Our space opera horror novel, Terminus, has recently come out in paperback, and we’ll be showcasing it all week, and to coincide, we’re giving away a copy of the paperback on Goodreads (click here for details).
Notice I described the novel as ‘space opera horror’? I kind of made that term up because once you settle in to the book, you realize it’s actually quite unusual. Yes, it features space vampires who will suck out your blood, grungy spacecraft (like the one on the cover; artist Andy Bigwood painted it from the ship’s description in the book), decadent pleasure planets, and shooting things with fire-blasters. But then it surprises you with metaphysical warfare, romance, and a drunken space-bum who might even become a hero, despite his best intentions.
So to give you a feel for Terminus, I’ll be posting several passages, starting right now…
‘World at three hundred pulses under the void-ward side, Coordinator.’
‘Dich,’ snapped Terminus. ‘You’re the only one on this heap that still calls me Coordinator. You don’t get promotion by calling me Coordinator. Save it for the politicos. And don’t say ‘void-ward’ say ‘left’. Now, let’s see it.’
The crew were edgy. Although they could now laugh about the Babel experience, knowing they were going to a world populated by genuine aliens had put them on edge. A look at the nearest planet might offer a distraction. He ordered Tulk to phase the ship out of pulse so they could refuel the engines. Besides, he fancied a beaky look.
Deep space cargo shells, such as the 850, were powered by pulse drives. Billions of miniscule pulse pathfinders would burrow through the quantum foam until one of them discovered a wormhole that led somewhere a tiny distance closer to their destination. The ship teleported to that new location. The jump might only be measured in millimeters but the clever thing about pulse drives was they worked drenting quickly. The ship would teleport again and again. Trillions of times every second, only completing each pulse when the engines needed to rest, reorganize, and take a quick slurp from the fuel tank.
The pulse drives didn’t need chemicals or antimatter for fuel. Not much, anyway. What they needed was the richness of divergent possibilities, the places where the universe splintered and spawned into multiple variants. That divergence was what the drives required to enrich the quantum foam that filled the universe. Star systems were rich refueling points; inhabited planets were the richest fuel source of all because people were the best thing for stirring up that quantum foam. And so, like chronic voyeurs, deep space ganntas regularly lurked near planets as their pulse drives refueled.