Title: Other Systems
Author: Elizabeth Guizzetti
Would you go to a planet that has never known war, hunger, or even a single murder?
Other Systems explores the difficulties of space travel, planetary colonization, and the loss of friends, family, and identity due to time dilation and the distance between stars.
Humans established a utopian colony on Kipos, an Earth-like planet orbiting a Sol twin. Unfortunately, birth rates plummet and without an influx of human DNA, Kipos has eleven generations before failure. With Earth 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 young immigrants, they leave the safety of their family with the expectation of good jobs and the opportunity for higher education.
Terrified that Earthlings will taint their paradise, the Kiposi pass a series of indenture and adoption laws in order to assimilate the savages. 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. Haunted by the agony of her loss, but determined, she joins a planetary survey team where she will discover yet another way of life.
Title: The Light Side of the Moon (An Other Systems Novel)
Author: Elizabeth Guizzetti
Due to overpopulation, lack of natural resources, no public education, and a surplus of political bickering, Earth is a cesspool and our solar system’s colonies have failed. Nevertheless, outside our solar system, exploration has thrived.
Encouraged by the conquest of Kipos, idealistic dreamers look beyond Earth to build a utopia from the abandoned Lunar Colony Serenitatis. Industrialists reconstruct the colony, but struggle to turn a profit while encouraging scientific discovery.
Brimming with hope despite intense uncertainty and physical hardship, the impoverished Ella Sethdottier follows rumors of plentiful jobs on the moon. On roads fraught with danger, she discovers Earth is a bigger place than she ever imagined, but Serenitatis is little more than a prison colony. Ella forges unlikely friendships with corrupted androids and the quixotic prison doctor, Ian Whitlatch, who champions equality and rights for inmates. Amid corruption and nobility, tragedy and victory, the fate of the colony hangs precariously in the balance.
A Note from Elizabeth: I wasn’t planning on writing another novel in the Other Systems Universe, but so many reviewers mentioned how much they wanted to see a sequel. While I didn’t want to write a traditional sequel with the same characters, I did want to explore what happened on Earth after the Kiposians left the space elevators. Due to the realistic space travel in the series, people can’t just come home from Kipos a planet 94.4 light years away, so I wanted to writes something where they could come home. Giving up if you are a lunar colonist is an option. Though this book is set in the same universe as Other Systems, this book stands alone, spanning the fifteen years after nearly 100,000 people, including Abigail Boyd Lei, left Earth for Kipos.
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Much to her chagrin, Elizabeth Guizzetti discovered she was not a cyborg and growing up to be an otter would be impractical, so she began writing stories. Guizzetti currently lives in Seattle with her husband and two dogs. When not writing, she loves hiking and birdwatching.
She is the author and illustrator of independent comics: Faminelands and Lure
And now, it’s time for a character interview between an unnamed reporter and Ella Sethsdottier, age 11. She lives in an abandoned house with her mother, two brothers and a host of corrupted androids. She works a 12-hour shift at Aunt Rebecca’s Bread and Pastries in the packing room.
Interviewer: So your father is rumored to have abandoned his family for Kipos. How has your life changed since the departure?
Ella: I was four when Papa left. Danny was eight and Jamie was seven. I only have vague scary images of Papa. I’m glad he’s gone, even if Mama and my brothers miss him and we had to live in a convent for awhile and in the homeless camps and now this old building. I miss others people sometimes.
Interviewer: Like who? Ella: My teacher at the library, Miss Boyd Lei. And her sister Orchid.
Interviewer: To clarify, you mean Abigail Boyd Lei, and Orchid Boyd Lei. (Age 17 and 11 at departure) daughters of Cameron Boyd and Lei Lei, formally of the city state of Seattle.
Ella: Yea. Mr. [Alexander] Johnson [of South Seattle Library] really misses Miss Boyd Lei. He has her picture on his desk and on his wall. When I think back, I can’t remember her face, except the ones from the pictures, but I remember her as a loving presence. We used to paint together. She always gave me a hug in the morning and helped me with my shoes. Orchid used to spin me around. I know they won’t ever come back. Sometimes I wish I could have gone, but I was too young, something about an allergic reaction to the nanites in the gravcouches. Mr. Johnson was too old. Peter was apparently not picked. He doesn’t like to talk about it.
Ella: Did you test?Interviewer: Yes, but getting back to the subject at hand: what are your dreams for the future?Ella: To not work at the bread factory. I want to learn to read and find a good job. I’ll going all the way to the moon if I have to. Did you hear that Madam Ivonne Martin Tallier is rebuilding the old mining colony!Interviewer: Yes, but there are many dangers of colonization. Dangers that an eleven-year-old can’t understand. The original colony failed.
Ella: It failed because the lack of mineable titanium. If became cheaper to get it other places. EVERYBODY knows that.
Ella: Madam Tallier is known for her recycling programs and reopening fishing and shipping lanes. Everyone loves her!
Interviewer: You are too young to know to remember the scandals around her divorce. Don’t you fear the low gravity environment? You might never grow to your adult height.
Ella: I fear other things more – like hunger, sickness. If things don’t change-I won’t grow to my adult height on Earth either.
Interviewer: Why should look to the stars when there are so many problems on Earth?
Ella: We aren’t going as far as the stars…yet. Just to the moon. Then maybe Mars. Maybe further.
Interviewer: You seem pretty smart for a kid in a bread factory.
Ella: The androids told me about space. They even know more about the new Eden than we do. They know about everything…
Interviewer: You talk to androids? The corrupted androids living around the building where you live?
Interviewer: Androids are carriers of hosts of human diseases. Don’t you know you could get infected?