I’m currently reading a book that is technically classified as Science Fiction Romance, but is also packed with all kinds of action. It’s entitled Wreck of the Nebula Dream, (Kindle) by Veronica Scott. A very sociable and interactive person on Twitter, Scott also possesses considerable writing talent, having won an SFR Galaxy award for this interesting story.
Scott sets off to write what in many respects is a retelling of the Titanic disaster set in interstellar Space and in a distant future. As such, we are not surprised to encounter passengers from different life stations, and with varying degrees of reasons for being onboard this ship.
The story begins with a scene that reminds me somewhat of the 1997 Titanic movie, as a well-to-do passenger nearly misses the departing shuttle from one of the now colonized planets. This “shuttle” has the distinct feel of an overpacked airliner, as people squabble over space and rummage for any snacks they can find to keep the kids happy during the extended delay. Once the passenger and her husband are onboard and the shuttle is airborne, well, remember Rose’s hectic run toward the ship railing to get out as she kind of melted down? Yeah, something similar.
And of course, you have a new ship that its builders feel is nearly indestructible and wish to push to unsafe speeds in order to break a record. We get a glimpse of its engines through the eyes of Nick, the story’s main character, as he is shown around by officers of the ship. Scott notes in other places that she is less interested in the hard science behind how such Space travel might actually work, and more in the dynamics that drive people to take the actions they do, including of course, finding love.
From the moment he boards the shuttle, Nick’s eyes are drawn to Mara, a high-powered businesswoman who seems mostly to be lost in her work. Yet she, a whiney, high-class socialite, a member of a race of brothers who must always provide assistance when called on, and two young children essentially become the focal point of action once disaster strikes.
It shouldn’t be surprising that this story is not an exact Titanic replica. We see strange, very powerful alien figures, all sorts of unusual technology that would likely exist in such a world (for example, a grav lift that allows for floating up and down between ship levels), and wildly advanced artificial intelligence machinery. I’m about two thirds of the way through, and I can’t anticipate how it will end.
The story is told in the third person and from Nick’s perspective. We see his shyness, lack of confidence in approaching and trying to get to know Mara, and also a strength in decision-making that probably comes from his being a part of the Special Forces. He also uses this military experience to come up with what he hopes will be an effective plan for the escaping passengers in his immediate care.
I think I can safely recommend this book. The story, the technology, the worlds are imaginative; and yet the emotions they evoke are definitely real.
It is available in audio too, which is how I’m enjoying it, via the Audible iPhone app. With continued support to independent authors, I say check it out!