A member of the Luna Family since 2020, John Dodd was already known to us from past submissions to our open windows. It was back then, many months ago, that the seed for John's SF debut novel, Ocean of Stars, came to our attention. And as for all seeds, it needed time to shape, to find its form.
When we first read it, we had already fallen in love with Catarina Solovias, engineer of the Starlight Eagle, and the mysterious Morgan, head of a ship from another time. And so John began his work, weaving threads between the past, the present and the future, to deliver the final book.
Responsible for the cracking cover art, will be Argentinian artist Rodrigo Vega, and we will be doing a full cover reveal this Autumn, so stay tuned!
The novel will debut at Reclamation 2022, next year's Eastercon. Until then, discover John's novella, Just Add Water, the 2nd installment of our Luna Novella series. Just Add Water is the story of leaving Earth to seek out a new life amongst the stars, on a ship that holds all the colonists as powdered packets, ready to send them to their new homes by reconstituting them from the oceans of the new world.
About Ocean of Stars
Alone in the universe after the destruction of Mars, Catarina Solovias signs on to the Starlight Eagle, under the banner of Charles Godstorm, a wealthy merchant who disguises his true nature as a murderer and thief. They encounter a ship from another time that rips them out of their own timeline and into the far future, where they are captured by the mysterious Morgan. Godstorm trades Catarina’s life for his and Catarina has to find her way anew in a universe she has no knowledge of. An epic tale of hope and loss, stars and ships, set upon a backdrop of the tyranny of time and the dreams of a people yearning to be free, in a universe like no other, the Ocean of Stars.
Ask any writer if a story went the way they planned it would when they started writing it and I do believe those that steered the story to an orderly conclusion would be well outnumbered by those who hung on to the reins when it went runaway and only let go when it stopped. This is what happened with Ocean of Stars, it was going to be a cargo run between stars with space battles, friendship, and eye bending scenery, that was how the plot went, that’s what was planned, those are the handwritten notes.
Then the timeship turned up.
Then a beast that could eat planets arrived.
Then an empire of darkness arose, Interstellar wars across galaxies, the breaking of that empire started to happen, and the rising of a free people jumped over the top of that.
And on it went…
When I read, I want time travel that doesn’t have causality paradoxes, I want stories that don’t spell everything out for me, I want bold heroines like the women in my life, I want worthwhile enemies to stand against them, I don’t want victory to be a sure thing, I want the story to start at a run and only get faster, and I want to see it all through the most colourful lens I have.
So that’s what I wrote.
When I came to Francesca with Ocean of Stars, she liked it, but there wasn’t enough of it. Would it help, I asked, if I added this story arc and that one? It would! How fast could I do it? I reckoned three months…
It took me nine.
Remember what I said about hanging on when it went runaway? I hung on, it took my superb editor Kat Harvey to herd it back into the centuries spanning tale of worlds ending and beginning, and now it’s for all of you to take a voyage on the Ocean of Stars.
Next stop: the cover reveal this Autumn, and we will keep you posted on progress on our Newsletter, as always.
John Dodd is a writer of science fiction, fantasy, and games, first published back in 2001 and going on to work with several different companies. He has published articles in Dragon, Tabletop Gaming Magazine, and The Author, and several short stories. His first novella, Just Add Water, was published by Luna Press in 2021 and his first novel, Ocean of Stars, will be published in 2022. John is married to Jude, who inspired him to follow his dreams and do what brought him joy, and their son, Mark, who reminds him to be a better man every day. In his day job, John keeps trucks on the road and helps to run several of the UKs largest tabletop games conventions. In his spare time, he… Wait, who are we kidding, he doesn’t have spare time…