SPSFC2 Update: Semifinalists for Wayward Stars

31 Jan 2023

Welcome to a new update post about SPSFC2; and probably one of the most expected ones, as we finally have three semifinalists after the first phase.

Let's not delay it more, and let's check them!

First semifinalist: Tropical Punch (Bubbles in Space #1), by S.C. Jensen


Strippers, Drugs, and Headless Corpses…

All in a day’s work for Bubbles Marlowe, HoloCity’s only cyborg detective.

What do an anti-tech cult, a deadly new street drug, and the corrupt Chief of Police have in common?

It’s a question Bubbles can’t afford to ask. Last time she got curious it cost her job, a limb, and almost her life.

She vows to stay out of police business. But with a newly minted cybernetic enhancement, a semi-legal P.I. license, and a knack for asking the wrong kind of questions… Vows are made to be broken, right?

When a seemingly straightforward contract takes a dark turn, heads literally roll. Unless she wants to take the fall for the murders Bubbles needs to cut town on the double. Too bad she’s flat broke.

And now, she’s being hunted.

In a world where dreams can be made real for the right kind of dough, nothing is as it seems. One thing is clear, though. The dream is becoming a nightmare.

As the body count stacks up, Bubbles realizes she’s made a terrible mistake.

Can she figure out who is behind the murders before she loses her head?

Warning: Don’t read this book if you hate fun, glitter, sassy robotic pigs, or hard-boiled badassery. Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett are rolling in their graves, but this is all their fault.

Second semifinalist: The Clarity of Cold Steel, by Kevin Wright


Mortise Locke, the Machine City, last bastion of mankind in all its fallen glory, where the sum total of life is cheaper than in part.

A poor kid wrung from the city’s dregs has been abducted.

His family’s lost all hope.

Enter Detective Singh, gumshoe legend in his own mind and maybe — just maybe — a few others. He’s the bloodhound loosed on the kid’s trail, and it’s clear from the get-go that someone wants this hound put down. And they ain’t shy about it. Killers keep coming.

And the clock keeps ticking…Can Detective Singh navigate the labyrinth of Mortise Locke’s criminal underworld? Can he follow the trail? Can he dodge death in its pantheon of incarnations to finally find the missing kid?

And if he does find him, will he wish he hadn’t?

Join Detective Singh in this lightning-paced steampunk thriller sure to set your blood to boil.  

Third semifinalist: Titan Hoppers (Titan Hoppers #1), by Rob J. Hayes


Courage Iro will shatter the Gates of Power to protect his fleet.

Born talentless, Iro has all but resigned himself to a life of drudgery, watching his sister hop across to the massive space titan for supplies. But when the titan explodes and his sister is killed, Iro finds a new determination to take her place. He’s not about to let weakness prevent him.

When the fleet encounters a new titan, filled with powerful monsters, deadly traps, and mysterious cloaked figures, Iro is the first to spontaneously manifest a new talent. Now sent to a different ship, to train with others far beyond his strength, Iro will have to train twice as hard just to catch up.

To protect his fleet, and to uncover the mysteries of the titans, Iro won’t just open the Gates of Power. He’ll break them.  

So those are the ones we have chosen as semifinalists! Competition has been fierce, and we can't wait to read the rest of the semifinalists!