The Sixth Ship by Stephen Alexander
A passing black hole forces humanity to send the largest ships ever conceived, the Great Journeys, deep into the abyss of space to find new worlds to live on. Families such as the Grovers of Ventura city are divided between those that stayed behind and those that braved the journey to the worlds found by our real-life telescopes. The brothers of the divided Grover family made a pledge- to one day reunite the family if they survived after 2166.
Now it is 2505 and humanity has joined the powerful alien Horto Confederation. Carl Grover learns of his family’s pledge and of the Sol Sphere’s first FTL capable ship. Led by the Horto’s best engineer Antathon and joined by a reprobate cyborg with an attitude, they go forth to find human colonies on the trail of ‘bread crumbs’ left behind by their ancestors and the ships themselves. Can they find all of humanity’s Great Journeys on the red-dwarf orbiting worlds that became our last hope? Or will others find them first? Grab this new page-turning space adventure and turn those pages today!
Targeted Age Group:: YA and Adult
Heat/Violence Level: Heat Level 3 – PG-13
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I'm a big fan of space adventure films and wanted to add my own take to the genre. I made the focal point of story a family. A family divided by space, time, and culture. A humanity searching for its lost members amongst the stars. The idea of a family reuniting after centuries of drift seems interesting to me.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I had a lot of interesting ideas to draw on in my daily life but I didn't base any of the characters off of anyone in particular. However, I wanted a great deal of contrast between the thoughts and ways of pre-black-hole and post-black-hole Earth as well as the very alien characters who interact with them.
While Carl Grover was dying in space from an unlucky encounter of magnesium and water vapor, archaeologists on Earth dug up an old bomb shelter and found intact 22nd-century data servers. Also located in the room was a portable holographic projector, though it was lying on top of some roof debris and once passed over as scrap. One of the members of the dig team quickly figured out that it was still operational and hooked it up to the servers and a power source. Immediately, holographic messages played for the archaeologists.
“I am Tejas Grover,” began the first message, “and I used to live in what used to be Ventura City.” The hologram was of a male American of Indian descent, his face thin and gaunt, as if he had survived starvation. “It’s me and a group of 50 of us. I think we’re all that’s left of humanity in this region.” The hologram wiped his chin. “Maybe even in the entirety of North America. I can’t say for sure. We’ve received transmissions from Neo Tokyo, along with their new coordinates. Neo Tokyo survived! Isn’t that the will of God in action? We haven’t received any other transmissions from the other domes or shelters. Maybe they didn’t make it? It’s growing colder. Earth’s been knocked off orbit. And ten years ago, we were complaining about the heat!” Laughter in the background. The hologram looked down, then back at the people. “This message is for Jeffrey or Colin Grover, my brother and step-father. They were on the Oceania Great Journey to Ross 128B. If they or their relatives somehow still live, let him know I survived. That we will survive, and we will be reunited. Some day. God willing.” The hologram kissed his finger and blew it at the camera. Then he turned around. “OK, I’m done. There’s still some life in the bat-” and the hologram shut off.
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