Sunday, 12 April 2015
Guest Author April - Ian Whates
Ian Whates’ first novel in three years is the opening volume of a new space opera series which takes recognised tropes and turns them on their heads. The series is set in an age of expansion, with humanity spreading out to the stars aided by caches of ancient alien technology which they don’t fully understand. Man has recently encountered its first extant alien culture, the Xters, and the two races eye each other warily across ragged and fairly arbitrary borders, not really competing for habitat due to physiological differences, but not trusting each other either.
The book’s unlikely central protagonist is a banker, Drake, whose constant companion, Mudball, is a cute bundle of fur mistakenly thought of as a pet. In reality, Mudball is far more than he seems.
The crew of the freetrader Pelquin's Comet – a rag-tag group of misfits, ex-soldiers and ex-thieves – set out to claim a cache of alien technology that they hope will make them rich; but they are not the only interested party and find themselves in a deadly race against the authorities and corporate agents. Contending with enemies without and within, they are forced to do so under the watchful eye of an unwelcome guest: Drake, agent of the bank funding their expedition; a man with a past that is fast catching up with him, a man who may prove to be the greatest threat of all.
(Cover art by Jim Burns)