Tinker (Elfhome, Book 1)
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Inventor, girl genius Tinker lives in a near-future Pittsburgh which now exists mostly in the land of the elves. She runs her salvage business, pays her taxes, and tries to keep the local ambient level of magic down with gadgets of her own design. When a pack of wargs chase an Elven noble into her scrap yard, life as she knows it takes a serious detour. Tinker finds herself taking on the Elven court, the NSA, the Elven Interdimensional Agency, technology smugglers and a college-minded Xenobiologist as she tries to stay focused on what's really important - her first date. Armed with an intelligence the size of a planet, steel-toed boots, and a junkyard dog attitude, Tinker is ready to kick butt to get her first kiss.
and more importantly, keep out unwanted human immigrants. On Earth and in Pittsburgh, EIA patrolled the Rim. From the Observation lounge (having been politely scooted out for the already complicated tethering) Tinker could see elfin rangers moving through the trees, keeping close to the Rim but scouting for trespassers. The sole building within the forest was the legendary EIA lockup, an ugly squat cinderblock building whose only function was to hold prisoners until Startup returned them to
the colony at Alpha Centauri?" "There is no colony," Riki said. "It's an elaborate sham that the tengu and the kitsune dreamed up. The gate is nothing more than a huge magician's box that we pull rabbits out of." The problem with liars was knowing when they were telling the truth. Tinker couldn't believe that the entire twenty-year colonization program had been a sham. "Where the hell are the colony ships going?" "Don't know." Riki shrugged. "We were hoping that they would go to Elfhome, or,
Saetato-fohaili-ba-taeli. Roughly, it meant "Sparrow Lifted By Wind" though the "Saetato" could indicate soaring rather than lifted. While the female did not seem the type to take a human nickname, she would probably be called Sparrow. As if collateral damage from Sparrow's beauty were not enough, the guard indicated the cousins, and Sparrow turned her stunning regard their way. From ankle-length hair, so pale blond it was nearly silver, with ribbons and flowers worked through it, to her tall
steel, hopping parts of the riverbank before crossing the Ohio River proper, still choked with barges. It would be a week before river traffic returned to normal. The roads, though, were clear, and minutes later they were crossing the Allegheny River on the Fort Duquesne Bridge. "Tinker applied to Carnegie Mellon University last Shutdown. It took them a while to put all the pieces together and notify NSA. We've blacked it out, except letting them issue an acceptance letter. Hopefully, no one
candlelight. Moss-covered boulders lurked like giants in the shadows beyond the trees. "It has to do with the alignment of stars and planets, the Sun and Moon, the nature of the magic. A blessing should be done at noon, when the Moon is full and in the day's sky. A curse should be done at night, after the set of the new Moon, when none of the planets are on the horizon." Windwolf chose a path down into a steep ravine, across a stream on an arched wooden bridge, and up steps cut into living rock.