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Uptime Jazz: 4 by Argo is a quartet of stories from the Empire of Time series by John Argo. Harps is one of the stories in the quartet, whose four stories also include Night Songs at Um

Each of these stories is set in the Up Time Sector, thousands of years in our future. All four stories are bittersweet explorations of what it means to retain our humanity thousands of light years from a home we will never see again. Each story touches upon the tragedies, hopes, joys, and mixed outcomes of people very much like ourselves.

* Night Songs at Um: a terraformer is about to receive the highest reward possible: governorship of his own planet. He must give up the farmed girl--with whom he has shared love--for a more suitable imperial wife. During his last day as a common man, he witnesses the unspeakable destruction of a living basilica left by an extinct alien race, and faces a wrenching decision about fleeing from his own success…

* Midafternoon of a Procyon Coral: countless light years from home, a human couple who will never again see Earth find loneliness on a galactic scale, on a remote and empty frontier world. Here is a tale even more heart-breaking: of a beautiful but tragic living creature transported across worlds for the pleasure of selfish and powerful humans. Suzen and her husband Edddi are trapped in an imperfect marriage and raising children far from humankind's natural home. While nobody understands what sort of life form a Procyon Coral really is, Suzen finds in this dying creature a surprisingly apt soul mate…

* A Planet Named Magic: for a little silly relief amid this grim panorama of cosmic pioneering, we find ourselves on a remote world where the rules of science are so far ahead that some things seem magical. It's a light-hearted little romp, so far away across space that the heart aches to think how far human settlers are from their home world. But this planet has a special quality inherent in its gravitational field. It generates scientific magic for those who are adept in the lore of spells…

* Harps: In this far-future fugue, a broken man named Eon Reely loses the will to live, and becomes a slave--a living machine--in a great engine under pylon P79 of the Galactic Bridge. He once had a beautiful family, consisting of his wife Lana, and their daughter Lanalana, on the planet Miramair III--but they drowned in a lake, and he became a wanderer and a lost soul. While he lives in a death of the spirit, a vision comes to him at night. She is Bridget, an ancient flight attendant from lost, mythological Earth; but an evil and jealous spirit from long ago threatens to come between them…

The Empire of Time series has been a project of the author's lifetime. The series includes an ever-growing number of novels set in the major time spans of this cosmic saga (Down Time Sector, Holo Time Sector, Mid Time Sector, Up Time Sector). More information is being developed at the publisher website of Clocktower Books (www.clocktowerbooks.com).

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