Beneath the Sky, Launch Day

I wrote a book, and now everyone needs to rush out and buy it. Now. Really. Links are here!

Ok, no one really needs to go buy it, but if you want to, you can now actually do it. For those of you wondering why on Earth you should even consider buying it, let me tell you a few things about it. It’s a sci-fi tale – space opera specifically – of what happens when the Mayflower meets a 747. Here’s the cover blurb:

Beneath the Sky

Maggie is a young schoolteacher on the multi-generation colony ship, God’s Chariot, bound for their promised world, New Providence. When a faster-than-light freighter crosses their path, a forgotten history catches up with them and puts their future in doubt. Maggie and her father are drawn to the center of the conflict over what will become of their colony, their faith, and even their lives.

It’s the space-opera analog of the Mayflower landing in modern Boston, filled with high technology, different customs, and 747’s cutting their travel time down to hours.

Battling conspiracy, politics, and even pirates, Maggie must rise to the challenge or face her colony’s doom.

If you want more of a teaser than that, I’ve posted the first couple of chapters for your perusal.

Where did this come from?

Well, my brain, but more specifically, it came from the intersection of two thoughts. The first thought was about two styles of interstellar colonization: multi-generation slower-than-light colony ships versus faster-than-light fleets to scout, terraform, and transport colonists.

If you have the choice, you obviously want to go with the faster-than-light option, but as we understand physics today, the slower-than-light option is the only one that will ever be available to us. So, if we do ever start to seed the stars, we will likely be sending out slower-than-light ships. That’s just the way our universe works.

But what would happen if much later on, we discovered that we were wrong about the universe, and that the faster-than-light option really is on the table? That’s great for us back home, but kind of sucks for those guys we sent out a couple of hundred years ago. I bet telling them about it would be a little awkward.

“Sorry about the last two hundred years of making sacrifices for the future of the species. It looks like it wasn’t really necessary after all. So… do you want a lift?”

But what if we forgot one of them? What if there was a very good reason we never knew about them in the first place? What if they kept cruising on, oblivious to all the faster-than-light expansion going on all around them? What happens when we bump into them by chance a thousand years later?

That gave me my premise, and it brought to mind the notion of the Mayflower and the 747. Playing with that led me back to the Puritans/Calvinists, and that added a religious overtone to my setting, along with a richer back story for the colony’s origins.

The second thought that led to this book was my enjoyment of what I call “little in big” stories. In these, Earth-shattering events make up the backdrop of the story, while our protagonists are of relatively minor importance, merely struggling to survive against this onslaught of chaos. And yet, in my favorite little-in-big stories, these little guys get pulled to the center of events, and the fate of their world comes to rest on their little guy shoulders.

I’ll write more about these little-in-big stories in an upcoming entry, but it was that concept that gave me our key protagonists: Margaret (Maggie) Pritchard and her father William Pritchard. While the rest of the cast if filled out by starship captains, politicians, reverends, reporters, admirals, and the occasional pirate, it’s this father-daughter pair that always formed the emotional core of the book to me.

There are enough other plotlines that each reader may come away with a different focus, but to me, this is something of a love letter from a father to his daughter. I may not have realized that until I was done, but that’s what it is. I only hope that when my little girl grows up, she’s as strong as Maggie.

So that’s it for the teasers. If you’re intrigued enough, check out the purchase links, and if you like it, please leave reviews and tell your sci-fi friends.

5 thoughts on “Beneath the Sky, Launch Day

  1. Woot! My hardcopy is ordered from Amazon!
    BTW – enjoyed the preview, and I’m looking forward to reading the whole book.

  2. I’m pretty sure I’m not famous enough to have any street geek cred, but I am a serious geek, so I can’t argue with you there.

    I’m still hoping you’ll do a story based on your “the universe is a balloon, and you can more easily pop from one side to the other than travel across the ‘surface'” idea at some point.

  3. Congratulations. 🙂

    And I like the sound of it. I am definitely intrigued and if flipkart can’t get me a dead tree version, I shall download it.

    Also, have you read any Elizabeth Bear? From what you say on this post, I suspect you will like her work. Especially the Jenny Casey Trilogy [Hammered, Scardown, WorldWired] and the Jacob’s Ladder Trilogy [Dust, Chill, Grail].

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