Former special forces agent turned particle physicist Ben Holden is on the run.
Welcome to one of the January 18th stops on the blog tour for Pelagia: Between the Stars and the Abyss by Steve Holloway with Goddess Fish Promotions. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for spotlights, reviews, author guest posts, and a giveaway! More on that at the end of this post.
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Author Guest Post
I live in England and lead a local chapter of the Society of Authors. A few months ago, I offered a free copy of my book, Pelagia, to my fellow authors that if they would consider reviewing it.
A recent review by a psychologist especially encouraged me because I felt she expressed so much of what I intended . This is what she said:
“Steve Holloway’s Pelagia is a unique and fascinating novel. It’s not often I read a science fiction story that has me hoping the future depicted might actually come to pass, but I would love to be part of the oceanic civilization the author describes so vividly. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, with its combination of futuristic science in the realm of marine biology, thought-provoking philosophical themes, and fast-paced adventure.
One of the author’s skills is the capacity to extrapolate from existing scientific knowledge – clearly well-researched and understood – to establish a world in 2066, where huge leaps forward have been achieved in humanity’s attempts to better protect and exist in harmony with the natural environment, specifically its oceanic waters. This is no dystopian Waterworld, but a sophisticated collaboration of peaceful sea communities living in architecturally intelligent settlements, who employ AI to help them farm fish commercially yet humanely. I am not a scientist, yet interested and informed enough to have read various accounts of current research and breakthroughs which might herald Pelagia’s more advanced civilization. Knowing that the foundations on which that world could be built are set in today’s reality helped my appreciation of the novel’s plausible set up. The stunning locations are painted in beautiful language. The novel’s characters are well drawn, and their back stories empathically filled in, from the youngest member of the sea community – an autistic savante called Sophia – to the complex antagonist, a scientist seeking Caliphate supremacy.
In spite of their positive advances and admirable ethics, a familiar threat is visited upon the sea communities when they offer sanctuary to the novel’s protagonist. Driven in the name of religion, the stakes are high. Former soldier Ben Holden is being pursued by Islamic fundamentalists for his fingerprint key to information that could be used to trigger cataclysms in North America, destroying the progressive new way of life. I particularly appreciated the author’s sensitive handling of the religious themes in this novel. He bravely projects a deep division that exists in today’s world into his envisaged future, yet resists splitting along a good v. bad axis. Instead, he peoples both camps with authentic, well-rounded characters, conveying a spiritually mature understanding of the themes and experiences that can unite major world religions.
His message is clear: it is power, not religion, that corrupts.
I would love to learn more about Pelagia’s marine farming communities and encourage others to read Holloway’s debut novel before he finishes his sequel. In fact, the novel’s locations and characters and were depicted so clearly, and its action was so page-turning that I could easily see the blockbuster Hollywood action movie being filmed!”
About the Book
Pelagia: Between the Stars and the Abyss
by Steve Holloway
Published 28 June 2021
Genre: Science Fiction
Page Count: 416
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
Former special forces agent turned particle physicist Ben Holden is on the run.
The New Caliphate will stop at nothing to get their hands on his wife’s scientific research, which is believed to hold the key to unleashing chaos in the West and advancing their cause.
But in reality it’s Ben’s biometrics that have the potential to unlock the information they so desperately need. Within the oceanic world of Pelagia, in the year 2066, Ben finds sanctuary among the sea settlers of the South Pacific Pelagic Territory, but his respite is short-lived.
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Kestrel in Combat
“Are reinforcements on the way, Nemo?”
“Yes, Captain Romero, Sea Wasps have been launched from a nearby Pelagic Ranger carrier but they are still twelve minutes out. The Caliphate jets will be close enough to engage in seven minutes.”
“This doesn’t look good, Carlo. We may need to jump into the fight.” Maria worked through the weapons system controls. “I have target solutions for Kestrel to engage the red bandits above. They won’t be expecting us down here.”
Gideon and Carlo exchanged glances. Carlo nodded. Gideon then began integrating Maria’s combat solutions, as he programmed a protocol for Kestrel. “Strap in and tighten your harnesses. This’ll get a bit rough. Nemo, are you ready to engage?” Carlo and Ben pulled their straps tight. Maria was already strapped in.
“Yes, Lieutenant. Just refining the protocols to increase efficiency and impact. Standby to execute in five, four, three, two, execute.”
Kestrel rose and hovered on its propellers, the surface mists boiling around it. The agile craft tilted and fired three railgun bursts as it rapidly turned, aiming in three different directions. Then it dropped almost vertically, stern first into the sea. The vessel’s impeller jets pulled it quickly down into the depths. A line of railgun projectiles lanced into the water where they had been a second ago, leaving a trail of bubbles.
“They have quick reaction targeting. That was close. Nemo, integrate that quick reaction time of the enemy railguns into the solutions and continue this tactical protocol.”
“Done, Lieutenant. We took out two red enemy craft with that last salvo. Another jump jet has been damaged but is still fighting.”
Kestrel smoothly dove in an arc under the surface and moved rapidly to a new position.
Gideon turned to his crew, “We’ll use a breaching offense: jump out of the water, fire, then dive back in and shift course to keep them off balance. Their radars can’t track us underwater. Hold on.”
About the Author
Steve Holloway grew up on the beach cities of Los Angeles and has always loved the sea. This passion led him to gain a degree in Aquatic Biology from the University of California Santa Barbara; a background which opened many opportunities for him in researching, developing, and engaging with mariculture activities around the world.
Steve and his wife have lived and travelled in many countries over their forty years of marriage, successfully raising three kids in exotic locations in the process. They have always engaged with the people and cultures they live among.
Currently Steve lives in England and consults for a Christian charity in areas of research, leadership development, adapting to new cultures, social enterprises, and mariculture projects. Currently he is consulting for a Indo-Pacific mariculture project – a social enterprise – growing sea cucumbers, a delicacy for the Chinese market.
Steve has always loved books and writing. The story of Pelagia reflects three of his passions: science, the sea and the narratives of faith. The background, in his words:
“I have for many years believed that settling the open sea was within our grasp, and even more accessible than space as our ‘next frontier’. So through the last ten years or so I have been thinking just how this might happen, what would be needed, where people would settle, what kind of livelihoods they might have on the open sea, beyond the EEZs of terrestrial countries. My son Adam told me about what would become a key component of Pelagia, Biorock or seacrete, because of his experiments with it. Many discussions with other scientists, engineers and others helped to begin to fill in the gaps and the concept of the Pelagic Territories, similar to the unincorporated territories of the early US, and what geopolitical contexts they would find themselves in.”
Steve finds any excuse to get into the ocean: sailing, diving, swimming, or just poking around tide pools.
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One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon or B&N gift card.a Rafflecopter giveaway
|Jan 10||Rogue’s Angels||Jan 10||Long and Short Reviews|
|Jan 11||Straight From the Library||Jan 12||Mythical Books|
|Jan 13||Literary Gold||Jan 14||Gina Rae Mitchell|
|Jan 17||Fabulous and Brunette||Jan 17||Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews|
|Jan 18||fundinmental||Jan 18||Westveil Publishing|
|Jan 19||Our Town Book Reviews||Jan 19||Andi’s Book Reviews|
|Jan 20||All the Ups and Downs||Jan 21||Kit ‘N Kabookle|
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Comments on “Author Guest Post with Steve Holloway, Pelagia”
Thanks for hosting!
I liked the excerpt.
Hi Rita, lots more of that in the book! Thanks for reading thruough.
This sounds like an excellent book! I’m really looking forward to reading it!
Good, I hope you like it. I’m working on the sequel as well, with the working title of DeepSTAR. Stay tuned!
I enjoyed the guest post and the excerpt, and Pelagia sounds like a great science fiction read for me! Thanks for sharing it with me and have a fantastic week!
This sounds like a really good read.
If you want to know more, check out my website – and especially the blogs.
Who are your biggest influences?
Good morning Harold (at least here in England). I think my grandmother, who loved reading and words, was a huge early inspiration. Then writers like Ray Bradbury, Steinbeck, Chaim Pollak, Pearl S Buck, Tolkien, CS Lewis and many others contributed to not just my love of reading, but gave me the inspiration to try my hand at writing.
Hi Jenna, thank you so much for hosting! I love Newfoundland. Steve