The Timeless Land: The Page-99 Test
“Read page 99 of a new book,” advises the Guardian, “and you’ll know whether you want to read the whole thing.” So, of course, I had to try it out on my books. Here’s p.99 of The Timeless Land:
“And you’re miserable here. Perhaps we should build a house on the Portal Road.”
Jan smiled humourlessly. “Perhaps. I need to think, and I can’t seem to do it here.”
“Do you want to go away for a while?”
“Tell me where you want to go. I’ll see to it.”
“I was thinking…” said Jan, “of spending some time with Erik. Away from everything to do with… here. He’ll be worrying about me. I’ve not usually been out of touch this long. And I want to meet my new granddaughter.”
“That would be nice,” said Stephen, smiling.
“Ah, Stevie, I meant… by myself.”
“Oh,” said Stephen. “I see.”
Jan sat back down at the table. “I know this has been very hard on you, but I just need you to give me a little more time to sort…”
“It’s all right,” interrupted Stephen. “It is. I just want you to get better. Whatever it takes.”
He pushed his tea away, untouched.
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Chapter 11: Priorities
The Preferred and their Watchers gathered in the recreation area, with its domed thatched roof and three open sides. The breeze was cold, but not enough to be uncomfortable. The well-tended garden was in full bloom, the mild fragrance of the flowering plants wafting over. That and the muffled music from the bamboo chimes made such a pleasant combination that the Preferred secretly wished they were
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