Monday, July 10, 2017

Piper Deez and the Case of the Winter Planet by M. Fenn

Release date: July 10, 2017
Subgenre: Science fiction mystery, space opera

About Piper Deez and the Case of the Winter Planet:

Detective Piper Deez, newlywed but still hardboiled, is a solar system away from home investigating murder and thievery on Alta-na-Schell, the Winter Planet. Who can she trust? Who should she trust? Why didn't anyone tell her monogamy was going to be this difficult? Eye of the Storm, a domed city riven by clan rivalries and corruption—with only fingerlengths of shielding protecting its denizens from certain death—may hold some answers and, perhaps, even the end of Piper Deez.

If monogamy doesn't get to her first...



“Detective Deez, it’s a pleasure.”
I recognized the woman extending her hand in greeting from the case files. The top of Manager Tchivon’s head only came to my chin. Her hair was the color of burnished steel and she wore the standard business suit of a mining executive, wrinkle-free and spotless.
I smiled to myself as I offered the palm of my hand in greeting. She pressed hers to mine. Mining executives stayed as far away from actual mining as they possibly could. The muscles in her hand were strong, though. A single ridge across her pale forehead marked her as a member of the Jevrem clan.
Clans—large, extended families—are what hold this society together and threaten to tear it apart. Hierarchy’s an ugly thing if you kneel at the bottom of it. Not so bad if you sit on top and don’t think too hard. The Drell clan perches on top, along with the Toshir and Edos, each trying to shove the others further down.
“Manager Tchivon, thank you for meeting me.”
“Not at all. My division is honored the company chose to send you. Your reputation precedes you.”
“I’m flattered.” I turned to the ship. “Computer: standard lock-down, please.”
<“Engaged. Good luck with your case.”>
Tchivon led me out of the docking area and through the terminal. The building looked like the terminals on the two other mining planets in this system. Even though the others were managed by my family’s competitors, the Toshir and Edos, they were all the same. The ships’ berths were always in fine working order, while the ticket counters and waiting areas were run down, as were the ubiquitous cafés selling overpriced food. I shifted the pack on my back as we passed tables crowded with hungry customers and stepped through the terminal’s large, tinted glass entrance doors.
The air was warm and stale, recycled but not as bad as I was expecting. As we waited for a cab, I looked down into the city, a bustling place only a few miles in diameter. A second industry of tourism had developed around people’s fascination with Eye of the Storm’s location and semi-miraculous ability to survive. Several thousand people lived here, working in the mine or in one of the businesses that kept things running. The streets were crowded with people, all sizes, shapes, colors and clanmarks, residents pushing by the gawking tourists. Vehicles—both personal- and business-class—zipped or lumbered through the air. Above them all floated the clear dome and the white light of the eternal winter kept at bay.


Amazon | Candlemark & Gleam


About M. Fenn:


M. Fenn was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and grew up in Omaha, Nebraska. She’s lived in eight U.S. states and visited forty more, as well as three Canadian provinces. M. Fenn has been a veterinary technician, a radio dj, and an office manager for a house museum, among other things. She has rescued marine mammals in California, seen the full moon rise over Chimney Rock in Colorado, hiked Chaco Canyon in New Mexico, marched for women’s rights in D.C., and driven U.S Hwy 50 from end to end by herself. She spent one winter with the ghost of Herman Melville, reading his first editions and watching the great whale of snow-covered Mt. Greylock from his study window.

Apparently permanently stuck to North America, M. Fenn now lives and writes in the wilderness of southern Vermont with her furniture maker husband and a clowder of ghost cats. Her short story “Chlorophyll Is Thicker than Water” can be found in Candlemark & Gleam’s 2016 To Shape the Dark. Her near-future dystopian novella “To The Edges” begins Crossed Genres’ 2013 Winter Well: Speculative Novellas About Older Women. Her alternate history novella “So The Taino Call It” appears in Candlemark & Gleam’s 2012 Substitution Cipher. Science fiction seems to be M. Fenn’s main bag, but she also tinkers with horror and fantasy. She blogs spasmodically at and can also be found on Facebook more often than she would like.

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