Snow in the Desert is a short story by Neal Asher, first published in 2002. It was also part of his anthology, The Gabble and other Stories, published in 2008. Snow in the Desert is now also available in a digital format from Amazon. Being a big fan of Neal Asher I bought it.
He was called, inevitability, Snow, but with his plastron mask and dust robes it was not immediately evident he was an albino. The mask, made from the shell of an Earth-import terrapin, was what identified him to those who know of him - that, and his tendency to leave corpses behind him.
And there will be plenty of corpses, this is a Neal Asher story after all. Snow is a loner with a secret. Or at least he thought it was a secret, but now others know about it. He is a hunted man, and not safe anywhere. Snow is forced to go on the defensive, and heads out into the desert to hide. Both locals and off-world bounty hunters are hot on his trail.
You can straight away recognise Neal Asher's penmanship in Snow in the Desert. As usual he holds back nothing when it comes to action. It's fast, brutal, and straight to the point. No time is wasted on unnecessary details. Much like the world the story takes place in. A cruel desert world where water is a precious commodity. Just like in Dune any body fluids must be recycled to give its wearer any chance of surviving under the merciless sun. Most of the technology seems to be dedicated to killing though, no surprise there.
I liked Snow in the Desert. It was exactly what I expected it to be. A no nonsense action thriller with punchy dialogue, and plenty of high tech weaponry. Well worth reading by any fan of hard boiled science fiction.
Snow in the Desert weighs in at not that many pages and is self published by Neal Asher.