Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank A.L. Bates for stopping by today.
Author: A.L. Bates
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing
Genre: Gay Fiction, Science Fiction
Fleeing from a troubled past that left him feeling tarnished and used, Sean finds work as a medic aboard the deep sea mining ship Ariel, on a distant planet.
Under the leader ship of the infuriating, yet charismatic, Captain Joel Riley, Sean settles into his simple, but dangerous, new life. It’s a life he soon comes to love; albeit one in which he conceals his sexuality and avoids intimacy.
But Sean’s new world is turned on its head when an old face threatens to expose him for the man he used to be.
With Joel’s help, will Sean learn to come to terms with his past and become a man he can be proud of?
Set on an oceanic moon orbiting Jupiter, the crew of Ariel, a deep-sea mining ship begin another season drilling for precious minerals in the perilous off-world sea. This is the setting for my debut novel, Deep. But why did I choose this setting and not something more obvious… space for example?
Well initially I did set out to write a spaceship novel. I love the idea of the isolation and loneliness of space, the possibility that the only thing protecting you from total annihilation is a rusty, old metal tank. One engine fail, one crack in the machine and that’s it—no second chances, no hope. But, before I had this setting in mind, I had my characters and before I could rocket them off to a distant galaxy I hit a snag—what are they doing in space?
For me sci-fi—although brilliantly fantastical—has to be credible. To have a character like Captain Joel Riley—a simple man who only knows how to work and keep his ship afloat—I needed to give him a credible purpose. And therein lies the problem with space. Joel isn’t a rogue or a tyrant, he’s not a pirate (in either space or sea), he’s just a hard-working, hot-headed leader trying to stay afloat and alive. He’s not curious enough to explore, not disciplined enough to fight, not shifty enough to trade. No matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t see him trawling around the galaxy. He needed to be grounded in one place, with one purpose, but still exposed to an isolation like space travel.
Luckily one sentence continually rolled around in my mind—he’s trying to stay afloat—and there it was. The setting started to write itself. With the backdrop Joel’s character started to take on more shape too. Now he was the captain of a mining vessel, his purpose and his history became clearer. Son to a family of miners, he was bred into a culture centred round the ocean. His crew, his family, even the people we don’t see—those on the Titan shore—are the same; working class, long suffering, and abandoned by Earth’s elite.
This setting also became the perfect place for a man like Sean to enter. Sean, once one of Earth’s super rich, flees to the darkest parts of civilisation, carrying a conscience so heavy he’s already sinking. He is a contrast for Joel and for the people of Titan. Although, for us readers, Sean is more like us than any of the other characters—Earth-born, educated, civilised—he’s the oddity here. The Deep more than anything else in the book, highlights the characters of both men and their journey through the story.
All of this, of course, isn’t to say there isn’t any space travel. Sean obviously had to reach Titan. But this isn’t a story about exploration, this is a story about acceptance and, as Sean learns, sometimes you have to go real deep to confront all of your demons.
A L Bates
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About the Author
A.L. BATES has a keen interest in Sci-fi and adventure novels and enjoys writing stories with strong characters in imaginative backgrounds. Although an avid writer, Deep is the first published novella by A.L. Bates.
A.L. Bates can be found on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoralbates
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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