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August | 2020 | A. Michael Marsh

Monthly Archives: August 2020

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Mariner’s Wake Teaser

I wrote a quick teaser for Mariner’s Wake. It’s not a synopsis, exactly. Too long to be a pitch or a blurb, it’s just me telling you what to expect from this new story that I’m very excited about:

Mariner’s Wake takes place about eighty years in the future. Pacific coastal cities in the U.S. are ravaged every summer by hurricanes and have ceded territory to rising sea levels. However, some of the grim predictions regarding our oceans haven’t come to pass. The great plastic garbage patch has been cleansed. Some species of overfished sea life are coming back. And that’s all due to one people: The Mariners.

Refugees from a U.S. civil war some decades past, the Mariners have made the Pacific their home. Opinions about them are fiercely divided. Internationally, some applaud their conservation efforts. Most in the U.S. fall somewhere between mild dislike and outright spite. One shadowy bit of wisdom about the Mariners always seems to hold true: it’s bad luck to cross them.

This is the story of Kara Nkosi, a Navigator on the Mariner Vessel, Voyager. When an emissary from the U.S. government comes to Kara’s home island begging for help recovering a cache of unstable WMDs, she —and all her people— are naturally very suspicious. 

 Under threat of these weapons detonating in their ocean, the Mariners agree to help. However, an intelligence leak means that they aren’t the only people searching for these missing weapons. Kara and her ship will be pitted against corporate mercenaries and hardened criminals, all in the name of helping their enemy. An enemy who, it seems, may not be giving them the whole truth.

A Couple of Updates

You may have noticed I don’t post that often. I would apologize, but I’m not sorry. These days it feels a bit indulgent to post about writing when the nation (and world) has so many other, more important, things going on.

Over the past year, two short stories of mine, False Flag and Noble Memory, both received honorable mentions from the international Writers of the Future Contest. I might share them on the site, or I might try to get them published in order to reach a wider audience. Either way, it’s an honor to have been recognized in a contest with so many contestants.

My next novel, Mariner’s Wake, is now in the final revisions phase. It’s not a part of the Manal’s Resurgence series (The Changed, Survived) it’s a stand-alone in a different universe. I haven’t abandoned that series at all. For the readers who enjoyed those books, you will get a conclusion. I promise.

I had two reasons for writing in a new world this time around. First, I felt like it would be a good way to reach new readers. When I first wrote The Changed, there wasn’t quite as much post-apocalyptic sci-fi on the shelves. Even though I wouldn’t strictly categorize The Changed as such (due to spoilers that I won’t share here) there’s a certain amount of exhaustion when it comes to end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it fiction and people may not be as keen to give it a try for that reason. Hopefully, a reader who gives Mariner’s Wake a try and likes it may also pick up The Changed and start in on Oscar’s story.

Second, I had an opportunity this year to join forces with Brick Cave Media, a boutique publisher I’m very excited to work with. Bob, who runs the operation, offered me a home for a new story. It made more sense for this new story to not to be part of an existing series as it’s my first novel with this publisher. This past Saturday afternoon I spent some time on a podcast with Bob and poet Marcus Campbell. We talked books, influences, and Magic the Gathering. One of the reasons I’m excited about working with this team is how well our interests and influences match up. By working together I’m confident that Mariner’s Wake is going to be a story well worth reading.

I sincerely hope that anyone reading this post is doing well in these trying times. Especially if you live in the U.S. where there is so much fear and uncertainty. These are the times when we need to take care of each other more than ever. Some people will try (and have been trying for ages) to convince us that selfishness is king and that the individual is more important than the group. Of course you’re important. But so is your neighbor. Events like this global pandemic show us just how childish these viewpoints really are. Let’s do our part. Let’s be part of the solution. Let’s check our egos at the door and help each other where we can.