Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The Promise of a Battered Moon by Jack Teng

 Release date: March 26, 2018
Subgenre: Space opera, Military science fiction

About The Promise of a Battered Moon:

A planet-killer asteroid is hurtling to Earth and everyone is freaking out. But not Manon Fontaine. She knows what the asteroid really is and it’s hers. Once she controls it, she’ll revive the world’s post-war economy and also her mother’s mining company. But first, she needs to navigate family betrayals and kidnapping attempts before she can finally determine her own fate.

Meanwhile, Ann Wilson, an augmented Union super-soldier, has been having problems (beyond the mental strains of indiscriminate killing): her last targets were blown up with fractional deuterium devices, and made things very messy. Ann hates messes. What she hates more is a commanding officer who jerks her around and then sends her, of all places, to Luna City. Little does she know she’s conducting illegal missions to gain control of the asteroid.

In the middle of it all, is Eric Lin, a Union-born-Chinese thruster mechanic. Because of the war with the PPA, he’s been ostracized and forced off-planet to Luna City and the orbital colonies. All he wants is to be accepted and left in peace. This apparently is too much to ask, as both the Union and the PPA send soldiers to drag him away for the-hell-knows what. The reason is in fact that he holds the key to controlling the asteroid.

Amidst traitorous double-agents and assassinations, Manon, Ann and Eric’s paths collide, leaving a wake of destroyed orbital stations and rampaging mobs, ultimately leading them into a confrontation on the moon.



"You're right, Oncle Jules," she said, to Jules' smiling self-satisfaction. "I'll continue searching..."
            "And keeping up a positive attitude!" Jules added, with a tone and expression better suited to excite puppies and infants.
            "...with a positive attitude," Manon agreed placidly. "It was great talking to you, Oncle Jules. You've given me some good ideas for my company."
            "De rien! De rien! Ça m'a fait plaisir!"
            "To get me off the ground though, I'd appreciate a small loan to get me started," Manon said, continuing in spite of Jules' arched eyebrows. She knew it was a long shot, but it was the least the man could do. "Not a lot. About twenty thousand, so I can get a few culture-baths going and start some colonies. I'd give you a percentage of all my future sales and..."
            "Now, Manon, I told you already I barely had any funds..." Jules shrugged his shoulders and spread his hands.
            "A small loan, Jules," Manon repeated. Feeling her desperation mount, she gambled with the card she'd held back: "You know that our business isn't done yet. Out of respect, I held back on litigation to get our funds back from you. We could consider this a reasonable settlement."
            A tense silence followed, as Jules simply stared at Manon. When he replied, Manon knew she had pushed him too far. "Are you threatening me?" he asked calmly.
            "Of course not," Manon said quickly. "I was only reminding you that we still had unfinished business."
            "Unfinished?" Jules snorted. "Don't be ridiculous. Our accounts have been settled."
            At that blatant hoary-ass bullshit, Manon lost it. "Settled! They're far from settled! Our contract was completed at our end and you still haven't paid for it!"
            "Ridicule. Besides, you didn't provide us what we asked."
            "Don't you cheat me, Jules. I could bring in the lawyers."
            "Don't threaten me. I watched over your family after your mother died."
            "We had nothing from you!"
            "Assez!" Jules yelled. "I will not tolerate this. I will not disrespect your mother's memory."
            "My mother's memory?" Manon snarled, her outrage mounting, but kept in check by Jules’s raised hand.
            "I will loan you a thousand union-bucks," he said. "Nothing more. I will expect it to be paid back by the end of the year with the usual interest."
            "A thousand? What am I supposed to do with that?" Manon spluttered, even as her slimware calculated that at least she would be able to pay her rent and settle some of the smaller debts she'd accumulated.
            "Yes. And that's more than I should be giving anyway." Jules seemed about to say more, but his expression shifted, and he sighed. "I'm sorry, ma petite. It's a hard time for all of us. I wish you the best. Don't call me again.”


Amazon.com | Amazon UK | Paperback


About Jack Teng:

Born in Montreal, Canada, Jack later moved to the West Coast (Vancouver) to do a doctoral degree that involved collecting many thousand ticks in the Okanagan Valley. He wasn’t thrilled about the ticks either. Later, he dabbled in small-scale organic farming for a few years, during which he simultaneously developed an aversion to kale and fancy salad mixes, as well as the realization that farming wasn’t all that lucrative. He now lives with his wife in Boulder, Colorado.

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