Cover Illustration by Galen Dara
A Phantom Traveler Novella
Ehli never expected much from her life. She’s an Iscillian, designed in a lab to serve as custodian for a Xendari merchant crew, with no future beyond the warranty of their starship. When she reads two previously overlooked lines in the ship’s operations manual that cast doubt on everything she thought she knew about her existence, the satisfaction she once found in her simple life dissolves into an unsettling obsession with learning the truth.
She is expected to report for duty, complete her assignments, and rest until her next shift. To put the needs of the ship and crew before her own. She knows better than to expect the oh-so-vertebrate Xendari to help her find the answers she craves, but every step she takes investigating her origins—and that of all Iscillian serving as bioaccessories across the galaxy—takes her further from the life she knew, and deeper into danger.
But she can’t ignore what she’s learned. She must know what secrets have been kept from her, and she’s willing to risk everything to uncover them.
THE BANTAM transports you to a distant corner of space, introduces you to the most adorable invertebrate you’ve ever met, and sets up a mystery to propel Ehli forward into a new life of exploration and adventure.
Praise for THE BANTAM
“This novella is beautifully written, with every detail intricately considered.”—Amazon Reader
“Colorful, delightful, technical, and strange…”—Amazon Reader
AO3 Tags for THE BANTAM
aliens who paint, explorations of self amid crisis, low key whodunnit mystery, humanities, female protagonist, alien mc, hydrostats, cephalopod kinda mollusk-esque, squishy huggable aliens, asexual, ace, self-discovery, no humans in this, they’ve never even heard of humans, spaceship truckers, ai, droids that fly, specialized skills, no one reads the manual, under-appreciated talent, FTL travel, space mechanics, genetic engineering, loneliness, getting your boss back for four years of unpleasantness, color-shifting skin, secret language, chromatophores and iridiphores, invertebrate punks, identity shit, identities tied to names, characters being creative for creativity’s sake, she can taste you with her skin, scaly four-armed grumpy aliens, clear your own name, shattered daily routines, you woke up and thought life was boring then murder happens