Zara – A Name Among The Stars – SciFi Adv/Rom – Episode 8

Episode 8

There is no Dancing Mistress job, and what’s worse is the Shohwa’s AI has left behind a copy of itself on the local servers. The Shohwa thinks Duke Tremayne and his family face the same attacks as Zara’s in Newyan.

Short epsiode this week (3k words). We’re at about 37k words total.

I’ve had to rush to get onto the new schedule, which will be an episode every Friday (late evening here in the UK, during the day in the US). An episode seems to be about 2 chapters. That said, tonight’s *should* have been 3.

Thank you for the comments and questions generated last time. All very welcome. More please. 🙂

I will post the discussion about the Cornish names as a comment.



I have had to remove the episodes I posted here to fall into line with Amazon’s policies on Kindle Unlimited books.

The full novel is available on Amazon:




When I post stories on my blog, they will remain for at least a month after completion.

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About Mark Henwick

I was born in Africa and left out in the sun too often. An early interest in philosophy and psychology was adequately exorcised by tending bars. And while trying to enroll in a class to read Science Fiction full time, I ended up taking an engineering degree which splendidly qualified me to move into marketing. That in turn spawned a late onset career in creative writing. When not working, I get high by the slightly less conventional means of a small light aircraft. My first books are available on Amazon at

18 responses to “Zara – A Name Among The Stars – SciFi Adv/Rom – Episode 8”

  1. Robert says :

    Your “start” link is broken: `htts://`

    Also your reply box is wrapping a little oddly:

  2. Mark Henwick says :

    I promised to give the derivation of some of the names. I did Chinese and Basque in a comment in the last post. Here is the Cornish section:

    Kensa : Name of main continent on Amethys. ‘First’
    Murenys : Second continent on Amethus. ‘meur’=’grand’ ‘enys’=’island’
    dynare : Currency on Amethys. From ‘dynar’ the old Cornish name for a unit of currency
    Welarvor : Region on Amethys. ‘hwel’=’working’/’mine’ ‘arvor’=’coast’
    morlader : ‘pirate’ (plural morladron)
    Bandry : ‘high farm’

    piskateller : derived from ‘piskey’=’pixie’
    Warwick : derived from old Cornish name Warek.
    Emblyn : Cornish version of Emmeline
    Marik : derived from ‘marghak’=’knight’
    Moyle : ‘bald’ or ‘bare’
    Bleyd : ‘wolf’
    Tremayne : ‘stone farm’
    Rhoswyn : ‘white rose’
    Venner : ‘hill’

    Stormhaven, Roscarrow, Biscome, Port Eyren, Praedarth just sounded right.
    Marazion is the name of an actual place in Cornwall

    Cardu : (Celtic) ‘dark fortress’
    Wyck : (Old English) ‘village’
    Gaude : (Latin) ‘rejoice’
    Peyraud : (Old Languedoc French) ‘rock’
    Esterhauze : (Hungarian) from name of place
    Hanna : (Hebrew) ‘favored by God’

    Completely made up:
    Amethys (I guess from amethyst)
    bale-fruit (the brandy – I want to try some)
    InfoHub (well what would you call the web or internet, if not those names
    infopad or pad (generic computer name)

    Real name:
    Skyhook (one of the names for the design of a space elevator)

  3. azrm says :

    I’m loving this! Zara rocks!! Keep up the good work!

  4. Shana Pare says :

    Oh, this is so much fun! I am absolutely loving the characters (all of them) and the story line. I shall await next week with bated breath.

  5. Sarah L says :

    Loving it, as always! Waiting for the Newyan’s to realise where Zara is! Hopefully she’ll have the Duke on side by then. I have great faith in him, also dying to know how his wife died! So many good things. Wondering if we’ll ever get to know about the Xian, where Showha hails from. Or are we going to be lucky enough that this will be more than one book 🙂 ?

    Also any recommendations from you or your readers for light syfy, something from this style of reading? Not that I don’t have enough in my reading pile. Just started reading American Gods so I can discuss!

    • Mark Henwick says :

      Thanks Sarah!

      Well, when she (spoiler) and then, (spoiler) naturally, it (spoiler) immediately thereafter. Future books…We’ll see how well book 1 goes (and I have a few other projects!!!)

      Light SciFi… Most of what I have read is a bit sturm und drang, but here are some ideas, and I hope others pitch in with their favs too.

      Lois McMaster Bujold – Shards of Honor
      That’s an adventure-romance. If you like the story there is the HUGE raft of the Vorkosigan series books that follows on from Shards of Honor. She’s very highly rated.
      If you like her style, I would recommend the Curse of Chalion and other books in the 5 Gods series – that’s fantasy rather than SciFi.

      Tanya Huff – Confederation series. You will *love* Sgt Torin Kerr. Ongoing, but I preferred it when she was a space marine. (Romance, but not till ?3rd or ?4th book)

      C. J. Cherryh. You *must* read a sample of one of her books first, because her cheerful breaking of grammar drives some people wild (my editor for example).
      Merchanter’s Luck (stand alone SciFi adventure romance)
      Rimrunners (stand alone – a little stronger SciFi adventure, but essentially a romance)
      Pride of Chanur (Lioness aliens… lots of adventure, little romance)
      If you like her style, she has lots of books including the Foreigner series which starts brilliantly, but (for me) is running out of steam. The space opera stuff, including Downbelow Station is good, but not really light hearted.

      Elizabeth Moon – Vatta’s War. Started brilliantly, I thought it got a bit silly, but others have told me to lighten up. (Can’t remember any romance, but light hearted (ish) Space Opera). Moons fantasy series (Deed of Paksenarrion) and urban fantasy series (Summon the Keeper) is good too.

      Too many.

      You saw on the Facebook site what I think of American Gods, didn’t you? 🙂

      • Sarah L says :

        Well more of your projects are of course tolerated …. 😉

        Thanks for those suggestions. I have actually read some of Tanya Huff’s UF and have heard of some of the others so will spend a fun little hour or so on Amazon downloading samples, what a chore!

        Indeed the conversation on Facebook about American Gods made me bring it nearer the front of my tbr pile. Only 15% so far, too early to comment I feel! I’ll let you know 🙂

      • Robert says :

        I second the CJ Cherryh recommendation. (The others are OK, but definitely on the lighter side).
        I would add Tripoint and her magnum opus, Cyteen, especially, to your reading list.

        • Mark Henwick says :

          I must read Cyteen again. Bought it, all breathless, as a hardback when it came out. From what I remember, a lot of it happens in the head, and I was missing the mile-long spaceships. 🙂

          • Robert says :

            True, it’s all on planet and its very much a psychological (psychogenetic?!) drama, so it doesn’t really correspond to what Sarah was asking for, but still, how can you mention CJ Cherryh without mentioning Cyteen!

            Of course I first read it as an undergrad reading Biochemistry/molecular biology so it had a huge impact on me!

  6. Kris says :

    Really enjoying this serial so far! Love the feisty heroine, even if I have trouble imagining how she looks.
    All in all, I am very glad I finally got started on reading it, and look forward to the weekly torture of receiving a new episode and than having to wait a whole long week to the next episode.

    • Mark Henwick says :

      Thanks Kris.

      Before I publish the book, I’ll polish the descriptions a little. It’s a difficult one. The text mentions she has Spanish (Basque) and Chinese ancestry, that she has black hair, cut short as a boy’s, and that she has tilting green eyes.

      She looks a little truculent most of the time 🙂

      Have a look at Alejandra Alonso. Imagine her with her hair cut short and a scatter of freckles. (Her hair colour varies, but you can see her in some pictures with black hair). That’s about as close as I can find.

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