Crimson Star Chapter 2

Crimson Star Chapter 2

He went in fast, going over the corpse in the doorway and stepping right.  There wasn’t a good place to move in the entryway; it formed a short hallway that opened up on the kitchen in the open central room, with a double door immediately to the left, that was currently closed. The closed door wasn’t the immediate threat, though.  The two men and a woman in the kitchen, the woman coming out of the bedroom beyond with what looked like a semi-auto shotgun, were. He stroked the trigger as he moved, driving forward and slowing just enough that he wouldn’t quite clear the short wall to his right before he dealt with the three threats in front of him.  His first shot took the tall, bald, heavily muscled man, covered in tattoos, high in the chest.  Red blossomed on the man’s white wife-beater and sprayed from his back, spattering the woman with the bobbed hair and red shirt in the face.  She blinked as the man crashed onto his back in front of her, then Huntsman put a bullet through her skull, the thunderclap of the report physically painful in the enclosed space.  Hank could already feel his ears

Crimson Star Chapter 1

Crimson Star Chapter 1

The desert felt downright cold in the hour before dawn. Hank Foss drew back the cutoff sock cuff on his wrist just far enough that he could make out the faintly luminous hands on his watch dial.  Five more minutes.  He slipped the cuff back in place and looked over at Cole Spencer, who lay in the shallow wash next to him. Spencer’s pitch-black face was obscured by a mottled pattern of sand and loam camouflage paint, just as Hank’s considerably lighter complexion was.  He met Hank’s eyes and nodded.  Hank nodded back, then started double-checking himself. He’d handed his rifle, a thoroughly customized 7.62 battle rifle that had started its life as a DPMS Oracle, off to Spencer, along with his assault pack.  All he had left on was his chest rig, his belt kit, and his pistol, a suppressed SIG Tactical 1911.  The holster was a miserably large chunk of nylon strapped to his thigh, but he found it preferable to any of the other carry options, and he couldn’t just carry the damned pistol as his primary. At least, once he was done with this first phase of the operation. Every strap had been taped, every buckle

Crimson Star Prologue

Crimson Star Prologue

New Wave of Murders Hits Baltimore   While estimates are still coming in, at least seventy-two people have been killed in a fresh wave of violence in Baltimore this weekend.  Victims include several police officers, and at least one family of four, identified as Jim and Patty Gorson and their two daughters. Gunfire tore through the night, and social media posts have claimed most of the killings in the name of the Black Kingdom Revolutionaries.  The group’s anonymous spokespersons have said that the killings are in retribution for the Fourth Reich’s assassination of activist Kamal Lamont Granger last week.   Standoff in Detroit   The siege of Harm’s Elementary School enters its second week today.  The leader of The Martyrs of Al Gharb, Abdulqaadir Ismaili Abdi, has issued another statement, claiming that, “The sons and daughters of the filthy kufar will be returned to their unbelieving mothers and fathers one limb, one piece at a time, unless Siad Muhammad Abdi, Ahmed Abu Qadir, and Ali Omar Hersi are freed.  If the Martyrs of Al Gharb do not receive, in addition, five hundred million dollars, we will cut out their tongues before we set them free.  Allahu Akhbar!” Local police still

Setting the Stage: Peter Zeihan on Economics and Demographics

Setting the Stage: Peter Zeihan on Economics and Demographics

This video came across my radar a week or so ago.  It’s a long listen, but well worth it.  Dr. Peter Zeihan goes into some of the economics and demographics of the collapse of the post-war world order.  Some of these trends have gone into the background to the Maelstrom Rising series already.  Zeihan’s talk has further fleshed some of them out. Now, I don’t necessarily agree with his entire forecast.  I think he’s overlooking a number of, shall we say, violent variables.  His outlook is almost entirely economic and demographic, leaving aside some of the potential impacts of violent ideology, desperation politics, terrorism, and “hybrid” Fourth Generation Warfare.  Many of these variables have the potential to derail the economics he’s talking about. The demographics can also lead into some of these problems.  As was mentioned in a discussion of this video, the solution to demographic problems has occasionally been “foreign adventures.” All of that said, the Maelstrom Rising series is predicated on the trends that Zeihan outlines.  The difference is, the crisis brought about by these trends leads to desperation.  And desperate governments can do things that, in the long run, are extremely destructive and stupid.  Maelstrom Rising is about the

More Audio is Here!

More Audio is Here!

Tantor Media has just released the audio version of Holding Action, Book 2 in the Maelstrom Rising series.  Steve Marvel read it, and as I’ve said before, I’ve been quite impressed with his attention to detail. Buying time with blood…. Matt Bowen and his team made it out of Slovakia by the skin of their teeth. But the fight’s not over. And there’s no rest for the weary. The European Defense Council, desperate to salvage their dream of a Europe reshaped in their image, threaten invasion of Poland. The Triarii and what is left of American forces in Northern Europe stand by their Polish allies. But they’re outnumbered and outgunned. And they might well be watching the wrong part of the border. Get it today! As for Crimson Star…I’m still working on it.  Just passed the 91k word mark.  This has turned into a bit more of a “discovery writing” experience as I’ve gone along.  I should have a cover soon, and be able to get the preorder up for release sometime in late January.  (Hopefully Tantor will be willing to pick that one up, too.) Also, my apologies for not keeping up on the blog.  It’s been busy; I’ll try

Escalation is out on Audio!

Escalation is out on Audio!

I’ve had people asking about getting my books on audio for several years now.  I’ve given it a shot a couple of times, but things haven’t worked out to continue with the ACX Royalty Share arrangement. However, a couple of months ago, I was contacted by Tantor Media, asking if the audio rights to the Maelstrom Rising series were available.  Tantor’s not a small company; they’ve got thousands of audiobooks in their catalog.  So, I signed on. Escalation is out today.  Holding Action is in production, and will be out on the 10th of December.  Steve Marvel is narrating, and while I haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet, I’ve communicated with him some, and his attention to detail is admirable, and his rendition of the news stories in the Prologue (in the Sample) is spot on. Meanwhile, I’m hammering away at Crimson Star.  It’s being a bit of a bear, but I’m getting a handle on it.  Taking the scene back to CONUS presents a whole new set of complications.  Preorder and release date are still yet to be determined; I’ve got to get closer to finishing first. Kill or Capture‘s been out for a bit now. 

The Irregular Side of Future War

The Irregular Side of Future War

So far, the Maelstrom Rising series has mostly focused on the fact that conventional combat in future war is anything but dead.  But there’s an irregular side to it, too, and the future is going to feature as much of the irregular, asymmetric side as the conventional, combined-arms side. There’s an article over on Borderland Beat about just that side of warfare, a side that is becoming increasingly prevalent in the modern world. Future conflicts will mostly be waged by drug cartels, mafia groups, gangs, and terrorists. It is time to rethink our rules of engagement. Wars are on the rebound. There are twice as many civil conflicts today, for example, as there were in 2001. And the number of nonstate armed groups participating in the bloodshed is multiplying. According to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), roughly half of today’s wars involve between three and nine opposing groups. Just over 20 percent involve more than 10 competing blocs. In a handful, including ongoing conflicts in Libya and Syria, hundreds of armed groups vie for control.

Buying Time With Blood – Holding Action is Out!

Buying Time With Blood – Holding Action is Out!

Holding Action is live! Matt Bowen and his team made it out of Slovakia by the skin of their teeth. But the fight’s not over.  And there’s no rest for the weary. The European Defense Council, desperate to salvage their dream of a Europe reshaped in their image, threaten invasion of Poland. The Triarii and what is left of American forces in Northern Europe stand by their Polish allies.  But they’re outnumbered and outgunned. And they might well be watching the wrong part of the border. The brutal series about the next World War continues in a storm of fire and steel!

Holding Action Chapter 2

Holding Action Chapter 2

“Shit,” Phil whispered.  “I knew they had a fucking drone up.” I didn’t answer, but scanned the road carefully.  Once again, thanks to the woods, we were far closer than we should have been, but the spotlights weren’t pointed at the woods, not yet, and the rising growl of the helicopter, along with the rumble of the armored cars’ diesels, seemed to have drowned out what little noise we were making.  Slowly, carefully, I eased back deeper into the shadows, Phil doing the same. Looking up and down the road, I didn’t see a good spot to cross.  The six armored vehicles were spaced out along the road.  They were too close to slip through, and too spread out to find a good spot to go around.  At least, not with that helicopter closing in.  Two klicks of open country separated us from the border at its nearest point, and that would have entailed going through Leuba. As urgent as it was that we get the information back to Poland, we weren’t going to do anyone any good if we went charging out there and got killed or captured.  And as confident as I was in my team in combat,

Holding Action Chapter 1

Holding Action Chapter 1

On the ground, at night, Germany didn’t look all that different from Slovakia.  The differences lay in details that might not have been all that readily apparent to someone without our recent experience. Aside from a dog barking down by Schönau-Berzdorf, it was deathly quiet.  No distant thunder of artillery rumbled.  No small arms fire rattled.  There weren’t even any aircraft to be heard in the sky. The lights were still on in Görlitz to the north, casting an orange glow against the low clouds overhead.  Unlike the all-too common flickering light of burning towns and villages in Slovakia, it was a steady illumination, adding to the ambient light that our AN-PSQ-20 fusion goggles had to work with.  It made navigation through the shadows of the German woods quite a bit easier. That same quiet was making me suspicious.  The entire landscape around us seemed asleep and dead.  Given that every indicator that intelligence had gotten in the last few weeks was pointing to Görlitz being the staging point for a major offensive aimed at Poland, there should have been more activity. Phil Kerr took a knee next to a mostly-bare tree.  The fall had been colder than the Poles