Thursday, February 17, 2022

Zanzibar's Rings by Jemima Pett - Book Tour

Galactic communications crisis strands several well-loved travelers with deadly enemies and no safe way to get home…

By Jemima Pett

Zanzibar's Rings, Science Fiction, Princelings Publications, 389 pp.

A Galactic crisis: the entire comms system destroyed. No waypoints, no navigation aids, no database access… and how will spaceships in flight get home—or to any destination?

Dolores is stuck in warp with a very dangerous passenger, Pete gets his shuttle back home on manual. But how come anything in close contact with pure orichalcum fixes itself? Just flying through Zanzibar’s Rings solves the problem—as the Federation’s fighters find, as they descend on the Viridian System to take possession of the planets.

Zanzibar’s Rings brings the Viridian System series to a conclusion with a bang—and a lot of whimpering. And possibly a view of things to come.

Book Information

Release Date: February 22, 2022

Publisher: Princelings Publications

Kindle: ISIN: B093QFX6DV; 380 pages; E-Book, $2.99

Apple Books


07:00 Corsair timezone (southern hemisphere);10:00 Sunset Strip

Pete Garcia finished unloading a set of pallets
destined for the small store at Corsair Central.
The three thousand or so residents of the
Corsair community on Viridian System 3b did not
feel comfortable calling the entire planet
Sunset Strip, after the main settlement in the
northern hemisphere. Calling their own first
settlement area Corsair Central was a step
towards making it their home, even though Pete
had advised against it. 

"You've got our petition to the Elders?" his
sister Maya asked as she accompanied him across
the level grassland back to his shuttle.

"Yes, safe here." Nowhere safer than his inside
vest pocket. He kissed her and gave her a hug
for good measure. "I'll persuade them, don't
worry. The main thing will be to work out what
to call the planet. They might resist change.
Like you resisting dropping the Corsair link. If
that senator hears..."

"He won't hear, and besides, lots of places in
the galaxy have the same names. Two Sunsets
might work, instead of Sunset Strip."

Pete sighed. He was losing his argument over
using the name of their former planet, owned by
the Imperium senator who'd bought land on
Pleasant Valley. "Any idea gives people
something to start on. Lars agrees with the
concept, I think. That's a start."

"Give him my love."

He raised one eyebrow. "Are you sure?"

His sister was a married woman. Teasing her
about a possible relationship with Lars was
second nature to him.

"When will you be back?"

"I'll check out the progress of that order for
seeds from Pankut. And have another chat with
Tylene Smithson about releasing your seeds. I'm
sure we can show they won't endanger the
southern hemisphere biota somehow. And we've
already got evidence that they can't cross to
the north."

"I'm worried they won't be viable after all this
space travel."

"Don't worry about it now. I'm on it."

Maya smiled and stepped away as Pete climbed
into his shuttle. He gave her thumbs up from the
door, and closed the outer hatch. He stood,
letting the decontaminant system do its thing,
then went through to take his place in the
pilot's seat. He checked that everybody had
cleared the area, and set off for home. Maybe
he'd call Dolores from near space.

09:00 Corsair time; 12:00 Sunset Strip

Pete never tired of the view as he cleared the
atmosphere and had the whole of Sunset Strip
curving below; a ball of variegated patterns
where the storm sector in the equatorial zone
would rip anything that entered it to shreds,
the smoother cloud formations to the north and
south, above the habitable zones. And the dark
of first sunset creeping across the world like a
monster eating a cookie.

His sister and the rest of the Corsairs were
right though. Sunset Strip was the northern
settlement and the continent where he lived. It
had never been suitable as a planetary name.
Neither was Pleasant Valley, for the co-orbital
planet, either. Whole world named for a single
settlement. It wasn't logical.

He frowned. Something else wasn't logical. That
flicker of green lightning running through the
Van Allen belt. And what the heck was going on
in the galaxy? The normal blue-silver disc of
the spiral galaxy was speckled with green

The green lightning headed straight for him.
"Shields up!" he called to his Al, although
surely it would be ahead of him. Why hadn't it
alerted him to something in the sensors?

His control panel went dead.


21:00 Pleasant Valley time, 12:00 Sunset Strip

In the dark of space, Dolores Azulzumbi woke to
the sound of banging on the doorway.

“What’s going on?” her Imperium senator
passenger was yelling. “I’ve lost comms. I had a
vital meeting!”

“Please be calm, sir. There seems to be a
systems failure. Please take your seat—What was

A green flash lit up all the viewpoints. Despite
the lack of a view in space, most shuttles still
had portholes. 

“Sir, did you see any more of those green
flashes before you lost comms?”

"Yes, a few, far off. What's going on? I demand
that you open this door and let me in."

Dolores turned the manual release to ‘lock’.

"I'm afraid the mechanism is not responding sir.
But we have gravity, air and water. I will give
you a sitrep as soon as I have run some checks.
Is the food dispenser working?"

There was a pause before he responded: "I'll

Dolores breathed out. Okay, emergency situation.
Loss of power, but life support operational.
What other checks could she give her passenger
to make him feel the situation was under his

Meanwhile… what was her AI doing? And what the
hell was it with those green flashes?


12:00 Sunset Strip

Lars Nilsson paused at the top of the hill,
wondering what the green stars were in the early
noon twilight. Meteorites, rather, since they
blinked out. They didn’t fit any normal pattern.
And lots of green mist in … the asteroid belt,
he realised as he mentally mapped the sky. Green
was the colour of orichalcum. What was going on?

Then he heard alarms in the town of Sunset Strip
across the bay and, closer to home, screams for
Maggie. He leapt down the hillside, registering
small explosive noises coming from their home.

Lars bounded across the grass towards the
balcony, ducking every time a spark flew from
somewhere on or in the building.



She flew from under the arch of the stairway
into his arms. “Everything’s exploding!”

“So I see, honey.” He held her close and ruffled
her golden streaked wavy hair, tucking her head
under his chin. “It’s happening over at the
town, too. And I saw lights in the sky, and even
in the asteroid belt. But we’re safe, huh? It
seems to have stopped.”

He looked down at her, and she nodded, gathering
her fears together and tucking them back into
the nameless place she hid them. “I must finish
freezing this batch or I’ll lose it.”

“Have we got power?”

Maggie’s mouth dropped.

“Where are the handlights?” Lars asked.

“Where we always put them.”

Armed with a wind-up torch each, they checked
the electrics and the kitchen gadgets. After a
thorough check of the whole villa, including the
basement workshop where Pete ran various
projects using a separate electricity circuit,
they concluded that two circuits were working,
but everything that connected with comms was

“That means the freezer…”

“Will be down, yes, but I can switch it over to
the low power circuit. You won’t have the
inventory and monitoring, but it’ll carry on
freezing this batch, and keep all the rest
frozen too.”

Maggie’s shoulders straightened as she relaxed.
It wasn’t until her food was safely batched and
stored, with an archaic stamping system to label
it, that she turned her mind to other things.

“What about Dolores? And Pete? Will he be at
Corsair still?”

“I don’t know.” This was serious. How in Sirtis
was Pete going to be able to check where he was.
Could they navigate home? Was Pleasant Valley
hit by it too? If the asteroid belt had got it,
then surely all the planets would be affected.
And all the space ships.

Pete’s shuttle would fly if it had power, and
Pete could navigate by sight around the
planet, but Dolores was in deep space. How in
heck was she going to get home?

Jemima Pett has been writing stories since she was eight, but went down the science path at school, and into a business career before retraining into environmental policy research. She wrote many manuals, papers and research documents before returning to fiction, publishing the Princelings of the East in 2011. That led to ten books in the series of the same name, written for older children. She started the Viridian System series in 2014.

Jemima reckons she read all of the science fiction in her local library, and most enjoys alternative universes, time travel, consequences of social change and unusual ideas surrounding alien species.  Her favourite authors included Anne McCaffrey, Fritz Lieber, Poul Anderson, John Brunner, Robert Heinlein and Arthur C Clarke. These days she likes Becky Chambers, Matt Haig, Lindsay Buroker, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Clare O’Beara, M T McGuire, Jennifer Ellis…  She also loves series – once involved with characters she loves to read their continuing adventures.

She has degrees or diplomas in maths, earth sciences and environmental technology and studied with the Unthank School of Writing while she lived in Norfolk. She now lives in Hampshire, where she enjoys rewilding her garden, raising organically grown vegetables, and birdwatching.

She would most like everyone to use their natural resources sustainably, since we only have the one planet to support us.

Her latest book is Zanzibar’s Rings: Viridian System Series (Book 3).

Visit Jemima’s website at or connect with her at TwitterFacebookGoodreadsInstagram and Pinterest.

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