It’s Father’s Day, and my book Unexpected Rain got included in a promotion this weekend (see the bottom of this post). It got me thinking: while I won’t deny that it’s a great gift for any sci-fi loving fathers out there, if the main characters of the story were to experience Father’s Day, it may not go so well.
Stanford Runstom is an officer in Modern Policing and Peacekeeping – ModPol for short. The interstellar organization provides the few colonies outside of Earth’s solar system with justice and defense services. Runstom’s mother served ModPol as well, as an undercover agent. She infiltrated the criminal outfit known as Space Waste and eventually had to go into a witness protection program. Throughout Runstom’s childhood, he and his mother lived on the move, spending most of that first decade in a spaceship. Because his mother was always on the move and afraid to make permanent connections, he’s never known his father. Once Runstom dared wonder if she’d met the man before she went into wit-pro, but his mother shot it down sharply.
Jack “Jax” Jackson is the dome life-support operator who finds himself accused of mass murder when an entire block is asphyxiated because of codes run from his console. Jax lost his mother a few years back to a terraforming accident. He and his father handled the loss poorly, turning against each other and growing distant. Jax’s father is an engineer and always held hopes that Jax would follow in his footsteps, but depression, apathy, and occasional transgressive behavior held Jax back (thus the lowly operator job). Eventually his father moved to another domed planet and remarried, and the chasm between them grew wider. When Jax is arrested, he can’t bring himself to even call his father, opting instead to send him a short message via his lawyer.
Dava is a cold-blooded Space Waste assassin. She loved her parents both very much, and when she was young, the family was packed into one of the shuttles from Earth to the colonies; a “doomed to domed” mission. When she had arrived, she came out of her sleep tube to find that her parents had been jettisoned because of the Earth-born sicknesses they carried. Dava was left to live in foster care until one fateful day in her late teenage years when she met Moses Down, head boss of Space Waste. Moses “liberated” the outcast Dava from a life of mediocrity by making her into a criminal and a killer. In many ways, he has become a father-figure to her, though she resists such a notion, unconsciously afraid of becoming too close to people she might have taken away like her birth family.
I don’t point all this out to be a downer, I just got the urge to share. Some of these character details come out in the text of the first book, some of them come out later in the trilogy, and some may never come out. But they are there in the layers. My hope is that although this trilogy is of the thrilling noir space opera variety, you’ll find these characters to be complex and deep. At least a little!
Oh, and if you do have a father that isn’t unknown, estranged, or space debris, wish them a Happy Father’s Day and buy them a book! The best fathers love a good book!