This is my stop during the blog tour for Running Out of Space by S.J. Higbee. This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 11 till 31 October. You can check see the tour schedule here.
For a limited time Running Out of Space will be only $0.99 on Amazon
Elizabeth Wright has yearned to serve on the space merchant ship Shooting Star for as long as she can remember – until one rash act changes everything…
I can’t recall whose idea it was. Just that me and my shipmates were sick of wading through yet another unjust punishment detail. So we decide to take ourselves off on a short jaunt to the lower reaches of Space Station Hawking to prove that fertile English girls can also deal with danger.
The consequences of that single expedition change the lives of all four of us, as well as that of the stranger who steps in to save us down in lawless Basement Level. Now I have more excitement and danger than I can handle, while confronting lethal shipboard politics, kidnapping, betrayal. And murder.
You can find Running Out of Space on Goodreads
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You can buy Running Out of Space for only $0.99 on Amazon!
About the Author:
Born the same year as the Russians launched Sputnik, I confidently expected that by the time I reached adulthood, the human race would have a pioneer colony on the Moon and be heading off towards Mars. So I was at a loss to know what to do once I realised the Final Frontier wasn’t an option and rather lost my head – I tried a lot of jobs I didn’t like and married a totally unsuitable man.
Now I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that I’ll never leave Earth, I have a lovely time writing science fiction and fantasy novels while teaching Creative Writing at Northbrook College in Worthing. I’ve had a number of short stories, articles and poems published – the most recent being my story ‘Miranda’s Tempest’ which appeared last year in Fox Spirit’s anthology Eve of War. I recently signed a publishing contract with Grimbold Publishing for my science fiction novel Netted, which is due to be released in 2019.
I live in Littlehampton on the English south coast with a wonderful husband and a ridiculous number of books. I can be found online chatting about books at my book review blog https://sjhigbee.wordpress.com/ and you’re very welcome to pop onto my website www.sjhigbee.com and my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/sjhigbeeauthor/.
TOP TEN CHARACTER NAMES
Names are important in any novel, but I happen to think that in a science fiction book they are crucial as they are part of the worldbuilding so I give a lot of thought and some research into the names I give my characters. Here are ten of the names that occur in my book and the reasoning behind them.
• Elizabeth Sarah Jane Violet Wright – Elizabeth/Liz/Lizzy is the narrator and main protagonist of this story so it is vital to get her name nailed. She is part of an English space merchanting family, whose ancestors left Earth after being made homeless when a swathe of southern Britain was flooded. Like many displaced people, the English Deep-space community cling to a cultural identity they feel defines them from others around them. So Elizabeth’s names are all very traditional. The fact she has four forenames shows her parents are pretentious about their social standing – and that final forename plays a crucial role in one of the decisions Elizabeth makes during the story.
• Captain John David Wright – Elizabeth’s father is captain of Shooting Star, their merchanting ship that provides regular shipments of weapons and supplies
to the Peace and Prosperity Corps, a mercenary band. He is also part of the English community, an ex-mercenary who is ultra-traditional in his thinking about the role of women. His name is so English, there is a possibility that he has reinvented himself at some stage, complete with a very suitable name.
• General William Norman – This is not his original name. General Norman runs the Peace and Prosperity Corp which is the largest and best equipped mercenary outfit in Sector Two. They have strong ties to the English community, as many of their recruits come from Englandia. However they’ll take anyone who shows an aptitude for violence. Norman is modelling himself on William the Conqueror in his choice of name.
• Alisha Patel – Alisha is one of Elizabeth’s friends on board Shooting Star, who accompanies her on the disastrous expedition to Basement Level on Space Station Hawking. Alisha’s name and heritage reflects the wide diversity of people and culture who were living in London before it drowned and her grandmother Nanny Patel is the most powerful woman on Shooting Star and someone who Elizabeth very much admires.
• Garion Wynn – He is the man who rescues the girls from Basement Level and gets them back to the ship. A refugee caught up in the hurried evacuations across a swathe of Sector Two after the aliens insisted that all humans leave, he has lost pretty much everything other than his sculpting tools. His surname is apparently English, though Garion is more a more common name among the space workers – not that Wynn knows as he was raised in an orphanage.
• Lnard Farview – This is the Procurement Officer on board Shooting Star and Elizabeth’s superior officer. He is very much an outsider – something apparent from his name. Lnard is a blended name, which is typically popular with spacer families who live and work on ships, space stations or mining outposts. Most of these families have surnames reflecting their origins as construction workers on the numerous outposts and stations in the big push off Earth, with names such as Moon, Sunseeker and Starbloom.
• Gregor Campbell – This is Captain Wright’s second in command on Shooting Star. He dislikes Elizabeth, seeing her as a bad influence on his daughter Sonja, who is another of the girls who accompanied Elizabeth to Basement Level. The excursion changes her life as she finds her vocation after experiencing the abject poverty in the lower reaches of Hawking. The names reflect their ethnic origins before they found themselves in southern England, though this time that is celebrated in their forenames, rather than their surnames. Elizabeth also knows Sonja’s aunt, who comes in from time to time to help her mother look after the family. Aunty Oksana is someone that Elizabeth comes to trust and rely on, though she isn’t a blood relative and in the end, that matters.
I have really enjoyed writing this article and many thanks to Donna for raising such an interesting topic – character names are always a topic that occupies authors. If anyone has any further questions, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below and I’d be happy to answer them.