A week or so back I posted about a couple of scenes that had popped into my head from a new story. Both featured a female character who, at the time, I was thinking of calling “Ember Starr.” The character name didn’t stick, but it remains part of the title, and the character and scenes certainly did stick. I’m looking at this thing as a novella now, and have a potential market in mind. It’s largely a space opera, set on the planet Kelmer, which lies “under the ember star.” The character’s first name now is “Ginn,” and I haven’t decided on a last name. Maybe it’s not needed but I’m keeping my ear open for a good one. I’m leaning toward a short “H” name, like Hollis, so if anyone has a really cool, tough sounding suggestion I’d love to hear it.
Kelmer rotates around a red dwarf sun called Gatari, but which is almost always called the “Ember Star.” Life would not be possible on Kelmer without two huge artifacts in orbit that are called the “Collectors.” These amplify the sun’s low energy output and radiate it onto the planet’s surface. Because of these, the planet is fairly cold and dim, but livable, at least in many areas. There is a native race on the planet, although at a very low technological level because Kelmer largely lacks metals.
Ginn’s father was an astronomer who brought her from Earth to Kelmer so he could study the artifacts, which are alien in construction. He died in his search for the answers when she was 14, leaving her alone on this strange world. Eventually, the story will have Ginn solving the mystery her father couldn’t, though I have no idea what the solution is myself yet. That’s part of the fun of writing. But before Ginn can solve that mystery she has another mystery to deal with, a being who comes to hire her for a job who appears to be someone who could not possibly exist. And, it seems the local war/drug/crime lord wants the being dead. Action and violence ensue. You know I love ‘em.
Probably the closest influence on my story would be the Northwest Smith tales of C. L. Moore, or the novel The Sword of Rhiannon by Leigh Brackett. Both of these women wrote about male blaster-toting characters, so in their honor I’m writing about a female blaster-toting character. The work will be dedicated to them.
I’ll leave you with a brief passage from what I’ve done so far. This is the realization of the scene I described before for you, where Ginn wakes up with an apparently bad hangover. Not long after this a strange visitor arrives. And then all hell breaks loose.
Ginn tried to spit. And found she had no saliva. Then she tried opening her eyes. One of them worked. A moment’s rubbing got the other one open too. Her head ached. Even the dim sun coming through the skylight above her was too bright for her eyes, and the fact it was morning told her she’d slept a long time. She’d gone to Red Jac’s almost fifteen standard hours before the Ember Star was due to rise for its fourteen day reign.
Sitting up, she thrust blonde hair back from her face, let her bleary gaze take in her surroundings. She was at home, in her own bed. She’d managed to get off her light-lenses, boots, and blasters, but little else.