Ships of My Fathers, Launch Day

If you’ve been paying attention, you know that I wrote another book, Ships of My Fathers. Well, it is now out there, officially, available for purchase. Right now it’s in print and on the Kindle. The other e-book platforms will follow later in the year.

It’s another space opera, in the same universe as Beneath the Sky, though it’s not really a sequel. It’s the story of a young man who finds out that his recently deceased father was not the man he thought he was and what he does with the mystery that leaves behind. Here’s the cover and blurb:

ShipsOfMyFathers_Cover300pxMichael was orphaned at seventeen, light-years from home. His inheritance: a starship, distant relatives he never knew existed, and inescapable questions that challenge everything he thought was true.

Michael’s quest for answers takes him halfway across the Confederacy, from the gleaming corridors of the wealthy super-freighters to the dark holds of Father Chessman’s pirate ships.

The truth is waiting for him, but he’ll have to survive to find it.


Where did this come from?

This story traces its origins to two main ideas. First, my father died of cancer about eight years ago. No, he did not leave behind any great mysteries, but I started to wonder what it would have been like if he had. What if he had not actually been an electrical engineer? What if he had secretly been a Cold War spy instead? Or what if he were a member of some ancient secret society? What if his old friends and enemies came looking for me?

We think we know our parents, but what if they really did have some dark secret? They could probably be quite effective at hiding it from you. You might not trust them to take you ice skating or to deliver on your Christmas wishes, but you figure that you can trust them on some fundamental issues, like what your name is, or whether they’re war criminals. Because of that, you never think to dig into those kinds of secrets. But sooner or later, the past catches up to everyone, and those secrets come out.

Another big source of this was someone who was a minor character in Beneath the Sky: Father Chessman. Something about him really appealed to me, and a number of other folks said they liked him as well. He’s the other half to the larger story arc in this series, as our protagonist Michael learns more of his own history, he finds himself learning more about the origins of Father Chessman.

In the end, the series is going to be about the rather big idea of moral equivalence, whether terrible acts are justifiable in dire situations or if some acts truly are beyond the pale. If so, which ones? What if it was your father who did it? What if it was you?

But along the way, there will plenty of space opera fun, with merchants, pirates, conspiracies, young love, and even the occasional explosion. Check out the sample chapters.

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