Thanks for having me as your guest today to talk about Pets In Space!
A little over a year ago, Pauline Baird Jones and I were talking about how much fun it would be to pair pets with science fiction romance stories. Of course there have been pets in science fiction before, like Muffy the Daggit in “Battlestar Galactica”, Jonesy the cat in the first two “Aliens” movies or the fire lizards in Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series. But we wanted to have the pets be much more important characters in these stories, along with the human hero and heroine of course.
We invited a few other authors to ‘play’ at using this writing prompt and the anthology came together.
For my story, “Star Cruise: Stowaway”, I knew I wanted to place the events on board the Nebula Zephyr, my intergalactic luxury liner. I figured the ship’s cargo master and his two pets – a cat and her alien sidekick – would be the first to find a stowaway in the hold, and then the plot took off from there. Owen, the hero, and the two animals appeared in Star Cruise: Outbreak as secondary characters so it was satisfying to give them their own story.
Here’s the blurb for the anthology, and the blurb for my story:
The blurb for Pets In Space:
Even an alien needs a pet...
Join the adventure as nine pet loving sci-fi romance authors take you out of this world and pull you into their action-packed stories filled with suspense, laughter, and romance. The alien pets have an agenda that will capture the hearts of those they touch. Follow along as they work side by side to help stop a genetically-engineered creature from destroying the Earth to finding a lost dragon; life is never the same after their pets decide to get involved. Can the animals win the day or will the stars shine just a little less brightly?
New York Times, USA TODAY, Award Winning, and Best selling authors have eight original, never-released stories and one expanded story giving readers eight amazing new adventures and one expanded story that will capture your imagination and help a worthy charity. Come join us as we take you on nine amazing adventures that will change the way you look at your pet!
10% of the first month’s profits go to Hero-Dogs.org. Hero Dogs raises and trains service dogs and places them free of charge with US Veterans to improve quality of life and restore independence.
And the blurb for Star Cruise: Stowaway:
Cargo Master Owen Embersson is shocked when the Nebula Zephyr’s ship’s cat and her alien sidekick, Midorri, alert him to the presence of a stowaway. He has no idea of the dangerous complications to come – nor does he anticipate falling hard for the woman whose life he now holds in his hands. Life aboard the Nebula Zephyr has just become more interesting – and deadly.
An excerpt from the beginning of the story:
This was the time of day he enjoyed most, when all his crew had gone off duty and the Nebula Zephyr’s top cargo deck was quiet. Sure, more work remained tomorrow to get the cargo squared away properly and ready for the next stop, but there was no rush, being several weeks out. Cargo Master Owen Embersson surveyed his desk in the tiny office on Deck 18. Time to leave the place to the ship’s AI, go have his dinner in his cabin and then resume work on the scale model of a long-vanished temple he was building. This one was incredibly intricate, and he’d charge the customer triple the usual price.
Stepping onto the echoing deck, he called for Moby. She spent most of her evenings hunting vermin lurking among the monstrous crates and containers, but she usually passed the first part of the evening in his cabin, eating the incredibly expensive cat food he had the ship’s AI keep in stock. Not much else to spend his salary on. “Come on, cat, I want my dinner even if you don’t,” he said to the elegant vision in white fur who trotted from the murky recesses of the deck. How she stayed clean when she spent her days prowling the cargo deck, he’d never know.
Purring, she came to his steel-tipped work shoes but evaded his effort to pick her up, moving just out of range the way felines did, as if cats could teleport. Moby scampered toward the towering stacks of cargo then turned. Seeing he’d failed to chase her, she sat, tail twitching, head tilted, eyeing him.
“What‘s the matter with you? I’m not in the mood to throw cat toys and retrieve them right now.” Embersson headed toward the gravlift. Moby regarded the entire ship as her territory and could find his cabin for her dinner when she was hungry.
In the next minute, he nearly tripped as she rubbed his ankles, nipping at one in passing. Swearing, he caught himself with a hand to the bulkhead. “What in the seven hells is wrong with you tonight? Giving me a concussion won’t get you fed.”
Moby yowled at him and ran toward the stacked cargo again.
Figuring she wanted to show him a recent kill, which he’d then have to dispose of, he followed.
Moby moved faster now that she’d gotten him with the program.
He followed her around the corner of the pallet the ship had taken on earlier in the day and found Midorri, the Zephyr’s other pet, crouched beside a free trader container. “What mischief have the two of you gotten into now?”
Best Selling Science Fiction & Paranormal Romance author and “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happily Ever After blog, Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.
Three time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances! She recently was honored to read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “City On the Edge of Forever.”
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Veronica-Scott/e/B006CUCJ92/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
Thanks for sharing this new release, Veronica. Best wishes to you and all the authors. This book should be so much fun!