Candlemark followers know I have a powerful affinity for non-clichéd space opera. So it should come as no surprise that one of the writers I’ve had my eye on is Kelly Jennings, whose Pirian/Combine stories unfold in a vast, intricate universe that begs to be explored.
Those of you who read The Other Half of the Sky may recall Kelly’s’ story “Velocity’s Ghost” that won an honorable mention in The Year’s Best Science Fiction 31. Velocity and her chosen family kept their hold in Kelly’s imagination. In Fault Lines we get to share their adventures and stark choices, and see the jagged cracks in their societies:
Velocity Wrachant, owner and captain of the merchant starship Susan Calvin, is broke and stranded on a Drift station, when she is offered what seems like a simple job: to escort young Brontë Ikeda into Republic space and help her retrieve several bonded-labor children.
While Velocity is tempted by the fee Brontë offers – which is enough to clear her debts – she also knows that Ikeda House, a powerful Combine, just had a major coup; and both she and her crew suspect the story they’re being told by the Combine child is not the whole story.
Velocity takes the gig, but it takes her into the heart of Combine territory, a place she fled almost twenty years earlier. What is the price she and her shipmates may end up paying for this job?
Raised in New Orleans, Kelly Jennings is a member and co-founder of the Boston Mountain Writers Group. Her short fiction has appeared in many venues, including The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction and The Other Half of The Sky. Her first novel, Broken Slate, was published in 2011 and she co-edited the anthology Menial: Skilled Labor in SF (2012).
We expect to show Fault Lines to the world within the next year, along with the vibrant works from other members of the Candlemark astrogator corps: Justin Robinson, A. M. Tuomala, Anne E. Johnson, Robin Shortt, M. Fenn, Lise Breakey, Kristin Landon…and more to come. Keep this frequency open!
Top image: Broken Slate (cover artist: Tânia Sousa Ribeiro)