I’ll be live on the Galaxy’s Edge channels tonight at 1800 PST/2100EST to talk about Wargate Books, The Lost in general, and The Alchemy of Treason somewhat more specifically (without undue spoilers). We’ll also have Jeremiah Humphries, the cover artist for Swords Against the Night, The Alchemy of Treason, and the upcoming The Rock of Battle on tonight as well. Come on by and join the peanut gallery.
The World of The Lost gets a little darker, in The Alchemy of Treason. *** I got as low as I could and continued my inch-by-inch skull drag, moving into a slightly lower fold in the ground, shielded from the sentry by several stands of nearly two-foot-tall grass. I still had to move very slowly—even more slowly than I already had been for the last two hours. I was a good twenty yards away from him, but that was plenty close enough to get spotted or heard if I wasn’t careful, even in the deepening dark. I might have heard something off to my right. Maybe a grunt, suddenly cut off. Santos was supposed to be over there. Maybe he’d moved faster than I had. The last of the faint remaining glow in the west had faded and the stars were glittering in the black sky overhead when I finally rose to a low crouch. Firelight glinted faintly off the dark, satin steel of the Bowie in my fist as I quickly scanned my surroundings before padding as silently as I could toward the sentry, his back now to me. The fire still flickered, though most of the Avurs were now proned
No special guest this month, and not really much of a set agenda, which is why I’m calling it the September Peanut Gallery. We might talk war, worldbuilding, writing, or just go off on tangents brought on by audience questions. Bring what ya got.
King Wu inquired of the T’ai Kung: “I want to attain our aim [of overthrowing the Shang], but I have three doubts. I am afraid that our strength will be inadequate to attack the strong, to estrange his close supporters within the court, and disperse his people. What shall I do?” The T’ai Kung replied: “Accord with the situation, be very cautious in making plans, and employ your material resources. Now in order to attack the strong, you must nurture them to make them even stronger, and increase them to make them even more extensive. What is too strong will certainly break; what is too extensive must have deficiencies. Attack the strong through his strength. Cause the estrangement of his favored officials by using his favorites, and disperse his people by means of the people. “Now in the Tao of planning, thoroughness and secrecy are treasured. You should become involved with him in numerous affairs and ply him with temptations of profit. Conflict will then surely arise. “If you want to cause his close supporters to become estranged from him, you must do it by using what they love–making gifts to those he favors, giving them what they want. Tempt
At 6PM Pacific/9Pm Eastern, we’ll be going live with The Emperors of Galaxy’s Edge and Wargate Books, Nick Cole and Jason Anspach. A little over a year ago, Nick hit me up with a proposal for a new project. The end result has been The Lost, with more to come. So, tonight, we’ll be sitting down to talk about what Wargate is, how it came to be, where it’s going, and anything else that comes to mind. (If you’ve watched any of these livestreams before, you know that we can get off topic and get on tangents sometimes.) It will be live on Facebook, and also here on Youtube:
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I didn’t have time to think that through before the keel scraped on what felt like solid ground. If we hadn’t been backing water, slowing precipitously already even before the mist had engulfed us, everyone aboard the ship would have been thrown to the deck by the abrupt halt. We had just run aground, in the middle of deep water, miles out to sea. After a moment, as I regained my equilibrium after the shock of that impact, I realized it felt like we were rising, being lifted above the water level. When I lurched to the rail and peered over the side, I saw only wet rock and silt beneath us. An island was rising out of the ocean, stranding the entire ship high and dry. It was still emerging, too, as the ground beneath us shuddered and shook like an earthquake. The shuddering stopped. The mist seemed to thin, but only to reveal more flat, slimy rock, strewn with some seaweed and what looked like the flopping bodies of fish or eels. Strangely, the mist only appeared to be thinner off to starboard, where it had first appeared. The port side was still engulfed in gray. The wind
Surface To Air “Kev! Up!” Wade had pivoted, bringing his MCX up as the second helo made a pass at the stern. Bullets smacked into steel and fiberglass around them, and both Blackhearts ducked, Curtis throwing himself flat just below the lip of the helipad. He rolled over onto his back as the bird went by, wrenching the EVOLYS around and sending a burst at the receding aircraft’s tail. He couldn’t tell whether he’d hit it or not. Levering himself to his feet, he hauled the EVOLYS up and searched for the helo. It was nose down, making tracks fast, banking off to the west, far astern of the yacht. I still might be able to hit it. He shifted to the aft rail, bracing the machinegun and tracking in on the fleeing helicopter. He squeezed off a burst, but his range was off. Red tracers arced just beneath the bird, which jinked hard to avoid the fire and dove even closer to the water, turning away from the Dream Empire and banking violently from side to side to avoid the gunfire. He fired one more burst, but between the helicopter’s motion, the widening range, and the yacht’s own rolling
Joe Flanagan scanned the water carefully, considering the angles. There was a good spot just upstream, where a sizeable boulder lay just beneath the surface, visible only as a slightly more noticeable stirring of the water. He saw another spot closer to the bank, though, where a fallen tree and a partially collapsed overhang had formed a sheltered pool. He stayed where he was, motionless, quiet, set back from the bank so that he wouldn’t cast a shadow on the water, and watched for a while. After a few minutes, he circled around toward the pool formed by the fallen tree. Crouching down by a pine, he watched the water carefully for a few more minutes, before finally casting into the end of the pool. It took a couple of casts, but finally the line tautened and the tip of the rod bent. He flicked upward, setting the hook, and then started to work the fish in toward the bank. Even as he reeled in his catch, he heard the crunch of gravel under tires, the sound of a motor stopping, and then a door being shut. Despite the battering his hearing had taken over years of gunfire and helicopters,
“Dad? Looks like Uncle Hector’s here.” John Brannigan looked up from the table. Hank, leaner and shorter than his father by several inches, was peering out the door at the driveway, noticeably staying out of the light, off to one side, where a newcomer shouldn’t be able to see him. The boy had been an officer, but he’d learned. He should have, given the fact that his old man had been something of an infantry legend. Still. He’d learned even more since he’d left the Marine Corps and become a member of the secretive mercenary team that called itself Brannigan’s Blackhearts. Brannigan shut the ledger in front of him with a faint frown and got up to step around the table and move to the other window. Sure enough, that was Hector Chavez’s car pulling up the driveway. “That’s weird. Usually he calls ahead.” “Maybe the cell signal’s not working up here again.” “Wouldn’t that be a shame,” Brannigan growled. The only reason he had the infernal device in the first place was because of the Blackhearts. Otherwise, he would have been perfectly happy to go completely off grid up here. Thrusting his .45 into the back of his waistband,