Admiral by Sean Danker releases on May 3rd. If you read my recent review post, you know that I liked it!
Today, Sean is kind enough to answer a few questions for me. Check out this fun interview and then keep reading for an excerpt from Admiral.
Sean, your internet presence is very low profile. I found two very brief bios, one on Penquin books and the other on your own website. The Admiral character in your books is about as forthcoming as you are on social media. I hate ask a yes or no question, but I am curious. Is Admiral a bit autobiographical?
Sean: Thankfully, no. The Admiral and I are nothing alike. The only thing we have in common is a similar fashion sense.
If you were to travel into space (present day or future), would you be going as a crew member, colonist, adventurer or spy and why?
Sean: Ideally whichever would keep me close to the bar, but I don’t really have any useful skills. I could play the space-piano and sing in the space-lounge, or I could mix space-cocktails. I could give people advice on space-investment strategy.
Favorite Asimov book? Favorite book(s) published in 2015 or 2016?
Sean: Definitely I, Robot. And it’s likely Penguin will have me killed if I don’t say my favorite book from 2016 is Admiral, so we’ll play it safe and go with that.
It’s likely a lot of my readers have followed me from the Smart Girls Love SciFi Romance blog, so, just for them, I have a question for you. Though Admiral is definitely not a romance, there was one kiss. Any chance there will be some followup to that kiss? And related to that question, what are your plans for the Evagardian series?
Sean: Romance is at the core of this story. It’s a big, explosive series with a lot of twists and action, but it’s still about people. At the end of the day it all comes down to love – but love hurts, and it’s never easy.
Thanks for visiting today Sean. I hope you sell many books!
Now, here is the promised excerpt:
There were voices.
“An admiral? Is this a joke?” one of the voices said.
“It’s the seal. Look at this. I think someone’s done something to it.”
“Is he alive?”
“This isn’t even our ship.”
“He’s breathing. I have him.”
I was distracted from the pain wracking my body by a pair of soft lips on mine, and a rush of welcome, secondhand oxygen. The kindness didn’t last. A powerful fist smashed into my sternum.
The hand drew back for another blow, but I managed to grab the wrist and hold it. I didn’t need to be hit again.
Coughing, I opened my eyes just to shut them again. There were three lights blinding me. I released the wrist, then slowly sat up and groaned. Someone backed away from me. The deck was cold, and the air didn’t taste right.
I opened one eye and squinted up. Three people stood over me. Two young women, one young man. They wore only service-issue undergarments. Like me, they must have just come out of their sleepers.
I had no circulation in my limbs. My mouth was dry. The world was skipping frames, and my mind was stumbling to catch up. Sleepers were good at shutting down brain function; they weren’t as good at bringing it back. I could feel my heart twitching in a way that I didn’t particularly like, though the sleeper wasn’t to blame for that.
I felt like a dead man. I’d had bad wake-ups before, but nothing like this. Apart from a few readouts, the sleeper bay was completely dark. No lights, no emergency lights. Tangled as my head was, I knew that couldn’t be right.
The deck was metal, and not especially clean. I could feel an aggressive nonslip pattern of ridges under my palm. That was unexpected.
“What’s happening?” I asked, rubbing at my eyes and trying to make myself focus. It was as if I had all the negative effects of ethanol poisoning, but none of its perks. Every part of my brain was struggling except my memory. “Where are we?”
The three exchanged looks.
“Undetermined, sir.” That came from the shorter of the two females. The tall one watched me suspiciously, and the young man looked like he was trying to wake up from a bad dream. I knew exactly how he felt.
“Did you pull me?”
“You were showing warning lights. Something’s wrong with this unit,” the young man said, tapping the sleeper’s plastic shield. “The power’s gone, sir.”
“Thank you.” That was why these three had their hand-lights. My thoughts weren’t so jumbled that I didn’t know they’d just saved my life by getting me out of that sleeper.
I didn’t know where we were, but it wasn’t Payne Station. The paralysis was wearing off. I wanted to close my eyes and lie back down.
So I got to my feet, wobbling only a little. I reached up, touching my hair. It was short. I’d already known that; I was just checking.
The taller of the two women was eye to eye with me, and I’m nearly two meters. The look she was giving me wasn’t particularly friendly.
I rubbed my face, finding stubble. I shook my head and considered the three young people, thinking fast.
I eyed the young man. “Are you a tech?”
He nodded. “Ensign Nils. Trainee.”
I looked them over, trying to understand. “All of you?”
“Yes, sir,” they replied as one.
Evagardian trainees. All graduates. I sort of waved my hand at them.
“And you’re all going to the Julian.”
“Yes, sir.” Nice chorus.
I pinched the bridge of my nose and groaned. They politely just stood there, staring at me. We were all shivering.
I pulled myself together and tried to look as though I was in control of my life. How had these three gotten onto a ship transporting me? I took a deep breath to keep my temper under control.