After 18 year old King Zuku successfully defends his planet against the attack of the High Lord Sultan, he doesn’t want anything more to do with the Sultan or the Sultan’s family. So when Zuku sees the broadwave requesting help to save the Sultan’s daughters, Zuku ignores it. He tells himself he doesn’t care about the 12 princesses trapped in a malfunctioning starship, and he certainly doesn’t want to marry one of them as a reward.
But…Zuku is an engineer at heart, not a politician, and he can’t resist looking--just a little--into the problem. The more he researches, the more involved he gets, and the more he thinks that a marriage alliance with the Sultan, and its accompanying peace treaty, might not be a bad idea. Zuku refuses to admit it has anything to do with to the Sultan’s feisty daughter, Rana.
He enters the contest only to find out he’s last on a long list of men wanting a closer connection to the Sultan. He’s told to wait for his turn, but the longer Zuku waits, the worse the effects of dimensional slippage will be for the princesses. Fortunately, Zuku’s a king and not used to taking orders from anyone, not even High Lord Sultans.
Told from the point of view of both Zuku and Rana, SLIPPERAGE is a YA science fiction retelling of “The Twelve Dancing Princesses,” complete at 67,000 words.
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The sky turned pink and Rana’s head jerked up in surprise. She squinted at the sky, but no matter how she looked at it, it remained blindingly neon pink. The sky only changed to that particular shade during the noon hour when the sun’s rays hit the palace shields directly, which meant Rana was late for lunch. Again. Someday, she thought, she’d be on time and get to eat something normal for a change instead of being stuck with the chef’s experiments. There was never anything else left after her family went through the buffet lines in the dining hall. Yesterday, the chef had experimented with watermelon and okra wrapped inside a pita with a side serving of eggplant yogurt. Neither had been very edible.
Even knowing she was late, Rana paused to look at what she’d drawn on her tablet. She’d been doodling absently and ended up drawing a self-portrait. Her smiling face was surrounded by her mother, her father, and several of her sisters, all of them beaming and obviously happy to be together. Rana snorted and deleted the picture. As if that would ever happen.
She shoved her tablet and stylus into her bag, slung it over her head and shoulder, and hurried back toward the palace for lunch. Rana passed through a pagoda leading from the serene
The pinkness disappeared.