AM Scott, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. I’m Kayelle Allen, author and owner of this blog. Happy to have you here! Please tell us about your book.
Lightwave: Clocker by AM Scott
Genre Space Opera
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): PG-13
Her secret frees trillions…
Discovery risks them all.
Saree’s got a secret. A big one. She tunes space fold clocks—the only thing allowing safe travel between star systems. She’s the only human Clocker. The security of trillions relies on Saree’s freedom. And they can never know.
Despite her best efforts, rumors fly. With a bounty hunter on her heels, Saree jumps on Lightwave Fold Transport, the safest option. But she quickly regrets her snap decision. Lightwave’s crew are mercenaries she barely escaped as a child. Do they suspect who she’s become?
Can Saree keep her secret life safe? She’d rather die than blockade and blackmail systems for a crime lord or evil corporation. And there’s worse out there…
Race across the universe, one step ahead of danger with Saree and the crew of Lightwave. Get your copy of Lightwave: Clocker, Folding Space Series 1.0, before freedom ticks away, one nanosecond at a time…
What species/races of people are in your book?
Lightwave: Clocker follows the human crew of Lightwave Fold Transport and the only human fold clock maintainer, Saree, but the universe includes many different species. There are many oxygen-breathing bipedal mammals, similar to humans, but there is a egg-laying hivemind reptilian species (the Sa’sa, the primary fold clock maintainers,) and lots of non-oxygen breathing species too.
Do you have non-sentient creatures or animals in your story? If so, what are they?
Language and Culture
What languages are spoken in your story universe?
The main language is Galactic Trade, but many humans retain ancestral languages and the aliens have their own as well.
If you created a language for the story, what is it called?
The Sa’sa have their own language requiring access to their hivemind to know what time they are speaking of. Without the hivemind, it’s very difficult to know if they’re speaking of the present, the past, or even the future. Maybe.
Please give us a few words in this language and their translation.
It’s never written down, but since the Sa’sa look a bit like velociraptors, there’s a lot of hissing and teeth-clashing.
In the culture of your story world, what is different from ours?
Faster-than-light travel is possible by ‘folding’ space. To fold space and not get lost, you need coordinates and the correct time. If you have the wrong time, you disappear! So, there are clocks at every fold location that must be tuned to a universal standard. The Sa’sa are the only species, until Saree, that can access the universal standard through their hivemind.
There are also artificial intelligences, including an ‘evil’ one, called Galactica. It wants to destroy all biological, sentient life, but it can’t tune fold clocks. And the Sa’sa suicide when captured, so Galactica must find a way to tune clocks, or a species that will under its’ control.
What special laws are important to your story world?
There is a ‘live and let live’ mentality across the universe, but each species and world has their own rules and laws. Might makes right is often the rule between species, but the fold clocks aren’t targeted, because the Sa’sa ruthlessly exterminate everyone involved in a conflict destroying a clock.
Humanity has many of the same problems they have now, including slavery and exploitation.
What rights (such as equality) are challenges for your characters?
Freedom is the main issue for my characters. They just want to do their jobs and survive on their own, not under the control of others.
Describe one of the worlds where your story takes place.
My universe is wide and varied. In the “core” the star systems and worlds are highly regulated and controlled; each species has a stranglehold on their people. Some planets are controlled by military, religious or other dominating groups.
Lightwave travels the “fringes” of known space, the “wild west,” which can be human or other species. I use our constellation names to specify the star systems and worlds Lightwave travels to, even though many of these worlds are nowhere near each other in reality. I use real names where possible, and if a world is named something like “HAT-P XXX” or “HD XXXX” I’ll often name the worlds after a scientist involved in the discovery of the planet. Wikipedia is my friend!
The main ‘world’ in my series is the Lightwave, a space ship capable of folding space, a ‘fold transport’ or ‘folder’ for short. Lightwave stays in space, and has two shuttles, Alpha and Beta, for taking cargo and passengers to stations or worlds. Lightwave can transport up to eight additional standard shuttles. They make a living transporting shuttles from star system to star system.
What makes this world unique?
Most of Lightwave’s crew grew up together, part of a mercenary force called Phalanx Eagle. When the crew was teenagers, their parents broke away from PE because their contracts became morally repugnant. During the PE contract that caused the breakaway/mutiny, Saree’s parents were murdered. She grew up in the human colony on the Sa’sa homeworld.
Tell us about the age of the culture in your story, i.e., are the people part of an ancient civilization, a newly formed group within an established culture, pioneer colonists, etc.
Lightwave’s crew comes from a mercenary/military background, trying to fit into the customer service world of shuttle transport. They’re rather like a stagecoach across the Old West. Saree is an orphan, most of her childhood spent in a less-than-ideal group home. She travels the universe under cover as a research scholar, searching for remnants of Old Earth music. Specifically, she’s looking for filk, the folk songs SF fans write to celebrate their favorite fandoms. That job lets me put a lot of fun pop culture details in my books. For example, much of book 3 is set on a space station with a science fiction convention, called LizCon.
What food or drink is available to your characters?
There’s a huge variety of foods. One of my supporting characters, Loreli, is a transgender chef trying to finish the space travel part of her formal training, so I get to make up amazing food!
In what ways was it helpful to have a map (or sketch of one) for your story? (Provide a link to an image, if available)
I use Wikipedia’s constellation map constantly for Lightwave’s travels across the universe.
Again, this map is from our planet’s perspective. In reality, many of these stars are hundreds of lightyears apart, but I treat them as a ‘flat space’ map. I’m writing space opera, not hard science fiction!
What are the physical characteristics of the race/species of your main characters?
My main characters are humans.
What physical differences exist in the way your characters communicate (i.e., telepathy, empathic abilities, etc.) with each other?
Mostly, they don’t have any special abilities. Almost everyone has an e-torc, a necklace-like cell phone that allows holographic displays.
What differences, if any, exist in the way your characters reproduce?
Most space travelers store eggs/sperm/genetic material frozen on a planet to prevent DNA damage by radiation.
Are there more than two genders in your story world and if so, what are they?
Human sexual characteristics are easily changed by body (DNA) modification. Most humans stay the way they are born, but changing isn’t unusual or taboo, unless you come from a strict religion-based world.
Sharing World Building Expertise
Please give us three tips you find helpful when creating a story world:
- Write it down! I built a spreadsheet so I could remember the details.
- Be consistent. If you create something that doesn’t work later, find a reasonable explanation for your change, like a main character suddenly realizes they’ve been taught the wrong thing all along.
- Use history as a guide, but modify it so your world isn’t an exact copy.
When you researched for your story setting, what kinds of things did you learn?
I learned a lot about the current state of space exploration, the new telescopes and satellites NASA and other countries are using/launching. Actually, a tweet about NASA launching a deep space atomic clock—a GPS-capability for deep space probes—is why I started creating this universe!
What things should writers avoid when building a science fiction world?
If you’re going to use current physics, make sure you’re right! If you’re making up a new system of rules, stay consistent or have realistic reasons for variations.
Share a resource you found helpful when researching for your story.
Here’s the specific story that got me started on the Folding Space Series: https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=4567
What’s your advice for writers who want to create a solid background for their story world?
Use the research out there now, and use history. If you’re going to use history, try to find something a little different, maybe not western societies. Or, modify it heavily. While my universe has underlying characteristics of the Wild West, the specifics are not western necessarily.
Where to buy Lightwave: Clocker
Publisher: Independent, Lightwave Publishing LLC
AM Scott Social Media
After twenty years as a US Air Force space operations officer, AM now operates a laptop, trading in real satellites for fictional spaceships. AM is a volunteer leader with Team Rubicon: Disasters Are Our Business, Veterans Are Our Passion.
Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/author/amscott