Backlist to the Future is a weekly Thursday feature highlighting science fiction romances from authors’ backlists.
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By Eva Caye
Majesty is the second book of the To Be Sinclair series of science fiction romances. It and its companion novel, Dignity, cover the romance and first years of marriage of the leaders of the most important ruling family in the galaxy. Unlike most of the series, Majesty is about 90% science fiction, but it’s critical because it outlines the development of the most important science in the galaxy, the creation of stargates. And the 10% romance is important because it shows the maturation of Victor and Felice’s relationship with each other through all their trials!
Empress Felice Sinclair finds herself the focus of public debate and political squabbles, all while struggling to assimilate her Imperial duties. However, it takes real determination for her to find time to pursue a suggestive scientific mystery in her personal laboratory. And when her research leads her to develop the technology for stargates, as well as the ‘weapon of all ages’, her Beloved, Emperor Victor Sinclair, steps up to support her in every way — emotionally, physically, socially, and politically.
Yet what can you do to support the most important person in the galaxy when your own vassals strive against you, with political ploys and even assassination attempts? Discover how these progressive, benevolent co-rulers develop into the most important leaders in time and space!
By the middle of the next week, Victor was getting concerned. Felice seemed distant when she wasn’t concentrating on her computer screen, and she played very little with the children when she was in their nursery. She also seemed to bite her lower lip a lot for no apparent reason.
One night, after settling the children in bed, he went downstairs to call Lady Maxine at home, who stated she barely spoke to Felice in the mornings, usually just before she left for her Palace lab.
Calling Watchman Simkin directly to his office, Simkin confirmed this before asking, “Your Majesty? Do you know what she’s working on now?”
“Why, what’s wrong?” Victor braced himself.
“I don’t rightly know if anything is wrong. I just thought it was odd about the rats.”
Simkin nodded. “Yes, Your Majesty. She’s had a couple of deliveries of rats to the lab this week. I thought all she did was machines.”
“I see.” Victor thought furiously. “Thank you. Dismissed.”
He found her upstairs in their apartment, working on an analysis for the Bengali star system. Pouring himself a drink, he pulled out a palm pad with a poetry book-disk, but spent the time watching her carefully. The intensity with which she typed defied interruption. After close to two hours of drinking, thinking, and watching her, he decided to go to bed.
He woke up as she quietly slipped between the sheets. She settled herself and gave her usual sigh of incipient sleep. He rolled over to face her, and she looked at him through heavy-lidded eyes with a sleepy smile.
“Watchman Simkin tells me you’re experimenting with rats.” Her eyes popped open, very wide. “What have you been doing with them?” He eyed her steadily as she seemed barely to breathe. He waited patiently.
She finally rolled onto her side to face him. He was genuinely unnerved by her demeanor. Serious, even stern. Perhaps a touch frightened?
She spoke in carefully measured tones. “If ever there was a time my thoughts need to reside exclusively in my mind, it is now.” She stared him into silent submission before falling back upon her pillow again.
He listened for ages for her to fall asleep, as she must have listened for him. They fell asleep, regardless.
Hitching one leg up on the couch to sit facing her squarely, he decided to save some steps in this dance. “You’ve found a weapon, haven’t you?” Her jaw dropped. “A devastating one, based on your new wormhole mathematics?” She nodded, still astonished.
“It was the only conclusion, after all. A thought so appalling to even speak of it was too terrible. A lab with no apparent rats in it, though many had been delivered a week before. Avoiding the lab for half a week, after spending untold time there previously.” He smoothed her hair back. “So tell me, what does this weapon do?”
She turned to him, fierce. “Don’t you see? I can’t tell anyone anything about it at all! Not one word!
“Even if they never know the basics of the mathematics, even if they knew of such a weapon’s mere existence, I’d be hunted by absolutely everyone. And slaughtered. And then they would have a nice little point-and-click device that could wipe out entire populations.”
She was shaking, now. “I’m so serious. I was even tempted the other day to kill myself, just so no one could ever, ever get it out of me.”
He hugged her to him, then, for a long, long time. Then he told her what to do. She argued; she wept some more. But she couldn’t shake him from his convictions.
Eva has studied some unusual topics to support her literary efforts, such as building solar ovens and rocket stoves to get a feel of what colonizing a planet from scratch would be like. She lives with her magnificent husband and two beautiful mutts in a tiny, century-old farmhouse in Louisville, Kentucky.