Cast of characters
(in order of appearance)
Amelia – Raccoon. Maintenence worker on the Outer Planetary Exploratory Vehicle (OPEV) Beagle. Named after Amelia Earhart, and taught herself how to be a pilot. Now she’s the only one left alive who knows how to run the ship. Likes hats, especially her goggled aviator hat.
Space Kudzu – Kudzu. Genetically engineered to thrive in space. Now exists in a giant ball that has overrun a satellite graveyard (a gravity well where space junk in orbit will tend to drift).
Dr. Eric Tharp – Human. Geologist and Lead Researcher, now the highest ranking surviving crewmember, so arguably captain of the Beagle.
Earl Jaworsky – Human. Maintenence worker on the Beagle. Modeled loosely on Dick Dale, both looks and attitude. Has a mechanical hand.
Slim – Raccoon – Maintenence worker on the Beagle, and Jaworsky’s plucky sidekick.
Ash Hendriksson – Human. Clearly the smartest and most important person in any room he’s in. He’s not as good as he thinks he is, but he’s still pretty good.
Susan Kernighan – Human. Computer expert, and hacker.
Michael Cobb – Human. Geology researcher. Lost his husband in the accident.
Colleen Byrne – Human. Microbiology researcher. Lost her husband in the accident. Suffered significant burns in the accident.
The Cat Lady – Human. Resident of the Kudzu.
Sir Reginald F. Grump XXIII – Human. Writer of things lascivious, with bugs. Notorious pornographer from a long line of identically named notorious pornographers, perhaps. Possibly a time traveller. Also, inexplicably, a virgin.
Calin – Human. Proprietor of Calin’s Pub. Also, Sir Reginald’s agent and publicist.
Kevyn Vaughan – Human. Sir Reginald’s plucky sidekick.
Kudzu – Unsurprisingly, the genetically engineered strain of kudzu that thrives in space does even better on Earth. Oops.
Dr. Astrid Kilgore – Human. Only appears by reference. She developed the space kudzu, and was killed introducing it to Earth. (See Kudzu: A Prologue in Galactic Creatures ‡‡for how all that went down.)
Niamh (Nee-av) Murphy – Human. Prison guard, abducted by Sir Reginald and Kevyn during their escape. There’s something unusual about her…
Niamh – (NEE-av) Old Irish=Niam “luster, sheen, brightness, radiance, brilliance” Legendary princess of Tir-na-nog (the Land of Youth), took Finn mac Cumhaill’s son Oisin to the otherworld.
Grandmother Spider – A character in a piece of Sir Reginald’s Bugrotica, included in this novel with kind permission of Sir Reginald’s publicist.
Albert – Raccoon. An elderly gentlecoon who appears to have a long history with Sir Reginald and Niamh, which neither of them remember.