Title: Nebula Dream Trilogy
Author: Veronica Scott
Genre: Science Fiction Romance
Welcome to the story of the greatest interstellar cruise liner disaster of all time (“Titanic in Space” as the Galaxy Express Blog termed it), one small group of survivors and what befell them in later years, as told in three novels. This box set gathers three of Veronica Scott’s award winning science fiction novels into one collection. Please note each novel has been previously published on its own and all can be read as standalone tales.
WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM: Traveling unexpectedly aboard the luxury liner Nebula Dream on its maiden voyage across the galaxy, Sectors Special Forces Captain Nick Jameson is ready for ten relaxing days, and hoping to forget his last disastrous mission behind enemy lines. He figures he’ll gamble at the casino, take in the shows, maybe even have a shipboard fling with Mara Lyrae, the beautiful but reserved businesswoman he meets. All his plans vaporize when the ship suffers a wreck of Titanic proportions. Captain and crew abandon ship, leaving the 8000 passengers stranded without enough lifeboats and drifting unarmed in enemy territory. (This novel was loosely inspired by the events of the 1912 sinking of the Titanic on Earth but set in the far future, in space.)
The box set also includes the full novels STAR SURVIVOR and STAR CRUISE RETURN VOYAGE, about further adventures of certain survivors.
Back pressed against the half-open door, Nick stood for a moment, assessing the current situation in the corridor. It now added up to pandemonium in any language. The alarms were continuing to blare, inciting some passengers to panic and immobilizing others. A prerecorded voice urged calm, in flat, female tones, speaking in a rapid rotation of Basic and the five other primary Sector languages.
No one was paying the slightest attention. People ran in both directions, shoving past each other. Some were half dressed, others were burdened with luggage. There were no crew members at all.
Frowning, he waded into the crowd, going to the left and staying as close to the wall as he could. Since a Special Forces team’s survival depended on familiarity with all aspects of their environment, Nick had noted the location of the nearest lifeboat portal relative to his cabin upon arrival the first day. Now he worked his way aft to get there.
With supreme – if sadly misplaced – confidence, the captain of the Nebula Dream had not seen fit to order a lifeboat drill in the first few days of the cruise, not even after the middle of the night engine anomaly. Lack of a drill, which was mandatory per the Interstellar Commerce Commission regulations, was adding to the panic, Nick had no doubt. Most had probably not even paid attention to the short holo on safety the Ship played on first entry in each cabin. Now the civilians were clueless, desperate, and those charged with responsibility for their safety were nowhere to be seen.
As he came up to the lifeboat portal, Nick was astounded to see the light flashing red, indicating the LB had been launched. What the fuck? There couldn’t possibly have been time since the sirens came on to fully load and deploy a boat, even assuming a full complement of SMT crew had been standing by, waiting to usher passengers on board.
Continuing down the corridor, Nick wondered who took the LB, and how many people had managed to escape with it. He suspected he wouldn’t like the answers much, but he intended to find out, after this was all over. For an event of this magnitude, an ICC investigatory hearing was a foregone conclusion.
The crowd increased in size, and the screams and yells became more specific, the closer he got to the next LB davit. Since Nick was a tall man, he could see over the heads of most of the crowd. Despite the fact the alarms had been raging for a good five minutes standard now, he could see the indicator light was green; this LB had not even been unlocked.
Nick wished for a squad of Space Marines or even one other Special Forces operator. I could sort this out and get people loading. There was no time to waste. Disasters in space tended to be abrupt, over with in a violent moment. Whatever had happened to the Nebula Dream, it was nothing short of amazing they weren’t all dead already. Can’t push luck too far. He caught the eye of the D’nvannae Brother, standing a few feet away, an appalled frown on his face, probably over the loss of critical time.
Nick tried not to hurt people, but he forced his way through the throng with ruthless intent, stopping short about a yard shy of the door. Two men were on the deck, kicking and clawing at each other, fighting over access to the locked LB. No one else could get by.
Reaching down, Nick grabbed one man by the scruff of the neck, hauling him to his feet. He was mildly pleased to find the D’nvannae Brother was right beside him, dragging the second belligerent combatant to the other side of the LB access portal.
Nick sensed the crowd preparing to surge forward in blind panic, now the human obstacles were removed. He wheeled, shoving the man he had grabbed roughly away, knocking down two or three other passengers in the process. People stepped on or over them in an instinctive rush to get closer to the presumed safety of the lifeboat.
“Nobody moves until I say so!” Holding up one hand, he used the tone of voice he would employ on a batch of unruly, raw recruits, awesomely commanding.
“Quiet down now,” he said, watching the people in the front row of the mob, getting eye contact, to personalize his commands, make them feel like responsible individuals, not a mindless, panicking herd.
The blaring sirens and recorded emergency warnings cut out, resumed briefly and then died away in a slowly fading gibberish. The lights in the corridor flickered, causing gasps here and there in the crowd.
“Are there any SMT officers or crew here?” Nick said.
Desperation, fear, and puzzlement on the faces in front of him. Many sidelong glances, mute head shakes.
“All right, then. I’m Captain Jameson, Sectors Special Forces. I’m taking charge of this LB portal. I need four volunteers besides this man,” nodding at the D’nvannae, “to help me keep order here. You can’t all get into this LB. No one’s going to make it off unless you keep your heads and we go about this calmly and quickly.”
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Here’s part of the Dear Author review: “…I was 4 chapters into this story when it dawned on me that I was lost in it and totally concentrating on this created world….The details of the doomed Titanic’s fate are cleverly re-imagined in a space voyage…the tension builds, then recedes just a little, then increases, then is countered just a bit, then smacks the reader around some more before smacking the characters even worse. And then when I think this must be it, they’re safe, right? they aren’t. Safe that is….”
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USA Today Bestselling Author
Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.
Seven time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances!
She read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the official audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “The City On the Edge of Forever.”
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