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Five Lessons I Learned from a Galactic Bartender
An average dude in the galaxy, Craze dreams of owning a successful bar and becoming a business tycoon. The galaxy can’t grant him a single wealthy customer let alone his loftier goals. He lives on an arid moon full of dust, yet he has a few things going for him: living hair so he’s always perfectly groomed, irresistibly soft skin, good looks, a good size, and he brews a fantastic ale, malt, and mead.
What I learned from him:
- The next person through the door will most likely be unhinged. Nothing sane travels the starway connecting the solar systems of the Backworlds. Keep a stunner handy.
- Practice a good growl and sneer. Appearing intimidating is a handy tactic, and it’s OK if the loons believe you’re loonier. It’ll keep them far away, which is the best place for the loons to be.
- Chocolate is better than gold. It’s the most valued commodity in the Backworlds. Yeah, it’s great stuff. Always keep a stash.
- Good business will multiply chips. Bad business will drain accounts. Location and connections will get you far. However, nasty past affairs can bring down the best-crafted plans. Don’t leave baggage hanging around.
- It’s OK to have a big gooey center that oozes for a good sob story. Living on the edge of the Backworlds is harsh. Everyone needs a break and most need a second chance.
I also learned survival can be bigger than myself and to pour my heart into what I make.
In the far future, humanity settles the stars, bioengineering its descendants to survive in a harsh universe. This is the sixth book in the science fiction series, The Backworlds. A space opera adventure.
The Backworlds hang by a Quantum string, a thread about to snap. Annihilation is coming if Craze can’t stop it.
The genocidal alien he had trapped breaks free, destroying a ship belonging to the Backworlds’ oldest enemy, the Fo’wo’s. The murderous alien wants to overtake the galaxy. The Fo’wo’s want another war.
The Backworlds’ best chance to survive is to overcome a century of hate and forge an alliance with the Fo’wo’s. Because of his history with the alien, Craze is recruited to represent his people. Now he’s the most hated man in the galaxy.
The looming war will be a holocaust unless he can stop it, knowing salvation comes at a price.
Boing Boing gives The Backworlds 5 stars! “This is a fun, fast paced novel that reminded me a bit of early Heinlein”.
Enjoy an excerpt:
Engaging the thrusters on the jetpack strapped to her back, Rainly steered herself through space. Its vastness terrified her. Her skin prickled. The man in the white robe jabbering in her head overwhelmed her, blocking out all until she found herself back on the Sequi opening the box she had retrieved. She had hoped answering the man’s summons would end her blackouts.
“I don’t want to know what I did,” she whispered, her teeth chattering and limbs quaking. She couldn’t take much more of this.
The size and dimensions of a coffin, the box was also a ship. One more sophisticated than the Sequi. Using a control paddle, Rainly maneuvered a dolly under the box, then she wheeled it into the living quarters. Her sister had moved the couches, creating ample space.
Her hands clapping, her sister beamed. “Let’s meet our master.”
Together they pried open the chamber per instructions pulsing in Rainly’s head. The flood of data had to be making a clamor in her sister’s mind too, because she moved in the same ways.
Inside the box lay a brain in a sac of goo. Nothing like Rainly expected. “Is it a Fo’wo?” she asked her sister.
“Not yet. We have to reboot him first.”
Rainly had to wonder whether she and her sister had gone insane.
M. Pax is author of the space adventure series The Backworlds and the contemporary science fiction series The Rifters, plus other novels and short stories. Fantasy, science fiction, and the weird beckons to her, and she blames Oregon, a source of endless inspiration. She docents at Pine Mountain Observatory in the summers as a star guide, has a cat with a crush on Mr. Spock, and is slightly obsessed with Jane Austen. Learn more at:
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