Sergeant Liam Jacks is the security chief of transport vessel, The Santa Claus. He travels the planetary cluster with Marc Danverse, his best friend and captain, seeking to escape his tortured past and find some peace of mind.
Having been through a civil war together, Danverse and Liam are close. Maybe too close....
All that changes when mysterious stranger, Hadrian Jamison, an escaped Adonirati, books passage to Alpha Centauri. Can he be trusted? Can the stories of his past be believed?
As Liam’s fascination with Hadrian grows, jealousy threatens to tear apart his friendship with Danverse.
When Hadrian’s owner shows up, Liam is forced to go against orders in order to launch a rescue mission to save him.
The ensuing conflict may be more than any of them expected.
Santa Claus the Ship, Not the Man.
When I started world building for The Luxorian Fugitive, I wanted my cast to travel between planets, but not be a military vessel per se. It sounded too cliché for my taste. What non-military ship would make sense passing through my planetary cluster around Alpha Centauri's binary star? A transport ship. Once I settled on the idea, I moved to the captain's penchant for ancient Earth history I'd already designed while making character sketches. The captain and crew would bring packages from planet to planet, for a profit, of course.
Thus, the Santa Claus was born. (The ship, not the man.)
I spent a lot of time making the ship the central setting without bogging everything down in the technical side of sci-fi. As important as the Santa Claus is, I didn't want the ship to dominate the crew and cast.
Mrs. Claus became the ship's AI, the only female on board, among the mostly ex-military men living together on voyages that last weeks at a time. The crew and passenger quarters were built on Beta deck, with the idea that they ran in a circle surrounding the lavatory, gym, lockers and a large shower room without enclosures. (I'm not a fan of privacy inside the locker room. Don't judge. LOL) The bridge was placed towards the fore of the vessel, along with observation, mess hall and sick bay on various decks. Mechanical and engineering departments were sent to the aft, with cargo bays all the way back. I had to do research on navy ships to get proper terms and placements on various parts of the ship, to keep it sounding plausible yet not anachronistic. So far, I think I did okay there.
I know my fantasy setting of a group of thirty or more rough and tumble non-hetero guys living together is a bit telling. It does create an environment for wonderfully racy moments, but it's a lot more than that. Having the potential for a cast this size gives me a lot of fertile ground to write stories from. Each book (yes, there are more coming...) can have its own set of characters, touch on previous tales, but be a single, contained narrative. And the setting gives me a host of backgrounds to choose from. Why would anyone want to escape planet-side and live amongst the stars on a ship not built for luxury? What makes the Santa Claus so important to each and every one of them?
About the Author:
Like many gay men, when Mann Ramblings grew up, there weren’t any heroes he could relate to. The world held him back while he tried futilely to hide the real person inside. So much has changed since those hollow days. He finally found his voice, the voice that says it’s all right to revel in the so-called inappropriate joys, laughs, and loves that storm inside a man’s head. It took a long time to find that courage and now that it’s here, he plans to use it well.
While spending years more focused on visual arts, he never let go of his innate passion for storytelling—he wanted to write and draw comic books when he grew up. Once he discovered M/M fiction, a whole new world opened with new possibilities. Why couldn’t you have fantastic and dynamic tales with an M/M cast? He started reading the online tales of authors like, Night Tempest, Rob Colton, and Alicia Nordwell, which only fueled within him the need to create. Eventually he found GayAuthors.org, and with a little coercive nudge from Night Tempest, started sharing his tales with an unexpected level of positive response. That experience and support gave him the courage to cross his fingers and aim for the world of M/M publishing.
Born and raised in Michigan, Mann Ramblings continues to type away, wishing it was practical to use a noisy, old fashioned keyboard that clacks with each strike, if only to annoy his loving partner and spoiled miniature dachshund.