Starlit Yuletide – A New Space Opera Short Story by J. L. Stowers

My Writing, Science Fiction

This holiday season I wanted to give my readers a fun, heartfelt, space opera short story from the Ardent Redux Universe. This Starlit Yuletide is a little different from what readers usually find in the Ardent Redux books. It’s still the same cast of characters, but I give them some well-deserved time off from fighting in the alien war to save humanity. After all, who doesn’t like the idea of a little R&R once in a while? It’s good for the soul. Not that I made things easy for them – there’s still a bit of excitement in the end.

What is Starlit Yuletide – the New Sci Fi Short Story?

Starlit Yuletide takes place before events unfold in the first season of the Ardent Redux Saga (before the shit hits the fan, so to speak). This short story has a standard science fiction setting – taking place on the ship Alaska’s Vengeance and an alien world. Captain Dani Devereaux and her tight-knit crew follow a mysterious signal to an alien planet. But when they reach the site to investigate, it isn’t anything Dani & her found family could have ever expected.


→ Read Starlit Yuletide on Substack ←


Writing Starlit Yuletide

This story within a story is a brief narrative providing a little more character background for the primary Ardent Redux crew. As a sf author, I’m constantly thinking about how space travel will change humanity (for better and for worse). Naturally, while my own family figured out how to spend the holidays, I thought about how different holidays might look in space. Of course, there are a plethora of holidays this time of year, but seeing as my family celebrates Christmas here on Earth – I chose to go that route (only not on this planet).

If you subscribe to my newsletter, you know I recently did a reader survey. I looked through the comments and decided to incorporate some reader questions and comments into this new science fiction romp.

Why Publish Short Stories on Substack?

As much as I love writing good old space opera stories, publishing can get expensive. I wanted a way to make the story available to my readers for free – for a limited time. Part of this was because I wanted to give my readers a gift – and a short story in my favorite sub-genre of science fiction with my favorite crew seemed like the best idea. But I also didn’t want the story to be floating around forever considering it’s a seasonal tale. That, and I’ll likely put it into a short story collection or anthology at some time.

I chose Substack because of the growing science fiction population on the platform, as well as the fact that I could set a timer on the story, so it archives after two weeks.

In addition, the platform works very similar to a newsletter. People who subscribe to my Substack (either in the free tier or the paid tier) receive an email when I post something over there. At this point, I plan on using it as another way of engaging with readers to provide:

  • Short stories,
  • Fan art,
  • Sneak peeks,
  • Early release chapters,
  • And other bonus content.

My Substack Tiers Explained

You don’t have to subscribe at all to be able to read my posts. However, if you don’t, you won’t receive emails when I share something there. I’ll have free-forever posts, as well as free-for-a-limited-time posts (such as the Starlit Yuletide short story).

The free tier gets access to all of those, and an email when I share (which I only plan on doing 1-3 times per month).

The paid tier gets the same access to those things, however, paid subscribers also will have access to the archives (meaning they can read Starlit Yuletide even after the 2-week period is over). They’ll also have the ability to comment on posts, and access to early-release material (and maybe a few other bonuses).

Read Starlit Yuletide – an Ardent Redux Space Opera Short Story – on Substack

If you’re a fan of the Ardent Redux Universe (or even if you just enjoy space opera series) check out Starlit Yuletide by J. L. Stowers.

A banner image of a spaceship orbiting an icy planet with a space background filled with stars. This symbolizes Captain Dani Devereaux and the crew of Alaska's Vengeance exploring an alien planet in the new space opera short story Starlit Yuletide by sci fi author J. L. Stowers.

Science Fiction Books

An image of space featuring purple and blue dust and gas and two earthlike planets, one tinted red and the other tinted blue. These planets are meant to symbolize the warring factions found in the science fiction space opera Ardent Redux Universe that incorporates the Ardent Redux Saga, Ardent Redux Allies, Operation Ardent Redux, and Ardent Redux Short Stories by science fiction author J. L. Stowers.
An image of space featuring a beautiful blue-green nebula with a background of stars. This image is meant to symbolize the hazy unknown of the post-apocalyptic colonization story of Genesis Rising by science fiction author J. L. Stowers.
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