I remember the very moment that this story leapt to life as a tiny spark of an idea in my mind. Over a decade ago, Google Wave had just been opened to public beta and many creative writing netizens, myself included, descended in droves snagging and issuing invites just so we could jump in and see what exactly we could do with that brand spanking new social network.
Yeah, we realized pretty quickly that while ambitious and full of potential, the project lacked the functionality that would have made it the perfect platform for creative collaboration. Eventually, most of us hightailed it back to Twitter.
Back then, in those days before all the racist lunatics discovered social media, Twitter was a truly a haven for creatives and just really awesome people to shout out, shoot the breeze and bounce really great ideas off each other… but I digress.
During the time before we got disgusted with Wave and skedaddled, there were those of us managed to form friendships and little cliques here and there and although we had originally crossed paths on Twitter, Brent Millis (Made in DNA / idiotandroid) and I got the chance to bounce ideas off each other and collaborate a little bit here and there.
The topic of one of our conversations turned to a possible collaboration on a scifi story, which got me thinking about a set of stories unfolding on a generation ship. Somehow, that lead to the topic of leviathan ships, i.e. behemoths.
I think Farscape was still on TV back then, so Moya might have been fresh on my mind, which I’m almost sure was what spurred me in that general direction.
The Lore of Hegira
Right then, the idea of a ship so massive that it would dwarf even the biggest planet in our solar system sprang to mind. Well, for one reason or another, the idea of collaborating didn’t pan out, but the leviathan was stuck on my mind.
The First Arc
A year or so later, I wrote a really long short story titled SLUMFAIRY. As I recall, Brent was the first person I asked to read my crappy draft but his response was encouraging and his constructive critiques and suggestions were uber helpful.
Bex Atria, a mercenary, is one of two billion denizens of Hegira, a wandering world of horror and boundless beauty. She’s done it all. She’s seen it all. Sumida is everything Bex isn’t. She’s about to turn Bex’s world upside down.
SLUMFAIRY got published in the Writers on the Wrong Side of the Road anthology in 2013. I wasn’t satisfied though. I was a bit mad at myself for stopping short at a novella, but in those pre-Adderall days, I really didn’t possess the wherewithal to write an entire novel.
The Second Arc
I wrote and self-published a sequel titled STARCHASER a few years later, and I actually got some positive reader responses.
Laila sets out across the galaxies alone, in search of the ultimate trump card to help her to wrest control of the leviathan ship, Hegira from those who would seek to steal her ancient birthright.
Even then, that darn idea just wouldn’t die. It’s been bouncing around inside my head for over a decade, so I figure why not rewrite the whole damned thing… and next thing I knew, a third installment was spawned.
The Final Arc. Maybe.
HEGIRA DESCENDS is the final installment of the series – I mean it this time – and this is where the two young starchasers get to reunite and their struggle for survival really intensifies.
The gang’s survival depends on Sumida’s courage, Laila’s talent for weaseling out of sticky situations, and Klang’s penchant for murdering anything that threatens the well-being of his beloved Bex.