I’m going to tell you about the story I’m working on, but first I’m going to tell a short story about how the story came to be. I was writing “The Neon Roadhouse,” which became “A Promise and the Price,” which is out on Kindle now. The agent I was working with suggested that I change the narrative voice from the male protagonist to the heroine. It was crazy talk; I’m a dude, always have been, what do I know about writing a woman?
Turns out, once I wrote it from her perspective, I can’t imagine it any other way. But, I had her going through his work (he’s a writer), and I had to stretch the bit out a little, so Beth had the idea of combining a train robbery story with a lost in space story. Trey wrote the story for her.
Flash forward to one of my favorite test readers reading the reboot. Jamie Dodge was reading it and he called me, and says “What about this story you’re talking about? Outrunning Perdition? Have you thought about actually writing it?”
Well, no, I actually hadn’t. It was a paper thin concept, just enough to sound plausible in a 100,000 word manuscript. If you annotated the story, it wouldn’t even rate a minor footnote in my thought process. I wrote the scene and moved on… except… once Jamie mentioned it, I couldn’t stop thinking about.
So flash forward about two years, Jamie and I were talking when I was on my way to Kalispell to get my kids, and after I got them, we were going to Evan and Cammie’s for a play date between his boys and mine. Jamie was stuck on the story he was working on, so he asked me for a story pitch. I gave him one. It became “The Forgotten Edge” and let me be clear about something. I gave him three sentences. What I thought it would become, if I wrote it, and what Jamie made were mindbogglingly different.
Anyways, a few months pass. I’m slogging through the rewrite for “The Places in Between,” and recovering from my accident. Jamie asks me, “have you thought about Outrunning Perdition?”
The short answer is yes, from time to time. The long answer is, I have some ideas for it, but my primary interest is in the people in the Citadel (bear with me and just accept this for a moment), and I have no idea how to write the Outcasts. Well, I have a brilliant idea. Jamie took a three sentence idea and made it into an awesome sci-fi survival story, why not ask him to write the Outcasts? He says let’s do it. So… Outrunning Perdition? Look for it May, 2015.
What is Perdition? It is a train that runs from the Citadel to an iron mine about 20 klicks away. But I get ahead of myself.
Imagine a time in the not too distant future where private corporations are in the business of settling distant planets. Imagine the scenario runs like this: we settle in three waves. The first wave is technical specialists and terraformers. The second wave is a couple hundred hard men to lay the groundwork for the future settlers, who pay large sums to move off planet. A couple hundred hard men working a new planet are going to need some entertainment, so there are hookers, one for every ten men, with five year sterilizations to avoid pregnancies while the planet is being prepared.
After the hard men are dropped on a planet (for the sake of argument, we will call it Beta V), there is an economic calamity on Earth and Omniverse, the corporation that sent them out, goes bankrupt. There will be no settlers coming.
Forty years pass. By now, men only outnumber the women about five to one, because once the boy babies are old enough to fend for themselves, they are exiled into the wilderness. The men in the Citadel have control enough of the planet to live a pretty decent standard of living. The mine and a basic foundry provide them with some comfort. The Outcasts (the exiled boy babies) want some of that comfort. Theirs is a hard life, basic subsistence, nothing more. The train goes through once per day, relieving the miners and taking the product back to the Citadel. It is the only way in or out of the Citadel. The Outcasts hatch an audacious plan to get back their birthright.
Outrunning Perdition, look for it exclusively on Kindle, Spring 2015.
Stephen Leuchtman has been writing for almost three decades. His first published novel, A Promise and the Price is available on Amazon now, along with his short story, My Time in Purgatory. Look for his second book in the Promises series to come out Spring of 2015…
Jamie Dodge is a new indie writer on the science fiction scene. He has been reading since he was three years of age and has never lost his passion for books. One day he wondered if he could write his own. So he did. His first book, The Forgotten Edge is available now on Amazon…