stanley once stood is polished smooth. No trace of human presence remains. Ozymandias revisited. It leaves behind a few cubic miles of ice. To it, a tiny wound, hardly noticed.It moves north and then east again, headed for Africa.