(as of Feb 19,2021 13:52:38 UTC – Details)
This is the third book in the Childers Universe.
Military genius Jan Childers founded Galactic Mail & Defense to put an end to interstellar war by fielding an overwhelming military force. Funded by the universal provision of mail and freight services, Galactic Mail stood as the protector of all human star systems against interstellar incursions. Childers’ one great fear was that Galactic Mail would sooner or later morph into a galactic government that would devolve into tyranny.
One hundred and seventy-five years later, her fears are coming true. Galactic Mail has begun to come off the rails, interfering in the internal affairs of planetary governments, coercing them to follow its dictates or face its terrible military might.
But what the leadership of Galactic Mail does not know is that Jan Childers put in place a mechanism to pull Galactic Mail back from tyranny. Twenty-four chains of its founders’ descendants keep watch over Galactic Mail, ready to intervene if it strays from its charter.
Twenty-four Watchers, pitted against the largest organization in human history. But one of them is Patricia Dawson, Jan Childers’ seventh great grandchild, and heir to her determination and strength. Dawson will destroy whatever she has to destroy, and kill whomever she has to kill, to pull Galactic Mail back from the descent into tyranny.
INTERVIEW WITH RICH WEYAND
How is Patricia Dawson different from Jan Childers?
Jan Childers joined the Commonwealth Space Force at 14 after studying for years to pass the Commonwealth Citizenship Exam. She had been preparing her whole life for the role she took on in Childers and Absurd Proposals. Patricia Dawson is an accountant and mother, who in her 30s has thrust upon her a role she is not prepared for. She has five years to prepare before it all falls in the pot, but, even so, it’s a stretch.
And the weapons have changed.
There is one large space battle, but you’re right. Patricia Dawson’s weapon is primarily a semi-automatic pistol. Well, that and kinetic energy weapons. And some nukes. And the Marines. But mostly her pistol.
That back-cover tagline, “How ruthless are you prepared to be?” is rather chilling.
One of her party asks her that before the action starts. They have eighteen people who are supposed to take over the largest organization in human history and restore it to its proper role. And nobody’s sure if they can do it, or what it will take. But his words prove prophetic.
Isn’t GMR quite a bit shorter than the two Childers books?
It’s 45,500 words, so it’s a novel. It’s about the same length as Colony War and Galactic Mail, although those two were published in one volume. The plot was over, the story arc complete. I could have padded it out, but I like the pacing as it is.
Which is pretty breakneck pacing.
Childers covers a bit over 20 years. Absurd Proposals covers another ten or so. The action in GMR all occurs in five weeks. Instead of eight space battles and three hand-to-hand combats, like Childers, or thirteen space battles and an assassination, like Absurd Proposals, we get one space battle, three planetary bombardments, and four gunfights. In five weeks.
And Jan Childers makes a cameo appearance?
Three of them, actually. One in a verbal history, and the other two in a sort of Hari Seldon video-from-the-grave role. I had fun writing Jan Childers at age 95.
What about the cover?
For GMR, I needed someone with a family likeness to Jan Childers, as she’s her seventh great granddaughter, but I also wanted someone with long hair, to emphasize that Patricia Dawson isn’t a CSF spacer, who wear their hair short because of zero-g. She’s a civilian, pressed into service to rescue the situation. I lucked out again. The photographer had a shot in his portfolio that was perfect for the cover, right down to the semi-automatic pistol.
The next book is a prequel, about the founding of the Commonwealth of Free Planets.