“Rare earth minerals, several fortunes in heavy metals, and more M’tait artifacts than anyone has ever seen, let alone had a chance to get their hands on without them turning explosive,” Troop Captain Nikoilo said. “No wonder they tried fighting us over it.” “It was still stupid,” Vakolo growled. They were standing in the entry chamber that the Caractacans had cleared. It was now the Sparatan groundside command post, with Sparatan troops on security at the various openings, some descending into the pits to explore the nether regions of the base. Vakolo himself was in combat armor, standing next to the troop commander at their hasty command and control station where a portable holo tank had been set up, updating the base layout and troop dispositions as reports came in. “They were vastly outnumbered and outgunned. They should have had the wit to surrender immediately.” “I have yet to meet a pirate who would qualify as a great thinker, Strategos,” Nikoilo said dryly. Vakolo just looked at him, but the Troop Captain’s helmet was as faceless as his own. He just shook his head. He should take the man to task for the remark, but if any of his men
I originally wrote this as a newsletter draw for the separate The Unity Wars newsletter. Since I’m folding the series into my main author “brand,” I’m going to serialize it here. Trakan System Tyrus Cluster 4,400 hours since the fall of Oram Prime Seventy-five starships hung in the black, only the faint starlight reflecting off their hulls. Ahead, the star designated Trakan on most starmaps was little more than a slightly brighter pinpoint of light amid dazzling myriads. The largest formation of ships was made up of angular, chisel-nosed battlecruisers, painted a bright blue, with the wreathed Sigma emblem of the Sparatan Space Force only dimly visible in the star glow. Nearby floated two dozen broad, dumbbell-shaped star cruisers, their hulls a deep red that almost looked black in the dimness of deep space. The characters etched on their flanks were alien; tehud symbols spelled out each ship’s name and its place in the Vergsegeilith Task Fleet, out of Bilbissari. Two ships didn’t fit with either group. The three-sided, coppery arrowhead bore no markings whatsoever, but was immediately identifiable as belonging to the Order of Shufa, one of the most secretive and rarely seen of the galaxy’s Military Brotherhoods. The silvery
With the Maelstrom Rising anthology well in the works, Enemy of My Enemy also in the works, and several other projects in development (yes, including a possible new Jed Horn story), I’m preparing to re-launch The Unity Wars. Some of you are familiar with my first science fiction work, but a lot aren’t (which is why the re-launch). I published the following on theunitywars.com a couple years ago: What is The Unity Wars? Well, it’s an upcoming series of science fiction adventures. The best description so far is, “The Clone Wars crossed with The Horus Heresy, with influence from the Lensman series, Hammer’s Slammers, and Farscape.” Confused yet? Hopefully also curious and a little excited. I fiddled around with writing science fiction for several years before I became an action-adventure writer. It was mostly Star Wars and Wing Commander flavored at the time. I’ve always enjoyed science fiction, specifically what can often be described as “space opera,” adventures in deep space and on distant worlds. And I’ve also always wanted to go back to it. A few years ago (before Disney Star Wars, which we won’t go into), I got a wild hair and asked myself, “What if the Star Wars prequels were
Well, Crimson Star has been out for a little over a week and a half, and it’s doing pretty well. A few reviews are in, and some of you have said it’s actually your favorite of the series so far. Some of that seems to be because a lot of it is much more irregular warfare, more reminiscent of the American Praetorians series. To that, all I have to say is that as the war drags on, and more expensive (and irreplaceable) assets get taken off the board, the more irregular this next World War is going to get. I was planning for Hank and his section to head out into the Pacific after the Chinese following Crimson Star, but now that the first volume of his arc is done, it’s not looking quite so cut and dried. The state of affairs CONUS is bad enough that the response is going to take time. At any rate, we’ll be back to Matt’s Grex Luporum Team in the ETO with Strategic Assets later on this year. Before that comes Brannigan’s Blackhearts #8 – Enemy of My Enemy. That’s going to be fun (we may see a certain Russian mobster again from Fury in the Gulf). However,
That’s Mickey Spillane, not me. But that’s a manly writer photo, right there. Seemed fitting. So, I’ve been busy. Really busy. Too busy to do much blogging, either here or over on The Unity Wars. Going to try to start picking up the slack on that soon, once I get draft writing somewhat stabilized. Given some market research, and seeing how the last book has done, The Unity Wars is moving somewhat to the forefront for the moment. That doesn’t mean that Brannigan’s Blackhearts is going away anytime soon; it is, however, going to slow down just a bit. Probably going to be four books per year, rather than six. I’ve barely scratched the surface on High Desert Vengeance, Brannigan’s Blackhearts #5, but I should be able to hit it hard after the next couple of weeks. Look for it in August. I’m also working on a pitch for another project that hopefully I’ll be doing with another author and good friend of mine. Can’t say much about it yet; we’re still hashing out the details, and he’s got to sell it to his publisher. Keep your fingers crossed. And with that, back to the word mines with me.
A little while back, I mentioned that I had started work on a space opera epic. Well, there’s more to it than just writing books (though that’s the main effort). In true Galaxy’s Edge fashion, I’ve put together a website with some content to hopefully whet some people’s appetites leading up to when I start releasing books (hopefully in the summer). Welcome to The Unity Wars. I won’t be posting about it much on here; it’s its own thing. The books will be published under the pen name P.L. Nealen (because Amazon’s algorithm tends to market things differently for “new” authors in different genres). But if any of my current readers are also science fiction fans (particularly those disappointed in where Star Wars has gone), I’d welcome you over there. Now back to the word mines with me. Got more Brannigan’s Blackhearts to work on, too.
I know, I haven’t been posting here much. Need to get on that. Probably need to do some scheduling. But I’ve been busy. Very. I’ve got another new series in the works, and it’s more than a little different from anything I’ve done before. I’ve played around with military action adventure, horror/fantasy, and heroic fantasy (though y’all haven’t seen that much of that yet). But this is going to be science fiction. Now, the funny part is that I originally started tinkering with writing, back in high school, with science fiction. I still have notebooks (somewhere) of notes, starmaps, and starship diagrams from those days. I had an entire sweeping timeline of wars between alien empires and human-alien alliances. It was, to borrow a turn of phrase from Nick Cole and Jason Anspach, WingCommanderNotWingCommander with a leavening of StarWarsNotStarWars. In fact, Task Force Desperate started out as a mil-fic backstory leading into the “21st Century Chaos” that was part of the backstory of what that epic evolved into. (It isn’t anymore; the Praetorian Series became very much its own thing.) What I’m working on now isn’t that particular epic. It’s much more “The Clone Wars meets The Horus Heresy with
So, a week and a half after Fury in the Gulf‘s release, I see I still have some learning to do when it comes to making Amazon’s algorithm sit up and do tricks. Working on it. There might be a new push just before launching the pre-order for Brannigan’s Blackhearts #2 – Burmese Crossfire next month. As for Burmese Crossfire, it still has one editing pass to go, plus I have to get the preview for Enemy Unidentified done to put in the back. As I’ve been thinking about Enemy Unidentified and the later books in the series, there might be some adjustment in the planned schedule. There seems to be more of an arc forming in my head, contrary to the original idea for the series. (I’ve already established some continuity with characters–no, not everybody’s going to survive–so this won’t be quite “’60s TV show episodic.”) With the series sitting where it is, I’m adjusting to an every-sixty-days schedule for releases. This will allow me to work on a couple of other projects, one of which has already been started. Not going to say too much about ’em yet, since they won’t be launching for a little while (February
How does one describe John C Wright’s Somewhither? That is, indeed the question. While this book won the Dragon Award for Best Science Fiction novel this year, Science Fiction doesn’t quite cover it. In some ways, it’s about as Science Fictional as Star Wars. But since it deals with multiple parallel universes, with technological interfacing between them, I suppose the label “Science Fiction” works. It could just as well have been called “Philosophical/Metaphysical Action Adventure,” though even that wouldn’t quite cover it.
Family in trouble, ancient mysteries, warlords, and rocket ships that take off and land vertically, as God and Robert Heinlein intended. These is a short list of some of the awesome stuff to be found in Mike Kupari’s first solo novel, Her Brother’s Keeper. It is hundreds of years in the future, on the far side of the Great Interregnum, a dark age where human interstellar civilization effectively ceased to be. Humanity is starting to build a spacefaring civilization again, rediscovering many of the lost artifacts and worlds of the Second Federation, many of which are far beyond their technical knowledge.