SCIENCE FICTION by DANIEL OWEN STEPHENSEN
01 WAKEN INTO FALLING LIGHT
Natura, city of suppression and control. Cold, sunless Downtown squats under the giant concrete slab of Uptown, the exalted overcity. Wealthy young Uptowner Edie Hamilton, all charm but worn out by existence, is Downtown on one last drunken spree before she quits Earth for Mars. Her bartender for the night is Mike Orion, himself a devoted drunk. He falls hard for Edie.
Edie is prepared to use her travel rights to take Mike away with her to Mars, but Mike accepts a job from his mysterious friend and benefactor Robert Goodis: He is to escort a child android shell to the red planet, a shell implanted with the mind of Goodis’s former lover and friend Vela Lenn. By taking Vela's mind to Mars where her body has been abandoned, Goodis is keeping his promise to Vela to either reunite her body and mind, or destroy her mind if its body can't be revived.
Meanwhile Mike's fixation is to settle into an idyllic life on Mars, while Edie’s overpowering maternal love makes it impossible for her to envisage happiness without Vela.
02 KILL AS YOU ARE
Serinthean metropolis Aphrinea is in the grip of a violent coup. Mercenaries roam the streets killing Earthlings and claiming their bounties from the tyrannical new government.
Lasja Zertov, genetically human but born in the interstellar slipstream and raised on Serinthea, flees the mayhem with Aux, her sentient neural implant. Aux, long-lived and many times transplanted, is reshaping her Earthling consciousness, folding memories of its former hosts through her, including her parents Satu Zertov and Jack Clune, and Marieta Escriva, the famous musician, Dream addict, and thief. Bahar Neiris, Satu’s former pilot and lover, joins Lasja to escape Serinthea aboard the Zertov family starfighter Morningcrow. All the while, lelk, a lifeform native to the slipstream, assert themselves in Lasja, making their own passages through her body and mind.
Pursued by a mercenary crew who want Morningcrow in payment of a long overdue debt, Lasja flees with Bahar through the slipstream, fighting to survive the flight to Earth and the coming-of-age of her hybrid consciousness.