Monday, 28 November 2011

Star Crusades Omnibus Edition out now

There is now an even more affordable way to get hold of my best-selling Star Crusades series. The newly released Omnibus edition includes all five of the novels in one package. As well as saving money you will also get the latest artwork for the series. At nearly 390,000 words this is a true epic that will keep even the fastest reader busy for a good number of nights. A paperback and hardback of this penology will be out in the next few weeks.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Star Crusades pentalogy is finished!

After a great deal of work I am pleased to announce the completion of my pentalogy of novels. All are now available to buy as kindle books and all but book five is available as a paperback. A hardback containing all five books will be out within the month. it has taken a long time to plan out and write these novels, the last one was especially tough and ended up being two chapters longer than planned. At 380,000 words, this is truly an epic piece of work and one I am very pleased with.

This is the first major work I have completed and it has proven to be a real epic in both time and scope. I am now well underway on a new series of books that are unrelated to Star Crusades. I hope much of what I have learnt in terms of plotting, style and technique will be used to make my new series even greater than this one.

As for whether this is the end of the road for Star Crusades, well, not really. It is the end of the story arc for sure but there are many more stories to tell. What happened before the war? Perhaps more importantly, what happened afterwards? There are also some of the smaller stories such as the characters of Gun, Khan, Anderson and the rest. It is my plan to produce at least two more series based on the Star Crusades universe. I will leave it to my legions of fans to let me know what they would like to know more about before the story continues.

That is your cue to get in touch!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

November update: Terra Nova, Star Crusades and the future...

Confederate taskforce
Terra Nova is finished
After months of work the manuscript for the final book in the Star Crusades series is finished. Fall of Terra Nova is now with the editor and proofreader to have the finishing touches put to the text. The final book in the five book series is by far the largest at well over 100,000 words, the longest novel I've written so far.

Dawn of a new series
This isn't a moment to sit and reflect though, starting this week I have begun planning a whole new science fiction series that will combine my knowledge and experience of computing, armed martial arts and ancient history. Once Fall of Terra Nova is released I will post up details of my new saga. For now, all I can say is it will be a longer series than Star Crusades and it will be heavily influenced on 4th century BC history mixed with science fiction and adventure.

The Future of Star Crusades
Where does this leave Spartan and the characters from Star Crusades now that the series is complete? That is a good question. First of all, I think it is important to understand that the five book series ends a story arc. There are more stories to be told in this world from the early days of Spartan through to the continuing adventures of the Jotnar.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

The battle for Proxima begins

Book 4 in the Star Crusades Series
Today is the 14th of September and I am pleased to announce the final release of Battle for Proxima. This is the fourth big in my Star Crusades series and the penultimate story in the five book story arc. The events of the previous books have been building up to a level that demanded satisfaction in the most violent of ways. This is the longest book I have written so far and that added extra time on the end to get it finished. It was one of those stories that just wouldn’t end!

One question I am often asked is about extra detail with regards to smaller characters. For example, some of the more junior soldiers or officers might just get a mention but the reader wants more. In a war as big as this one I have to keep the attention on the small group of main characters, the two most important being Spartan and Teresa. Next in line are general Rivers, Admiral Jarvis, Commander Anderson, Gun and Marcus. There are dozens more but you are probably already starting to see the problem. 
Warships assembling for battle at Euryale

When book five is completed it is my intention to examine the lesser characters. I have some ideas for them and will bounce them off you in due course. For now enjoy my new novel, I will let you know more about book five as we get closer to its own release date.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Thunder and Lightning

Confederate frigate escorted by Lightning fighters
The Confederate Navy Fighter Wings were the elite fighting arm of the Navy and contained the best trained pilots in the fleet. Though most squadrons were based at the Naval bases and battlegroups around Terra Nova a few squadrons did play their part in the Proxima Emergency. Operating from escort cruisers and carriers the men and women of the Fighter Wings made use of the two most advanced craft in the Fleet. The MK II Lightning was a twin-engine interceptor whilst the Thunderbolt MK I was a four engine torpedo bomber with enough firepower to cripple a frigate.
Excerpt from Tears of Kerberos.

Close-up view of the Lightning MKII two-seater fighters

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Book Cover Photoshoot & Party

My publisher, Swordworks Books is responsible for some great artwork for my novels. The designs are detailed and often include an amalgamation of custom artwork, illustration and images of models. Earlier on in June I was pleased to take part in a bizarre but very interesting photoshoot to obtain artwork that will be included in a variety of projects including my Star Crusades series. Swordworks publish books on such diverse subjects as science-fiction, fantasy, horror and instructional manuals.

The day started off with a number of people dressed in all kinds of attire from World War II German uniforms to leather jackets and dyed hair. Each carried a variety of props that included historical and modern weapons and in some really great poses. A make-up team was on standby and they created some fantastic injuries as well as dirtying up some of the models prior to the photo session.

Photography was conducted by Imaginography and I think you'll agree that the photographs were truly exceptional. All of the images were taken at the session or created from material taken that day. Enjoy!

If you would like to see more of the photgraphs from that day please checkout the Imaginography Facebook page.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Fires of Prometheus due for release within the week!

The third book in my best-selling Science Fiction series 'Star Crusades' is nearing its final few days. The last stage includes final proofing as well as checking the cover and description for the hundredth time. This book finally resolves some of the questions covering the key characters as well as pushing the story to towards the bloody conclusion of the conflict in Proxima Centauri.

Fires of Prometheus will expand on the characters from the first two books whilst adding a small number of new ones. As well as adding more details concerning the planets in the series this book introduces the burning hot Prometheus, one of the violent and dangerous places in the Confederacy.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Gravity, lasers and FTL - Physics in Science Fiction

One of the most difficult decisions I think you have to make when it comes to writing science fiction is working out the ratio between the two. How much science and how detailed and accurate do you want it to be? Of course a great deal of science fiction is what some people call speculative fiction and I suppose we are all asking ‘What if?’ when we write these stories.

Do you want spaceships with artificial gravity like those in Stars Wars or Star Trek or would you prefer the retaining section of 2001 or Babylon 5? How about speed and interstellar travel? Are you happy with the pulse fission warp engine that allows you to travel faster than light or do you want ships to travel using known physics and chemistry? Weapons are a classic issue with most films littered with blue plasma bolts and lasers flashing between spaceships. Again the author needs to make a choice between the visual and the story whilst fitting in plausible scientific explanations.

All of these questions came to the front with my Star Crusades series. The first book was supposed to be more of a Full Metal Jacket in space type story, with little thought on the concerns of spacecraft and politics. As with all projects though, the plan changed and here I am with three books completed and a detailed world with colonies, ships, factions and strife already made. What about the science though and what decisions did I make?

With regards to weapons, well, I wanted modern weapons brought to their most advanced iterations. Soldiers use rifles but with advanced ammunition, better optics and integrated command and communications gear. All of this exists but it work better and more efficiently. Ships use rail guns, weapons that we have already started to get working though they are far from ready. The problems of power and heat being issues I can deal with assuming better power and engineering system in the future. Movement, distances and travel are another issue and for this I have elected to not use FTL to speed up events. Ships take time and even with my advanced technology they still take almost a year to travel between Alpha Centauri and Proxima Centauri. Rotating sections are used when ships are coasting, long distances where ships accelerate are able to create levels of gravity based on their own increasing velocity.

I think the issues of science in science fiction are always at the forefront of the writer’s mind and it is important to remember that we make the decisions in our stories to create a certain feel and style as much as create a sense of realism. In the end the battles of Star Trek and Star Wars are epic and exciting even though we know you can’t see the beams, there is no fake gravity and that parsecs are not a measure of time!