What is Freehauler Alcione?

Freehauler Alcione is both a new science fiction universe and worldbuilding project, and a serialised self-publishing venture. The narrative follows a group of young people (see character biographies) coming of age in a future interstellar civilisation, and their adventures aboard the merchanteer Alcione.

How will Freehauler Alcione be published?

Freehauler Alcione will be epublished in the form of a series of novellas. A novella is a work of fiction that is longer than a short story, but shorter than a novel. Each will be about 50 to 60,000 words, and hopefully come out once every 4 months, or so. Although each novella can be read on its own, it can also be read as part of a longer story.

The first three novellas will introduce each of the three main characters, teenagers Kam (at fifteen the youngest in the story) and Shymarc, and early twenty-something Freedai, in turn. Later they meet up on the Alcione.

The first instalment, Madverts, is the story of a teenage girl called Kam, who lives on the distant planet of Falwel, one of the minor member worlds of an interstellar dystopia called the Federation of Worlds. Here she fights sentient advertisements (the eponymous madverts), earning pocket-money shopping for people.

Is this a Young Adult or an Adult story?

I haven’t really got a specific demographic in mind. I’ve simply tried to write so that people of any age can appreciate the story. But because the narrative follows each character closely, (what writers call the “intimate third person” point of view) the style will be appropriate to that character. Kam’s story (Madverts) is written from a fifteen year old perspective, and hence may have a YA (young adult) feel.

Will other characters be featured?

Yes, new characters will be introduced as the story progresses

What sort of spaceship is the Alcione?

The Alcione is what in would be called a “tramp steamer in space.” In the early 20th century, it was still possible to have older, less shiny, medium-sized, cargo and cargo-passenger ships, sometimes privately owned, which followed less busy shipping routes and stopped at and serviced minor ports of call ignored by the larger shipping companies. These were the “tramp steamers”.

Transplanted into outer space, the romantic image of the plucky private operator struggling to keep his spaceship and business viable in the age of big competitors and dwindling profits was a popular theme during the golden age of science fiction, and remains so in pop sci-fi culture today (e.g. Firefly).

When will the first installment of Freehauler Alcione appear?

Hopefully in a month or two.

Where can I read the books?

The series will be published on Amazon Kindle Direct, Google Play, and other online venues, as well as sold from this website. An illustrated print on demand hard copy will be available from Lulu.