Excerpt and Giveaway: Harrison Squared by Daryl Gregory

Today I’m thrilled to present an excerpt of Harrison Squared (coming up on 3/17-ya’ll are gonna love this book) by Daryl Gregory, courtesy of the lovely folks at Tor. Also, we’ve got 3 copies to give away to 3 lucky US/Canadian Winners, so fill out the widget below the excerpt, and good luck!

While you wait for the book to hit shelves, you can try out the Harrison Squared choose-your-own-adventure game!

What I remember are tentacles. Tentacles and teeth.

I know that those memories aren’t real. I was only three when my father died, too young to understand what was happening. So later I filled in the gaps with snippets from monster movies and nature documentaries, with half-forgotten visits to dim aquariums, with illustrations from my mother’s grad-school textbooks.

This is how the brain works. It makes up stories out of whatever odds and ends it finds. Sometimes they’re scary stories.

But there are gaps I can’t fill. Like, the sound of my father’s voice. I can’t remember what he sounded like, even though I can picture him calling to me. In my memory I simply know that he’s yelling my name. He’s lifting me up out of the water, and there’s something trying to pull me back down. It’s black as oil and I can feel its teeth, digging into my leg. In my memory I’m screaming, but I don’t hear that either.

We’re in the ocean, and it’s night, and the waves are lifting us and throwing us down. Somewhere nearby, a boat is up- side down, showing its white belly. We’re getting farther and farther from it. (How would a toddler know this? Well, he wouldn’t. These are “facts” I’ve layered on over time, like newspaper on a papier-mâché piñata.)

Some images, however, are so clear to me that they feel more true than my memory of yesterday’s breakfast. I can see my father’s face as he picks me up by my life vest. I can feel the wind as he tosses me up and over the next wave, toward that capsized boat. And I can see, as clearly as I can see my own arm, a huge limb that’s risen up out of the water.

The arm is fat, and gray, the underside covered in pale suckers. It whips across my father’s chest, grasping him—and then it pulls him away from me. The tentacle is attached to a huge body, a shape under the water that’s bigger than any- thing I’ve ever seen.

And then nothing. My memories end there, with that frozen moment.

I know there’s no such thing as monsters. Yes, we were out on the ocean, and the boat did flip over. But no creature bit through my leg to the bone—it was a piece of metal from the ship that sliced into me. My mother swam me to shore, and kept me from bleeding to death. My father drowned like an ordinary man.

Don’t feel bad for me. I barely remember him. I certainly don’t remember the infection that nearly killed me, and the series of surgeries, and the months I was in the hospital. Those memories are gone with the sound of my father’s voice.

But I do know this: My parents saved me. My brain can make up all the scary stories it wants to, but I know that much is true.

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  1. Cool! This is on my audible wish list. I can’t wait. I am a hug Daryl Gregory fan!

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