Broken Eye Books is publishing the serial novel The Mosquito Fleet by Andrew Penn Romine, a sci-fi horror tale that explores the fringes of the cosmos.
In the far future, humankind has settled remote frontier worlds thanks to the exotic science of biotics, a combination of organic and inorganic engineering that powers FTL drives, starships, and even synthetic humans.
The first story, "The Stars, How Different from Night to Night," centers on Lira, a synthetic spacer whose ability to interface with biotic stardrives ordinarily would make her an indispensable navigator. After her miscalculations result in a tragic accident, however, Lira can only find employment on a dilapidated passenger ferry on the poorest fringes of the Spin Colonies.
During a routine voyage, a mysterious comet unexpectedly appears in their path, and it broadcasts a strange signal that threatens to infect all biotic technology within range, including Lira herself. Haunted by her past mistakes, she must find a way to save her ship and the lives of all aboard while contending with one of the passengers—a violent religious fanatic who believes the comet has returned to show him how to purge humanity from the stars.
As the series continues, the dread truth about biotic technology is revealed, and Lira must come to grips with her own nature in order to save not just herself but all of humanity from its secrets.
“I’ve always loved frontier tales,” says Andy, “and there’s no frontier quite like space. I’m also fascinated by Mosquito Fleets, such as the collection of privately run mail packets, passenger ferries, and cargo ships that serviced the Puget Sound in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. These boats kept people connected to the outside world when the railroad and automobile couldn’t easily reach them. I thought it would be cool to play with that concept in a far-flung science fiction setting.
"I’m a big fan of mixing space opera with horror. Who knows what unspeakable evils lurk in the remotest reaches of deep space? What happens when we realize they have been awaiting us all along, luring us into the shadows of spacetime?”
Andrew Penn Romine is a writer and animator living in Seattle. His fiction appears in Lightspeed, Paizo, and various anthologies, including Fungi, Help Fund My Robot Army, and By Faerie Light. As a narrative designer, he’s also contributed to a variety of roleplaying games and mobile apps. His stories have been singled out for honorable mentions in Year’s Best Horror (ed. Ellen Datlow) and Tangent Online reading lists. He is a graduate of the 2010 Clarion West Writers Workshop.
In his day job, he has wrangled robots, dragons, and superheroes as a visual effects animator at leading animation and VR studios, including Walt Disney, DreamWorks, and Sony. He also dabbles in craft cocktails. (His favorite is the Sazerac.)
Find out more at andrewpennromine.com, and follow his day-to-day adventures on Twitter @inkgorilla.
Broken Eye Books is an independent press, here to bring you the odd, strange, and offbeat side of speculative fiction. Our stories tend to blend genres, highlighting the weird and blurring its boundaries with horror, sci-fi, and fantasy. Discover our books at brokeneyebooks.com.
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