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The Worlds of Hollow Moon
by Steph Bennion

A LONG TIME FROM NOW IN A GALAXY WE CALL HOME: Welcome to tales of space-opera mystery and adventure! The Hollow Moon series is for all who relish a dose of humour and practical astrophysics with their fantasy, for young adults and adults young at heart. It is the twenty-third century and scientists, dreamers, crooks and believers have bridged the vast cosmos, staking their claims where distant suns burn fierce in the sky...

"The world building is excellent, the characters intriguing and the action a mix of drama and an occasional scene of pure slapstick that had me chuckling away. [...] If you like space opera, then I recommend this series."
- (Awesome Indies' review of CITY OF DECEIT).

HOLLOW MOON (Book 1): Here starts the tale of Ravana O’Brien, the intrepid teenage heroine of the series, a half-Australian, half-Indian trainee engineer who lives with her father in a forgotten asteroid colony ship drifting around Barnard’s Star. What began as a minor escapade to rescue her erratic electric cat soon becomes a fast-paced mystery of interstellar intrigue, taking Ravana and friends back into the civil war from which she and her father had fled. Hollow Moon is an incredible planet-hopping adventure into the shady world of politics, rebellion and school band competitions; a tale of mystery, humour and thrills! This book was described by Awesome Indies as: “...a refreshing change from the dark paranormal, dystopian and urban fantasies that populate the YA shelves...”

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PAW-PRINTS OF THE GODS (Book 2): Ravana O’Brien, the reluctant young heroine of Hollow Moon, finds herself on another wild adventure, this time in the company of two extra-terrestrial greys, a cake-obsessed secret agent and a mysterious little boy wanted by the alien-worshipping Dhusarian Church. A perilous quest across the deadly deserts of Falsafah brings them into conflict with cyberclone monks, homicidal giant spiders, a psychotic nurse and a god-like cat woman with secrets of her own. Archaeologists are on the verge of a discovery that will shake the five systems to the core. Can detective Ostara and reporter Fornax uncover the truth? Paw-Prints Of The Gods is a space-opera mystery set around the discovery of ancient alien ruins on a desert planet; and a prophecy that may or may not be real...

CITY OF DECEIT (Book 3): Raja Surya, young heir to the throne of Yuanshi, cannot stay out of trouble for long. Zotz Wak, intrepid boy inventor, decides Earth is the place to become a man. The eponymous City Of Deceit is the dystopian 23rd-century London, ravaged by rising sea levels, social inequalities and terrible politics. The United Nations is deciding the fate of Surya’s world. The Que Qiao Corporation is using the threat of alien monsters to call for war. Ravana O’Brien, the heroine of previous adventures, is stricken with a mystery illness and her hollow moon home has problems of its own. With the first ever interstellar battleships making their appearance, the far-flung worlds of the five systems would never be the same again. Taranis, the dark priest of destiny, has returned!

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SHORT STORIES: Seasonal 'Hollow Moon' short stories have been published every December since 2011. These are generally science-fiction re-tellings of traditional fairytales popular in the British tradition of pantomime, while fitting into the overall story arc of the novels: To Dance Amongst The Stars brings together the 'prequel' tales that in the overall story arc take place before Hollow Moon. Merry Christmas, Mister Wolf brings together the 'main sequence' seasonal specials that take place during the time of the novels. Also available is Three Tales For Christmas, an introductory anthology for Kindle readers. Other related short stories have been published elsewhere.

For special offers, please see WyrdStar News and the associated RSS feed for the latest offers (Amazon free offers, Smashwords vouchers, etc). Thanks for visiting! Steph.


Hollow Moon story timeline

ORDINARY PEOPLE IN EXTRAORDINARY WORLDS: The following lists the various stories in the order they fit together within the overall series timeline. To date I have published three novels plus a selection of short stories, all of which share the same fictional universe where humanity has learned to cross the cosmos and reach the nearby stars. The worlds move on from tale to tale, but each novel and short story is a 'stand-alone' read with no annoying cliff-hanger endings...

The best starting point for the series is Hollow Moon. However, the novels and short stories fit together thus:

PREQUELS

22nd Century (2160s)

ebook ebook IN THE LAP OF THE GODS (short story)
There are those who would stop at nothing to keep Professor Krakenspreken's innovative extra-dimensional drive from becoming a reality. For the investigating police officers, reality stretched further than they expected. Events lead them to suspect that perhaps fate is best not left in the lap of the gods, especially when the mysterious Athene is involved...
[Timeline: 120 years before HOLLOW MOON]

23rd Century (Early 2270s)

ebook ebook G.E.N.I.E. AND THE L.A.M.P. (short story)
Angelos Inari, petty thief and self-professed laziest man in Epsilon Eridani, is offered more money than he's ever seen to steal a top-secret corporation interrogation device. Before the night is out, he is surrounded in riches and has won the girl of his dreams. Unfortunately, the mysterious Namtar has no intention of letting Inari keep his wonderful new prize...
[Timeline: 17 years before HOLLOW MOON]
ebook ebook TO DANCE AMONGST THE STARS (short story)
Can the poor, down-trodden kitchen slave Ganesa find a Prince Charming in the shape of young, dashing space captain Hanuman? As they meet for the first time on the dance floor at the American Embassy's Christmas Ball, she is the first to admit he's not exactly her type in this tongue-in-cheek pastiche of Cinderella.
[Timeline: 15 years before HOLLOW MOON]

(Late 2270s)

ebook ebook THE WATCHER AND THE PRIEST (short story)
Priest Taranis is far from home and close to death, his quest to find the mythical home world of the greys having ended in disaster. Against the odds, help is at hand, but who is the mysterious stranger wearing his boots? Caught between masters and slaves, sacrifices must be made if the dark priest of destiny is to live to tell his tale...
[Timeline: Nine years before HOLLOW MOON]
ebook ebook IT'S A BLUNDERFUL LIFE (short story)
It is Christmas Eve and revolution is afoot on Yuanshi. Pursued by armed agents, Fenris contemplates his fate as he prepares to end it all with a midnight leap from a bridge. Then a mysterious stranger arrives to persuade him that life is worth living, but can a Samaritans hologram really hope to convince him by showing the greatest blunders of his life?
[Timeline: Set straight after "The Watcher And The Priest"]
ebook ebook PSYCHE'S SEVEN: Part 1 (short story)
The notorious prison of Feng Du was no place for Psyche to spend the first fourteen years of her life. When her mother passes away, she escapes to the mainland and finds sanctuary with a group of young miners. Meanwhile, Governor Malingee of Taotie has ambitions to be number one in Epsilon Eridani and nothing will stand in her way...
[Timeline: 'Ten years' before Part 2 (see 'main sequence')]
ebook ebook THE NON-EXISTENCE OF GRAVITY (short story)
Fifteen-year-old Cethlenn was lucky to be working with her Aunt Morrigan, a crazy yet talented engineer with a workshop on the moon of Asgard, Alpha Centauri. That is until Luison, an undercover corporation agent, tricks Cethlenn into a dangerous scrapyard experiment aboard the derelict USS Goliath...
[Timeline: Eight years before HOLLOW MOON]

(Early 2280s)

ebook ebook ROCK OF AGES (short story)
Letters from the past were hidden for a reason. But breaking into the secure facility was child's play compared to an unexpected family reunion. What was the connection between Krakenspreken's daughter and Kedesh's own lost uncle? Tea and cake at the spaceport was a welcome distraction. The mysterious woman calling herself Athene less so...
[Timeline: Six years before HOLLOW MOON]

* * *

MAIN SEQUENCE (Late 2280s)

ebook HOLLOW MOON (Hollow Moon #1)

A kidnapped prince, a school band competition and an electric cat that eats everything in sight! Join intrepid young heroine Ravana O'Brien in a fast-paced and witty science-fiction mystery of interstellar intrigue. Having fled civil war sixteen light years away, Ravana and her father now live in the sleepy commune of the hollow moon, a forgotten colony ship drifting around Barnard's Star. Yet the evil priest Taranis, the dark architect of destiny, has returned from the dead.

What began as a minor escapade to rescue her erratic electric pet soon leads Ravana and friends on an incredible planet-hopping voyage into the shady dystopian world of politics, terrible music and rebellion! Hollow Moon is an adventure for all who relish a dose of humour and practical astrophysics with their fantasy, for young adults and adults young at heart.
[Timeline: "Last decades of the 23rd Century"]

* * *

ebook ebook MERRY CHRISTMAS, MISTER WOLF (short story)
Christmas at the exclusive ski resort of Kirchel, with its concrete log cabins and artificial snow, was a tedious affair. But the robot security wolves that patrolled the dome at night were rejects from the brutal Gods of Avalon game show. When the power fails, Hestia and her friends would soon wish they had never ventured into the forest in search of park ranger Granny.
[Timeline: Two months after HOLLOW MOON]
ebook ebook A WIZARD, A SWORD AND A KING (short story)
The young orphan Artorius is resigned to spending Christmas on Avalon alone, wandering the snowy streets of Londinium just as a new series of the bloodthirsty holovid show Gods Of Avalon is about to start. But why are the alien-worshipping nuns encamped in the fake Temple of Mithras taking more notice of him than usual?
[Timeline: Set straight after "Merry Christmas, Mister Wolf"]

* * *

ebook PAW-PRINTS OF THE GODS (Hollow Moon #2)

ON THE FORBIDDING PLANET OF FALSAFAH, archaeologists are on the verge of a discovery that will shake the five systems to the core!

Ravana O'Brien, snatched from her friends for reasons unknown, finds herself on another wild adventure, this time in the company of two alien greys, a cake-obsessed secret agent and a mysterious little orphan boy at the centre of something very big indeed. Their journey across the deadly dry deserts of Falsafah soon becomes a struggle against homicidal giant spiders, hostile machines and a psychotic nurse, not to mention an omniscient god-like watcher who is maybe also a cat.

The disturbing new leaders of the Dhusarian Church and their cyberclone monks are preparing to meet their masters and saviours. But nobody believes in prophecies anymore, do they? Paw-Prints Of The Gods is a light-hearted adventure for all young adults and adults young at heart.
[Timeline: Six months after HOLLOW MOON]

* * *

ebook CITY OF DECEIT (Hollow Moon #3)

Raja Surya, young heir to the throne of the moon of Yuanshi, cannot stay out of trouble for long. Zotz Wak, intrepid boy inventor otherwise known as The Flying Fox, decides Earth is the place to become a man. Together they must battle the dystopian darkness of 23rd-century London: a city of deceit, under the thumb of corporations, its people barricaded behind flood walls, bewitched by the hypnotic holoverse and worse.

The United Nations is deciding the fate of Surya's world. The Que Qiao Corporation is using the threat of alien monsters to call for war. Ravana O'Brien, the heroine of their previous adventures, is stricken with a mystery illness and her hollow moon home has problems of its own.

Surya never thought he would be in the captain's chair aboard the first ever interstellar battleship. Zotz never expected to find himself accused of being a spy and terrorist at the centre of political skulduggery in London. The far-flung worlds of the five systems would never be the same again. Taranis, the dark priest of destiny, has returned.
[Timeline: Four months after PAW-PRINTS OF THE GODS]

* * *

ebook ebook THE CLOCKWORK CAT (short story)
Ostara Lee, private detective, is lured to the wealthy city of Bradbury Heights by a mysterious message asking for her help on a case. Captain Nyx of Newbrum police is in league with smuggler Bouki Moritasgus and only a brass clockwork cat, stolen by street urchin Tomtem from the Dickens Christmas Fair, can save the day.
[Timeline: Four months after CITY OF DECEIT]
ebook ebook PSYCHE'S SEVEN: Part 2 (short story)
The notorious prison of Feng Du was no place for Psyche to spend the first fourteen years of her life. When her mother passes away, she escapes to the mainland and finds sanctuary with a group of young miners. Meanwhile, Governor Malingee of Taotie has ambitions to be number one in Epsilon Eridani and nothing will stand in her way...
[Timeline: Set straight after "The Clockwork Cat"; Part 1 is 'ten years' earlier (see 'prequels')]

The Five Systems: a guide to locations

The following is a list of places referenced in various stories. The charts are not to scale! Stories that visit a named settlement or world are noted in square brackets. (NOTE: The short story "The Watcher And The Priest" takes place in an alien Dyson Tree habitat orbiting the star Procyon, beyond the Five Systems.)

ALPHA CENTAURI SYSTEM
Double star, four light years from Sol: Alpha Centauri A is a G2V star, of mass 1.1 and radius 1.2 of Sol. Alpha Centauri B is a K1V star, of mass 0.9 and radius 0.9 of Sol.
ASGARD - Moon of Thule (independent). ["The Non-Existence Of Gravity"]
AVALON - Terraformed moon of Thule, administered by the Avalon Broadcasting Corporation (independent). ["A Wizard, A Sword And A King"]
Edward Everett Hale - First crewed spaceship to reach another star system, abandoned in orbit around Avalon and now used by the Avalon Broadcasting Corporation for five-system broadcasts.
PROXIMA CENTAURI - M5.5Ve star (red dwarf), four light years from Sol, of mass 0.1 and radius 0.2 of Sol.
Proxima Station - USA research station orbiting Mag Mell.
MAG MELL - Gas giant orbiting Proxima Centauri in Alpha Centauri system.
THULE - Gas giant in Alpha Centauri system on outer edge of habitable zone, around which orbits the major moons of Asgard and Avalon.
Alpha Centauri

* * *

BARNARD'S STAR SYSTEM
M4Ve star (red dwarf), six light years from Sol, of mass 0.2 and radius 0.2 of Sol.
ASCENSION - Desert planet in habitable zone in Barnard's Star system, with limited native life (previously called Frigg) (Commonwealth). [Hollow Moon; Paw-Prints Of The Gods]
Bradbury Heights - Domed city of Ascension. ["The Clockwork Cat"]
CSS Sky Cleaver - Commonwealth Space Station; cloud-mining facility (hydrogen, helium-3) orbiting Thunor, Barnard's Star system. [Paw-Prints Of The Gods]
CSS Stellarbridge - Commonwealth Space Station; orbital space dock serving Ascension, Barnard's Star system. [Paw-Prints Of The Gods]
Dandridge Cole - Abandoned asteroid colony ship in Barnard's Star system, since taken over by independent settlers (known as the 'hollow moon', see below). [Hollow Moon; Paw-Prints Of The Gods; City Of Deceit]
Kirchel - Domed city and ski resort on Ascension. ["Merry Christmas, Mister Wolf"]
Lan-Tlanto - Independent spaceport on Ascension.
Newbrum - Domed city and princible spaceport of Ascension (previously New Birmingham). [Hollow Moon; Paw-Prints Of The Gods]
THUNOR - Gas giant, fourth planet of Barnard's Star, the atmosphere of which is mined for hydrogen and helium-3 (see CSS Sky Cleaver).
Barnard's Star

* * *

Hollow AsteroidDandridge Cole

Some of you who have read my 2012 novel Hollow Moon may know that the asteroid colony ship at the centre of the story is named after Dandridge MacFarlan Cole, American aerospace engineer, futurist, lecturer and author who died tragically young (age 44) in 1965.

Cole often promoted the idea of colonising the asteroids. The 'planetoids', as he argued they should be called, could be hollowed out or inflated to create a bubbleworld with habitable space on the inside. He envisaged the resulting space arks orbiting within the solar system or even being sent out on interstellar expeditions.

He and artist Roy Scarfo collaborated on the book Beyond Tomorrow: The Next Fifty Years in Space (1965), a wonderful vision of future advancements in space exploration, space development and colonisation, all based on scientific feasability at that time. The illustration on the right of a hollow asteroid is taken from this book.

(See also 'In Memory of Dandridge MacFarlan Cole', WyrdStar News Archive.)

* * *

EPSILON ERIDANI SYSTEM
K2V star, 10 light years from Sol, of mass 0.9 and radius 0.7 of Sol.
Ayodhya - Capital city of Yuanshi, a moon of Shennong. [Hollow Moon; "It's A Blunderful Life"]
DAODE - Moon of Shennong, lightly terraformed for human habitation with native life (India / Que Qiao Corporation). [Hollow Moon]
Hemakuta - Capital city and main spaceport of Daode. [Hollow Moon]
Lanka - Second city and Royalist stronghold on Yuanshi. [Hollow Moon; City Of Deceit; "To Dance Amongst The Stars"; "It's A Blunderful Life"]
SHENNONG - Gas giant in Epsilon Eridani system on outer edge of habitable zone, around which orbits the major moons of Lingbao, Yuanshi and Daode.
TAOTIE - Large Earth-like planet on inner edge of habitable zone of Epsilon Eridani, with Terran-like biosphere and primitive native life (China). ["GENIE And The LAMP"; "Psyche's Seven"]
YUANSHI - Moon of Shennong, lightly terraformed for human habitation with native life (India / Que Qiao Corporation). [Hollow Moon; City Of Deceit; "To Dance Amongst The Stars"; "It's A Blunderful Life"]
Epsilon Eridani

* * *

SOLAR SYSTEM
G2V star of mass 2 x 10^30 kg and diameter 1.4 x 10^6 km. Humankind's native star.
Armstrong Orbital - Space station orbiting Luna, Earth's moon. [City Of Deceit; "It's A Blunderful Life"]
Birmingham - Second city of the United Kingdom, Earth; birthplace of the Extra-Dimensional Drive. ["In The Lap Of The Gods"]
EARTH - Third planet in Solar System and cradle of humanity. According to some, mostly harmless (multi-national). [City Of Deceit; "In The Lap Of The Gods"; "Rock Of Ages"]
Isengard - Que Qiao iron-extraction and ship-building scientific facility in north polar region of Mercury. [City Of Deceit]
London - European City State in the United Kingdom, Earth; temporary meeting place of the United Nations. [City Of Deceit]
MARS - Partly terraformed planet in Solar System (multi-national).
MERCURY - Innermost planet in Solar System (Que Qiao). [City Of Deceit]
Shanghai - City in China, Earth; location of a Que Qiao Corporation records facility. ["Rock Of Ages"]
Sol

* * *

TAU CETI SYSTEM
G8V star, 12 light years from Sol, of mass 0.8 and radius 0.8 of Sol.
ARAM - Earth-like planet with native life in habitable zone in Tau Ceti system (Arab Nations / European Space Agencies).
Arallu Wastes - Dried-up river delta on desert planet of Falsafah; location of exo-archaeological dig. [Paw-Prints Of The Gods; City Of Deceit]
FALSAFAH - Desert planet in Tau Ceti's habitable zone; an unusual 'counter-planet' to Aram with an erratic orbit (ANSA / Que Qiao). [Paw-Prints Of The Gods; City Of Deceit]
Falsafah Alpha - Mothballed USA exobiological research centre on Falsafah near the 'Valley of the Spiders'. [Paw-Prints Of The Gods]
Falsafah Beta - Abandoned USA research centre used as a secret hideaway by the Dhusarian Church. [Paw-Prints Of The Gods]
Tau Ceti

THE WORLDS OF HOLLOW MOON came about through my love of space opera and science fiction. I enjoyed writing these books so much that more are sure to follow!

> The Worlds Of Hollow Moon overview.
> Hollow Moon (novel) book page.
> Paw-Prints Of The Gods (novel) book page.
> City Of Deceit (novel) book page.
> To Dance Amongst The Stars (prequel short stories) book page.
> Merry Christmas, Mister Wolf (main-sequence short stories) book page.
> Three Tales For Christmas (introductory anthology for Kindle) book page.

Please see WyrdStar News and the associated RSS feed for latest offers. Thanks for visiting! - Steph Bennion.

Hollow Moon

Ebook stores and Digital Rights Management (DRM)

Smashwords
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All content (c) Steph Bennion, WyrdStar and Danse Macabre 2007-2018.

Top of Page Page last updated: 1 January 2018