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Overdraft: "Burnout"


The Overdraft: The Orion Offensive serial wrapped in the summer of 2013, and it was my intention to continue with regular short stories thereafter in case I was unable to write a follow-on edition. The opportunity to write one came when I was invited by the staff of Silence in the Library Publishing to contribute a story to an anthology they had planned. Click to read more about the Apollo's Daughters project.

Apollo's Daughters was designed to collect stories about female leads from male authors, so I chose it to be the place where I would write something I'd been considering doing for a while, the origin story for Bridget Yang. The story is set in the early days of her work for Quaestor, before she's running Surge Team Sigma; Jamie Sturm is a nightmare still several years off in the future. As of 2133, the time of the story, Bridget is disillusioned with her role, her opportunities and reputation still damaged because of the Overland disaster described in Overdraft: The Orion Offensive. "Burnout" is doubly apty named, however, because of the blazing heat in which the story takes place.

"Burnout" got to deal with the challenges of navigating in a place too bright for filters to work; radar-mapping drones gave her crew the ability to move around. An attack on them would handicap her team, and we see here how she responds to the crisis.

We also got to see a new villain for the series in Blossom Raintree, part of a peculiar anti-environmental movement. And we see Bridget's initial meeting with Leo Falcone, who will recur as a character throughout the series.


  • As Apollo's Daughters was all about female characters in science fiction, it felt natural to lead with cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova.

  • We learn one of the new United States is "Pacifica," and that it joined the Union in 2083.


This story appears in Apollo's Daughters (Silence in the Library, 2015)
and can be ordered from Amazon.

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