Under Fortunate Stars
A modern, progressive homage to classic space opera stories, with flawed heroes and time travel
Two Ships. One Chance To Save The Future.
Fleeing the final days of the generations-long war with the alien Felen, smuggler Jereth Keeven’s freighter the Jonah breaks down in a strange rift in deep space, with little chance of rescue—until they encounter the research vessel Gallion, which claims to be from 152 years in the future.
The Gallion’s chief engineer Uma Ozakka has always been fascinated with the past, especially the tale of the Fortunate Five, who ended the war with the Felen. When the Gallion rescues a run-down junk freighter, Ozakka is shocked to recognize the Five’s legendary ship—and the Five’s famed leader, Eldric Leesongronski, among the crew.
But nothing else about Leesongronski and his crewmates seems to match up with the historical record. With their ships running out of power in the rift, more than the lives of both crews may be at stake…
"An engaging space saga with time-travel twists, and a compelling look at how past and future are created not only by those who live it but those who record it."
"Tackling the way history sacrifices truth for hagiography, Hutchings lovingly fuses a sprawling cast of charmingly flawed characters and a plot with many moving parts into a smooth and satisfying whole. Sci-fi readers will be delighted."
"An engrossing interstellar escapade with appeal for fans of Becky Chambers, Alex White, and S.K. Dunstall."
"Under Fortunate Stars manages to tease out the familiar, best parts of the genre — and then flip them inside out.... A deeply human book."
"A superb sci-fi debut with a heart warming and imaginative story that makes you fall in love with the characters and immerse yourself in their world."
"Under Fortunate Stars by Ren Hutchings is one of the most entertaining time travel space adventures that you will ever read today, tomorrow, or even yesterday."
"Under Fortunate Stars sets out to thrill with a winning formula of spaceships and time travel [...] a time-bending, character-driven space adventure that’s sure to leave you with a smile on your face. If you take the time to track it down, you’re sure to feel very fortunate indeed"
"This is genuinely brilliant, characterful science fiction, with a really strong emotional core – the sort of book which becomes impossible to put down, and leaves you both torn up and uplifted by its conclusion. In short, it’s must-read SF."
"In Under Fortunate Stars, Ren Hutchings has written a space opera that is close and personal in its conflicts and, at the same time, wide-reaching in its scope. This is destined to be one of the breakout science fiction novels of 2022."
Michael Mammay, Author of the Planetside series
"Under Fortunate Stars combines a richly drawn world, complicated characters, and a time-travel plot that unwinds forward and backward, with stakes both massive and intensely personal."
K. Eason, author of Nightwatch on the Hinterlands
"Under Fortunate Stars is a perfect novel featuring my favorite time-travel paradox. Ren Hutchings weaves together a tapestry of past and present with a deft hand in this tender space opera about two crews doing everything they can to build peace out of the ashes of war. This is an absolute must-read for anyone needing a little hope."
K.B. Wagers, author of Hold Fast Through the Fire
"A fun, puzzle box of a mystery!"
Megan E. O'Keefe, author of Velocity Weapon
"An engrossing mystery gene-spliced with a thrilling sci-fi adventure, Under Fortunate Stars feels like a newly unearthed classic that’s miraculously stood the test of time. Driven by a cast of complex characters who deepen with every new layer of the mystery revealed, it builds to a thrilling, head-spinning climax. Reading it is like being sucked into a mysterious time rift, and you’ll love every lost moment."
SJ Whitby, author of the Cute Mutants series
"Smart, slick, and mind-blowingly twisty, Under Fortunate Stars pits a memorable ensemble cast against impossible odds: fragile timelines, fifth-dimension science, and explosive politics. Woven with crackling wit, this is an unmissable debut.
Claire Winn, author of City of Shattered Light
"Under Fortunate Stars takes familiar themes of time travel, interspecies conflict, and ensemble crews to spin a wholly original and compulsively readable story. Ren Hutchings’ first novel is exciting, funny, truthful – and a thoughtful account of the necessity of trusting both ourselves and strangers to secure our future and live in peace."
Una McCormack, author of The Baba Yaga and The Star of the Sea
"Rifts in time and space, humour and a cast of compelling characters. An electrifying mix of wild ideas, vivid far futures and good fun."
Eeleen Lee, author of Liquid Crystal Nightingale
"If the Guardians of the Galaxy crashed the Foundation... A twisty, enthralling space-time opera. Fortunate readers, and a future star.
Stephen Baxter, author of the Wheel of Ice Series
“Boasting a heart full of hope, captivating characters you can’t help but root for, and a breathless, high-octane mystery, Under Fortunate Stars is the kind of space opera we need right now.”
Karen Osbourne, author of the Memory Wars Series
"Under Fortunate Stars is an immensely fun space opera adventure, chock full of surprises and wonderful characters, laced through with humor and heart. Fans of Becky Chambers and Valerie Valdes will love this."
John Appel, author of Assassin's Orbit
Awards & Accolades
2023 FanFi Addicts Awards: Finalist for Best Trad Debut
Library Journal: Debut of the Month