Star Cluster 66 – John Daulton
Planet Earth got a divorce. As usual, she got the house and he had to find a place of his own. But they did split custody of the children, though. All the boys left with the men, and the girls stayed home. Forever.
Now, 200 years later, some of the consequences of that split are becoming obvious. For starters, neither the women of Earth nor the men on the new world Toxicovia are up to the task of gene editing to maintain population growth in their single-gendered societies. The old scientific tricks are wearing out, and the risk of population collapse is real.
With both governments still too stubborn to cooperate, some other way must be found.
Enter our hero, Bark Gnarganfarkle.
This is Bark’s story, a tale of the last human male born on Earth, over a hundred and fifty years since the last. Born in secret. To a human mother and a Gnostikian dad!
Raised in hiding from the punishing eye of the Matriarchy, Bark’s seventeen-year existence on Earth risks discovery, and potentially his death at the hands of the brutal Censorians. The danger causes the family to escape in secret to the Belt, a remote mining region in the Virgo Super Cluster arm of the galaxy. There Bark is exposed for the first time ever to the many sentient species who live and work among the galaxies.
It is in this alien place, surrounded by alien customs and alien ways, that Bark begins to learn about the universe and his place in it. And perhaps the place of humanity. It is a fun filled, raunchy ride through the human condition where friendship, romance, crime and gambling, petty problems and galactic governments all impose themselves on Bark’s reality. And, of course, there is the cruise.
The cruise is the one place Bark can escape the chaos that surrounds him, away from the authority and power that seems to come from everywhere, so many forces trying to tell him what he is and who he ought to be. The cruise is the local hangout where all the motorheads show off and race their spaceships, and it’s where boys and girls experiment with one another and themselves, and with the rest of the universe. And it’s where Bark’s journey will begin.
Star Cluster 66 – Audio Book Sample
Just for fun, here’s Chapter One of the audiobook (currently in production). It’s still pre-editing and clean up, but it’s quite listenable, and is a nice glimpse into what’s coming.
Voice talents courtesy of David Bodtcher