Without an influx of human DNA, the utopian colony on Kipos has eleven generations before it reaches failure. Earth is over ninety light years away. Time is short. On the over-crowded Earth, many see opportunity in Kipos's need. After medical, intelligence, and physiological testing, Abby and her younger siblings, Jin and Orchid, are offered transportation. Along with 750,000 other strong immigrants, they leave the safety of their family with the expectation of good jobs and the opportunity for higher education. While the Earthlings travel to the new planet in stasis, the Kiposi, terrified the savages will taint their paradise, pass a series of indenture and adoption laws in order to assimilate them. When Abby wakes up on Kipos, Jin cannot be found. Orchid is ripped from her arms as Abby is sold to a dull-eyed man with a sterilized wife. Indentured to breed, she is drugged and systematically coerced. To survive, Abby learns the differences in culture and language using the only thing that is truly hers on this new world: her analytical mind. In order to escape her captors, she joins a planetary survey team where she will discover yet another way of life.
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Other Systems: Voices from the Stars Trailer
Other Systems: The Stargazer Trailer
Prior to becoming an author, Elizabeth Guizzetti worked as an artist. She created the graphic novels, Faminelands and Lure, and the comic book series Out for Souls & Cookies. Other Systems is her first published novel. She currently lives in Seattle, WA with her husband and two dogs.
Q & A with Elizabeth Guizzetti
Q: Tell us a little bit about your main characters.
A: Abigail Boyd Lei, 17, was born in the Seattle City State. (The US no longer exists.) She uses her intelligence as her primary means of getting through life. She is a stargazer, and gets through the worlds using her intelligence and observational skills. When she is offered the chance to go to Kipos, she jumps at it.
Cole Alekos owns one of the privately-held fleets based on Kipos. He loves his Fleet and being a Fleet captain. Due to time dilation, he was not around when Harden and Helen were kids. He tries to be a great dad even though they are adults. Though he loves Helen best, because they have similar temperaments, he tries to hide his favoritism. He swears and can't quite give up smoking - two bad habits that he passed to his eldest son, Harden.
Harden is a different sort of captain than his father, but surrounds himself with a good crew. A scientist first, captain of the Revelation second, he loves puzzles. Widowed and divorced, he has trouble relating to new people. In social situations, he leans heavily on others, especially his sister, Helen.
Helen is the Executive Officer and undoubtedly the best pilot in her father's fleet. Loving and kind-hearted, she mothers people. She shocked her father and brothers by marrying Brian Tolis after a six-day station leave.
Mark is Cole's youngest. Born during the brief time, Cole and his wife lived together. 14/12 years younger than his elder siblings, he was an incredibly lonely kid. As a young man, he has trouble making long-term connections. At times, he is reserved, at times, outspoken.
Q: What was your favorite scene to write?
A: I loved writing every Helen/Abby scenes, but I'd say the scene where Helen teaches Abby how to fly a shuttle is my favorite. I loved researching how to fly a plane, orbits, then I went to the Museum of Flight and learned about astronauts.
Q: How has your environment/upbringing colored your writing?
A: Pretty much everything that an author experiences ends up in their writing. I tend to show happy marriages since I have a happy marriage. I grew up in a pretty tight-knit family. People who know me and also know my writing point out that I write about families and human connection.
Q: What is the best advice you've been given?
A: I must be myself and follow my own path, otherwise, I'll be a second best someone else.
Q: What do you keep yourself busy with when you're not writing?
A: I enjoy watching movies with my husband, taking care of my dogs, hiking, and baking.
Q: If you could have any superpower, what would you choose and why?
A: Teleportation. My husband hates to fly. We'd travel more if we didn't have to fly.
Q: Hard/paperbacks or eBooks?
A: Hardbacks. I love the smell and feel of them. Paperbacks are second best. I only enjoy e-Books if I am traveling.
Q: What book are you reading now?
A: Right now, I'm enjoying an oldie: Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles