The small settlement on the world of Caliente is suffering from a devastating drought and the two segments of the population are coming to blows over the remaining water. Someone has to be daring to keep everyone alive and Carmen del Santo Palo, a leader of one of the gangs, is reluctantly taking up the challenge.
Carmen is faster and smarter than a lot of the other gang members, but she's also begun to realize she has no future beyond being the leader of a gang. She'll see her people through the current round of troubles, but she doesn't know what will happen afterwards.
Besides, the future may be the least of her problems. She has to survive first.
Badlands is a novel in the Inner Worlds Council setting (Here are the published IWC books in chronological order). It was originally written back in 1989 during a drought in the area where I live. I remember sitting by the window where I am sitting now and thinking about it being hot, dry and miserable. And here we are, back in a drought again 22 years later. Sometimes it's amusing how these things work out.
Vita's Vengeance and Badlands are related, but only through a later book that I hope to have rewritten and edited soon. You can read the first two in either order, but both should be read before Rat Pirates is released. This little sequence within the IWC timeline has always been a fun, exciting round of books to work with, and I'm glad to finally have the first two in a state where I feel good about releasing them.
I hope you enjoy them.