J.S. Fields has a new FF sci fi book out: Tales From Ardulum.
One year after saving the Neek homeworld and redefining the people’s religion, the crew of the Scarlet Lucidity returns to the Charted Systems for a much-needed break. For Nicholas and Yorden, the Systems will always be home, but for Emn and Atalant, too many memories compound with Emn’s strange new illness to provide much relaxation.
TALES FROM ARDULUM continues the journey of Atalant, Emn, Yorden, Nicholas, and Salice as they try to define their place in a galaxy that no longer needs them while battling the artifacts of Ardulan colonization. Other stories include Yorden’s acquisition of the Mercy’s Pledge (and his grudge against the galaxy), Atalant’s exile from her homeworld, Ekimet and Savath’s romance, and many others.
The ARDULUM series blends space opera and hard science into a story about two women persistently bound to their past, and a sentient planet determined to shape their future.
J.S. Fields is giving away four prizes with this tour: a collectible soft enamel pin of the Mercy's Pledge (2), and a high res version of one of the interior illustrations (their choice, pick from Yorden, Nick, Emn, or Atalant) (2). Enter via Rafflecopter:
“She is nothing, anymore,” the president responded. “She is Exile.”
“You can’t!” Neek burst towards the door just as it slammed closed. She rebounded and fell back to the floor, her tailbone taking the brunt of the fall. The ship’s engines began to whine, and the floor jostled as the craft left the surface.
Neek ran to the controls and slammed her hands on the stuk interface. Through the viewscreen, she saw capital buildings, the Ardulan Temple, and then treetops as the skiff left the city and moved to the suburbs. She tapped command after command into the computer, but each try brought an angry beep and no change in course. The ship was on autopilot and password locked. She had no control.
Neek swallowed, trying to ease the ache in her throat. Wherever they stashed her, she would find a comm. She would smuggle out handwritten messages if she had to. She wasn’t going to give up. That she had lost the robes, lost the Guard…she could mourn that in time. Saving the forests, that was her job. Helping her people move beyond Ardulum so they could truly participate in the Charted Systems, that was why she did all this, right? That she loved piloting was just a bonus.
A low tremble went through the ship. Neek had never felt a skiff do that before. Had she lucked out? Was it malfunctioning? Neek sent another query to the computer. The ship was…
Neek blinked. It couldn’t be.
The ship was going up.
Neek frantically queried the computer. The viewscreen still showed treetops, but that silo in the distance…that had been there the first time she’d looked. It had seemed closer for a while, but now, she realized as she squinted, it was far away again. She was watching a prerecorded loop!
“No!” The skiff was clearly going up. Neek’s ears were popping, and there was a funny feeling in her gut. Her planet’s skiffs were not designed to leave even the lower atmosphere. Only settees could do that, and this was no settee. Whatever the president’s engineers had done to make it spaceworthy, it hadn’t been nearly enough.
Neek threw commands at the computer. Land. Coast. Glide. STOP.Each returned with a ping and the perpetual image of treetops. He couldn’t do this. He had no right to do this! What in Ardulum’s name was the president thinking? Neek pounded at the controls, and the recorded loop fuzzed out to reveal space. Endless space.
Text scrolled across the computer screen:
Hours of air left: 233
Gallons of water remaining: 2
Food rations available: none
Communication systems: disabled
Destination: high orbit around planet Neek
Entertainment options: one video available of Heaven Guard airshow #4194, highlighting the double barrel rolls of Guard Four; all Neek holy texts available
Neek screamed. She kicked the console, her boot denting the cheap biometal. The Neek did not leave their planet. They did not live on space stations or strange worlds. They stayed put, to wait for Ardulum’s return. And she…she was meant to rotup here, in Neek space—rot while watching a planet she could see but never again touch. Rot while the Heaven Guard executed flawless formations in Neek’s upper atmosphere, ignoring her gold coffin spinning by. Rot while reading texts she’d had shoved down her throat since she was old enough to read—texts that were slowly destroying her planet.
She would never get her settee.
She was only nineteen years old, and she was going to die, alone, in space.
And there was nothing she could do.
Know your Ardulum Characters
Pt 4 – Captain Yorden Kuebrich
Captain Kuebrich gets the least amount of screen time and POV chapters across the series, although his role is critical as the leader and all around galactic curmudgeon. In part four of this four part series (find the other three parts on the blog tour for TALES FROM ARDULUM), we explore ten random facts about Yorden that just didn’t make the cut into the final books.
1) Yorden can speak seven languages fluently: Russian, Polish, US English, Yiddish, Hebrew, Neek, and Common. He is passably good at Mmnnuggl
2) Yorden’s favorite scotch is a smooth, not too peaty but not too fruity, highland single malt. Twenty years old at minimum
3) The lucky bamboo that Emn eats on the Pledge in First Don is a cutting from a larger piece that was gifted to him at his high school graduation. It’s been with him a long, long time
4) Yorden has never seen Star Wars
5) After signing Atalant’s Journey Youth contract over to the Pledge, the two didn’t speak to each other for almost a month. When they did start trying to have awkward conversation it was mostly about why she got to wear shoes, and he couldn’t
6) Yorden is aggressively atheist
7) Yorden is the series only allo, cis, straight man
8) After the events in Third Don, he makes monthly calls to Hhffvnoll and his family, just to catch up
9) The first time he tried to haul andal trees for the Markin, Yorden killed every single one via overwatering. When he showed up with a load of dead trees he then proceeded to blame the Markin
10)Yorden secretly watches the news feeds from Earth to see if anyone is looking to get rid of another Buran-style shuttle. Yorden has big plans, you see. BIG plans
J.S. Fields (@Galactoglucoman) is a scientist who has perhaps spent too much time around organic solvents. They enjoy roller derby, woodturning, making chainmail by hand, and cultivating fungi in the backs of minivans. Nonbinary, and yes, it matters.
Fields has lived in Thailand, Ireland, Canada, USA, and spent extensive time in many more places. Their current research takes them to the Peruvian Amazon rainforest each summer, where they traumatizes students with machetes and tangarana ants while looking for rare pigmenting fungi. They live with their partner and child, and a very fabulous lionhead rabbit named Merlin.
Author Website: http://www.jsfieldsbooks.com
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