Escaping Exodus might seem like a departure for fans of The Prey of Gods and Temper, which are both set on Earth, but the truth is, my head is stuck in the stars a big chunk of the time. I love a good space drama. My all-time favorite movies are The Fifth Element and Galaxy Quest, and oh, this new Star Trek Discovery…be still, my heart.
Escaping Exodus is a story of a young woman named Seske Kaleigh, heir to the command of a biological, city-size starship carved up from the insides of a spacefaring beast. Her clan has just now culled their latest ship and the workers are busy stripping down the bonework for building materials, rerouting the circulatory system for mass transit, and preparing the cavernous creature for the onslaught of the general populous still in stasis. It’s all a part of the cycle her clan had instituted centuries ago—excavate the new beast, expand into its barely-living carcass, extinguish its resources over the course of a decade, then escape in a highly coordinated exodus back into stasis until they cull the next beast from the diminishing herd.
And of course there wouldn’t be much of a story if things didn’t go terribly, terribly wrong.
I’ve been obsessed with biological ships since Farscape. For one, the possibilities for gross out horror and humor are limitless when you’ve got people living inside a space-faring organism, and two, it really reinforces the codependency between people and their environment. Ideally, this parasite-host relationship should benefit both, but at least neither should suffer (much) at the expense of the other. When that balance shifts, though, things get interesting, and by interesting, I mean awful for all parties involved.
But like all Nicky Drayden Novels™ (yes, that’s a thing), this story will be a mix of the unapologetic 5th grade humor and the dark, heart-wrenching relationships you’re used to. If you want a little taste of what can go wrong when living inside an organic ship, check out my short story Our Drunken Tjeng. And because you’ll probably need a palate cleanser to bring you out of your funk, you can also read Wrath of the Porcelain Gods for a chuckle. Unapologetic, I tell you.
Thanks so much for coming on this journey with me! I’m really looking forward to taking you to the stars.
Nicky Drayden’s short fiction has appeared in publications such as Shimmer and Space and Time. Her first novel, THE PREY OF GODS, was on numerous “Best of” lists in 2017, and her next novel, TEMPER is out this summer. She is a systems analyst and resides in Austin, Texas, where being weird is highly encouraged, if not required.
Escaping Exodus is scheduled to be in readers’ orbit Summer 2019.