Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Star Shepherd

A century or so from now, Earth and its colonies are a mess.  The once-unified Earth has devolved into a bunch of petty states constantly warring with each other.  On Mars the government currency is worthless; instead everyone relies on a barter economy where sugary snacks from Earth are as precious as gold used to be.  As for the lunar colony, no one's heard from them in decades.

https://dwtr67e3ikfml.cloudfront.net/bookCovers/6689979b778d4683215ae1fe995890aafbfaed12The only hope for humanity to survive is to reach out to the stars and find a new home.  A young Chinese woman holds the key to that with the location of a planet capable of supporting human life that's been hidden by a conspiracy for centuries.  To get there she'll need a lot of help.

So she drafts an out-of-shape Martian spaceship captain, a gang of underaged Mexican mercenaries, and a mechanical genius who sells his skills to the highest bidder.  It's not exactly Star Trek, but somehow they manage to get a prototype ship working and journey to their new home.

Except as bad luck would have it, they're soon greeted by a race of aliens who are intent on destroying any other civilization in order to prolong their own existence.

Yup it's pretty much out of the frying pan into the fire--the fire being an intergalactic war for survival.

Star Shepherd is a reboot of my earlier work First Contact.  When I decided to publish it I had to scramble to find a new title as I was already using First Contact under another name.  I briefly called it Escaping Earth as that's largely what it's about.  When I was proofreading, there were references to "Project Star Shepherd" and I decided the last two words could be an appropriate title.  Project Star Shepherd was about building a ship that could travel about ten light years to a planet whose existence had been concealed for centuries to make sure no one could claim it prematurely.  A Chinese scientist who finds that location is murdered, but his daughter turns it over to a rich old guy who funds an expedition using the prototype ship from Project Star Shepherd.

While First Contact uses more Star Trek type stuff like hyperspace and lasers, Star Shepherd is a little more rooted in reality.  They travel the Alien way by going into hibernation for the ten years or so it will take to get to the planet.  And generally they use stuff like missiles and machine guns in place of lasers.  But the aliens have far more of that cool stuff, which they've stolen from various other cultures.

But then there are also some Douglas Adams-esque elements, like a union of mercenaries that runs the southwest of America and spends most of its time shooting up the landscape out of boredom.  There's also a brief history of lunar colonization describing how the first colonists on the Moon were a crime family looking to escape the authorities.

It is as you might say, an eclectic mix.  Or a bloody mess if you're being less kind.

This and the rest of my books are available at the new Planet 99 Publishing site


  1. You definitely had me at Douglas Adams-esque.
    I like bloody messes as long as someone else cleans it up!

  2. Chinese scientist and Mexican mercenaries? I enjoy books about rag-tag crews that have to work together. Always makes for an interesting dynamic.



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