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 True Legacy of the Cold War

The True Legacy of the Cold War

A lot of people see the Cold War as distant history.  There was even one political scientist/economist who wrote a book in 1992 claiming that the end of the Cold War was “The End of History.” Obviously, that thesis didn’t age well. But even leaving aside the nonsense that with the collapse of the Soviet Union, a new age of democracy and peace had dawned, a lot of us still see a rupture between the Cold War and the present strategic situation.  There is no such rupture, though.  History doesn’t work in “eras” except in high school textbooks. Yes, this is in reference to my last post.  An expansion, if you will.  If you want to understand why we seem to be trapped in “endless war,” then you need to understand what happened since World War II, and how that has contributed to where we are now. The Cold War has been described as the multi-decade tensions between NATO and the Warsaw Pact, marked by espionage, massive conventional forces staring at each other across the Iron Curtain, and the Mutually Assured Destruction of thousands of nuclear weapons pointed in both directions.  And those were part of it.  But the Cold

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 Prologue

Holding Action Prologue

Three Weeks Later, And Still Few Answers   It has been three weeks since the beginning of the catastrophic blackout that has cut off electrical power to the Pacific Coast, the Southwest, much of the Southeast, and the Eastern Seaboard.  Efforts to restore the grid in effected areas have largely met with failure, either due to technical problems or attacks by gangs.  This seems to have bolstered theories that the blackout was caused by a terrorist attack.  Authorities that this reporter was able to reach have not endorsed this view, however, insisting that there is no solid evidence of such an attack.  Nor have the rash of infrastructure attacks been linked by any such authorities.  The official, who preferred to remain anonymous, dismissed such links as “conspiracy theories.”

Maelstrom Rising Tech – The M5 Powell Infantry Fighting Vehicle

Maelstrom Rising Tech – The M5 Powell Infantry Fighting Vehicle

As I’ve written elsewhere, setting a story in the near future sometimes requires some attempt at clairvoyance.  Some of the weapons systems that will be used in a future war are still in development.  Some might not exist yet, but getting too crazy sci-fi could derail things, so I’ve got to strike a balance.  One of those systems that I introduce in Escalation is the M5 Powell Infantry Fighting Vehicle.  This is set up as the replacement for the M2 Bradley IFV, which has been in service since 1981. Now, there is an M2 replacement in the works.  The Army calls it the Next Generation Combat Vehicle program, and the Request For Proposals went out in March of this year.  Right at the moment, there are three major contenders, the BAE Systems CV90 Mk IV, the Rheinmetall and Raytheon Lynx IFV, and the General Dynamics Griffin III.

ESCALATION Prologue

ESCALATION Prologue

In the third such killing in the last six months, Senator Tyrone Billings of Michigan was killed by a VBIED outside his Ann Arbor home last night.  This comes after three months of threats, following Billings’ vote against S.8853, the “Hate Speech” law that would bring the US into line with European Union standards.  Most of Senator Billings’ security was killed in the blast.  Police have no leads.