What are you on about?!
Okay, celebration dance done and a well deserved drink in hand, I can announce I finally have a full draft for The Approach, the first novel in the Courage Colony series. What is this book and what's it about? Well, here's the blurb:
When nanites consumed our solar system, they killed every human they infected. Only one ship escaped. They named it ‘Courage’.
Errai Avila is the biological child of her parents, and shunned for it. She’s an unwelcome anomaly on a generation ship approaching its final destination. All she wants is to escape notice, but when Captain Jabir calls for volunteers to explore their new home, she must make a choice. Will she continue to hide in the mess hall kitchen, or will she cast off anonymity to finally gain respect?
The Approach is the first book in a gripping YA sci-fi series. If you like intense power struggles, grey choices, and strong, intelligent heroines, then you’ll love Holly Ice’s Courage Colony books.
Experience tells me you might have a few more questions. I'll do my best to answer them below but feel free to ask if I've missed anything!
Where did you get the idea?
I read and watch a lot of science fiction. From Doctor Who to The 100, I'm ready to binge watch/read, but I quickly run out of content. My favourite sci-fi stories are those which explore the human dilemmas and conflicts found in space environments and these books and shows seem to be in short supply. The current craze in sci-fi appears to be action – bounty hunters and spaceship fights, all good gallivanting fun... but that's not what I enjoy most. This series sets out to be a softer kind of sci-fi, one that focuses on power, love and respect over violence. I hope it's a story you can enjoy, too.
I was fascinated by the idea of starting fresh – a colony in distant space, far removed from Earth. The idea that 160 people could travel on a spaceship for two hundred years before returning to civilisation also had me hooked. The social dynamic that brought was too interesting to let go.
However, the 160 person maths was done on the basis that the ship would return to a larger gene pool (home to Earth) after this period in space. For my colony story, that wouldn't happen. I looked into other ideas for long distance space travel. One was embryo space colonisation. This is where a ship holds frozen genetic material which autonomous robots bring to life after preparing the destination planet for human life. The problem with this is both ethical and practical. How can robots raise children?
So, I combined two ideas. In the Courage, hundreds and thousands of embryos are frozen, ready for use, while a 160 person crew directs the ship to their new home. After two hundred years, they start to have 'tank babies' rather than biological children, keeping the gene pool from stagnating. I wondered how this would impact those forced to have children that didn't belong to them, and the idea of the last 'kin kid' in a generation was born.
What happens next?
Two things happen next. The first is an acknowledgement that although i have a full draft it's still rough and imperfect in places. June will see the book read by four pre-arranged alpha readers. From their feedback, I'll make edits and polish the book. I'll then be giving the book to volunteer beta readers. After further edits, the book will be proofread and move forward to publication.
During the weeks readers are offering their feedback, I'll be working on a prequel to the Courage Colony books. This prequel will focus on the biological parents of one of the crew members aboard the Courage, and how these biological parents dealt with the end of the solar system. I'm hoping to offer this prequel novella for free to those that receive my newsletter but it will also be uploaded to online retailers as a paperback and an eBook.
That's all the news I have to share for now. The next item on my list is preparing the book for my alpha readers.
Thanks for reading and I'll see you at the next update!