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Find your path in the darkness

Yesterday my second novel, A Path in the Darkness, came out. I always knew how I wanted Path to feel, what its goals were and where it needed to end up. The actual writing of the story proved to be more complex.

If you’ve read the first book you already know that the Intrepid is an interstellar colony ship on its way to 82 Eridani, a recently terraformed star system that is open for colonization.

Tanis Richards, the head of security on the Intrepid had a very tough time getting the ship out of the Sol system in one piece and was looking forward to a long peaceful journey to the new colony.

Alas that was not to be. The first book ends with Tanis being woken from stasis to find the ship all but disabled and falling into a star.

Very few books deal with long treks through the space between stars. Stories like Star Wars and Star Trek have created the expectation that Science Fiction stories should involve people flitting from one star system to the next, landing in planets and having western-style encounters with the local bad-guys before dashing off to the safety of hyperspace.

The first stories I read where space travel was a long and arduous journey were Anne McCaffrey’s brainship books and crystal singer books. While they did have a hyperspace element, much of the story occurred on the ship during transition from one system to another.

These stories woke an interest in me for stories showing the journey through the long dark where, if something were to go wrong, there is no help or assistance. Just the ship and the ingenuity of the people on it.

A master of this is Alastair Reynolds. His book titled Pushing Ice captured this very well. So well that you feel the long empty dark in your soul. Galactic North is another of his that captures this very well.
The thing that I think is most pertinent to long space journeys is that it is as much a trip through time as well as space. Even if the travelers are not going as fast, or faster than the speed of light, the immensity of the distances mean that they will move out sync with the people they left, maybe even by hundreds of years.

Also, in a future where people live to be many hundreds of years old, what if you were to spend much of that decades-long journey awake? What would that be like?

The person who started that journey would be much different when they came to its end.
Yesterday my second novel, A Path in the Darkness, came out. I always knew how I wanted Path to feel, what its goals were and where it needed to end up. The actual writing of the story proved to be more complex.

If you’ve read the first book you already know that the Intrepid is an interstellar colony ship on its way to 82 Eridani, a recently terraformed star system that is open for colonization.

Tanis Richards, the head of security on the Intrepid had a very tough time getting the ship out of the Sol system in one piece and was looking forward to a long peaceful journey to the new colony.
Alas that was not to be. The first book ends with Tanis being woken from stasis to find the ship all but disabled and falling into a star.

Very few books deal with long treks through the space between stars. Stories like Star Wars and Star Trek have created the expectation that Science Fiction stories should involve people flitting from one star system to the next, landing in planets and having western-style encounters with the local bad-guys before dashing off to the safety of hyperspace.

The first stories I read where space travel was a long and arduous journey were Anne McCaffrey’s brainship books and crystal singer books. While they did have a hyperspace element, much of the story occurred on the ship during transition from one system to another.

These stories woke an interest in me for stories showing the journey through the long dark where, if something were to go wrong, there is no help or assistance. Just the ship and the ingenuity of the people on it.

A master of this is Alastair Reynolds. His book titled Pushing Ice captured this very well. So well that you feel the long empty dark in your soul. Galactic North is another of his that captures this very well.
The thing that I think is most pertinent to long space journeys is that it is as much a trip through time as well as space. Even if the travelers are not going as fast, or faster than the speed of light, the immensity of the distances mean that they will move out sync with the people they left, maybe even by hundreds of years.

Also, in a future where people live to be many hundreds of years old, what if you were to spend much of that decades-long journey awake? What would that be like?

The person who started that journey would be much different when they came to its end.

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