Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Advancing Advanced Technology by E.G. Manetti @egmanetti


by E.G. Manetti
One of the most enjoyable aspects of science fiction is imaging fantastic technology; spaceships traveling at faster than light speed, weapons that fire deadly bursts of energy, advanced computing technology that makes today’s tablets and internet seem like a Gutenberg printing press.  These beyond advanced technologies are core to developing a compelling science fiction story.  But what happens when it is not a single story, but a series?  Technology does not stand still, and the best science fiction reflects that.  Consider the evolution of the starship from one Star Trek series to the next, culminating the bio-mechanics of Voyager.   

That notion of evolving technology set off a central story arc for the Twelve Systems Chronicles; the creation of a new type of interstellar ship that could explore the first habitable system discovered in over two centuries. From that one plot development emerged others; setbacks, competitors, and even industrial espionage.   

In’Dtale has described the Twelve Systems Chronicles as ‘some of the very best in Science Fiction action and romance . . . Wow! This series just keeps getting better and better!  Ms. Manetti develops each character and plot line with such exquisite nuance that the journey of discovery is a delight to enjoy. . .  few are more deftly written or more excitingly addictive.  The worlds are intricate and realistic; the characters are both heroic and flawed. The star that shines brightest, however, is Lillian.’   For more the chronicles, check out the February 2018 feature article. http://magazine.indtale.com/magazine/2018/february/#?page=30

I did not set out to author an epic series, but Lilian, Lucius, and the inhabitants of the Twelve Systems had other ideas. I planned the narrative to be single POV, Lilian’s.   Lucius was not having it, so now it’s multiple POVs.  I know how the adventure ends, and there will be a happily-ever-after because—for all the world-building, intrigue, perils, battles, and challenges—it is a romance.

All seven volumes are available in e-book on multiple platforms, and the first volume, The Cartel, is free.  Print versions are available through Amazon. Find links to your favorite bookseller here: https://egmanetti.com/the-twelve-systems-chronicles/

»◊« Where duty and passion collide »◊«

»◊« Bright Star excerpt »◊«

Milord sets a rapid pace to his large conference chamber, making Lilian grateful for her modest heels, which allow her to keep pace without stumbling. For a sevenday Lilian has speculated about this conference. The bitter rivalry between Blooded Dagger and Grey Spear spans a decade. An endeavor that requires the unified support of all three Serengeti cartouches must own exceptional importance. 

Clustered around the conference table are the Iron Hammer preeminence, Monsignor Elenora Odestil, her engineering seigneur, Kemeha, and his protégé, Fletcher Detrenti, along with milord’s kinsman Seigneur Marco and milord’s protégé, Nickolas. Seated next to milord, Seigneur Marco says naught as he sends a pointed glance toward the far end of the table where the Grey Spear contingent is notably absent. A short, compact man of sixty years with blunt features in a square-jawed face, Marco favors dapper styles. Close kinsman to milord, Marco is trusted with commercial endeavors involving high risk and high return.

At the sound of the chimes, Lilian pulls her attention from the puzzle of Marco. Grey Spear remains absent. Monsignor Sebastian Mehta’s delay is a direct challenge to milord’s preeminence.

“Marco,” Milord begins before he is interrupted by the opening of the door.

Monsignor Sebastian stalks in wearing his habitual frown, followed by the adoring Seigneur Ayesha, a pretty woman in her early fifties. Lilian finds the eighty-year-old Grey Spear preeminence reminiscent of a bad-tempered bulldog with his roughly hewn features, stocky build, jaundiced complexion, and muddy eyes. The conservative warrior is often a thorn in milord’s side, intriguing against milord’s interests and using every opportunity to undermine milord’s preeminence.

“Lucius,” Sebastian acknowledges, taking his seat, Ayesha to his right. The casual acknowledgment is as much an insult as the late arrival.

Lilian is amazed at the Grey Spear preeminence’s arrogance. Surely, he must know he is treading the edge of the Crevasse.

“Marco, if you please,” Lucius addresses his seigneur.

Rising, Marco ignites the large wall reviewer as he begins to speak. “Monsignors, both the Matahorn Alliance and Leonardo Society are committed to Bright Star . . .”

Bright Star. Lilian can barely believe her eyes. Marco is discussing the formation of a consortium for perilous interstellar exploration and colonization. It is the substance of legends.

I am the foundation of my family. Lilian forces calm as she considers the repercussions of milord’s ambitions.

“Both our partners have reviewed the findings of the Serengeti IX Discoverer and concur that there are two inhabitable bodies in the region beyond the Fourth System . . .” Marco continues his system-rocking discourse on Serengeti’s entrance into legend.

Stellar transit among the Twelve Systems is dependent on passage markers known as beacons; beyond these boundaries, stellar transit is perilous. Automated stellar discoverers routinely disappear without a trace. It has been two centuries since the last stellar explorer and its crew ventured from the Twelve Systems. To build a stellar exploration vessel is to accept almost unimaginable financial and physical risk.

“The Matahorn Alliance’s financial empire provides access to capital.” Marco presents the specifics of the partner arrangements. “The Leonardo Society holds the patents for the advanced stellar propulsion and atmospheric controls needed for transit through the beaconless expanse.”

“As devised, Serengeti will have the greatest share of Bright Star, controlling forty-three percent. The Matahorn Group will have thirty-six percent and the Leonardo Society, twenty-one percent. The delegations from our partners arrive in four sevendays to negotiate the formation. Before then we must assemble Serengeti’s contribution to Bright Star as well as prepare to negotiate for our partners’ resources,” Marco concludes.

On the surface, no consortium partner dominates. In reality, the Leonardo Society will not defy Serengeti without severe provocation. Serengeti and Lucius Mercio control Bright Star. Remarkable, devious man. Lilian sends an admiring glance at milord’s shoulders.

“There is a great deal to accomplish and limited bells.” Marco turns from visions of legend to the reality of commerce. “We must all accept a fair burden.”

The energy in the chamber takes on a new tone. Control of the Serengeti Discoverer’s data is not sufficient to justify Serengeti’s dominance in Bright Star. Vast wealth must be amassed to fund their share. Cartouche contributions will be the subject of intense negotiations. Under Lilian’s riveted observation, Sebastian Mehta’s belligerent expression turns sly, giving his features a repellant, serpentine aspect. The dangerous rivalry between Blooded Dagger and Grey Spear is about to escalate.

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