Teaser Tuesday 4/25/2017: “King of Thieves”

So this week I’m reading King of Thieves, by Evan Currie.

Not to be confused with Star Wars or Rogue One. Or maybe it is.

 King of Thieves is, naturally enough, about a starship called the Autolycus which is on a mission to steal gold, silver, and ― oh wait, that’s Autolycus from Xena and Hercules.

No, this Autolycus is on a mission to go out exploring the depths of the galaxy, hunting for Dyson constructs built by an alien race that was recently repulsed from the solar system after what appears to have been a massive war. (Said war was evidently covered in a series of five previous books centering on another ship, the Odyssey. I have not read those books, but I think there’s enough background material in this one so that any regular SF reader will know what’s going on.)

Not much has happened in the book yet―they are just now leaving the solar system on a mission that will probably turn out to be rather more exciting than they imagine―but it already caught my interest because the Autolycus has no artificial gravity, so the crew basically float around in it and travel from place to place by hanging onto moving levers in the walls. I don’t think I’ve ever read an SF novel where the ship didn’t have artificial gravity, so this intrigues me. And then there was this:

Daiyu nodded, knowing that he was referring to Chief Doohan, the Canadian engineer in charge of the transition section as well as the ship’s main reactor. Xiang was one of the foremost experts in the Block’s adaptation of the Alcubierre equations that gave the Auto her reactionless space drive, but Doohan was one of the Confederation’s best technical engineers and specialists in transition technology as well as antimatter generation.

You’ve got to love a book that has the audacity to make the chief engineer a Canadian named Doohan. Here’s hoping that at some point someone will ask him to defy the laws of physics.

As a side note, years ago, I was thinking about doing a science fiction book about aliens arriving in the solar system and starting to build a Dyson sphere around the sun. It was going to be called Stareaters. But it never really got off the ground, in part because I lack the scientific chops to pull off such a concept, and never found the time to do the research that would have been required. That’s one good thing about the fantasy and horror genres; if you keep things internally consistent, you can get away with just about anything. But good hard science fiction requires, you know, science.

Meanwhile, the second round of editing continues on Father’s Books, slowed somewhat by the presence of massive cuteness just up the hall, but still inching along.

He picked up the phone and punched Leeson’s number. Then he looked at the creased page again. The paper around his pencil marks had reddened, outlining his letters in a dull maroon. Some kind of chemical reaction, maybe? But what sort of paper had a reaction to being written on in pencil?

Hmm … the cursed kind, maybe? Put the pencil down and step away.

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