The Dangers of Creation; or, A Machine to Rival Man by Siri Paulson
Engine Dreamer by Siri Paulson
Gears in space--what could be better?
Alternatively titled Why the main character of Captain's Boy isn't gay when the rest of the main characters in the Dream'verse are. I've had a few readers express surprise at this choice, so I thought I'd address the situation here.
Remember way back when, at the very beginning of Turtleduck Press? I wrote the “About Us” copy, and I said “writers don't like to write in boxes.”
Well, I guess I can expand on that.
Looking at everything I've ever finished, I can see that I enjoy writing relationships where no one involved knows “the rules.” Or perhaps I should say, the roles. In the first and second (still unpublished) novels in the Dream'verse, Eve is the fierce protector of kind, nurturing Ben. In Captain's Boy, the third novel† in the Dream'verse, Donte and Selene—well, carefully vague so as not to spoil things, but Selene is also the protector, though Donte is the more skilled fighter.
A novel of the Dream'verse
Donte spent his teen years orphaned and homeless in a snowbound smuggler's port. Now he's a university student. The hot meals are nice and everything is warmer on his new planet, but life among people is so much more complicated. With only two friends—young Jordan whom Donte tutors and the fiery Selene who shares his table in the coffeehouse—Donte has things somewhat under control, but still he struggles with both unfriendly and friendly people, and he can't shake the feeling that he's getting it all wrong.
None of that matters after Jordan is stolen by slavers. Donte enlists Selene to help rescue the boy, and when Jordan is taken off-planet Donte and Selene follow. But determination and luck can only get them so far, and the closer the pair come to Jordan, the nearer they get to Donte's deepest fears, and a past he'd worked to hide from everyone—especially himself.
Donte knows all too well the horrors Jordan faces, but when his secrets are dragged into an open courtroom, will Donte find the strength to speak the truth and save the boy?
Would you believe I wrestled for days with what to write for my blog post? Then I remembered that the reason I was stressed and unprepared was that I have a novel coming out...
This is the first chapter of Captain's Boy, coming April 1st (Monday, aaah!) from Turtleduck Press. As stated in this handy-dandy timeline, it occurs about two years before the events of Knight Errant.
Warning for some explicit language.
Donte looked at the sagging awning above him, at the straggly hedge separating the restaurant patio from the graffitied wall next to it, and thought about space and how he'd like to be there. Out there he and Jordan would both be safe, and Jordan might actually learn math.
"Yes, Alex is a bully," he said, interrupting Jordan's story. "But I'm not fighting him." Donte shoved his hair back and tapped the notebook. "This answer is wrong," he said. "Can you see why?"
Jordan didn't even look at the paper, staring instead at Donte in challenge. "Why not?" he demanded. "You could take him! Alex is big, but he's just a coward. And it's not just me that he picks on. He stole Cadie's bundle last week. You know she thinks it's her baby what died. She was on her knees begging him to be careful and he held it over his head and laughed."
"Math." Donte tapped the paper again. When he started tutoring Jordan, Donte had bent the mentoring rules to give the boy a digital workpad and stylus. Jordan's aunt had sold the tech to buy a bottle, so now Jordan and Donte worked on paper that fluttered in the intermittent breeze. "Find your mistake."