Read the first two chapters of Without a Summer at Tor.com
Jane, Lady Vincent could never be considered a beauty, but possessed of a loving husband and admirable talent, had lived thirty years in the world with only a few events to cause her any true distress or vexation. She was the eldest of two daughters of a gentleman in the neighbourhood of Dorchester. In consequence of her mother’s nerves, Jane had spent the better part of her youth acting as mother to her younger sister, Melody. Her sister had received nature’s full bounty of beauty, with all the charms of an amiable temper. At the age of twenty, it was therefore surprising to find Melody not only unmarried, but without any prospects.
One of the things that I like about these two chapters as an excerpt is that they almost work as a complete short story. Clearly there are threads left dangling at the end, but Chapter 2 doesn’t end on a painful cliffhanger. I mean… aside from the imminent explosion, but you know. It’s not like there’s any danger.
You can read the first two chapters of Without a Summer at Tor.com.