Tag Archives: exploration

Renegades: Out of Time

Renegades: Out of Time
Renegades: Out of Time

Renegades: Out of Time is now live!  You can get it from Amazon as an ebook and coming soon as a paperback.

The Renegades are running out of time.

Captain Mike Noguchi has led his band of Renegades out of the heart of a interstellar war, forged them together into a privateer crew, and has learned of an ancient alien facility that may hold clues to a conspiracy which seems bent on his crew’s destruction.

But that facility is on a planet conquered by the Chxor. The Renegades will need to slip across the battle-lines, infiltrate a conquered world, and find their way inside a facility which has kept its secrets for untold generations. Along the way they’ll need to fight genetically engineered monsters, a psychotic military commander, and an entire army of Chxor.

Yet even if they manage that, some secrets may be too much for them to handle. Their enemies have already done terrible things with the knowledge found there… can the Renegades survive secrets from outside of time?

Advertisements

Renegades: Out of Time Cover Reveal

Renegades: Out of Time
Renegades: Out of Time

Here’s the cover for Renegades: Out of Time.  See below for the awesome full cover art.  I’ve made a partnership with the very talented David C. Simon to do this cover art.  If you don’t know about his online military SF comic, Crimson Dark, you should definitely check it out!

The Renegades are running out of time.

Captain Mike Noguchi has led his band of Renegades out of the heart of a interstellar war, forged them together into a privateer crew, and has learned of an ancient alien facility that may hold clues to a conspiracy which  seems bent on his crew’s destruction.

But that facility is on a planet conquered by the Chxor.  The Renegades will need to slip across the battle-lines, infiltrate a conquered world, and find their way inside a facility which has kept its secrets for untold generations.  Along the way they’ll need to fight genetically engineered monsters, a psychotic military commander, and an entire army of Chxor.
Yet even if they manage that, some secrets may be too much for them to handle.  Their enemies have already done terrible things with the knowledge found there… can the Renegades survive secrets from outside of time?
Renegades: Out of Time will be available on November 12th.
cargoshipcover_v03_full

Computer Games: Modern Space Simulations

Star Citizen isn't even past the alpha stage yet, but it already looks incredible.
Star Citizen isn’t even past the alpha stage yet, but it already looks incredible.

As I said in my last post, space simulation games, such as X Wing, Wing Commander, and Freelancer, have basically been a thing of the past.  RPGs such as Mass Effect or MMORPGs like Eve Online or Star Wars The Old Republic dabble a bit in this area, but these oftentimes come back to character skills rather than a player’s ability to fly.  Up until fairly recently, big developers like EA didn’t want to produce games for what was seen as a ‘niche market.’

That all changed with Kickstarter, which has changed the paradigm for a lot of things.  Chris Roberts, creator of the Wing Commander and Freelancer games, posted that he wanted to get a few million dollars and produce a modern space fighter sim game.  The overwhelming response brought in over 17 million dollars.  At this point, they are nearing seventy million dollars of funding from around half a million people, many of whom have access to the game as it currently exists in development.  Other games, like Elite Dangerous, have been similarly funded and are going live.

What this means, in a lot of ways, is that the big developers were wrong… or at least, not entirely right.  Star Citizen is an incredibly ambitious game design, which will feature First Person Shooting, Space Exploration, Mining, Combat, and a fully interactive in-game economy.  All of this will be controlled by players, not their characters, but through actual player skill.  The physics are, while not one hundred percent accurate, include inertia, acceleration and G-forces.  A player in this game could fly up next to another ship, jump out an airlock, board the other vessel, and fight in first person mode, while a space combat occurs outside.  The game isn’t even out yet and many of its detractors say that it never will be… yet I think it’s a sign that we want more, demand more, than the slow, incremental improvement (such as World of Warcraft getting new character make-overs… yay) of the same games and types of games that have been popular.

I think it’s also a sign that we humans still dream of travel into space and we want to be as close to the action as possible.  If we can’t go out, we want as accurate a simulation of that as we can get.  The great thing about games like Star Citizen and Elite Dangerous, is that they’ll inspire a next generation, not just with the excitement of ‘being there’ and doing things themselves, but with the idea that getting into space is something that we should put a bit more effort into… if only so that their children can experience it first-hand rather than through a computer game.

Orion and Getting Back into the Space Race

Orion Space Capsule Concept Image
Orion Space Capsule

The Orion spacecapsule has returned successfully after it’s first real test… and I’m excited.  Yet at the same time, I can’t help but feel it’s a hand-wave.  The Orion is incredible… yet it is still feels like too little, too late.

Paul Bertorelli wrote an excellent article (below) that matches a lot of my feelings on the subject.

http://www.avweb.com/blogs/insider/Orion-Glacial-Pace-Space-Dawns-223201-1.html

The private industry is trying, too, but as seen by the recent setback with Virgin Galactic, they are not quite where we might hope they could be.  The problem, quite simply is money.  Space expansion and exploration requires a lot of money, and even with very wealthy private investors, such as Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson, they have far lower budgets than NASA could have, in theory.  But NASA doesn’t have the money, or focus, to make manned exploration (much less expansion/colonization) a priority.  Part of that is politics.  Space isn’t a priority to the average US citizen, because the media (movies, news, etc) focus on the expense, the danger, and the cost.  The recent movie, Interstellar, garnered a lot of criticism, not because of its plot, but because the theme was stay and die or get out into space and propagate.  A note of how much certain people hate our own race where a message of expand our horizons or die was criticized in that survival was seen as the wrong choice.

Against that measure, Orion is a step in the right direction… a very slow step, but still a step.  But what can you and I do to improve this?  Talk to your friends, your family, have the discussions about the potential and importance of space travel.  Fight the dialogue that says that space is a waste.  Fight the people who think that ‘we need to stay here and not ruin the stars’ and rubbish like that.  Make it a topic of conversation, make it important to other people, light that spark… or else we may never take that next step, we may never go back to the moon, much less to other worlds.  That, I think, would be a great tragedy.

Kal’s October 2014 Forecast

I’ve got to admit, October is my favorite month. It’s not just because of Halloween, though that’s a part. I like the cooler weather, the changing leaves, and that hint of frost in the air as winter slowly takes hold and summer fades away.

That said, this is going to be a busy October for me. I’ll be at Mile Hi Con from the 24th to the 26th of October.  I just received the Echo of the High Kings audiobook from the narrator to review. That will take me some time (it’s 24 hours long) to review. I’m doing the final edits on The Shattered Empire and will have it uploaded by the 13th of October.   I’ve finished outlining Wrath of the Usurper and I’ll be working on it as soon as I finish up The Shattered Empire.

On the sales side, I’m doing two book bombs. The 11th of October, I’m doing a book bomb for the rerelease of Echo of the High Kings with its new cover and the fact that I’ve an audiobook out. I’m also doing one for the release of The Shattered Empire, Book II of the Shadow Space Chronicles on the 25th of October. You can find both books here and here, respectively. My next step as far as audiobooks is producing The Shattered Empire.

If all goes well, I’ll roll into November midway through Wrath of the Usurper, finish it off and get to editing it and outlining the third book of the Shadow Space Chronicles, which I hope to get out and available early 2015.