Flashpoint: Cygnus

When Captain Fletcher Perry and the crew of the Terran Confederation frigate Falcata are sent to a backwater, independent colony in the Cygnus cluster, they expected to be overseeing a routine land rights dispute.

When they arrive, they find Marchovia embroiled in an all-out civil war.

As the frozen world becomes the focus of three stellar empires, Captain Perry and his crew find the only thing icier than the Marchovian landscape is the cold war at the heart of which they find themselves.

Flashpoint: Cygnus is a new novel coming in August of 2021 by B.K. Bass, presented by Kyanite Publishing. The book, and the planned series, seeks to draw together the best traditions of multiple genres: The gritty realism and action-packed adrenaline of military science fiction. The human drama and pseudo-nautical themes of space opera. All this tied together by the overarching tensions of a political thriller spanning the stars!

“The XO has the conn,” Fletcher said as he undogged the hatch and stepped off the bridge. As he walked towards the wardroom, only two thoughts ran through his mind. How badly had the pirates shaken apart the Falcata, and how many people’s lives had he just snuffed out? He ran a hand over his eyes as he stepped through the door to the wardroom. He wasn’t sure if he was ready to hear the answer to either question.

Learn more about the universe of Astra Nautica!

Two years in development, the universe of Astra Nautica is designed to be grounded in reality while reaching for the stars. Dozens of hours of research into fusion technology, wormholes, star maps, Einstein’s theories of Relativity, and more have lead to a foundation ready to support action-packed adventures that feel gritty, real, and entirely plausible. And, there are no aliens in Astra Nautica — mankind’s own worse enemy remains himself.

The helm officer keyed in the commands on his panel, and suddenly Fletcher was pressed into his seat with the equivalent force of Earth’s gravity. Metal clanged as loose panels clattered to the deck. “All right,” he said as he leaned forward, “get me within swatting range of this gnat.”

“They’re darting,” Lieutenant Kim called out. Her voice was still shaky, but she seemed less panicked now that they were under way.

“Helm, you have the stick. Don’t lose them,” Fletcher ordered as he strapped his chair’s safety restraints across his chest and fastened them.

Humanity’s dominion of the stars is divided into five major factions, along with independent colonies, powerful corporations, and criminal organizations all vying for a piece of the pie. Major hubs have grown around naturally occurring stable wormholes that opened the stars to mankind. Other colonies grew once we mastered fusion technology and developed the Singularity Drive, a technology used to open a wormhole at any point in space, albeit a highly unstable one. With restrictions on using these drives within a star’s gravity well, travel between colonies can still take days, weeks, or longer.

Shudders ran through the bulkheads as sparks flew from loose conduits floating in the passageway like writhing serpents. Captain Fletcher Perry grabbed a handrail to arrest his momentum, flipped himself over, and pulled on the first rung of a ladder to accelerate through the hatch to the engineering deck. “Chief Powell,” he called out as he floated down from the overhead into the main engineering compartment. “When am I going to have my drives online?”

A chaotic mass of conduits and cables wriggled in response, then a dark-skinned face popped out from between them as Chief Petty Officer Chloe Powell emerged. Her dreadlocks floated above her like Medusa’s own crown of snakes as she shook her head. “I’m working on it, Captain. Maybe if I didn’t have to stop what I was doing to—”

She was cut off by a sudden hiss as a cloud of blue vapor seeped out from the mass of loose conduits, punctuated by a man screaming.

In the universe of Astra Nautica, every day can turn into a life and death struggle in an instant. And in the darkness of space, you have only your own crew to call out to for help.

Science Fiction Genres – Part One

Interstellar space travel, alien invasions, nuclear holocaust, and futuristic computers; what do all of these thing have in common? They are all elements found within science fiction literature.  We looked at the history of science fiction in our last installment.  Many works of science fiction fit nicely into a well established set of sub-genres, while others defy classification in their uniqueness.  We already looked at several types of science fiction in our article on the ‘Punk genres (such as Cyberpunk,) but there are many more to discuss.  In this installment in our genre studies series, I will be covering some of the broad classifications used to define works of science fiction literature.

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