The Dust and Cold (Themis)
The basic setting is that some humans travels to a distant star system on a fleet of colonial ships. They planned to establish colonies on this habitable desert planet named Themis. But something happened which I'm still slightly undecided on which caused the ships to crash into the planet, scattering the emergency escape pods all over the planet and leaving those that survived reentry and landing to fend for themselves on the cold, barren surface. It's 50 years later, and some small, scattered governments have been established over the surface of Themis. That being said, a good portion of the population either lives in small villages or chooses a nomadic lifestyle. Given the lack of centralized government, widely accepted currencies are few and far between, which has lead bartering to be the main method of trading for many. It's also worth mentioning that large swaths on land on Themis are basically lawless. Which means, of course, piracy, and lots of it. It's like the Wild West out there.
One thing I wanted to do to differentiate this world from other alien planet westerns out there is that it's "kind of" hard sci-fi. Well to be fair, in this kind of setting, it's a little harder to show off the common hard sci-fi tropes like realistic space combat, orbital physics, etc. That's why I like to say "kind of" hard sci-fi. One of the major aspects is that of the planet itself. A common trope of most sci-fi stories is that when they mean a "habitable" planet, they mean a planet that has oceans with continents and trees and you can lounge around outside without a space suit like it's basically Earth. To me, that's stupid, the conditions for humans to survive in are pretty damn specific and some planets aren't somehow drawn a configuration similar to that of Earth. The possibility of us finding an Earth clone is stupidly low and we are probably never going to find it in our lifetime. My definition of habitable is more in line with NASA's or an Astronomer's definition of habitable. Planets like Mars or Saturn's moon Titan are technically considered "habitable".
Themis, my fictional planet, is probably one of the most habitable planets we might find out there in our lifetime. It's about the size of Venus with an atmosphere slightly thicker than our own. It's geologically active with a sufficient magnetosphere. The surface of Themis is actually darker in color due to carbon compounds and the terrain is quite varied. High mountains, flat plains, plateaus, dunes, canyons and even volcanoes. A couple of things that aren't Earth like are the fact that it's cold, it lacks surface water, and it's atmosphere isn't breathable. That being said, it might be colder than Earth but it's still nowhere near as cold as Mars. It also has a good bit of ground water surprisingly. You can probably get away with just a coat and breathing equipment when going outside. Hell, you might not even need a jacket in the more equatorial regions. All in all, it's habitable but still harsh enough to be realistic.
And now on to the characters in involved in the story. It's about Sam Yamahara, a man who wanders the desert alone in his large ATV. Sam is kind of a strange guy, he's a little socially awkward and mostly keeps to himself. He also has some less than conventional interests, namely porn. He considers himself to be a connoisseur of sorts. He supports his hobby through his two professions, being an engineer and fixing things as well as bounty hunter/mercenary work. Now, you may think, a socially awkward loser a badass? Well yeah it is pretty unusual yes, but the only reason he's so good at combat was because he wanted to be a badass to get with girl and thus worked his ass off to get to where he is now. That being said, he quickly realized that combat prowess is no replacement for actual social skills. He may have came to regret it slightly, but it's a useful skill to have and a good source of income so it worked out in the end. As for how the story begins, I'm not too sure of the specifics. Basically, something happened which lead him to taking this sheltered, middle class girl on a tour across Themis which involves seeing many notable landmarks and areas as well as getting into altercations with pirates and the like.
Wow shit that was a lot of writing I did.