Waypoint Seven

Here’s one you may not have heard of. Xan van Rooyen is a South African non-binary person currently living in Finland. Xan and I have been on a number of panels together at Nordic conventions, and at this year’s Finncon we will be discussing Queer Fantasies. Waypoint Seven, however, is not exactly a fantasy, it is a space opera with magic.

The book, by the way, is published by Mirari Press. You probably won’t have heard of them either. They are a relatively new small press based in Cape Town. I know how tough it is to start a publishing company, and I wish them well on their journey. Especially as they have a commitment to publishing diverse voices.

As to the book, well, the universe is under threat. It is space opera, right. One of the more technologically advanced civilisations has sent missions out through the universe looking for a solution to the problem that threatens their survival. These ‘wayfarers’ have been given strict Prime Directive instructions.

Waypoint Seven is one of their targets. To date, three missions have been sent there. All have been lost.

Meanwhile, on the planet that has been named Waypoint Seven, magic is literally falling from the skies, from a rent in the universe. Runo and his friends live by scavenging this bounty. They work for a vicious gang boss called Malikin who has a reputation for abusing his underlings. They’d love to run, but they need money to do so, and keeping profits from Malikin is a dangerous business. It doesn’t help that Runo is a member of a minority culture in their city, and liable to be executed by the city’s racist high priestess if he’s found out.

Then, one day, an angel falls from the sky.

As you can see, there is a lot going on here. It may surprise you to learn that the book is a novella. Given the amount of worldbuilding that van Rooyen has done, I could feel a novel straining to burst out of the confines of this little book. Then again, novellas are popular these days, and if you are interested in trying a new author, perhaps a shorter book is more appealing.

Anyway, I hope you do. After the first couple of chapters, there’s a breakneck pace to this book. Also it asks interesting questions about how people respond to looming disaster. And if that isn’t topical these days, I don’t know what is.

book cover
Title: Waypoint Seven
By: Xan van Rooyen
Publisher: Mirari Press
Purchase links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US
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