Hello everyone and welcome to my stop on the Escapist Book Co. virtual book tour for Herman Steuernagel’s Science Fiction novel Eclipse! Today, I am excited to help kickoff the tour by sharing an interview with the main characters from the book, Django and Mikka!
You can find our Q&A below, along with all of the info about the book, the author, and links to purchase a copy of Eclipse for yourself! Also, be sure to take a look at the schedule here or at the top of the post and follow along to see the stops from our other awesome hosts!
Eclipse by Herman Steuernagel
Series: Fractured Orbit
Genre: Science Fiction
Intended Age Group: Adult
Published: February 7, 2023
Publisher: The Fourth Media (Self Published)
When lies crumble, two lives and an entire civilization teeter on the brink of destruction…
Django had everything he ever wanted… now he’s lost it all.
When Django uncovered an unexpected truth, he didn’t know it would end the lives of nearly everyone he cares about. Left only with his sister, his best friend and an uncle who has some unhinged ideas about what might exist outside of the space station Eclipse, he must follow the truth where it leads – even if it leaves him with nothing.
Mikka can’t escape her dubious past… and now must answer for past sins.
Mikka thought she had left her life as a notorious space pirate behind to care for her ailing mother, but the past comes knocking after her ship, the Redemption, answers a cryptic distress call.
Forced to face a deal she made with the devil years ago, Mikka has no choice but to step back into her old life and make another hesitant pact… with an eccentric pirate.
Django and Mikka’s paths collide as they embark on a journey that will shape the fate of a civilization built on half-truths and the backs of others. Rumors of civil war circulate through the Syndicate’s orbital empire, catching both Django and Mikka in the crossfire — where the stakes are far higher than they realize.Neither is prepared. Neither is willing. But they will no longer be able to ignore the truth.
Perfect for fans of Red Rising, Star Trek and Firefly, ECLIPSE is filled with unwilling heroes, a hidden world, likeable characters, space pirates, a path of discovery and a road to redemption.
Dirty Little Secret • Why is the Rum Always Gone? • Sympathy for the Devil
Could you please introduce yourself to our readers?
Django: My name Is Django Alexander. I’m eighteen and a farmer on the space station Eclipse. The space station is the home to the last of humanity which orbits the Earth that died long ago during the Climate Wars. We’re working to make the Earth habitable once again so that my descendants might one day be able to return.
I love my life here, and enjoy being able to work hard to make a difference.
Mikka: My name is Mikka Jenax. I’m a cargo hauler, transporting gray market goods between the colonies within the solar system. There’s always a Syndicate fat cat looking for a rare good that they need transported with discretion. I’ve been in this gig for eight years, working hard to keep my mother housed. It’s a difficult thing to do within the Empire, but I’m the best there is. But even still, between transport fees, taxes, and of course expenses for maintaining my ship, the Redemption, there’s not often much left over at the end of the day.
What music do you listen to?
Django: There are a few bands that play at the lounges between the Rings of the station, but I don’t have much time to enjoy them. Music is something my friend Eventide appreciates more than I do.
Mikka: If you go to the Velvet Underground, in the Tubes under Lunar’s surface, they have pulsing electronica music that you wouldn’t believe. I did have a boyfriend that listened to old Earth classical music, particularly Tchaikovsky, but that’s a story for another time.
What are 3 items you can’t live without?
Django: I don’t have many possessions that are my own. The few items we have are shared among the rest of those on the D-Ring.
Mikka: My ship (The Redemption), my energy pistol, and a glass of whisky
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what is one thing you’d like to have with you?
Django: Has this island been tested for radiation levels from the fall out of the Climate Wars? I should probably pack some iodine pills or something from the Medlab to ward off radiation sickness.
Mikka: A deserted island? On which planet or moon? If it’s on Earth, I better have my SC-17 pistol ready, as I’m sure the Syndicate Forces will be itching to take me out for crossing past the security perimeter and into the Earth’s atmosphere.
If I’m on Europa or Enceladus I better have a habitat that can withstand the harsh temperatures and give me oxygen long enough for someone to find me.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
Django: The dirty looks I get from the jerks in the A and B Rings of the station. Especially from Eventide’s technician partner, Faron Lu.
Mikka: The useless slags that are part of the Orbital Guard. They’re too incompetent to be of any use to anyone, and they’re always coming up with bogus fines or inappropriate advances.
What do you do in your free time?
Django: Study plant species and their viability to return to Earth’s surface.
Mikka: I’ll savor a whiskey if I’ve got a spare moment. But most of my free time is spent with my navigator, Kiara, while we’re moving jobs. We spend months out in open space, which doesn’t allow itself for much other than taking care of my ship.
What makes you want to get out of bed in the morning?
Django: Knowing I’ve done my part in advancing humanity’s future.
Mikka: Knowing that my mother is relying on me to buy her food and medicine.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Django: My Uncle Marvin once told me – Enjoy this moment. Life changes fast, and in ways you don’t expect. I’m not quite sure what he means, but it sounds wise.
Mikka: In this system, you make your own luck.
What do you carry in your bag?
Django: If I had to carry a bag, I guess I’d have my datapad for analyzing field inputs and outputs.
Mikka: I can’t go anywhere without my SC-17 pistol. A bottle of whisky if I have one handy, and a packet of my mother’s medicine, Corielus seed for when I get home to see her.
What’s your favorite animal?
Django: We have cattle, chickens and pigs on board the station, but I don’t interact with them much. I do better with plants.
Mikka: There are not many animals out in the system. Those that couldn’t survive the irradiated planet went extinct. We’ve hauled some livestock as part of our runs, but the only favourite animals I have are the ones worth eating.
What do you think about [other MC(s)]?
Django: Eventide Rossi – has been my best friend since we were kids. She is currently training to become a station technician. This is something that nobody on the D-Ring has ever accomplished before. I’m proud of her, but getting into the program means that she has to move to the B-Ring and I hardly get to see her anymore.
Uncle Marvin – Is probably the family member who understands me best. He works hard and understands that I want to do my best. He keeps to himself mostly. He was exposed to excessive cosmic radiation during his days as a shuttle pilot, which makes him a little eccentric. He drinks a bit too much, and is always telling wild tales of pirates and conspiracies about the dead world below.
Mikka: Kiara’s the best damn navigator in the system, no contest. She’s the only one I trust to keep me alive, as well as hold onto the secrets of my past, that I do not share with anyone else.
Commander David Aries is hiring me for a contract delivery. It’s odd for a Syndicate Commander to use someone off the books, but he pulled a favor for me back when I was trying to clean up my life. I owe him a favor. Plus he’s not bad to look at. If things were different, who knows, maybe I’d start a relationship with him.
Abigail Monroe, a space pirate that somehow tracked me down, and knows about my past. Just how she figured that out, I’m still trying to determine. She’s an enigma. And I’m pretty sure she’s drunk most of the time. She represents a part of my past I’d rather leave behind, but for some reason, she’s tying her ship to me.
Do you have favorite saying?
Django: I don’t have a favourite saying, per se. But you’ll often catch me complaining about how much change there’s been in my life, and on the station lately.
Mikka: If you’re fond of that hand, I’d suggest you keep it to yourself.
What is your favorite holiday?
Django: It’s always a party when someone on the D-Ring gets married. My sister Celeste is getting married soon. It will be the first one I’ll be old enough to attend.
Mikka: I don’t remember the last time I celebrated a holiday. With Mom as sick as she’s been, there hasn’t been much to celebrate. During any holiday there might be I’m either flying a delivery, or taking care of her.
If you could go anywhere in [the book’s world], where would you go and why?
Django: There’s only so many places I can go on the station.
Mikka: There’s a relaxing geyser spring on Enceladus that’s been converted into hot springs that I’d love to check out. Realistically, though, I’m just happy when I get to have a night alone on the Redemption.
What do you do to relax?
Django: The Inter-Ring bar has a number of games, such as a pool table and dart boards. Eventide and I will often go there if we both have an evening free.
Mikka: Relax? I’m not sure what you mean.
What is your favorite food?
Django: Tuesdays the cafeteria serves white beans. Those are my favorite.
Mikka: Meat is hard to come by in the system, but if I’m able to skim a bite of pheasant or chicken off one of our hauls it is well worth the risk of getting caught.
What is your favorite season?
Django: We don’t really have seasons on board the station. We rotate the artificial seasons of the crops so that they’re always in some stage of development. Harvest is probably my favorite part, but it happens year round.
Mikka: You haven’t lived until you’ve seen summertime on Mars.
How would you define happiness?
Django: Hard work and surrounding yourself with those who you love.
Mikka: In this system, you have to appreciate every day you’re given. Happiness is air to breathe, clean water to drink and food to eat. It’s more than most of us have.
What are you passionate about?
Django: Ensuring that we rebuild the Earth’s ecosystem so that one day my descendants can return to the planet’s surface.
Mikka: I used to believe I could change the world. Then I realized what’s most important is taking care of those close to you.
How do you feel about your government?
Django: The station Admin mostly keep to themselves, which I don’t mind. Some say the A and B Rings take advantage of us by making us do all the work down here in the D-Ring. I don’t mind though, I’d rather have my hands in the dirt than sitting behind some desk.
Mikka: The Syndicate’s full of lying bastards. I’d rather not get into politics right now though. There’s nothing we can do to change it anyway, especially when it takes all you’ve got just to struggle to make ends meet day to day.
If you could change one thing about [the book’s world], what would it be?
Django: I’ve always wondered what it’d be like to set foot on the Earth’s surface. I wonder what it was like before our ancestors destroyed it.
Mikka: That’s a no brainer. Millions suffer needlessly while Syndicate leaders and corporate stooges live a life of luxury. The colonies mine the resources of the system, only to ship it back to the planet where a few
What’s your biggest secret?
Django: I’m in love with my best friend.
Mikka: I used to be a space pirate. I made a huge mistake and hurt some people close to me. I don’t talk about it. Ever. My mother also nearly died because I hadn’t checked in on her in years. I gave up the pirate life, found the pieces of a ship in a scrapyard and started over with a new identity.
What do you hate?
Django: The jerks on the B-Ring.
Mikka: I hate the things I’ve done in my past. I’ve tried to run away from them for the last eight years, but it seems I can’t escape them.
What’s your biggest fear?
Django: That I’ll end up alone and in ruin.
Mikka: That I’ll never be able to atone for the sins of my past. That there will be no redemption for me.
What do you think your best quality is?
Django: I work hard. We’re all that’s left of humanity, and only hard work and dedication are going to get us back to the planet’s surface.
Mikka: I’ve been known to be able to get out of a tight spot. I get things done, fast and under the radar. But I can also talk my way out of situations or go in with guns blazing, depending on the situation. I wasn’t known for being the best pirate in the system for nothing.
How would you describe the world you live in?
Django: Things on the station could be better, but we’re lucky that our ancestors were able to get off the planet. Life is hard, but we get by.
Mikka: The system’s a hell-hole and unfortunately there’s nothing that can change it.
About the Author
Herman Steuernagel is a science fiction and fantasy author. His internationally best-selling debut Lies the Guardians Tell reached the top of the science fiction charts on multiple retailers in the U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Herman grew up with a love of story and science fiction, watching Star Trek, The Next Generation with his father. As a teenager he fell in love with The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks, and The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan.
His currently published works are dystopian science fiction that highlight the struggle between humanity and the technology we keep, as well as the motivations that keep us fighting with each other.
Herman currently lives in British Columbia, Canada, While he’s not working on his next book he can be found cycling, running and dreaming up new worlds.