A Sneak Peak: Star Riders prologue

Magnificent CME (Coronal Mass Ejection)

Since I’m getting close to having a version of my novel Star Riders ready for Beta-readers, I’ve decided to give you all a sneak peak of the prologue, as well as the “blurb” that describes the whole book.

First off, here’s the blurb:

Earth’s first colony outside the solar system has a problem, and they’ve brought in astrophysicist Bacary Swift to solve it. But it’s not long before he stumbles onto an alien artifact that leads him to a strange community of alien planets far away, where he finds himself mixed up in their civil war. And all he wants to do is find his missing brother and a way home.

I plan to use that on the Amazon page as a concise non-spoiler description to intrigue people enough to buy the book, or at least try a sample, which will include the prologue, and the first two chapters (enough to whet their appetites and hopefully leave them wanting to know what happens).

Without further ado, the prologue:

He really wished he hadn’t done that.

Alarms blaring, Matt struggled to reroute the remaining power to the thrusters and get his ship away from this black round disk. Kilometers wide but paper-thin, he had thought it just a trick of his eyes or something he could even pass through. But trying to land on it was a real mistake.

He finally managed to move his small ship about a hundred meters above the featureless black surface, and he shut off the warning alarms. Touching that thing had devastated his ship. The main drive was shot, and the maneuvering thrusters didn’t have enough power to get further away from it, but he could use most of what he had left to give himself a good push forward, to skim along at this altitude above the series of disks apparently hanging above this star.

Of course, the regulations said, in a loss-of-power situation, he should get into the emergency coldsleep chamber and wait for help. Not that he expected any. The comms were fried, and none of his beacons had survived. No one back on the colony knew where he was, or even that this thing was here.

But how could he stop now? This was no natural phenomenon, it had to be an alien construct. And he had discovered it. Matthieu Swift, the first person to find real evidence of intelligent aliens, a massive structure circling the first star colonized by humans. He dismissed any further thought of the coldsleep chamber, and hit the thruster control. He was pressed back in his seat for several seconds, and then settled into a coast as the last of his thruster power ran out. He watched the huge black disks passing below him, strung together one after another like links in a chain that seemed to extend forever.

He focused his forward camera on the disks ahead, and was surprised to see a purple cylinder, hovering over one of the disks. Was that some kind of ship? Were these the aliens who made this thing? And what if they’re trying to contact him right now? Comms are out, and he’s flying right at them. He thought of all the movies he’d seen about first contacts gone awry.

Moments later, he was suddenly thrown forward in his seat restraint as the ship lurched to a halt near the mysterious ship. He had hoped they were peaceful, but grabbing his ship certainly wasn’t very friendly. At least they hadn’t shot him down with lasers or something. And now that they had him, what were they going to do with him?

He didn’t see any antennas or weapons on the ominous alien ship. The only features were some odd-shaped glowing bulges. No apparent propulsion drive, no hatches, no windows. He began to think maybe it wasn’t a ship, maybe it was an automated station of some kind. Maybe it was just here to observe the chain of disks, like he was. 

Just when he started to relax, blinding white light filled the ship’s cockpit as if it was burning right through the hull. Matt felt himself falling backwards, his legs coming up as his head went down, and then there was nothing but black.

Hope you liked it, and it leaves you wanting more! Let me know in the comments.  As always, if you want to be a Beta-reader and read the whole novel for free, be sure to click the Follow button nearby.  I’m still on track for that to happen Feb 1, so don’t delay!

Author: RickAAllenSF

Semi-retired engineer, now a SF author. Recently moved to Colorado Springs, where I work in front of a window looking out at Pikes Peak.

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