Sunday, August 19, 2012

Introducing my next novel: "PERIAPSIS"

2 planets. 10 days of contact. 1 secret that could destroy both worlds.

"Planet in the Sky" Periapsis Concept Art by John Krissilas

After thoroughly enjoying the journey that was writing my first novel, the dystopian science-fiction adventure 151, I'm thrilled to announce that I've begun work on my second novel. The working title, "PERIAPSIS" refers to the closest point at which two planetary bodies come within their orbital paths. And as you might have guessed from this science-oriented name, this new story will be less dystopia and more space opera, taking readers on a journey to exotic worlds.
The inspiration for PERIAPSIS was the discovery of a two-planet solar system called Kepler-36 in June of this year (2012). About 1200 light years from Earth, the system features a rocky, Earth-like planet and a gaseous, Neptune like planet, both of which orbit closer to each other than any other known planets. In fact, every 97 days the two planets move into perfect alignment during the conjunction, separated by the shortest distance between them (only 5 times the distance between our Earth and its moon). Read more about this discovery here.

This got my blood pumping: how interesting would it be to have two planets, two worlds, two civilizations, that come into close contact with each other for a short period after which they are separated for many years? How would they interact, connect, and influence each other? Would one grow more powerful, would one accept (or reject) interaction with the other? I combined that premise with one of my favourite myths: Jason and the Argonauts. The archetypal story of a hero venturing into a different world with a crew, fighting off monsters, escaping the subterfuge of corrupt kings, winning the heart of an idealistic princess, and eventually making off with a awe-inspiring prize, has always been one I've wanted to retell. PERIAPSIS would give me that chance. 

Here is the initial summary/teaser query for PERIAPSIS. Let me know what you think, and stay tuned for more updates on this science-fiction epic!

2 planets. 10 days of contact. 1 secret that could destroy both worlds.

In PERIAPSIS (a YA sci-fi/fantasy complete at 94,000 words), a young farm boy from Illyria joins an emergency expedition to the coral planet Colchis, where he believes his long-lost father may be hiding.

17-year-old Jason Starboard has waited all his life for the Periapsis, the 10-day period when Illyria crosses orbits with Colchis, so that his father can finally come home. But when that fateful time arrives, tragedy strikes: Illyria loses contact with its envoy of ambassadors, the sunken cities of Colchis remain silent, and a battered, empty ship arrives with a single message: “beware”. Obsessed with finding out the truth about his roots, he leaves the safety of the farm and joins the emergency expedition to the planet in the sky. As the mystery deepens and the danger escalates, he begins to question whether the Illyrians have come as rescuers, plunderers, or victims of interplanetary deception. With just 7 days left before the Periapsis ends, he’ll have to partner with an idealistic princess, locate his father, and complete an ancient pilgrimage that may just be the key to saving them all.