Pivoting from the project I worked on through most of June, I’ve decided to spend July getting some stories self-published. Specifically, the first two or three of the stories I’ve written in my “Human Destiny” universe.
This is a setting in which humanity is conquered in the mid-21st century by an interstellar empire called the Khedai Hegemony. The Hegemony then proceeds to govern Earth with a surprising degree of detached benevolence, providing peace, long life, prosperity, and more individual freedom than most humans have ever enjoyed under human rule. The cost, of course, is humanity’s control over its own fate.
Two hundred years later, and much to everyone’s surprise, the Hegemony opens the door to permit a few exceptional humans to serve as officers in the “interstellar service,” a starship fleet with combined roles of exploration, contact, and enforcement of law and policy. Kind of like Star Trek‘s Starfleet, if that was run by non-humans, and if it very much did not have a Prime Directive of non-interference.
One of the first humans to earn a commission in the interstellar service is Aminata Ndoye, a woman who grew up in what we would think of as Senegal. Eventually she reaches command rank in the service, many thousands of years before anyone expected a human to do so. From there she plays a part in establishing humanity’s long-term role in the galaxy: the human destiny.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve already written two stories about Aminata, and my work through June has given me a fair amount of inspiration for a third. So I’ve decided to stop sitting on these stories and start self-publishing them. Which means I need to be thinking about cover images. So, over this weekend, I broke out my favorite 3D-modeling tools and started putting together a cover image for the first story. That work isn’t finished, but I have a pretty good start, a head-shot of Aminata herself as a young woman, just starting out on her career.
Here she is:
This image fits a scene late in the story, in which Aminata dresses up very formally (including the hijab which Senegalese women rarely wear) before a visit to the local Hegemony governor, an encounter which sets her on the path that eventually leads her to the stars.
A bit more work and I should have a complete book cover. One more editing pass through the story itself, and I’ll transpose that into e-book format for publication. With any luck, that story will be up on Amazon by the end of this week.