Into the Asteroids!

ASTEROIDS_MAP_final

(You’ll want to click on that map to see it full-sized.)

Every Jupiter Pirates book so far has contained a cool map by Jeff Nentrup: Hunt for the Hydra showed us the moons of Jupiter, while Curse of the Iris detailed Saturn’s satellites and the structure of its outer rings. For The Rise of Earth, we get a closer look at the asteroid families between Mars and Jupiter.

Much of The Rise of Earth takes place on 65 Cybele, an inhabited asteroid that’s neutral in the struggle between Earth and the Jovian Union. Cybele’s neutral, but that’s not the same thing as saying it isn’t involved — the asteroid is ruled by wealthy shipbuilders and investors looking to profit by playing the two powers of the solar system against each other. In The Rise of Earth Cybele serves as a base for privateers from Earth and the Jovian Union, and diplomats and officials from both cross paths frequently. The Ice Wolves — the Saturnian pirates and revolutionaries who played a critical role in Curse of the Iris — are on Cybele too, on a mysterious mission about which they’re staying strangely quiet. During the Hashoones’ time on Cybele, Tycho will meet a girl from Earth who challenges what he thinks about many things and find his loyalties tugged in different directions as the confrontation between Earth and the Jovian Union becomes increasingly dangerous.

The asteroids are a natural battlefield for Earth and the Jovian Union. The minor planet Ceres was an important setting in both Hunt for the Hydra and Curse of the Iris, the Hashoones fought with Thoadbone Mox in the Hildas, Huff has often mentioned misadventures at the Hygiea Roadstead, and “The Trouble With Crimps” takes place largely on Pallas. In The Rise of Earth Cybele holds new mysteries for the family, and new dangers. And the Hashoones will be back for further adventures in this troubled region.

After choosing the asteroids as the map for The Rise of Earth, I realized I had a fun opportunity: we could map the entire solar system by the time the Jupiter Pirates saga was complete. So before the adventures of the Hashoones are finished, we’ll get a look at the inner planets and the outer gas giants too.

As for The Rise of Earth, we’re getting close — it’ll be out in just eight days! In the meantime, why not tell your friends that Hunt for the Hydra is just $1.99 on Kindle? And remember you can read “The Trouble With Crimps” for free!