Excerpt: The Silver Ships by Scott Jucha

About the Book:


An explorer-tug captain, Alex Racine detects a damaged alien craft drifting into the system. Recognizing a once in a lifetime opportunity to make first contact, Alex pulls off a daring maneuver to latch on to the derelict.

Alex discovers the ship was attacked by an unknown craft, the first of its kind ever encountered. The mysterious silver ship’s attack was both instant and deadly.

What enfolds is a story of the descendants of two Earth colony ships, with very different histories, meeting 700 years after their founding and uniting to defend humanity from the silver ships.

Read an Excerpt:

Featured in Dec/Jan 2017 Issue: 2016 Best Indie Book Competition Winners

Chapter 1

“Anomaly detected,” Tara’s dulcet voice announced.

Alex sat upright in his pilot’s seat. “Show me.” On the navigation screen, a thin red line encircled a tiny dot. “Any telemetry available?”

“The object is headed in system at 13 degrees below the ecliptic. Distance: 388 million kilometers.”


“It’s constant at 0.02c.”

Alex’s heart skipped a beat. “That’s too fast for an asteroid. So what are you?”

New Terrans had ventured no farther than the ice fields, a dense ring of asteroids circling beyond Seda, a gas giant and the system’s ninth and last planet. Since the colony’s founding 732 years ago, there hadn’t been any outside contact—human or otherwise.

“How soon before it reaches the ice fields, Tara?”

“At its present velocity, it will enter the rings in five days.”

“When will it intersect our system horizon?”

“Two days later, it will cross the ecliptic near Seda.”

At present, Alex was headed for Sharius, one of Seda’s moons, for refueling. The Outward Bound, under its 1g acceleration, had achieved a velocity of 0.01c. In seven days, his path would intersect with the anomaly’s.

Thirteen days earlier, Alex had piloted his explorer-tug next to a dark, craggy, 580m long asteroid, whose thick layer of ice covered a small, solid core. Using tethering beams, he’d pinned it to his ship then fired a 2-meter long metal shaft into the ice. An electronic beacon housed in the shaft switched on and began broadcasting. Encoded with Tara’s telemetry, it did double duty as information for bidders and as a tracking signal, broadcasting the asteroid’s tag and his ship’s ID.

Tara recorded the claim with the Ministry, initiating the bidding. All the mining outposts on Ganymede’s frozen, rocky moons and the government habitats on Niomedes were bidders, as none possessed a natural source of water. Days later, the Niomedes Gordon Habitat was confirmed as the highest bidder and the new owner of Alex’s latest haul.

With the asteroid firmly tethered in place, the Outward Bound, with engines blasting, slowly redirected the mass from its ancient orbit into a new trajectory.

Continue Reading.