What is Freehauler Alcione?
Freehauler Alcione will be both a new science fiction universe and worldbuilding project, and a serialised self-publishing venture. The narrative will follow a group of mostly young people (see character biographies) coming of age in a future interstellar civilisation, and their adventures aboard the clanship Shummanite, and later the Freeship Alcione.
How will Freehauler Alcione be published?
Freehauler Alcione will probably 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. However Madverts is around 80,000 words, which is a bit longer.
The first novellas will introduce each of the main characters, Freedai, Kam, Marcel, and Reid. Later they meet up on the Alcione.
The first instalment, Up the Well, is the story of a teenage girl called Freedai Reynofar, who lives on the planet of New Old New Yearth, one of the member worlds of an interstellar dystopia called the Holy Terragen Imperium.
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 is from a first person perspective and follows each character closely, the style will be appropriate to that character. Freedai’s story, and later that of Kam (Madverts) and the others, is written from a young person’s perspective, and hence may have a YA (young adult) feel.
What sort of spaceship is the Alcione?
Apart from its much larger size, the Alcione is a sort of “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).
Except that the current crew and officers are basically pirates, and the ship has long since stopped being respectable.
When will the first installment appear?
Hopefully at the end of this year, but it might be early next year
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 hopefully be available from Lulu.