Oct 14, 2014

Merm-8





Musa Publishing is proud to present Eric J. Juneau's debut science fiction novel, Merm-8, released on September 26th, 2014.

Take a moment to discover what happens when a fantasy creature is found in a science fiction world:

It doesn't matter if you believe in mermaids. She believes in you.
Gene is a rogue-for-hire, using his one-man ship to make a decent living on the flooded Earth. Most of the population has been driven out to Seaplexes--artificial islands glutted with poverty, commercialism, and organized crime. His AI companion, Stitch, does most of the work of their salvage and smuggling jobs. Life is good.
Until a mermaid crawls into his ship's exhaust port.
Now it's not enough for Gene to avoid the mafia he's in debt to, enforced by bio-engineered hulks. Everyone wants to know what this fantasy creature is doing on a dying planet. Corporations want to exploit her. Old friends want to capitalize on her fame. Gene has to choose between protecting her and keeping himself safe. And all she wants is to return home.

Excerpt:
The back of the ship coughed, then revved. It made a screeching, sputtering noise, like chalk scraping against metal. A dying whirl followed. "That can't be good. Is it flooded?" Gene asked. "It's a salt water engine. It's supposed to be flooded," Stitch said. The monitor displayed a schematic of the engine. Various parts flashed as diagnostics ran their course.

"The fluid flow rate in the exhaust vent is below nominal parameters." "I'll check it out." Gene unbuckled his seat belt and headed out of the bridge. The last time something like this happened, the pipes were clogged with seaweed and trash. He crossed from one end of the ship to the other, through the cargo bay, to the last door marked ENGINE COMPARTMENT.

The room was bathed in orange, full of mechanical gears, camshafts, and pistons as thick as an oil drum. If the engine was on, the pistons would have been pumping up and down. But they remained frozen in mid-thrust. Gene squeezed through the assemblies and knelt in front of a small hatch stenciled EXHAUST PORTIn case of blockage, run purger. A small green button sat next to it. "So I run the purger?" "Yes. But first you should open the hatch and see if there's anything solid in there." "Oh, Christ." Going into the exhaust port meant getting wet, cuts and bruises from crawling on the floor's metal edges, and definitely tearing his clothing. "Do I have to? It's probably the school of smelt we ran into. The shredder'll blow them out." "If there's a rock or something, the purger could jam. That could cause sparks, which could disrupt the engine. And the reactor would" "Yeah, yeah, exploding ship."

The invention of the salt water reactor was a great boon to dwindling resources. But since it used the ocean for fuel, it had to be tightly controlled. Exposing it to the elements was the equivalent of touching a match to a pool of kerosene. Gene grumbled and crawled up to a door about a meter high. He rolled up his sleeves and turned the wheel-hatch. Newer, nicer ships had insulated engines to prevent things like this. And they didn't need all this maintenance. "Make me jump through all these hoops. Can't they make anything that" Gene pulled back the door. He stopped talking. "See anything?" Stitch asked. A few feet in, a young woman lay propped up on her arms. She was naked, or at least topless. Big, natural breasts hung down from her chest, obscured by long, wet, red hair with gold streaks. Her eyes were as wide as dinner plates. "There's a girl in the pipe." "What?" Stitch asked. Gene hunched down to get a better look. She wiggled her hips forward like a seal. "Say that again. There's a girl in the pipe?" "No, wait," Gene said. The girl clutched the edge of the doorway with her thin arms and pulled forward. "It's not a girl. It's a mermaid."


More about Eric J. Juneau:

Eric J. Juneau lives in Minnesota with his wife, two daughters, and a dog that's either very smart or very dumb. He writes science fiction and fantasy and received an honorable mention in the 2010 "Writers of the Future" contest. He blogs about his journey to become a 'capital-A' Author at http://author-quest.blogspot.com.

You can purchase a copy of Merm-8 here, and expect to see more great science fiction from Eric J. Juneau in the future.