Fire and Ice
Far beyond tomorrow, in the Age of the Ice Mother, one man leads the schooner Ice Spirit on a long and dangerous voyage into the darkest twilight of the unknown. At journey's end lies the heart of yesterday's legend, and perhaps the gateway to a new era... the once-great city of New York.Dell - Oct 1978
Aboard a lust-plagued ship they crossed a frozen hell to a city of legendary doom.
The Deep-Freeze World
Only legend told of a time when Earth was not covered by the unending ice. In the Eight Cities, the powerful ruling families sent their swift ships to hunt the icewhales and carry trade goods, and fostered the cult of the Ice Mother.
His own ship lost, Konrad Arflane was granted command of the Ice Spirit by the dying Lord Rorsefne—on condition that he sail it thousands of miles to the fabled and lost city of New York, said to be the very home of the Ice Mother.
Arflane was a master sailor, bringing the Ice Spirit toward its destination in spite of its freight of lust, madness and death. He could not know that succeeding in his quest would be far more dreadful than failing...
Firefight on Ice
The captain reached down and helped the man aboard; he was exhausted, his furs torn and his right hand bleeding from a deep cut.
"What happened?" Arflane asked urgently.
"Barbarians, sir. I've never seen anything like them. They're not like true men at all. They've got a camp near the warm ponds. They saw us before we saw them... They use—fire, sir."
Arflane tightened his lips. "Get below and aleart all hands."
As he spoke, a streak of flame flew out of the night and took the man on lower-foredeck watch in the throat. Arflane saw it was a burning arrow. The man shrieked and beat at the flames with his gloved hands, then toppled backward and fell dead on the deck.
All at once the night was alive with blazing arrows. A furled sail was beginning to flare. Sailors screamed as arrows struck them and their furs caught light. A man went thrashing past Arflane, his whole body a mass of flame. There were small fires all over the ship.
"All hands on deck! Break out the weapons! Stand by to defend ship!"Dell - Oct 1978
"We'll never cross it!"
Arflane looked ahead at the greenish-black streak cutting across their path in the distance. "And we'll never stop in time at this speed," he said. "Even the heavy anchors couldn't stop us—we'd just flip over and tumble into it wrong side up."
He climbed down to the deck, then up to the bridge. Now the men saw the crevasse as the ship sped closer. A great shout of horror went up from them as they, too, realized there was no chance of stopping.
He reached the bridge and ran across to the wheelhouse, taking over the wheel. The ship was almost on the crevasse now. Arflane made no attempt to alter course. The huge, yawning abyss rushed closer, the deep green ice of its sides flashing in the sunlight.
Arflane felt the wheel swing loose in his grasp; the front runners left firm ground and reached our over the crevasse as the ship hurtled into it.
Arflane sensed a peculiar feeling, almost of relief, as he anticipated the plunge downward...