When you read critical articles and reviews on Science Fiction and Fantasy, what phrase comes up more often than any other does? World building. Yep. That’s part of the draw for most SFF authors. We like to build stuff—cities, countries, empires, continents. But for writers of Science Fiction, the scale often expands to a scary level.
Ye, gods. I need to build a universe. Or at least a galaxy.
I’ve written SF for many years now, most of those stories under my legal name, so when I started writing in the spaceships and aliens genre under Angel Martinez, I toyed with the idea of using the same universe I’d created for the Anchorage series over a decade ago. But that felt like cheating. It was time to start over.
At the center of this new universe, I knew I needed a couple of planetary confederations central to the plot. One would be something on the lines of a constitutional monarchy, with an empress as its head of government. Easy. The Altairian Empire was born. Progressive, egalitarian regarding gender roles, with a culture equally focused on its arts and sciences as its military.
In constant economic/social opposition to and competition with the Altairians, I needed a more loosely based confederation, a government that seemed like a good idea at the time but eventually fell into a pattern of bureaucratic nightmare. What to call it, though? I toyed with Alliance and Federation and Union sorts of names, but all of those have been used and re-used (Star Trek, Star Wars, C. J. Cherryh, etc.)
The physical placement of this confederation of planets produced its name: The Eridani Sector Treaty Organization or ESTO, for what could be better than an acronym as a name for a bureaucratic mess? Those who read Gravitational Attraction are already familiar with ESTO, whose power-hungry admiral plays the role of adversary in Isaac’s story. Vassily the Beautiful, though, looks at the lives of ESTO citizens from the inside, set on one of the peripheral ESTO planets where law is a bit fluid and order not strictly maintained.
Releasing 4/21/12 from Silver Publishing! A new M/M Science Fiction Fairytale from Angel Martinez:
In the city of New Makarov on a far-flung planet at the edge of ESTO space...
A young composer suffers neurological damage in the accident that killed his father...
An amoral, small-time drug manufacturer brings a dangerous new bio-engineered intoxicant to the city...
Deals gone wrong and subtle shifts in the underworld's dealings have made Baba Yaga sons, who act as her security force, edgy and trigger itchy...
Very few constants populate the equations in this new M/M Science Fiction novel, but when the variables collide? Let the mayhem begin...
A faint glow of light appeared above him, growing brighter as he climbed, so he reasoned he must be near the top. As he craned his head back, his right foot slipped. His stomach plummeted to his feet as he banged hard against the ladder and clung there, his frightened gasps manifesting as white plumes in the dark.
Don’t turn into rubber now, legs, please, please don’t.
Shaking, panting, he found purchase again with his right foot and convinced his left hand to move, then his right. He shivered with more than cold, exhaustion and fear making each rung harder than the last. Forcing his body onward, he climbed. He had no choice and he was damned if he’d give up now.
The glow from the rooftop became bright enough for him to make out the building stones in front of him. Almost there…
He stopped as the whine of an airbike split the snow-blanketed silence. Risking a glance up, he nearly lost his footing again in shock. A flame-red airbike angled in toward the building and disappeared over the roof edge. The whine of its engine powering down made it obvious that the rider, it had to be the same one who had nearly hit him that morning, was landing on the roof.
All right, he seemed like a reasonable person. At least there would be someone on the roof when he got there to plead his case.
The surprise was considerably less when his second airbike encounter roared into sight overhead,
the gold bike and rider muted to glowing tones in the soft roof lights. Baba Yaga’s security, they had to be, though the sun-yellow rider’s flamboyance seemed at odds with such serious employment.
Vassily sighed in relief when his head crested the roof ledge, a blurred view of figures moving about on solid rooftop threatening to turn his shaking legs to jelly. He was just about to hoist himself up when the third airbike knifed through the night sky, by the sound of it heading directly for him.
He cried out, legs kicking, when a rough hand seized the back of his shirt and yanked him from the ladder. Instead of falling, though, he hung suspended, dread creeping over him like morning frost as he realized he dangled from the grip of the black-clad rider who had passed him earlier.
The man maneuvered his vehicle over the roof, and in a voice like sandpaper dragged over broken glass, declared, “We have a spy.”
Angel Martinez is the erotic fiction pen name of a writer of several genres. Her experiences as a soldier, a nurse, a banker, and an underpaid corporate drone give her a broad view of the world and a deep appreciation for the astounding variety of people on this small planet. She currently lives part time in the hectic sprawl of northern Delaware and full time inside her head. She has one husband of over twenty years, one son, two cats, a love of all things beautiful and a terrible addiction to the consumption of both knowledge and chocolate.
You can find Angel:
At her website: Erotic Fiction for the Hungry Mind
On Facebook: Angel Martinez’s Page
And Goodreads: Angel Martinez
Or send an email if you have questions, comments or smart-aleck remarks: firstname.lastname@example.org
Angel has generously offered to give away one copy of her newest release 'Vassily the Beautiful' to one lucky commenter. You know the drill, follow our blog if you haven't done so already, and leave a comment with your email address.
The winner will be announced on Monday April 23, 2012.
I'd like to thank Angel for joining us today. It's been a pleasure to have you on the blog. Loved that excerpt, hun and I wish you many, many sales.
~Author Jennifer Labelle~