We’re switching today to the sequel to The Guardian Angel of Farflung Station. The series is called Repelling the Invasion, and it follows members of the Dukelsky family as they get caught up in an interstellar conflict with the humans from the Proxima star system, aka Proxies. Guardian Angel saw Priam “Duke” Dukelsky find the love of his life while repelling an invasion of Farflung Space Station.
Book two, Escapee, sees Duke’s twin brother, Hector, finding the love of his life while fighting a Proxie invasion of Banff. Because of the harsh moon’s unbreathable atmosphere, it’s inhabited only by a few miners and soldiers. I like to think of Escapee as The African Queen in Outer Space, because I patterned it after the classic movie starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn . . . but if I didn’t tell you that, you probably wouldn’t notice. It’s very much a brand-new story.
In this snippet from chapter one. Catt Sayer talks to Lance, the android co-plot of her small supply ship, which is named Escapee. At right is a ‘travel poster’ I created for the book.
“One of these days? Taking into account Escapee’s age and your habit of sending half our profits to your family, such a day will occur in two-hundred-thirty-seven years, eighteen-point-four-three days.” Lance paused to emphasize a punch line; he was working on his comic timing. “In the meantime, I shall consider my job safe.”
A blip appeared on the fadar screen, and then the screen went dark. “Hold on, I saw something.”
Lance responded by holding on to the edge of the command console with both hands—another of his jokes.
With her index finger, Catt tapped the screen. Although the proximity meters worked fine, she needed the far-radar for things such as the blip—but the persnickety fadar screen was unreliable. When she tapped it again, it stayed lit.
Yes, the army’s automated shuttle had taken off from Castle Mountain. If her spies were correct—and they’d better be, or she’d get even—that shuttle would carry Captain A-Hole up to this moon’s orbiting space station and hence to the home system for a three-week leave.
“Victory.” Catt thrust her fist in the air and gave a whoop of triumph. She twirled an imaginary mustache like a villain in one of those stupid melodramas Dad used to watch. “Mitt Cabbytain A-Hole gone, de wallets of Castle Mountain lie defenseless at my feet.”
“Your feet? Neither helpless nor near your feet. Although understaffed and under-armed, Castle Mountain is quite capable of destroying something so large and fragile as a blimp.”
“Puh-lease. Advanced technology airship with buoyancy aids. Not blimp.”
Be sure to check out the hooks by other great writers in the Book Hooks blog hop.
A Disillusioned Soldier
Hector Dukelsky, an upper-class career officer, yearns to fight a righteous war instead of defending corporate interests on Banff, an isolated mining moon. That dream dies when his entire command is slaughtered while he’s away, leaving him alone in smouldering rubble with no chance to survive, let alone strike back at the enemy.
A Pilot with a Chip on Her Shoulder
Catt Sayer, a working-class fugitive from the law, earns a meagre income carrying supplies on a decrepit airship, but her hard-won life vanishes when invaders capture Banff. While searching for survivors, she rescues Hector and flies him to safety. But he doesn’t want safety. He wants her to risk her life on a hopeless journey to attack the enemy headquarters.
A Dying Moon
Catt is sure Banff will kill them long before the enemy can … yet she agrees to Hector’s scheme, certain he’ll quit after experiencing one of the moon’s eruptions or ferocious storms. But he doesn’t quit, and slowly his noble dream—and his love—conquer her heart. She pits her life and love against Banff’s lethal environment, even though the only reward for success will be the opportunity to face ten thousand enemy warriors.
Escapee is a re-release of the science fiction romance that was the Rone Award’s First Runner Up as the best science fiction novel of 2016. The second edition, with new material, iwill go live November 23 — the birthday of my oldest son, to whom the book is dedicated. Until then, it’s available for pre-sale.