All We Leave Behind


All We Leave Behind: Transits of Three

by Benjamin X. Wretlind

GENRE:   Science Fiction

Following the exodus from rising floodwaters, the surviving descendants of those who came to create a society on a planet far from Earth have struggled to rebuild within the remains of an ancient temple. Now, as disease and an unfamiliar environment threaten to destroy them yet again, everyone seems to have an opinion about what to do next.

Miriam and Tobias Page, newly married, believe there may be a possible home beyond a distant canyon. Their journey with a quarter of the population doesn’t start well and soon nature and their own humanity will conspire to end it all. Meanwhile, Miriam’s two cousins, Joel and Micah, have different ideas. Joel is convinced the best course of action is to return to the mountains they left to mine for the ore that would make a great return to Earth possible. Micah hopes to stay, learn all he can about the temple’s previous occupants, and prove both of them wrong. But soon, he and his new partner Patience realize that no option is truly safe.

As the transits of three different groups get underway, new dangers and surprises emerge from within the rainforests, mountains, and deserts of the planet…and one of those may have followed them from Earth. While a final home is a dream away, present nightmares must be dealt with first if any of them are going to survive.


“How many?” Moran asked.

“Four. Just up ahead.” Tobias tightened his grip on his weapon. 

“Bethany is waiting for us.”

Moran stopped and watched as the caravan slowly edged toward the right, away from immediate danger. “Wish we had more to spare.”

“So do I.” Tobias took in a calming breath and let it out slowly. The nervousness in his stomach eased up. Miriam had taught him several techniques for dealing with fear, for calming his anxiety and sharpening his mind. He would forever be grateful to be married to a counselor, a therapist, a wise wizard of the brain’s complications.

“Ready?” Moran asked.

They both walked slowly toward Bethany’s position, their eyes locked on the trees where Tobias saw the four animals.

“Eight,” Bethany whispered as they approached. “Four more in a cluster of trees to the right of the others.”

“Typical pack. Haven’t heard the growl, yet,” Moran said. “Maybe they didn’t see us.”

“Oh, they did.” Tobias pointed to the tree with the first rychat he spotted. “I swear I saw that one lick its lips.”

“Well, we’ll have to take care of that.”

Moran raised his crossbow and took aim at the one Tobias pointed out. In tandem, both Tobias and Bethany raised their own weapons.

“One on the trunk,” Tobias whispered.

Bethany responded. “The big one to the right.”

The three were silent as they steadied themselves.

About the Author:

Benjamin, a speculative fiction author, ran with scissors when he was five. He now writes, paints, uses sharp woodworking tools and plays with glue. Sometimes he does these things at the same time.

Benjamin lives with his wife Jesse in Colorado.


Q&A With the Author

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Since All We Leave Behind is the third book in the Transit series and follows 2 months-ish after second book Sunshine and Shadow, I have to say I most enjoyed returning to the characters I’d spent so much time with and learning more about them. I’m one of those people who miss fictional characters when a book ends or a television series has its finale, so having the opportunity to revisit them is exciting for me. It’s like fan fiction for myself.

Do you have any other books you are working on that you can tell us about?

I am working on three things at the moment. First, all the prep work is being completed for the fourth book in this series, The Widening Gyre. This next book will look at how societies that have formed from a common seed can develop serious rifts over time. The second book I’m finishing up right now is for a new science fiction series that started when I thought up the phrase “He just came out here to fish” when being interrupted on a lake last summer. I’m hoping to have the first draft complete by the middle of January so I can set it aside before editing. Finally, I have a nonfiction book with beta readers right now. Creating Atmosphere with Atmosphere: How to Use Weather as a Literary Device came out of a presentation I gave last year at the Pikes Peak Writers Conference. I forecasted the weather for the military for 20 years while also writing, so the two things seemed to go together.

Can you tell us about what you have planned for the future?

The Transit series, of which All We Leave Behind is a part, is mapped out to nine novels with a few novellas interspersed in the middle of them. It’s rather ambitious, but as anthropological science fiction, it can’t be cut off after only three novels. My goal with the series was to explore what might happen if society had a chance to start over with the knowledge of what has happened in the past. Apart from the Transit series, the novel I’m writing now is a part of a new series that might end up being three novels. More a science-fiction comedy thriller, I’m spending a lot of time researching the possibilities of life outside our world based on our own evolution.

How long have you been writing?

I wrote my first story when I was 8. Apart from writing in school, I started my first novel 33 years ago and didn’t finish it until 20 years later...after starting and finishing two other novels. I consider my writing career to be about 33 years old, although there were a few sabbaticals when life got in the way. In 2020, I was laid off from work due to COVID, and the present phase of my writing career took off. I like the way things are now.

Anything more you would like to say to your readers and fans?

While the Transit series is really all about looking at a future society through the lens of the past and finding out what would happen if we could start over, the real impetus for the novel was a nagging query I’ve had for years and years: what if I could start over? I love the way my life has turned out, but there are things I wish could have been different. The philosophical question behind this is: would fate drive our actions in the same way even if we had a second chance? I currently teach leadership and professional development courses for staff at Yale, and I bring that question to the participants in my class. Our behavior is guided by our experience and the beliefs we’ve formed because of them. How much would have to be different for a society’s behavior to change? There is no concrete answer to the question, but it’s something to think about as we move forward. Our actions lead to experiences for others. From those experiences, people form beliefs and act accordingly. If we want them to change the way they are acting, wouldn’t we have to change their beliefs? And how do we do that? By giving them new experiences through different actions.

Twitter: @bxwretlind






Benjamin X. Wretlind will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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  1. Thank you for hosting! I'll be checking in here all day, so ask me questions! And as today is International Thank You Day... Thank you!

  2. Sounds like an amazing read with great characters.

    1. Thank you, and it's quite the cast...the kind you don't want to stop writing about.

  3. I am interested in knowing how different this planet is to Earth.

    1. There's actually a table of differences at the back of the book. :) I purposefully made it similar with only slight changes for a reason to be revealed later. The weather is also similar, although as a former meteorologist I got to play around with that for a bit.

  4. Sounds like a very interesting book.

  5. Seems like a great theme. I liked the intro and concept.

  6. The book sounds intriguing. Great cover!

  7. Interesting author interview!! I enjoyed reading it and learning more about the author and his new book!!

  8. This sounds like an interesting Science Fiction book with well developed characters.


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