Celebrate Five Years of “Syzygy” with a New Edition and a Free Prequel

The cover of J.K. Ullrich's science fiction novel "Syzygy", showing Earth, the Moon, and Mars in alignment before a flaring star.

The words “five years” always make me think of the opening track on David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust album:

News had just come over
We had five years left to cry in
News guy wept and told us
Earth was really dying…

– from “Five Years”, by David Bowie

Apocalyptic lyrics seem especially appropriate when I say that five years ago this month, I published the last installment my Syzygy novella hexalogy. Set in an ecologically ravaged future where humans survive on a ramshackle lunar colony, my YA science fiction series looks further beyond the time horizon than most of my work. I thought this distance would insulate it from reality. But since 2018, concepts it explores—including a pandemic disease, the strains of cloistered living, and youth resisting an inheritance of environmental degradation—seem more relevant than ever.

Time hasn’t dimmed my affection for the story. Writing Syzygy consumed three years of creative effort, and its characters remain branded in my brain. Backstories, epilogues, and off-page escapades still linger unwritten in my cognitive cutting room. Only Wild Type, a prequel novelette, has made it to the page so far. But it’s a complex world I’m tempted to revisit. It felt like a reunion with old friends, re-reading these tales as I prepared the new edition.

That’s right! To mark both Syzygy‘s birthday and the re-branding of my indie author platform, I just released a fifth anniversary omnibus edition. In addition to minor editorial changes, I’ve penned a new afterword reflecting on the story’s contemporary resonance. The six individual novelle are also available. Transient Phenomena, the first installment, is only 99c.

Still hesitant about indie authors? Then let me offer you a free introduction to the Syzygy universe. Wild Type is now posted here on my website. No sign-ups required, just head over to the Syzygy book page or hit the button below for a PDF version. Hazardous recovery missions, a fraught mother-daughter relationship, and a spark of forbidden romance pack a lot of intensity into 40 pages. (Don’t worry, this standalone story is a teaser, not a spoiler!)

Here’s hoping climate action in the next five years slows this fiction’s trajectory toward reality.

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