TITLE : Mercury’s Shadow (The Kardashev Cycle #1)
AUTHOR : PJ Garcin
GENRE : Sci-Fi/Space Opera
INTENTED AGE GROUP : 13+
DATE OF PUBLISHING : July 5, 2020
PUBLISHER : Rawktron Productions (Self Published)
Welcome to my tour stop for Mercury’s Shadow by PJ Garcin hosted by Escapist Book Tours. I am so grateful to be part of The Escapist Book Tours and for getting the chance to do a Q & A with the author. Make sure to check them out because they do an awesome job of introducing a lot of new titles mainly self pub and indie published SFF books.
If you are interested in checking out the official page for the book tour – CLICK HERE
Content/Trigger Warnings :
Shown on page :
Alluded to :
One man’s lust for power threatens the future of humanity—can a young girl from the outer system
stop it all?
Imogen “Chim” Esper is thrust into the center of an interplanetary conflict when her family is torn apart
by the cruel and indifferent Kardashev Corporation. Forced to run, along with her robotic best friend,
Chim struggles to find her place in a society that is poised for revolutionary transformation.
The Kardashev Corporation dominates all commerce and politics in the solar system. Its megalomaniac CEO, Alton Neal, is hell-bent on transforming society by capturing the full energy output of the sun through the creation of a Dyson Swarm.
Citizens of Earth and the stations throughout the system must band together to protect access to the
lifeblood of the system or risk becoming permanently enslaved to the Kardashev Corporation.
Mercury’s Shadow is a thrilling adventure that blends real science, big ideas, grand adventure and high stakes to introduce a new heroine and a deep universe that will leave readers asking for more.
AUTHOR Q & A
1. What was your inspiration for writing Mercury’s Shadow?
PJ : With Mercury’s Shadow, I wanted to write a swashbuckling sci-fi adventure in space but
with a main character that my daughters could connect with. So, in this story, Chim is a teen
girl who is just finding her way in the world and finds herself swept up into this really grand-
scale epic adventure and conflict very much against her will. And she has to figure out how to
navigate that — and I wanted this to be something they might connect with and see
2. What is it about space and technology that excites you the most?
PJ : I think it’s the possibilities — the open-mindedness of it. There’s so much that you can
achieve with technology, and the scale of space is so huge, there’s just so much to learn and
discover. That’s exciting to me.
3. If you could be part of a space mission, what technologies would you love to use?
PJ : If we’re talking about currently existing technology, those rovers and like moon-buggies look
pretty fun to drive! If it’s not-existing technology, then I think we have to go with FTL (faster-
than-light) drive so that we could explore well beyond our own solar system.
4. If you were on a space mission to stop an interplanetary conflict and you need a team of your own, then who would you like to be on your team(please choose authors you want on your team) and why?
PJ : Oh, wow. This is a difficult and fascinating question. So, I don’t know any of these people
but just based on their books, I’m going to pick 2 because the moon missions had 3 people.
Let’s go with Andy Weir who wrote The Martian in case we need to science the sh*t out of
something, and then Becky Chambers, whose Long Way to a Small Angry Planet shows that
she knows about crew dynamics on long distance space travel! And then I’m just a long for
5. What is the best thing and the worst thing about your main character Imogen “Chim” Esper?
PJ : She’s stubborn. I think that counts for both! She never gives up on a problem. But she also
can get so locked into doing something that she gets herself into trouble.
6. If Imogen “Chim” Esper’s life was made into a movie, what would be the name of it?
PJ : Titles are hard. Something like, “The Long Path Home”.
7. What was the research process like?
PJ : I watched a LOT of science/astronomy/physics videos on YouTube! And I tried my best to
keep everything grounded in real science, real concepts and using real math so that it was
grounded in reality. There’s obviously some stuff that branches off into speculative technology
but it’s all based on realistic theories.
8. Do you have any writing rituals?
PJ : I always listen to music when I’m writing. Nothing with lyrics, usually either
instrumentals/soundtracks that kind of thing. Each book had its own playlist that had its own
vibe that I think might show through in the text.
9. If you couldn’t write in the genre you write in, which genre would you prefer to write in?
PJ : Literary Fiction / Short Stories. I love how finely chiseled and well crafted the best ones are.
10. Which genre would be the most challenging for you to write in and why?
PJ : The hardest genre…maybe historical fiction? You have to be so accurate and there’s so
much research involved. I like being able to just let my imagination run wild.
11. Tell us about a funny/weird / most shocking thing you discovered while researching for your book/ books.
PJ : There’s so many! Physics is WEIRD. There’s a couple of really weird ideas that I touch on
in the books. Like the idea that maybe the past and future are just as real as the present. That
they’re always there — out there somewhere and we just can’t reach them.
12. How has your journey of book publishing been like?
PJ : It’s been exciting learning about publishing books. I came from video games and did a lot of
indie publishing there, so for me it was natural to follow the same path with books. But there’s
definitely a lot of unique challenges to tackle and so it’s been fun to learn from those as the
series has progressed.
13. Tell us about the most fun and favorite thing you got to write in the book.
PJ : I think the most fun thing, especially in the first book, was some of the climactic scenes — I
love when plot points come together and you get to connect the dots for readers. I won’t spoil
anything but that’s definitely satisfying as a writer.
14. What do you love the most to write and hate to write in your stories?
PJ : I love to write beginnings and I hate to write endings. Endings are stressful! I know I just
said I liked connecting the dots, but at the same time, making sure you have a satisfying
ending is a challenge and it’s always nerve wracking to write those last pieces and wonder if
you went in the right direction.
15. Your favorite underhyped books you want more people to read.
PJ : Oh there are so many. Can I just recommend an entire genre which is “CanLit”. Canada
has so many amazing authors writing amazing books in all genres and of all types. At least
here, “Canadian” is a genre, not sure if it is in other countries. But I’d encourage people to
explore Canadian writers as there are so many good ones.
See Also :
(This is our attempt at a bit of fun. We ask our authors to come up with a few short, clever, possibly pop culture laden, descriptions of their books just to give a little taste of what’s to come for readers.)
A Million Little Pieces • Tech Billionaires Unchecked • Butterfly Effect
PJ Garcin has been writing stories, music and games for most of his life. He writes from the beautiful
east coast of Canada where he has worked extensively in video games and technology for the past 20
years. Picking up a long running writing thread, he recently completed the first book in the Kardashev
Cycle — Mercury’s Shadow.
The Kardashev Cycle follows the rise and expansion of the dominant Kardashev Corporation and its near universal control over the solar system. The first book in the series, Mercury’s Shadow, introduces the young Imogen Esper — a resourceful young girl from a mining station in the asteroid belt who finds herself caught up in an interplanetary conflict when her father is injured during a routine maintenance mission. The second book, Chimera’s Prism, continued the adventure in 2021. The final installment, Eternity’s Veil, is due in 2022.
PJ is a regular speaker at technology conferences on topics ranging from interactive narrative to
machine learning. He has an undergrad degree in English, Rhetoric and Professional Writing as well as a Master’s degree in Communication.
He worked as Executive Producer in games on titles that sold more than 27 million units in total. He
worked on large franchises such as FIFA, Madden, and Guitar Hero while helping to launch successful
indie franchises like The Golf Club (now PGA Tour) and Infinite Air. He currently works as Director of
Product Management for an open-source-focused SaaS company.
Prize: An eBook Copy of Mercury’s Shadow!
Starts: August 8, 2022 at 12:00am EST
Ends: August 14, 2022 at 11:59pm EST