Monday, November 26, 2018

Saucy Cranberries 9: WRITTEN IN THE STARS, YA Space Opera OV

Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Space Opera Ownvoices
Word Count: 89,000

How Did You Fall for Writing: 
I was *that kid* in elementary school, who read books beneath my desk instead of paying attention to the teacher. I devoured so many books that they kind of had to get out somehow, and so I wrote my first book, a picture book in glittery gel pen called “Alegna and the Secret World of Unicorns” (Alegna because it’s my name backwards…I was eight, okay?). And I’ve never looked back.


Seventeen-year-old Kalizah Xin will bring on the collapse of human civilization.

At least that's what Minerva—the Interplanetary Union’s largest and most accurate quantum computer—predicts. And Minerva has never been wrong.

To survive the hefty bounty on her head, Kalizah hides her identity, using her drones and hacking abilities to rise to the top of the pirating world and become the ruthless and calculating captain of the starship, Starchaser. Kept alive by a mechanical heart, there’s no depths Kalizah won’t sink to to steal her next batch of the rare element starcore, the only thing that can power it.

When the system's largest starcore mine is destroyed in a terrorist attack, powering her heart suddenly becomes a whole lot harder. Kalizah and her crew join the terrorists to sabotage their plans to destroy starcore—only to grow closer to them and understand their goals. Starcore is how the Interplanetary Union keeps its iron grip on power, punishing dissenters and keeping rebellion in line.

As Kalizah sabotages her new allies to power her heart, their hopes of a reformed solar system grow further and further away. She's always written off Minerva's predictions as the ramblings of a machine in error, but in the end, she must decide if she'll betray humanity—and the people she has grown to care about—to save the life she's fought so hard to cling to. 

WRITTEN IN THE STARS is a YA science fiction complete at 89,000 words. It is #ownvoices, featuring a protagonist that shares my Chinese heritage, and a diverse cast of POC characters and a budding f/f romance. It is in the vein of the action-packed space adventures of FIREFLY and the high-stakes heists and gray morality of SIX OF CROWS. I’m an electrical engineering student using my knowledge to write (mostly) plausible science in my science fiction.

First 250 words:

The familiar whir of my heart hums through my chest, an ever-slowing rumble deep in my bones.

A few hours left.

I lean back in the Starchaser's co-pilot's seat with a sigh. There's enough of my starcore stash left that it's not a big deal, but it would still be nice if this job worked out. 

Above me, the vast darkness of space presses on the cockpit windows like a great maw, a reminder this darkness has been here long before I first opened my eyes and will be here long after the last time I close them.

That’s a scary thought to some, that eternity can take so little notice of them. But I’ve always found it comforting. Because no matter what I do, on the scale of billions of years, I’m not even a blip.

So why not take all I can and run with it?

“Captain?” Tink glances over from the pilot’s seat. “You snoozin’ over there?”

“What do you think?"

“Yeah, yeah. Our great and almighty leader never sleeps. May the system tremble before your creepy hyper-vigilance.”

“Did you need something, Tink, or do you just want to annoy me?”

“Just a reminder to be ready. Five minutes until contact with the target.”

“I know."

A huff. “Of course you do.”

Tink goes silent, and I return my attention to the darkness. Tink’s scanner is keeping an eye on the ship carrying Evander Sugiyama—our soon-to-be hostage that we’ll ransom for starcore—but that doesn’t mean I’m not watching too.

1 comment:

  1. Please send along the full synopsis and 25 pages to with Fall Fiction Fest in the subject line! -Laurel Symonds