Putting Alaska Into Our Space Opera

Contributed by Michael Miller and AdriAnne Strickland

Shadow Run Book Launch
3/21/2017 – 4PM
Fireside Books
720 S Alaska St B, Palmer
FREE Admission, $17.99 Book

March 21st is the publication date of Shadow Run, a young adult space opera by AdriAnne Strickland and myself, Michael Miller. Shadow Run is inspired by all the sci-fi and adventure favorites that we loved - Firefly, Dune and of course, Star Wars. It also represents the realization of quite a few hopes: being published for one of course, and the chance to tell a story that others will find fun and inspiring. 

But it’s also the realization of another dream, one we both shared when we started this story: incorporating our love of Alaska. 

Some of it is obvious. AdriAnne has been a commercial fisherwoman for years, spending her summers with her husband on the waters of Bristol Bay. When she said she wanted to use that experience somehow, I jumped at the chance. For myself, I had grown up on a homestead, off the grid, and that love of a lifestyle many wouldn’t choose in a million years was something I had always wanted to bring to any story. And so, our protagonists brave the cold edges of space seeking a valuable resource, while living a way of life they love but no one values. 

As much as that’s the starting point of the story, and it seems to veer quickly into very different territory - conspiracies, resource wars, and imminent danger - our inspiration informs the rest of our characters journey. 

Like many Alaskans, we like to travel, and that exposure continually drives home the point that what we consider commonplace is strange and unfamiliar to others. Our ways of life, friendships and interests are often positively radical to folks in the Lower 48 and other places. It’s in that intersection and clash of cultures - rural and urban, wilderness and civilization, ancient and modern - that we found our sandbox. 

We populated it with a teenage starship captain, royalty, advanced civilizations that have collapsed and rebuilt and of course, romance with swords in space. It’s meant to be pure fun, but I dearly hope that as Alaskans read it, they recognize that common thread so many of us share. 

It’s in that hope that we’d love to invite anyone to our book launch on Tuesday, March 21st hosted by the incredible Fireside Books in Palmer. There’s even a dinner at Turkey Red after, with more details on the Fireside website. We look forward to seeing you there!