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In the 26th Century, mankind has breached the light speed barrier and begun to colonize other planets. They’ve also learned to Design human beings, known as Morphs, for specialized colony missions. Adrian is an Aerial Morph, on his way to colonize the low-gravity planet Eridani VI with his scientist Partner, Michael. In violation of the rules of the Morph Projects, they’ve been lovers for months. Michael cares more about his work than anything, while Adrian doesn’t take anything seriously except Michael. Before they arrive at their new home, they need to curtail their relationship before it destroys their professional Partnership.
The colony ship is scheduled to arrive at their destination on Christmas Eve. Some old holiday traditions persist, but when Adrian and Michael have differing ideas about what’s best for their relationship and their careers, holiday gifts and ideas for new beginnings lead to crossed signals.
A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2014 Advent Calendar package “Celebrate!”.
Under a New Star is a nice change of pace when it comes to holiday reading—a story that happens around Christmas, and is set…IN SPACE. In the 26th century to be precise, where scientist Michael and his work partner Adrian, (a winged, angel-like modified human known as a Morph) are nearing the end of a months-long journey to colonize a new planet. One thing that is secret from their crewmembers (and is taboo for their program) is that Michael and Adrian’s relationship runs much deeper than professional, and when faced with the reality that they might have to end their affair or risk their careers, things start to go awry.
This was a fun quick read, and I appreciated the chance to read a sci-fi holiday story. At the start of the story, Michael and Adrian are just a few shorts days from landing on their new home, and those last hours are filled with both excited tension and menial labor as the crew has to tick off all the boxes on their check-lists to make sure they are safe to leave warp and prepare for landing. And then add to that mix a basket of anger and hurt-inspired miscommunications. (My internal subtitle for this story is “When lovers badly communicate…at warp speed!”)
Overall, a very imaginative story that could probably spin off into another, since hey, Michael and Adrian are starting on a whole new world! Length-wise, at 76 pages/23,000+ words, it’s also one of the longer holiday stories that I’ve read, and it was nice to have that space for further development, although I wish the main conflict wasn’t built around the MCs fighting between each other, but that’s really a me-thing since communication issues is probably one of my least favorite conflicts.
For sci-fi fans, this could be a good read for you, especially if you’re looking for something a little different, and I look forward to seeing what new worlds this author creates next. (And shout-out to the author, who has the flirtiest bio I’ve read.) :-)