The Ylendrian Empire is not an Earth-based society. There’s no Terra to be found, and humankind didn’t fan out to the stars from the shores of old Mother Earth. In terms of holidays and marking points, that means nearly every settled planet in the Empire has a different solar or planetary calendar, and declaring an Empire-wide solstice festival makes about as much sense as declaring that everyone whose name starts with a “D” has to celebrate their birthday on the same day.
Aside from astrologically incongruous holidays, the Empire likes to remind its citizens that it’s a good, benevolent force in their lives. What better way to do that than a paid day off and an excuse to revel? If there’s a moderately celebratory overtone to some bit of history, you can bet that it’s been considered for inclusion in the long list of Ylendrian Holidays. From Contact Day (the anniversary of the first intentional data transmissions between humans and Trakorans) to Triumvir (a three-day festival celebrating each of the founding races), the Empire likes a party, and everyone is invited.
Given the wild variations on planetary seasons and cycles, it’s rare for a local festival to coincide with the Imperial calendar. No matter- every planet makes merry when they choose. On Noska, summer is a periodic respite from the intense cold the planet is known for. The snow melts, dormant vegetation blooms, and there have been tales of a Noskan Midsummer festival lasting for weeks. Of course, given the slow orbit, a Noskan summer lasts for a couple Imperial standard years, so you can forgive them their prolonged celebrations. Other planets, like Karibee, do their best to make up for it, with summer-like weather all year long, at least around the settled archipelagos.
Remember how long Noskan summers can be? The winters are just as long, and brutally cold. Imagine what might happen to say, a con man who carelessly crashed his hijacked shuttle in the middle of a unidentifiable snowbank. Not the summer vacation Kellen Frey was planning, that’s for sure! (You can read a little more about that under the jump- a never-before-shared excerpt from The Slipstream Con.)
In celebration of our own earthly-bound solstice, we’ve got PRIZES! There’s the fabulous blog hop giveaway, featuring over 36 fabulous science fiction romance authors, and TWO grand prizes:
1st Prize – a Kindle Touch or Nook Touch
2nd Prize -a library of science fiction romance titles from over 20 authors (these will be mostly ebooks with one print anthology), and an Anabanana Gift Card.
All you need to do to enter is pop along to the blogs listed below and comment on as many as you want (only ONE comment per site will count as an entry). Each time you comment at a stop, you’ll earn one entry into the grand prize – so the more sites you visit, the greater your chances of winning. The winners will be drawn at random on the 24th June and announced on this site. The list of participating authors can be found below this post. Spread the news!
Michelle and I wanted to give away a little something of our own, though, so we decided that anyone who comments on this post will ALSO be eligible to win a Samhain Publishing gift certificate. Just leave a comment that includes your name and email, and the winner will be chosen at random (by random.org) on June 24th, and posted here.
And now, your exclusive excerpt from The Slipstream Con