Tag Archives: space

Free Short Stories

The Freeport Mutineers, by Kal Spriggs
The Freeport Mutineers, by Kal Spriggs

Starting today and running through Monday, February 20th, I’ll be offering The Freeport Mutineers and Look to the Stars for free.  Most of my readers will already have free copies, but in case you’ve missed them before, here you are!

The Freeport Mutineers

Young Midshipman Wachter is about to face the rope.

Troubled by the rumors spread throughout the Southern Fleet, the young officer turned to the Marines and Sailors under his command… yet he and they were betrayed, arrested, and convicted of mutiny, all under the orders of the ambitious Lord Admiral Hennings.

Faced with the prospect of not only his own death, but that of the men under his command, Wachter must somehow find a way to do the right thing. Yet there is little hope with he and his men jailed, weaponless, and condemned, while the town of Freeport lies under martial law and the threat of dark sorcery.

Only one course lays open to him, to break his oaths and to swear allegiance to the cause of another, to become exactly what his enemies have accused him of being: a mutineer.

Look to the Stars
Look to the Stars, a short story by Kal Spriggs
Look to the Stars, a short story by Kal Spriggs

Mason McGann is a smuggler, a liar, and a cheat. With his ship impounded by customs, he figures he has no choice left but to auction off information about the lost Dreyfus Fleet.

But things are never what they seem when you hold information that can change the course of history.

 

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Book Review: The Hand of Mars by Glynn Stewart

Glynn Stewart's Hand of Mars
Glynn Stewart’s Hand of Mars

Glynn Stewart’s Hand of Mars picks up a few years after his previous book (Starship’s Mage) left off.  The story remains focused upon Damien, who has grown in skills and abilities, but seems to be the same person we saw at the end of the last book.

The story revolves around a planet where a corrupt governor has ironclad control over a planet and has even subverted the Emperor’s appointed military officers.  Damien, sent to help one of the Emperor’s Hands of Mars, must investigate, find out the truth, and set things right.  What seems like a simple proposition goes rapidly sideways with drastic political and military repercussions.

Damien remains an interesting character, with a strong personal sense of responsibility and an overall sense of integrity.  His earnestness, his desire to do what is right, is put to the test… yet at the same time, he never truly has to make a difficult decision.  The bad guys in this novel are really, really bad, willing to wipe out tens of thousands or even millions of people, just to get their way.  When he confronts them, we have that sense of satisfaction as he brings them to justice… but there’s never any doubt over whether he’ll make the right choice.

I did enjoy watching Damien grow.  There was no doubt about where he was headed, growing in both experience and authority, and it was nice to see the character rise in that fashion.  Glynn Stewart handled it well, giving Damien time to shoulder more and more responsibility and letting the reader see the character develop.

The side characters in this novel don’t feel quite as engaging as in Starship’s Mage.  There it was easier, I think, due to the smaller cast, a single ship with a small(ish) crew.  I didn’t feel as much personal attachment to the characters in the sequel, which removed a lot of the dramatic tension regarding their survival.  They were interesting, from Hand Stealey to her Marine escort and many of the other characters… but they felt more like a backdrop.  This was Damien’s story, and they were here to support that.

Which is not to say that I didn’t enjoy the book.  It remained a fascinating read and as always, the magic system and the universe are engaging.  I read the book quickly and felt satisfied at the end.  It’s a quick, engaging read with good guys confronting the bad.  I’m definitely looking forward to the next book and I enjoyed watching Damien’s character grow.

ROGUE MAGE TURNED INTERPLANETARY ENVOY

Three years ago, as Ship’s Mage of the starship Blue Jay, Damien Montgomery was pursued to the edge of human space by both the agents and enemies of the Mage-King of Mars — before being brought in from the cold.

Now, trained in new skills by the Mage-King himself, Damien has been sent to the planet Ardennes alongside Alaura Stealey, Hand of the King. A rebel movement there has destroyed cities fighting a Governor seemingly lost to corruption.

But not all on Ardennes is as it seems. As allies becomes enemies and an entire world comes apart in chaos around him, Damien will find both his skills and integrity tested to the utter limit.

You can get it from Amazon.

The Prodigal Emperor is Now Live!

The Prodigal Emperor, Book III of the Shadow Space Chronicles
The Prodigal Emperor, Book III of the Shadow Space Chronicles

The Prodigal Emperor is now available from Amazon and will be coming soon to Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Itunes.  The Prodigal Emperor is the third book of the Shadow Space Chronicles and concludes the story arc of Lucius Giovanni’s battle to save Nova Roma from the Chxor Empire.

Baron Lucius Giovanni has done the impossible: not only has he held the alien Chxor at bay, he has taken the fight to them and liberated human worlds. Yet humanity’s implacable foe has drawn a line in the sand. They will hold Nova Roma at all costs… or see it a scorched ruin.

Lucius must aid Nova Roma’s Emperor and liberate his homeworld, but along the way he must also deal with old and new adversaries and with a conspiracy that seeks to usurp control of his fleet.

Nova Roma’s Emperor is going home, and Lucius will go beside him, for if he cannot overcome these obstacles, then humanity’s last hope will be overcome and the Chxor will enslave and exterminate the remaining free worlds.

Pick up your copy of The Prodigal Emperor today!

The Prodigal Emperor Paperback Available Now!

The Prodigal Emperor, Book III of the Shadow Space Chronicles
The Prodigal Emperor, Book III of the Shadow Space Chronicles

Due to a lot of hard work by my editor and my cover artist, The Prodigal Emperor is now available as a paperback.  The ebook version will still be released on Saturday, 19 June, but you can pick up a paperback copy of The Prodigal Emperor today from Amazon!

It should also be available over the next few weeks from both Barnes and Noble and other booksellers.

Link: The Prodigal Emperor

The Prodigal Emperor, Snippet Three

Here’s the third snippet from The Prodigal Emperor.  It seems that Alanis Giovanni is in a bit of trouble…

Faraday System

United Colonies

December 1, 2403

Alanis used a word that the daughter of the nobility and the sister to a head of state probably shouldn’t use in public. Unfortunately, it didn’t have any effect on the incoming fire from the crew served weapon that had her pinned down behind a rapidly eroding structural bulkhead.

“Alpha team, this is Sigma, what is your situation?” Sigma’s voice was dry and calm in her ear.

The rest of alpha team, as far as she knew, were already down, including her team leader, caught when the ambushers opened up from their concealed emplacement down the corridor. She had managed to return fire and move to cover, but she was the only one. The Cy-Tek Railgun down the corridor opened up with another burst to remind her of that point.

“Sigma, this is Alpha Five,” Alanis responded. “I’m pinned down and the remainder of Alpha Team is down.”

There was a moments pause and then Sigma spoke again, “Alpha Five, we need that target secured, the rest of our assault is depending on you.” The assault against the station would fail, she well knew, if she couldn’t take and hold the reactor room. Cutting power there would open the security doors and allow the rest of her company to secure the station.

She swore again as the remainder of her cover began to disintegrate. Nothing for it, she thought, as she vaulted out from cover and used her combat armor’s thrusters to augment the armor’s enhanced strength.

She – briefly – flew up along the ceiling of the corridor, the sharp arc of her trajectory momentarily throwing off the aim of her attackers as she managed to down one of them. She struck the ceiling with her back hard enough that it knocked the air out of her lungs and made her see spots despite her armor’s protection. She maintained her fire, though, and she saw the other gunner go down.

A moment later she bounced off the floor hard enough that she blacked out for a moment.

She pulled herself up, though, and ran a quick functions check of her armor and weapon. That done, she spoke up over the radio, “This is Alpha Five, continuing to target.”

***

 

The Prodigal Emperor is the third book of the Shadow Space Chronicles and is available for pre-order now.  It will be published on 19 September, 2015.

Baron Lucius Giovanni has done the impossible: not only has he held the alien Chxor at bay, he has taken the fight to them and liberated human worlds.  Yet humanity’s implacable foe has drawn a line in the sand.  They will hold Nova Roma at all costs… or see it a scorched ruin.
Lucius must aid Nova Roma’s Emperor and liberate his homeworld, but along the way he must also deal with old and new adversaries and with a conspiracy that seeks to usurp control of his fleet.
 
Nova Roma’s Emperor is going home, and Lucius will go beside him, for if he cannot overcome these obstacles, then humanity’s last hope will be overcome and the Chxor will enslave and exterminate the remaining free worlds.

 

The Prodigal Emperor, Snippet Two

Here’s another snippet from The Prodigal Emperor, available for pre-order now on Amazon.  This is a short one, from the perspective of “Stavros.”

Halcyon Colony, Garris Major System

Contested

November 23, 2403

“While it has been delightful to train together,” Captain Montago said, “I’m really getting tired of this shit. When do we get to the fighting and looting?”

“Soon enough, my friend, soon enough,” Mason said in the guise of Commodore Stavros Heraklion. It is rather disturbing how easily I’ve pulled off this role, Mason thought, and even worse in that I enjoy it a bit. He put his boots up on the table and looked around at the other commanders present. Each of them represented a ship or squadron of light ships. A couple of them, like Captain Mantago, were pirates who had signed on with Halcyon’s government for a safe base of operations and a cut in the overall profits. Others, like Captain Oronkwo and Captain Garret Penwaithe, were guild mercenaries, hired by Halcyon’s government from the Tannis system.

Though I have a low opinion of mercenaries, even guild mercs, Mason thought, I will say that Oronkwo seems pretty solid and that Frank Pierce picked a damned good officer in Garret Penwaithe… even if I did have to save his ass in that bar fight.

“President Monaghan has put special trust in my capabilities as a squadron leader… and Councilor Penwaithe as our direct representative from him has told me that our last training performance showed we’re ready,” Mason smirked. They had run a simulated exercise against some of Halcyon Defense Fleet. Most of them were decent enough, but they didn’t have enough leadership or experience. His squadron had won a very one-sided victory, another embarrassment for Admiral Moore. Councilor Penwaithe’s angry diatribe about building relationships and teamwork between privateers and military had been punctuated by her informing them that they were ready for active raiding.

And since embarrassing Admiral Moore makes both Mannetti and Collae happy with me, Mason thought, that was two birds with one stone, so to speak. His whole purpose here was to find out what the two rogue military commanders wanted in this tiny system. So far he had hints at some greater conspiracy and a notion that there was some recovered alien technology that the locals seemed to have tight control over and that the pair of them wanted it. Given the fact that both of them had grudges with Baron Giovanni and his United Colonies, it seemed prudent to thwart them.

While the notion of a greater conspiracy bothered him, Mason felt more concern about the alien technology. He had lived under Amalgamated Worlds and as a military officer he’d seen how the Agathan Fleet had developed from a handful of wreckage and the genius of a single man able to figure it all out. For that matter, the Kraken was of possible alien origin, and the real Captain Stavros had ran amok across a dozen star systems with the heavy cruiser until Mason had finally put an end to the man’s bloody swath of destruction.

The various commanders seemed eager at Mason’s declaration, so he shook off his thoughts and put on his best Stavros leer, “We’ll be leaving in a few days, our target is another Nova Corp facility. It should be a lot of fun, boys and girls. And trust me, we’ll be seeing a lot of profit off this one.”

The smiles on the pirate and privateer captains were all that Mason could have hoped for. The frowns and worry on the faces of the two mercenary Captains was also what Mason had hoped for. He had already worked things out with Commodore Frank Pierce, the commander of the War Dogs and Captain Penwaithe’s superior, but they had kept his subordinates in the dark. Captain Oronkwo had no ties to Mason, though, and Mason wanted him to be uneasy about all this. He was here to do a job and while he wouldn’t turn up his nose at profit, he was uneasy about the pirates he had to work with.

That was good, in Mason’s eyes. If both mercenaries were suspicious and on edge, then if Admiral Mannetti or Admiral Collae made their plays, then Captain Oronkwo and Captain Penwaithe might very well see it coming and take appropriate action. That might just swing things in Mason’s favor and prevent the two rogue Admirals from getting their way. And that is essential, Mason thought, or else all of this Stavros routine is just me playing dress-up for no good reason.

***

 

The Prodigal Emperor is the third book of the Shadow Space Chronicles and is available for pre-order now.  It will be published on 19 September, 2015.

Baron Lucius Giovanni has done the impossible: not only has he held the alien Chxor at bay, he has taken the fight to them and liberated human worlds.  Yet humanity’s implacable foe has drawn a line in the sand.  They will hold Nova Roma at all costs… or see it a scorched ruin.
Lucius must aid Nova Roma’s Emperor and liberate his homeworld, but along the way he must also deal with old and new adversaries and with a conspiracy that seeks to usurp control of his fleet.
 
Nova Roma’s Emperor is going home, and Lucius will go beside him, for if he cannot overcome these obstacles, then humanity’s last hope will be overcome and the Chxor will enslave and exterminate the remaining free worlds.

 

The Prodigal Emperor Now Available for Pre-order!

I’m excited to announce that The Prodigal Emperor, book III of The Shadow Space Chronicles will go live on September 19th, 2015.  This is the third book of the series and concludes the starting trilogy.  I’ll be posting some snippets and samples on the blog soon!

Baron Lucius Giovanni has done the impossible: not only has he held the alien Chxor at bay, he has taken the fight to them and liberated human worlds.  Yet humanity’s implacable foe has drawn a line in the sand.  They will hold Nova Roma at all costs… or see it a scorched ruin.
Lucius must aid Nova Roma’s Emperor and liberate his homeworld, but along the way he must also deal with old and new adversaries and with a conspiracy that seeks to usurp control of his fleet.
 
Nova Roma’s Emperor is going home, and Lucius will go beside him, for if he cannot overcome these obstacles, then humanity’s last hope will be overcome and the Chxor will enslave and exterminate the remaining free worlds.
The Prodigal Emperor is available on Amazon for pre-order here and will be published on September 19th, 2015.