Refractions (#1)


In the vast expanse of space, Bethesda – humanity’s first extra-solar colony and home to a thriving population of adults and children – has ceased all communication with Earth.


Nathalie Hart joined the rescue expedition only to escape the pain and guilt after her sister’s death. But when she’s wrenched out of cryo-sleep far too early, she realises something has gone very wrong on board…


Nathalie finds herself thrust into command amidst a crew of strangers, each harbouring their own secrets. A scrawled threat, written in a language only she knows, confirms her suspicions. Someone on board will do anything to protect Bethesda’s secrets.

Surrounded by deceit, and with Earth a distant memory, Nathalie must unravel a conspiracy that threatens everyone back on Earth – before the traitors kill her and her crew. 


"Refractions is an excellent novel. Mel Melcer has found her genre and worked hard to establish a nuanced take on humanity's future."

SF Book Review

"I am very interested to see what Melcer does with that next. It is an extremely promising start to a new series and a writer to watch out for."

Run Along the Shelves

"Refractions is well-paced, carefully-structured and … immediately immersive … An accomplished debut that will keep you up late for just one more chapter."

There's Always Room For One More

"Twisty, suspenseful, and well told, REFRACTIONS tells a story of a guilt-ridden, underqualified starship captain charged with investigating a colony world that seems to have destroyed itself in a conflict that mirrors the dissension arising in her own crew.... MV Melcer is a talent to remember."

Walter Jon Williams, bestselling author of Hardwire and the Praxis

"REFRACTIONS surprises you. The tautly plotted mystery evolves and deepens into an examination of the best and worst human behavior and impulses. Melcer's characters are complex and messy; her setting --a dying Earth, the nations that emerge from climate collapse-- feels all too real. And somehow, in the end, though there are no easy answers...there's hope. Recommended!"

K. Eason, author of Nightwatch Over Windscar and the Thorne Chronicles

"I'm a huge fan of science fiction that feels real enough to happen tomorrow and Melcer has accomplished that in this book. The character's pasts, families and personalities drive tense interactions that are all too familiar and believable. Politics and strife at home create constant irritation for an international crew on a high stakes mission to save thousands and possibly all of humanity. All that action, tension and discovery culminates with an unexpected, yet perfect ending. A truly and enjoyable and satisfying read."

William Ledbetter, author of Level Five, Nebula Winner

"REFRACTIONS is a page-turning mystery that drills straight down to the human heart of a crisis, and which turns an unflinching eye toward those who engineer and profit from such situations. Melcer's complex, dynamic cast of characters move together through a direly realistic future: there's hope to be had, as long as someone's willing to pay its cost."

Aimee Ogden, author of Emergent Properties

"REFRACTIONS by MV Melcer catapults readers through an epic space adventure marked by shifting loyalties, a fight against exploitative capitalism, and testing the limits of humanity. This story is both majestic in scope and introspective in tone, as the diverse cast of characters careen through a sweeping space adventure."

TJ Berry, author of Space Unicorn Blues

"Great, tense, imaginative, a damn good read. Highly and enthusiastically recommended."

Deborah Davitt, author of the Sage of Edda-Earth

"Fast paced space opera that grabs you right from the start and doesn't let go."

Allen Stroud, author of Fearless

"M V Melcer's debut novel begins with a small crew on a generational rescue mission to a colony planet and an explosion during cryosleep. Pilot Nathalie Hart wakes amid fire and chaos to find she's now in command of the ship and the mission. From there the intricately plotted story only gets better, with a series of nested mysteries about the colony, a second group of colonists stranded in orbit, and the reveals of the shadowy and interconected pasts of the rescues themselves. A good read from start to finish, and the audio version is engagingly performed by Patricia Rodríguez."

L. D. Colter, author of A Borrowed Hell