Title: Under a New Star
Author: Leo d’Entremont
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 76 pages
At a Glance: Fun characters and a story that could easily be much longer and just as great
Blurb: In the 26th Century, mankind has breached the light speed barrier and begun to colonize other planets. They’ve also learned to Design human beings, known as Morphs, for specialized colony missions. Adrian is an Aerial Morph, on his way to colonize the low-gravity planet Eridani VI with his scientist Partner, Michael. In violation of the rules of the Morph Projects, they’ve been lovers for months. Michael cares more about his work than anything, while Adrian doesn’t take anything seriously except Michael. Before they arrive at their new home, they need to curtail their relationship before it destroys their professional Partnership.
The colony ship is scheduled to arrive at their destination on Christmas Eve. Some old holiday traditions persist, but when Adrian and Michael have differing ideas about what’s best for their relationship and their careers, holiday gifts and ideas for new beginnings lead to crossed signals.
A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2014 Advent Calendar package “Celebrate!”.
Review: I learned something new from this story. Wings have wonderful uses beyond just flying! They work great as a gag to shut your partner up during sex!
I seriously enjoyed this story. Adrian and Michael are fantastic characters set in a vivid future where space travel is possible and humans are starting to colonize other planets. Michael and Adrian are partners in work and lovers behind closed doors. What makes this book different from other science fiction is the nature of their relationship. While other books that involve colonizing planets also have romance, that romance is usually between a human and some alien species. Michael is a traditional human, and Adrian, while technically a human, has been altered. He has been genetically engineered in a manner that would allow him to thrive on a low-gravity planet. His wings allow him to fly, obviously, but it also created a barrier. See, humans and their Morph partners are not supposed to get too close. Friendships are tolerated but even that much is frowned upon. And Michael and Adrian…well, they cross that boundary a lot. Michael realizes it shouldn’t be happening and feels responsible for Adrian, but his winged partner is incredibly convincing and doesn’t take no for an answer. Not that Michael really wants to say no. But, well, protocol and all that.
Though this story is so short, only clocking in at seventy-six pages, the world is wide open for a sequel. I was disappointed to discover the author only has this one book out from what I could see. I wanted to immediately read more from him. Is a sequel with Michael and Adrian possible? I certainly hope so. There is a lot of potential. This story focuses on getting to the planet of Eridani IV, but what about colonizing it? That would put a strain on the relationship, and it would be interesting to see what happens between Michael and Adrian when they are faced with new situations.
There’s also the added element of the different types of Morphs. While the only Morphs featured in this story are Aerial Morphs, there is reference to an Aquatic Morph, and I would love to read a story about them as well. Do they look essentially human but have the ability to breathe underwater? Or are they more like the traditional mer-creatures with a tail instead of legs?
One final note that doesn’t necessarily have to do with the story but I feel worthy of a mention is the author himself. As per the author’s notes and acknowledgements, he met, and then SAT DOWN and TALKED WITH Walter Koenig. As in Chekov. From Star Trek. How amazing is that? And they talked books and publishing. Maybe it’s just me being a huge Trekkie, but that little tidbit makes me think Leo is an author to watch out for. At least I know I will be keeping an eye on his future endeavors.
So, about that next book…
You can buy Under a New Star here: