Hello, Pitch Wars. I’m Mike, and I write adult science fiction.
I’m an aerospace engineer living in Cincinnati, Ohio. I love college football and am a lifelong fan of the Cleveland Indians, but my true passion is science.
The universe around us is an incredible place. Each day we’re learning more about how our world works, and about our place in it. I read scientific journals constantly (which aides in writing research), and I take joy in going to bed each night knowing more about the world around me than I did before.
This year I’ll be working through Pitch Wars with my newest novel, The Pioneers. The Pioneers is a work of hard sci-fi geared toward an adult audience, heavily influenced by solarpunk.
Solarpunk is an emerging subgenre of science fiction in which, essentially, things turn out well. Most work of solarpunk is based in a near-distant future in which humanity has embraced green energy, reversed climate destruction, and evolved into an egalitarian society. Solarpunk has been described as “a revolution of hope” and a direct reaction to the dystopian themes common in cyberpunk and biopunk.
Set in 2122, The Pioneers follows the exploits of biologist and survival expert Randall Holmes. A former astronaut, Holmes was part of the Pathfinder 7 mission to the sixth planet of the Vega System, and was the lone survivor. Haunted by his experiences and seeking a fresh start, he signs on with the Samarkand Expedition: A group of five thousand colonists seeking to found a new colony in the Phecda star system, over eighty light-years from Earth.
By the time their ship, the ECV Susan Constant, left Earth in 2113, the planet was a paradise: the climate had been repaired thanks to emerging terraforming technologies, and with humans packed into dense cities of soaring arcologies, most of Earth’s surface is empty space: a pristine wilderness. But the Samarkand colonists seek to reclaim something mankind has lost: a connection to nature. Determined to learn to live with an alien environment, they spend eight and a half years in cryonic suspension before being revived as the Constant nears Phecda.
Initially, Holmes chafes at his role within the colony’s leadership structure, annoyed to find that his experiences on Vega 6 have made him a folk hero among the colonists. But in order to help build this new settlement, he is forced to assume leadership, and become the intrepid pioneer he’s made out to be.
I participated in Pitch Wars last year, and found it to be a rewarding experience. The connections I formed with fellow writers during the process have proven invaluable. And if you’re reading this, I hope to forge a similar connection with you.
I am Michael T. Kuester, and welcome to my universe. – MK