Windward is a soft take on a space western in which the corporate colonialism of Persephone Station meets the found fatherhood of The Mandalorian. The manuscript is complete at 110,000 words, and while standing just fine on its own, it is the first of a planned trilogy.
Hank Bitters (52) is a disgruntled former poster-boy living a wrangler’s life of measured violence and rigid self-control on MirVetra – a windblown, frontier world owned by a neo-Russian corporation. Reluctantly renown for his accidental role in starting an interstellar drug trade based on the deadly, telepathic creatures which inhabit the planet, Hank hates most of the people most of the time. He only makes an exception for his sister’s kids, Kipp (16) and Andromeda (12), who now live with him after their mother’s presumably drug-related disappearance.
But when Andromeda’s blackouts suddenly start getting worse, no one on this corporate rock can tell him why. Hank is sure that the advanced medical facilities back on Earth could ‘fix’ her, but offworld codes have been denied to him and his family for a generation. To do what he believes he must in order to save his niece, Hank ends up in the one place he has worked hard to avoid for his entire life – deep in the Company’s pocket.
Of course they will help with the codes, but the Company’s little ‘to-do’ list may be impossible, even for him.
- Bring in a record-breaking quota of the prized ‘boven,’ despite the fact that the entire species has been pushed to the verge of extinction due to over-harvesting.
- Investigate and solve a series of strange and grisly murders in his small town before the residents start to tear each other apart from fear.
- All this while training another rookie for his team- an irritating and distracting woman who seems to be entirely too good at everything.
The harder Hank tries to force everything to turn out right, the worse everything gets. The herds are too thin. The murders continue, threatening those he loves. And the rookie is playing a game of her own. Facing ecological and societal collapse, all of his hard-won rules fail him. To truly save his family, Hank must give up his need for control, put down the guilt he has carried for decades, and accept the uncomfortable truth that not every problem needs a solution. If he can do all this and stay alive, he might help usher in the next step in human evolution.