Veronica: My guest today is USA Today Best Selling Author Alexis Glynn Latner, here to talk a little about her story in the Pets In Space® 4 scifi romance anthology, which comes out October 8th. (I’m the co-founder of this annual collection and my novel in the book is Star Cruise: Idol’s Curse.)
Alexis: Prince the genetically engineered unicorn first showed up in a story in Analog science fiction magazine. That story is folded into my novel Witherspin, to be published in December 2019. Prince lives in a nature park inside the spinning interstellar city-state called Wendis. In Witherspin, Wendis holds an annual festival celebrating the Ascendance—the era when humanity left Earth on rockets and finally starships.
The Ascendance Fair is a huge interstellar tourist attraction, held every summer. When I wanted to write a Pets in Space story set in Wendis, I had the notion of a smaller, warmup fair, something even more like today’s Renaissance Festivals. Winter would be a good time for it, giving the Fair organizers time to solve logistical problems before their big showtime the following summer. (They do end up with their hands full of problems!) Of course, taking take place five thousand years from now and on the other side of the colonized stars, the Winterfair would have much less to do with actual history than myths and legends.
As soon as I started thinking along these lines, Prince wanted in.
Characters in fiction come alive for the author. If they don’t, they may not come alive for the readers either. Prince definitely came alive for me. He let me know that, like mythical unicorns, he has a special affinity for women who aren’t pair-bonded. There’s a Medieval legend about how unicorns would come to a virgin and lay their head in her lap. In Winter’s Prince, he helps two women each find their true love—while our heroines and heroes battle a criminal smuggling ring that has invaded the Winterfair. Prince is one of the heroes. And he knows it, too!
Prince presented me with a logistical problem. He lives high up on a mountain in the park, where the spingravity is less. That suits Prince and the other unicorns. They are delicate-boned, and they might not even be able to stand up, much less prance and canter, in Earth’s gravity or the spin equivalent. But the plot in Winter’s Prince had to unfold at lower elevations with heavier spingravity. Fortunately, there are characters in Witherspin who use spingravity braces. These are humans genetically engineered for low-gravity moons and space stations. To visit full-gravity areas, they wear special braces. So does Prince, in a paragraph from my story:
Too stunned to keep crying, Sara rose and held out her hand. The unicorn extended its muzzle. She felt its velvet skin and warm breath and smelled its warm hide—like horse smell with a floral note. Its delicate ears tilted toward her. Oh. This creature was not just a silly chimera, something genetically stitched together for no good reason. It was beautiful and horselike. . . . Patting the unicorn’s sides and legs, she found the gravity braces. They were ingenious and well fitted enough not to abrade that tender skin.
Grab your copy of Pets in Space® 4 today! For a limited time, Pets in Space® 4 brings together today’s leading Science Fiction Romance authors to help Hero-Dogs.org, a non-profit charity that helps our service veterans and first responders.
Alexis Glynn Latner writes tales of romantic adventure that touch readers’ hearts and their minds as well. Visit her web page to learn more.
Pre-order buy links for Pets In Space® 4 are here.