“Sir? We just got a message from Team One. ‘Macallan.’” Corporal Jamie Lewis stopped and listened. It had to be rough, trying to hear the radio over the noise of the Osprey’s idling props. “Wait,” he said. “There’s Team Three. ‘Buffalo Trace.’” Brannigan resisted the urge to grin. Leave it to Marines to make all of their brevity codes the names of either alcohol, sports teams, or porn stars. “Any word from Team Two?” “No, sir,” Lewis replied, the handset pressed against his ear. “Still nothing.” Brannigan nodded, and thought for a moment. Staff Sergeant Holmes would do the job if he could. But the enemy was also undoubtedly alerted now, with two of the Shilkas having gone up in smoke. “Screw it,” he decided. He reached forward, tapped the pilot on the shoulder, and gave him a thumbs-up. Then he keyed his own radio, which was on the Battalion Tac channel. “All Kodiak units, this is Kodiak Six,” he called. “Crazy Horse. I say again, Crazy Horse.” The odds of anyone listening in on a SINCGARS channel, out in the middle of the Red Sea, were minimal, but Brannigan hadn’t gotten to where he was by being sloppy. He’d
Staff Sergeant Elias Martinez had just checked the quick release affixed to the bow of the partially-deflated Zodiac for the third time when something made him look up. There was a towering figure standing at the base of the CH-53’s ramp. Martinez instinctively straightened, then yelled for the rest of his team. There might be plenty of big Marines aboard the USS Boxer, but there was no mistaking the silhouette of the MEU Commander. Colonel John Brannigan cut an altogether different figure. There was something about the way he carried himself that set him apart and made him immediately recognizable. What was surprising was the fact that the Colonel, with the squat form of Sergeant Major Santelli beside him, was in full kit. Helmet, NVGs, plate carrier, mags, radio, blowout kit, rifle, the works. He looked like he was ready to climb right on the bird and insert alongside Martinez’ Force Recon Team. Which was unheard of, and something that Martinez suddenly found he more than vaguely dreaded. No team leader wants an officer looking over his shoulder on an op, let alone the Colonel. “Bring it in a minute, gents!” Brannigan boomed, managing to make himself heard over the
Starting tomorrow, I will be serializing the prelude story to Brannigan’s Bastards here on the blog. Brannigan’s Bastards #0 – The Colonel Has A Plan will be released in three parts over the next three weeks, then put on its own page, accessible from the home page. Stay tuned.
I’ve got a story in the new anthology, Tales of the Once and Future King. It’s a bit of a departure from what I’ve put out before, being more of a heroic fantasy/chivalric romance/bardic tale than anything else. I get to introduce Taliesin, Arthur’s bard. While the stories in the anthology cover a pretty wide range of genres, I kept mine solidly late-Roman, early medieval Britain. It’s called Taliesin’s Riddle. It is said that King Arthur will return in Britain’s hour of greatest need. That time is coming. Four travelers, searching for the Pendragon, are quickly embroiled in a plot to rescue the beloved of a banished forest lord. And while they concoct their desperate plan a Bard, the new Taliesin, regales them with stories: Tales of Knights, yes, but also tales of robots and vampires, music and monsters, airships and armies – tales to inspire heroism and hope. And when all seems lost, perhaps these tales will be their salvation. This book is an anthology. This book is a novel. This book is a romance This book is science fiction This book is a fantasy This is “Tales of the Once and Future King” It’s available for pre-order on
The Canyon of the Lost, the new novelette in the Jed Horn series, is now available for pre-order on Kindle (Kindle only, for now. It might get folded into a later edition of one of the paperbacks.). If you’re hoping for the further adventures of Jed, Eryn, and Frank Tall Bear, and more of the aftermath of the Walker’s rampage, I’m afraid that’s not here. This story takes place between Nightmares and A Silver Cross and a Winchester, when Jed is still learning the ropes from Dan Weatherby. From the book description: All too often, it starts with a missing kid. It has been a year since Jed Horn and Dan Weatherby confronted Professor Ashton and destroyed his homunculus. They’ve been busy in the meantime, roving the Intermountain West, fighting monsters and and the demonic, protecting people as best they can from the powers of the Otherworld and the Abyss. They are between jobs in Washington State when they catch wind of a missing kid in the mountains. There is enough weird about the situation that it sounds like their kind of work, so they volunteer to help out. As the hunt for the missing child progresses, it turns into
So, a couple posts back, I spoke of a 22,000 word story that I couldn’t really talk about. Well, now I can. A few months back, Mike Kupari hit me up with the idea of doing a short story for Baen.com with him, set in the Dead Six universe, created between him and Larry Correia, between Swords of Exodus and Alliance of Shadows, which comes out next month. Being a big fan of the Dead Six series, myself, I readily agreed. The end result is Rock, Meet Hard Place, Part 1 and Part 2.