I couldn’t be happier to have my story Restricted Species included in the Aliens Among Us StoryBundle! My tale of the perils of galactic agriculture keeps fantastic company with a bunch of my favorite writers, all with a different fascinating take on aliens.
I’ll let our curator Dean Wesley Smith tell you a little more about Restricted Species, and be sure to click through to read more about all the wonderful stories you can grab for a great low price. Plenty of chances for your next alien-forward reading escape, but be sure to check it out before time runs out!
“In this short novel, Restricted Species, Kari Kilgore takes us to a xeno-farming planet. Amazing how many things can go wrong on a simple farming planet when aliens get into the mix. And Kari keeps us reading right to the last detail.”
Read on for more about how Restricted Species came to life in my imagination, and pick up the whole bundle to enjoy your visits with aliens in all these amazing stories!
I write a lot of fiction set in the South in general and Appalachia in particular. Since I was born in the mountains of far Southwestern Virginia and that’s where my family always went to visit home, that makes sense. I met my husband Jason A. Adams here way back in 1990, and we’ve spent the time since then mostly here or in Atlanta.
But I also spent an important stretch of my childhood in Southern Illinois, right in the middle of Midwest farm country. We were about an hour from the city excitement of St. Louis, so that certainly played a role in my interests and experiences.
My day-to-day, however, was based in the different rhythms related to the land and the harvest. Many of my friends in middle and high school were part of farming families, and some of my favorite memories are of spending time with them. One in particular was a sheep farm, which ended up having a huge influence on my upcoming epic fantasy series Misfortune and Magic.
On any of these family farms, I was lucky enough to be immersed in the awareness of the cycle of sowing, nurturing, and harvest, with a whole lot of hope for the right amount of rain and sun rather than too much of either.
Along with another vital ingredient for most crops on planet Earth, one we humans have a bit more control over. But not total control when it comes to too little or too much.
In the case of my story Restricted Species, part of the Aliens Among Us StoryBundle, you’ll meet a particular form of the hard-working creatures who handle the vital job of pollination.
Of course there are plenty of the other kind of insects that veer into our definition of pests. Mosquitos, flies, and stinging machines on the wing like wasps certainly come to mind for anyone who spends time outdoors. And for anyone involved in growing things, from home gardeners to large-scale farmers, doing battle with snails, stinkbugs, and various worms, beetles, and aphids comes with the territory.
The food pests that reasonably get the most attention are locusts, a type of grasshopper capable of awful waves of destruction.
But in Restricted Species, which takes place on a fresh food supply outpost planet far removed from Earth, I was more interested in the pollinator side of the insect equation. Once a suitable planet is discovered—in this case, in the same solar system as a vital mining planet—it makes sense to bring crops from Earth and other homeworlds along for the ride.
The challenge of bringing enough insects, especially for crops from different parts of the planet, much less the galaxy, captured my creative attention.
Sadly we’re learning more almost by the day about how fragile our pollinators are, and how susceptible they are to disease and other threats.
So the toddler who runs the writing engine inside my mind decided to take an entirely different approach. One that in theory should be easier to maintain and harder to damage, not to mention far less likely to go where they’re not wanted.
Pollinator drones. Teeny little machines designed to do the job without complaining, or stinging, or dropping dead from disease.
I’m sure you’re with me in wondering “What could possibly go wrong?” And yes, my take on the answer to that question (and several others, of course) is what Restricted Species is all about.
Find out along with a fascinating cast of humans and aliens alike who dig into the mystery, hoping to figure it out before time runs out for Jim Turhan and everyone else on the vulnerable outpost of Mossera 4.
And don’t let your time run out to get all the fabulous tales in the Aliens Among Us StoryBundle!