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CHROME.MED.295.KB

CHROME
Lisa Mason
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Copyright 2019 by Lisa Mason.
Cover, colophon, and art copyright 2019 by Tom Robinson.
All rights reserved.
PUBLISHING HISTORY
Bast Books Ebook Edition published July 9, 2019.
Bast Books Print Edition published August 13, 2019.
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval, without permission in writing from the publisher.
For information address:
Bast Books
Bastbooks@aol.com
Thank you for your readership! Visit Lisa Mason at her Official Web Site for her books, ebooks, screenplays, stories, interviews, blogs, cute pet pictures, and more. Enjoy!
CHROME
Preface
In The Forbidden District
The pupils of her golden eyes widen and her nocturnal vision takes in every stirring shadow, every moonlit glimmer.
Dark blocks of buildings brood beneath the starry night, regimented like military barracks. Grim windows glint under eaves, too tiny to crawl through, grilled in by metal bars, some with the panes of glass half punched out. Stacks of rickety brick jut from the endless tarred roofs. Chimneys for the crematories where the failed experiments were once consigned to an oven’s flames?
Lightfoot doesn’t know. A lot of failed experiments, that’s what the histories say.
She spies the collapsed trough of a rain gutter, a door twisted off its hinges, a scatter of shackles abandoned on the gravel where the survivors, newly freed from their cages, had torn their prison apart.
Lightfoot drops to a crouch, stilling the breath in her chest. Slowing the pound of her heart. She shouldn’t be here. She wouldn’t be here, if not for the clue she’d found.
Silence, save the keening wind.
Desolation bears down like the boot of an oppressor. She shouldn’t be here.
So different from the honking, howling, squealing, squawking, yapping, yowling of Chrome City. Different, too, from the boroughs of the Blends, the sprawl of their habitats, their meadows and mountains, jungles and deserts, ponds and aeries. Different even from the Wildlands with its savage brambles and untamed trees.
No life wants to live here. Not in this cursed place.
Lightfoot shivers. Then steels herself, tensing her muscles for the task ahead.
The Forbidden District must be haunted. She can practically hear the ghostly screams of the failed experiments two-and-a-half centuries ago.
The screams of her human ancestors.
1
Luna Lightfoot
Later, when she’s prowling off from the heist, a pounce in her step, the pilfered treasure in her pocket, Luna Lightfoot sees something she is not supposed to see.
On Chrome, the artificial planetoid orbiting Earth, everyone celebrates Jamboree on the cusp of spring, donning masks and costumes and indulging in their fondest fantasies, usually with impunity. Lightfoot loves Jamboree. She’s scored her richest heists while everyone is swilling gin, devouring feasts, and mating up with their specimen of choice.
“Cage free to you, Lightfoot,” growls Dom Swifty Panterr, gnawing a gobbet of bloody beef impaled on a toothpick feathered with green tinsel. “Fine mask.”
“Cage free to you, Dom Panterr,” she purrs, unreasonably pleased the criminal kingpin has noticed her slinking through the ballroom among the high-society herd.
Lightfoot wonders—but only briefly—why he has been invited.
Oh, that’s right. Swipe a slice of bacon and you’re a thief bound for jail-time in a Chrome City lockup. But swindle the hard-earned wages of a million mice and sheep and quite a few dogs, commission and commit extortion and murder-for-hire, prey on gazelles because you just can’t help your instincts, peddle cram and soot and tobacco—all of which Dom Panterr does in the usual course of his enterprise, if the rumors are true—and you’re an honored, respected guest at Bunny Hedgeway’s shindig on a sultry spring evening during Jamboree.
Who can be surprised? That’s the law of the jungle. Only Chrome is no jungle. A higher high-tech megalopolis than Chrome City doesn’t exist among the sorry burgs down on Earth.
This is Chrome.
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Visit me at www.lisamason.com for all my books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, blogs, roundtables, adorable cat pictures, forthcoming works, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!

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7.29.19.CHROME.SMLL

Two hundred fifty years ago, a purveyor of poisons and the creator of genetically modified organisms—Emirk Corporation—launched into the Moon’s orbit around the Earth an artificial planetoid called Chrome.
There, Emirk technicians created races of human beings blended with the genes of animals. They were called Blends.
Now Luna Lightfoot—half puma, half woman, jewel thief—inadvertently hears a confidential conversation and witnesses a murder. She teams up with Terralina Rustabrin—half tortoise, half woman, bond-promised to a tortoise prince—and discovers a murderous scheme to change the lives of Chromians. A chameleon mercenary and an insane mastermind lurk behind the scheme.
Lisa Mason has published eleven novels, including Summer of Love (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist), The Gilded Age (a New York Times Notable Book), Arachne (a Locus Hardcover Bestseller), The Garden of Abracadabra (“Fun and enjoyable Urban Fantasy”), Celestial Girl (A Lily Modjeska Mystery), Strange Ladies: 7 Stories (“A must-read collection”), and forty stories and novelettes in magazines and anthologies worldwide.
CHROME is in U.S. print. Also in U.K. print, in German print, in French print, in Spanish print, in Italian print, and in Japanese print
Look for the CHROME ebook on US Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo.
And on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, India Kindle, Germany Kindle, France Kindle, Spain Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Japan Kindle, Brazil Kindle, and Mexico Kindle.
Donate from your PayPal account to lisasmason@aol.com.
Donate on my Patreon page at https://www.patreon.com/bePatron?u=23011206.
Visit me at www.lisamason.com for all my books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, blogs, roundtables, adorable cat pictures, forthcoming works, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!

CHROME.MED.295.KB

From New York Times Notable Author Book Lisa Mason
CHROME

Two hundred fifty years ago, a purveyor of poisons and the creator of genetically modified organisms—Emirk Corporation—launched into the Moon’s orbit around the Earth an artificial planetoid called CHROME.
There, Emirk technicians created races of human beings blended with the genes of animals. They were called Blends.
Now Luna Lightfoot—half puma, half woman, jewel thief—inadvertently hears a confidential conversation and witnesses a murder. She teams up with Terralina Rustabrin—half tortoise, half woman, bond-promised to a tortoise prince—and discovers a murderous scheme to change the lives of Chromians. A chameleon mercenary and an insane mastermind lurk behind the scheme.
To be published as a beautiful trade paperback and an ebook. Links coming soon!
From the author of Summer of Love (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT! Find the beautiful trade paperback at https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Love-Travel-Lisa-Mason/dp/1548106119/ or IN PRINT at Barnes and Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/summer-of-love-a-time-travel-lisa-mason/1104160569.
The Gilded Age (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT! Find the beautiful trade paperback at https://www.amazon.com/Gilded-Age-Time-Travel/dp/1975853172/ or IN PRINT at Barnes and Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-gilded-age-a-time-travel-lisa-mason/1106038566.
The Garden of Abracadabra (“Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy . . . I want to read more!) On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. NOW IN PRINT! Find the beautiful trade paperback at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1978148291/ or IN PRINT at Barnes and Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-garden-of-abracadabra-lisa-mason/1108093507
Arachne (a Locus Hardover Bestseller) is an ebook on US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle worldwide in France Kindle, Germany Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Spain Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Brazil Kindle, India Kindle, and Japan Kindle. Back in Print! Find the beautiful trade paperback at https://www.amazon.com/dp/198435602X or IN PRINT at Barnes and Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/arachne-lisa-mason/1000035633.
Cyberweb (sequel to Arachne) is on US Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also Kindle worldwide on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Brazil Kindle, France Kindle, Germany Kindle, India Kindle, Italy Kindle, Japan Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, and Spain Kindle. Back in Print at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1984356941 or IN PRINT at Barnes and Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cyberweb-lisa-mason/1001932064
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories (“A must-read collection—The San Francisco Review of Books). On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle world wide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. NOW IN PRINT at https://www.amazon.com/Strange-Ladies-Stories-Lisa-Mason/dp/1981104380/ or IN PRINT at Barnes and Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/strange-ladies-lisa-mason/1115861322.
One Day in the Life of Alexa (“Five stars! An appealing narrator and subtly powerful emotional rhythms”). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. Order the beautiful trade paperback NOW IN PRINT at https://www.amazon.com/One-Life-Alexa-Lisa-Mason/dp/1546783091 or IN PRINT at Barnes and Noble at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/one-day-in-the-life-of-alexa-lisa-mason/1126431598.
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition, A Lily Modjeska Mystery (Five stars) On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. SOON IN PRINT!
Shaken (in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.
Hummers (in Fifth Annual Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror) On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.
Daughter of the Tao (in Peter S. Beagle’s Immortal Unicorn) on US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in AustraliaFrance, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.
Every Mystery Unexplained (in David Copperfield’s Tales of the Impossible) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.
Tomorrow’s Child (In Active Development at Universal Pictures) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.
The Sixty-third Anniversary of Hysteria (in Full Spectrum 5) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.
U F uh-O (Five Stars!) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.
Tesla, A Screenplay on US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.
My Charlotte: Patty’s Story on Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Netherlands, and Mexico.
“Illyria, My Love” is on US Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Germany Kindle, France Kindle, Spain Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Japan Kindle, Brazil Kindle, Mexico Kindle, and India Kindle.
Please visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for all my books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable cat pictures, forthcoming works, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!
And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.
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