by Terri Morgan
GENRE: Sci-fi/Adventure/Martial Arts/Hopepunk
NUTSHELL: Jacqueline Chan and the Little Rascals meet Andy Taylor in space
LOGLINE: An accomplished older woman leads a tight-knit team to protect the Local Neighborhood. Together, they must find a way to stop the invading Olmeri from taking over.
Good friends, good food, good times, and some bad guys in the Local Neighborhood.
The Ambassador is a highly respected older woman. She’s well versed in the martial arts and multiple languages. She’s still got game but she’s not a ‘young vixen’ any more. She leads a team that includes several generations and races. She’d like to retire and find someone to teach, really teach. But the High Council has summoned her for a difficult new mission. She must go to distant Ka’len, try to get a treaty with them, and find out what the invading Olmeri are up to. She needs her team, the crew of her starship, her old friends, and a help from a new generation to succeed. The story is part mystic seeker martial arts adventure, part space opera, and part family sit-com. It’s not about ‘the one.’ It’s about five plus five plus five and more.
In his 1977, rock-and-roll classic, “Running on Empty” Jackson Browne sang “Everywhere I go, people need some reason to believe…. If I can get you to smile before I leave.” That’s what my story does. Gives people a reason to believe and makes them smile.
Jacqueline Chan and the Little Rascals meet Andy Taylor in Space.
You smiled. Pretty sure you did.
We want a reason to believe. So many of us these days are running on empty. Tomorrow is so close and so far away. The world is on the brink of change and we don’t know what it is. We’d like a little less tension and anxiety. Crying is okay, but we’d like to smile maybe a little more.
We want heroes who could be us. We want something familiar and comforting to hold on to. Something that we can relate to. Something that isn’t about everything and everyone being broken.
My story has elements that people will recognize and smile about. It’s normal, mostly. It’s new and fresh and old and full of all sorts of hooks and turns. It’s not the same and it is exactly the same. It will make you smile, cry a little, and smile again.
My story is pot roast, mashed potatoes, and green beans on Sunday with cherry pie if you like. It’s realistic and grounded. It’s a comfortable adventure. It’s not too demanding. It’s got interesting hooks. Always another secret to be revealed. It crosses generations and cultures, East and West.
My characters are from different worlds, different races. Yet they are mostly the same. ‘We’re all out here, different and together’ is one of my key themes. They live in a world where excellence is expected, integrity and honor matter, trust is earned, where wits matter more than firepower, friends are the best, everybody gets a seat at the table, and the good guys win most of the time. They laugh. They cry. And they get up to try again. They are interesting and approachable. I’d happily invite them to my house for dinner. They would politely refuse and invite me out to dinner instead.
My characters don’t save the universe. They try to do good. Sometimes they succeed. They are brilliant and humble, honest and kind. They are excellent at what they do. They fail sometimes. They are mostly regular, normal, outwardly average, incredibly interesting, quietly extraordinary people.
Throughout the story, there’s a sense of optimism that we can figure it out, even when a solution is elusive or unlikely. And we can have a good time even while we are doing some difficult things. There’s also the idea that people, even from different planets, are still people. We can make friends with others who may be just a little different than us and learn about their cultures and languages.
The bad guys are greed, avarice, and destruction. The Olmeri. They harvest planets for minerals and biomass. They don’t leave much behind. They use treaties and promises of improvements to get a foothold and then start taking over. Or, they simply take over.
The Local Neighborhood is both literal for the group of stars and a metaphor. The kids are going out to play in the neighborhood. Stay close enough you can hear your mom call you for dinner. Lots of places in my story will feel close to home comfortable. The places we are going are familiar.
Who are we? What do we want? How do we figure it out? Now what? Everyone is asking these questions. Globally. My characters don’t have the answers. They do have old friends to hold on to. They learn new ways of looking at the world and each other.
My story is about coming together and asking the questions even when there are no answers. It’s about friends. It’s about believing we can find a way through even when we don’t know where we’re going.
It’s how we find hope. We look at ourselves and we find good friends.
Come along. Let’s go for a ride. It’ll be fun. Promise.
“Yes, indeed, we’re ready to go. Where are we going again?” the Doctor asked.
“We are going for a ride on the Magellan, Doctor,” she said with just a hint of impatience.
If you like, you can read and listen to parts of the story at the links below.
Chapter 1: Departure Day Part 2 In this episode, the Ambassador finishes getting ready and leaves for the orbiting space station to meet the Magellan. She is surprised by Commander Brandon telling her that the Magellan has a new Captain. She meets Captain Alexander Logan, tests him, and uses the Ancient…
Chapter 1: Departure Day Part 1 In this episode: The Central Alliance High Council has called First Contact Ambassador Micha Lawrence for a dangerous mission. The invading Olmeri have been spotted just outside the Local Neighborhood, near the Hyades Cluster. The High Council wants her to go out there, try to…