U Is for Adoption

Not quite a decade ago, I was binge-watching a DVD collection of The Lone Ranger, the version that came out from 1949-1957 with Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels. My brain, being as weird as it is, wondered what might have happened if one of the main characters and the bad guys had been aliens. As I started hashing out the details of the plot and characters, I realized it was sounding far too much like a bad fanfic of The Lone Ranger, so I decided to change the setting. One problem: For the plotline to work, humans could not have high tech widgetry. Even today’s ubiquitous handheld computer gadgets would throw a wrench into the works, so I cast about a time before ever-present computers but after the Wild West. Right about then, I was watching Adam-12 and Emergency! while grading papers every night. Bingo! The tech level was pretty much what I needed. I picked 1965 in a South Texas town I made up.

About 5 years ago, I wrote the short story and called it “Wind Herding” because of a line used by the two main characters to describe their situation. Over the next several years, the short story mutated and expanded and now it’s two books, the first of which, Urushalon: Like Herding the Wind, is due out from PDMI Publishing soon.

The alien race, the Eshuvani, are physically stronger than humans but emotionally more fragile. They have been on Earth since their generation ship crashed in Germany in the 1600s, but the Eshuvani tried to keep to themselves so humans could develop their culture and technology at an appropriate rate. From time to time, a human and Eshuvani form a special adoption relationship. The two involved are called “urushalon.” … So that’s why U is for Adoption. Here’s the back cover blurb for the forthcoming book.

Matt Ostrom did the cover art. This is a preliminary sketch of the Eshuvani aircraft called an "avicopter."

Matt Ostrom did the cover art. This is his preliminary sketch of the Eshuvani aircraft called an “avicopter.”

In the 1600s, an Eshuvani generation ship crash-landed in a farmer’s field in Germany. Unable to find the resources on Earth to fix their ship, the Eshuvani built enclaves and tried to let the humans develop without interference.

Three hundred fifty years later, Eshuvani criminals start a crime wave in the Texas coastal town of Las Palomas. With police officers being injured and killed in the efforts to stop them, Sergeant Ed Osborn attempts to use his ties to the Eshuvani community to get help for his men, but the local leadership wants nothing to do with humans. Ed contacts his urushalon, Amaya Ulonya, the Eshuvani mother he adopted when he was a boy, and seeks her help.

After the death of her partner, Amaya, the captain of a police and rescue team, finds more grief than joy in her current assignment. Amidst controversy, she arranges to spearhead the new Buffer Zone station between Las Palomas and the nearby Eshuvani enclave of Woran Oldue. She hopes the opportunity to help Ed train his people will help her bury the past. The indifference of the local administration leaves her with Ill-functioning equipment and inexperienced staff. It only gets worse when the attacks of an Eshuvani criminal grow personal.

Amaya must get control of her grief to help Las Palomas or risk losing someone even more dear to her than her last partner.

Next time, V is for Health

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