“Mortal Fuel is a prequel short story to my novel Relentless. I had enjoyed my time with Commander Ward so much that I wanted to go back and explore the Relentless during his heyday.
“I wanted to show that his system of running the ship had actually worked (after a fashion), but also highlight the injustice inherent within it. I wanted a principal character who could first enjoy a bountiful rise in favour and then be chewed up by the same system which made him. Enter Midshipman Marcher.
“The environmental aspect was added because the title of the anthology was Planetkill, however it again allowed me to highlight another aspect of this far-future Imperium that is hinted at, but never shown. What happens when they're simply finished with a world and want to leave it behind and yet there's not room for every inhabitant to be relocated?”