Blue Gold (Post 142)
Blue Gold (1999) is a sequel to Spiral Stairs, a science fiction story that forms part of the loose association that is the Bandinangi Books. In Blue Gold, three girls names Cambria, Albia and Erin are the youngest members of a pioneer colony on the planet Azuria. The premise is that for a colony to be viable, it must be suited to all ages, so the first human Azurians range from pre-teen to late middle-age. Azuria is a pleasant planet, but although it seems idyllic, there are hidden problems. Crops grow slowly, there is almost no rain and the various coloured rocks all prove to be the same kind, producing no oil or workable metal. To the children, this is a great adventure, not least because the mimic birds, the funny, friendly creatures that hang about the settlement, have become their friends.
A crisis meeting is held among the adults to decide whether or not to declare the colony a failure and return home when their ship returns. As Wyn and Autumn, two of the adults, point out, the colony can just about feed itself but there is no cushion and there is nothing of value to trade with Earth. Not knowing if this is the end of their time on Azuria, the girls go for a long-promised hike to the distant mountain. With them goes their friend Mimic, one of the local flock.
The girls reach the mountain but get lost in the fog. Mimic helps them construct a shelter covered with turf. It rains heavily in the night, and they discover the disturbed earth has washed away, revealing a rich source of the one interesting and different mineral that's been found- a substance dubbed sky pearl. Mimic collects what he can and puts in in his pouch. The girls also take some, but cover the main supply with turf.
They believe they have found something that could save the colony, but the mimic birds value the sky pearl. Is it fair to take it away from them? What if the adults want to take it all?
For once, it turns out the adults are more scrupulous than the children feared, and everything ends happily.
I had a lot of fun with names in this story, with the three children sporting the old names for England, Wales and Ireland, and surnames including Hibernia (another old name for Ireland) and Tudor.
This is the kind of thing I always hope readers will notice and find intriguing. Alas, as usual no one has ever mentioned it.
About the Blog
Sally is Sally Odgers; author, manuscript assessor, editor, anthologist and reader. She runs http://www.affordablemanuscriptassessments.com and Prints Charming Books. (Sally is me, by the way, and I am lots of other things too, but these are the relevant ones for now.)
The goal for 2017 is to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. If you're an author, an aspiring author, a reader or just someone who enjoys windows into worlds, you might find this fun. The books are not in any special order, but will be assigned approximate dates, and pictures, where they exist. If you enjoyed a post, or want to ask about any of my books or my manuscript assessment service, leave me a message.