Alma Boykin is no stranger to readers of these pages. She's a friend to Miss D. and I in meatspace as well as cyberspace, and we've enjoyed her books for years. (We'll be spending time with her this weekend.)
Her latest novel in the "Colplatschki Chronicles" series is an interesting one. "Fountains of Mercy" is the eighth in the series, but is actually a prequel to the other books. It might appear at first to be a dystopian novel with science fiction overtones, but it's far from the run-of-the-mill in both genres. Alma makes things much more technically interesting, and given her very extensive and varied background and education, she makes them believable, too.
The blurb reads:
Fires dance in the sky, and the great machines fail.
Colonial Plantation LTD can't decide what to do with Solana, also called ColPlat XI. Should it be a nature preserve, a living museum of pre-industrial techniques, or a standard colony? As the bureaucrats wrangle, a solar storm disrupts technology and reveals deep rifts between the colonists and their administrators.
Susanna "Basil" Peilov clawed her way out of the slums and wants nothing to do with the Company. Peter Babenburg just wants to build his water system and stay out of trouble. When the sky-fires come, Basil, Peter, and their families and friends stand between the colony and chaos. Company administrators assure everyone that replacement parts and assistance is coming, will come. Without those supply ships from the stars, everything falls apart and the colony will die. All that people can do is wait and hope for rescue.
The administrators never planned on facing a group of engineers, a crazy farmer and his wives, and colonists determined to protect their home. Hope comes from some unlikely places, and courage takes eccentric shapes.
It's an interesting book, and is currently keeping me busy turning the pages. Recommended reading.