When readers first meet Eve, the empathic cyborg heroine of Passages, she is wearing a crystal ring. It’s not just any crystal, or even a familiar one.
I did consider using quartz, scientifically known as silicon and the second most common mineral on earth. (Feldspar is the most common.) It is abundant on other rocky planets we’ve explored, so it makes sense for it to be found on another planet.
But, it was quartz, a mineral everyone knows, which would make it meh in my story.
Goudrogen is anything but meh.
Yet I had to base the tory crystal on something familiar, so I considered its properties. Goudrogen, or ‘goud’ as Passages’ characters refer to it, is a non-metal element. Only 18 of the elements on our Periodic Table of Elements are non-metals, but they make up most of earth’s crust, atmosphere and oceans, and are even found in the tissues of living organisms. Goudrogen had to be a non-metal, because it is everywhere on Aarde, and even has its own cyclic system.
I decided goud crystals would be in the hexagonal crystal family, like quartz and its other forms, such as amethyst. They form six-sided prisms, with six-sided pyramidal ends.
In my world, they are all doubly-terminated crystals, which if I told you why, would be a spoiler. 🙂
To name this element, I wanted something similar to other non-metals, like hydrogen and nitrogen, so I ended it in “rogen.” For the “goud” part, I used the Scottish and German and Dutch name origin of gold. Yes, I considered using gold, but it’s not a common element in our universe! I did keep the yellow color.
by Laurel Wanrow
“Find someone you can trust.”
For decades, Eve and her fellow electorgs—part human, part machine—have worked on the quiet planet of Aarde, beating back toxic spores that threaten to poison the native people. When the new commander halts work right before a deadly spore release, Eve frantically plots to protect the villagers she considers friends and family.
On the run after an ambush, Quinn holds a secret that nearly got him killed. If only he knew what it was. Though the attack scrambled his memories, Quinn is sure of one thing—he can’t trust the electorgs. But they know information he desperately needs to puzzle out who wants him dead, and why.
With the fate of life on Aarde in the balance, the logic of joining forces with Eve overrides Quinn’s fears…and erupts into an attraction that could prove fatal for both of them.
Because the planet’s commander might just be Quinn himself.
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from Eve’s point of view:
I kept my hand over the young man’s mouth. He’d accessed Evard’s shortcut to Dome. No one else knew about the illegal connection—or could know. Absolutely not, under no circumstances…no.
I swallowed, unable to catch my breath. If a Blackguard caught an Aardite in the ’torg-only facility, saying he’d come via Zeffir, unaccompanied, and without a pass slip! All that on top of today’s no-use mandate, we’d be hauled in for review. Attention I didn’t need if I petitioned to stay on Zeffir, d’dair.
Eve, you’ve got to calm down. Though if ever there was an occasion for swearing, this was it, especially the Aardites’ curse of the Dead Air plaguing their planet.
I rubbed my thumb across the inch-long crystal in my ring, liquefying part of the yellow stone with just the friction. The goud—an element properly named goudrogen—washed over me, spreading comfort like a warm fire. Nothing had happened to warrant a reprimand. My position at the remotest Post on G47 was safe, as were those of my triad run-mates. For now.
What business could this youth, obviously an Aarde native, have at Dome? He’d made a mistake, that was all. I never should have left him alone in the shop. I lowered my hand, ready to slap it up again if so much as a syllable came out of his mouth.
Before kids, Laurel Wanrow studied and worked as a naturalist—someone who leads wildflower walks and answers calls about the snake that wandered into your garage. During a stint of homeschooling, she turned her writing skills to fiction to share her love of the land, magical characters and fantastical settings.
When not living in her fantasy worlds, Laurel camps, hunts fossils and argues with her husband and two new adult kids over whose turn it is to clean house. Though they live on the East Coast, a cherished family cabin in the Colorado Rockies holds Laurel’s heart.
Find Laurel at:
Below are the bloggers participating in the Blog Tour for Passages. Each stop will have excerpts and tidbits about the science & fantasy, and a chance to win the tour prizes: a $10 Amazon eGC or a sign paperback of Passages. (Giveaway open to US/CAN)
Jan 26: Travel to a Mineral Hot Springs on Vicki Batman’s blog
Jan 27: Hornworts on C. D. Hersh’s blog
Jan 29-31: Thermophiles on The Multiverses of Liza O’Connor
Jan 29: Author Interview with Mia Jo Celeste
Jan 30: Moons and Rising Waters with Laurie A. Green on Spacefreighters Lounge
Jan 31: Creating a Character’s Home Planet on Pippa Jay’s blog
Jan 31: What kind of a book is it? With Kira Decker
Jan 31: Lacuna, a Bit of Realism, a Bit of Magic on Author J. C. Nelson’s Urban Fantasy and More
Feb 1: Resolving your story problems…including knocking out a pesky spore? on Whiskey With My Book
Feb 3: What do u think of when I say “cyborg”? with Veronica Scott
Feb 4: The Mystery of Transporters on The Galaxy Express