My guest Toni V. Sweeney visits here today with a peek at her new science fiction novel, Sinbad’s War, book 5 in The Adventures of Sinbad.
In the 1990’s I wrote a story about a sci-fi novel in which the Earth is at war. The main characters were a Navajo woman whose husband was accused of being a spy, and the halfbreed smuggler she hires to find that husband (he’s a fugitive in hiding) and prove his innocence. To my hero, Sinbad sh’en Singh, it seemed a pretty easy way to earn some Credits without getting shot at by the Federation Coast Guard. It proved anything but, and started the Felidan and his feisty little Terran mate on their way through a series of eight novels.
“I can honestly say that I totally fell in love with these two characters…I totally recommend this book. I did not just like it I loved it and it was Sinbad and Andi that made me want to keep reading.”
“This is a must read for anyone that likes the Fantasy genre.”
–Raven, Reviewing Vixens
“I highly recommend this entire series.”
–Merrylee, Two Lips reviews
The novel was released as an Audio book in 2000 under the title The Last Voyage of Sinbad Singh, but I wanted to see it in print. It took me another eight years to bring that about, when Double Dragon Publishing accepted it for publication in both trade paperback and as an e-book (Sinbad’s Last Voyage, 2008). During that time, I continued to write about Sin because, quite frankly, he’s become the most favorite of all my characters and I felt he had a lot more story to tell. Sinbad’s Wife, Sinbad’s Pride, and Sinbad’s Triumph followed. In those books, Andi suffers more emotional trauma than a soap opera heroines, Sin’s smug belief in his own ability to “get around” the Federation is smacked into the dust in a surprising way, and the brash young Felidan experiences a devastating physical injury.
Now the Earth is at War again, a surprise attack this time, destroying major cities and killing off a good many of its population, as well as destroying most of the Federation fleet. Thanks to that same Federation, Sinbad now has the finest fleet in the galaxy and it’s to him they turn…
Sinbad sh’en Singh, smuggler-turned-shipping magnate, has become quite the family man, knee-deep in sons, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, complacent in his quiet but profitable life—and then a Federation emissary arrives, announcing the Fed is once more at war, and he’s been sent to obtain sh’en Singh Shipping’s Darters for its nearly destroyed fleet.
Not surprisingly, he’s refused, until Felida itself is attacked and there are casualties in Sin’s own family, among them his beloved Andi and new daughter Milagra.
The whole universe is about to discover there is nothing quite so dangerous as a Felidian who’s lost his mate.
Sin met Andi during one war, now they’re together during another. The Terro-Albegensi War brought them together. The Terro-Severani War will pull them apart…
There are forces at work none of the sh’en Singhs know about, however, and the results of that war are both good and bad…for Sin, and for his sons…
“I don’t want to seem rude but I’ve a business to run, and I’d appreciate it if you’d state your purpose in being here so I can get back to it.” Sin stared at Nils expectantly.
Nils stared back.
“Well?” There was a hint of impatience in the deep voice.
“I-I’m sorry, but I was told you were paraplegic,” the young officer began and he nearly shook his head as he realized the statement came out sounding like an accusation. His assignment had seemed so easy. Just go to Felida, talk to the invalid owner of sh’en Singh Shipping, an old man partially paralyzed, dazzle him with Federation authority. Already it was getting complicated. “Y-you are Andrew Malcom McAllister…Sinbad sh’en Singh?”
“I am,” Sin answered just a little brusquely. “And all that moving around you just saw is merely the work of a very finely-tuned micro-computer implant.”
For another minute, Nils stood staring before abruptly bursting into explanation. “I-I’m going to get right to the point, Mr. McAllis…uh…sh’en Singh…sir.”
“I’m waiting.” Sin didn’t hide his sarcasm.
“Terra’s at war.”
“Am I supposed to be surprised? What else is new?” Sin shrugged. “And who’s the unlucky aggressor this time?”
“A planet called Severan.” Nils ignored his sarcasm.
“Never heard of it.”
“Not many people have. It’s a small world in the Drexus Cluster. A petty bunch of blackbirders barely surviving in the slave trade until about fifty years ago, when a dissident faction overthrew the emperor and set about establishing a military-controlled planet.” Without permission, Nils sat down, sounding more certain of himself. Then, he realized now he had to look up at Sin even more and regretted his decision. “They’ve been slowly overrunning and subduing the weaker planets in the Cluster, attacking, pillaging, carrying off the inhabitants into slavery, stuff like that.” He said it offhandedly, making it sound like every-day acts.
“And they’ve been stupid enough to attack Terra? I doubt Earth attacked them,” Sin went on before Nils could answer. “Tell me, has there ever been a conflict in which the Earth was the agressor? Still, fifty years isn’t long enough to get the military power to attack a planet that size.”
“That’s what the Federation thought when it was told a fleet of Severani warships were headed toward Terra, but it seems they were wrong.” Nils shook his head. He got to his feet again. “The Severanis have devoted themselves entirely to building up their armed forces, sacrificing public welfare and natural resources to achieve their goal. And they succeeded. The attack on Earth was not only successful, but there was a sixty-five per cent destruction rate in the areas hit and a severe loss of life. If the Federation hadn’t had that brief warning of the attack, the war might have been lost and won right then.” He shuddered. “It was Pearl Harbor all over again.”
“Pearl Harbor?” Sinbad looked stunned though the reference was lost on him.
“The last time a near-successful attack was made on a government military base. It was called the United States, then,” Nils explained. “That was in 1941.”
“Damn.” Sin breathed the word. “I never thought I’d hear anyone say that. But they retaliated?”
“Of course, what else could they do?”
“Of course.” Once more that ironic tone.
“Nevertheless, this fight’s going to be a bad one. The Severanis are well-trained, dedicated, and fanatical in sacrificing for the Mother Planet.”
“This is all very interesting, Captain Van Lewen.” Sin went around the desk, dropping into the chair behind it. His hair fell over his shoulder again and he pushed it back, frowning at the look of wonder still lingering in the young man’s eyes. “But what exactly does it have to do with me and mine?”
“The Fed’s sending officers like myself to all members of the Federation, setting up enlistment stations.”
“I see.” The two words weren’t encouraging.
“We’re going to need all the man-power we can get for this one. If we don’t get volunteers, we’ll have to start inductions, a-and they don’t want to do that. We haven’t had a Draft in three hundred years, and quite frankly, with so many worlds involved, I doubt it could be effectively enforced.”
“And you want to set up this enlistment station in Khurda?” Sin was trying to glean information from what Van Lewen wasn’t saying.
The young man nodded.
“Why come to me?” Sin spread his hands questioningly. “I’m just a humble merchant. You should be talking to the Emperor.”
“I have, sir, or at least his representative. Before I landed. His Excellency has given his permission but told me since Khurda, as the largest Pride on Felida, was chosen as the site, I had to get the Prime Pride Chief’s permission also. You’re anything but a humble merchant, sir.” And you damn well know it, too. Nils thought. That slight smile said so. “So, here I am.”
He stopped, waiting.
“Hmmm.” Sin didn’t answer, studying the young Terran intently over the tent of his fingers, while Nils attempted to stand still and not fidget under that cold green stare which made him feel like a schoolboy called to the headmaster’s office. He couldn’t know Sin was thinking: Now that’s true irony. The Fed which caused my parents’ deaths, forced me to become a criminal, and declared my entire planet a world filled with non-humans, is now coming to me for help.
Sinbad’s War is available now from Double Dragon Press: http://www.double-dragon-ebooks.com/single.php?ISBN=1-77115-089-0
You can find Toni at:
You can find The Adventures of Sinbad stories at:
Book 1 Sinbad’s Last Voyage: http://www.double-dragon-ebooks.com/single.php?ISBN=1-55404-514-2
Book 2 Sinbad’s Wife: http://www.double-dragon-ebooks.com/single.php?ISBN=1-55404-629-7
Book 3 Sinbad’s Pride: http://www.double-dragon-ebooks.com/single.php?ISBN=1-55404-748-X
Book 4 Sinbad’s Triumph: http://www.double-dragon-ebooks.com/single.php?ISBN=1-55404-848-6