A little something I put together using a digital piece by artist Tithi Luadthong, the audiobook(s) prologue from Jeffrey Kafer, and some bootleg garage band sounds from yours truly.
Live. Fight. Die.
This is the fate of all Einherjar space marines, tasked to battle for humanity against ravenous alien swarms in an endless war of survival or extinction.
The garm on Heorot have been exterminated, and the extinction fleet’s suicidal assaults turned back upon every front across the universe. However, the Hive Mind still pulses with psychic menace, and marine Ajax can hear its hideous siren call.
Task Force Grendel has been assembled to hunt down other alpha garm that have appeared deep within human space, and a growing number of marines believe that Ajax is the great hero Beowulf, come now to re-conquer the stars. Ajax himself has doubts, though as he and his band of brothers are hurled into the slavering jaws of danger again and again, his only choice is to raise his rifle and fight.
As the Einherjar hunt monsters a legendary warrior rises from the body forge, his mind overwhelmed with equal parts myth and madness. His betrayal unleashes a host of abominations, and threatens to shake the very pillars of human civilization to dust as the traitor reveals that evolution is a weapon of mass destruction.
At long last the fifth book in the Necrospace series has reached publication. We are at the halfway point in this sprawling tale, and as we meet new characters with their own trials and tribulations there are a number of familiar faces who return to the stage. This book more than any before it embodies the ‘pulp noir’ style that has become the hallmark of the series. Enjoy!
Rhett Calibos is a bounty scrapper, his life as an indentured soldier a welcome alternative to imprisonment on a penal colony. A man haunted by his past, Rhett throws himself into the work, his only sanctuary. Sokol Targe is the leader of a mech warrior squad, stationed aboard an ancient and deadly warship, and conducts violent raids on behalf of a Red List commune. Cast away from corporate society, they have embraced the ravager way of life.
As these troubled men endure furious combat across the ragged edges of civilization, neither of them realize they’ve become entangled in the deeper mysteries of necrospace.
It’s a hard universe, and nobody gets away clean.
I have been hard at work on the sequel to SPACE MARINE AJAX and wanted to share with you some of that progress.
Raw excerpt from first chapter of Extinction Fleet Book 2:
So little remained of the men they had once been, before the war, before the blessing and curse of the torcs they wore that captured their experiences and enabled them to resurrect in the body forge. What would make one marine feel kinship with another, out of an entire legion of warriors, much less a group of them, if not some scrap of their former identity? Such loose knit groups of comrades were common throughout the Einherjar ranks, though none could say what forged their bond, for none among them could recall the sorts of details that formed the basis of friendship amongst civilians and conventional military men.
Ajax mused to himself grimly as he added his firepower with Rama’s to bring down a ripper that attempted to sweep up on their left flank. To fight the garm they had to become similar to them, disposable combatants without the cluttered distraction of vibrant three dimensional humanity. The marines had only the most base levels of personality, himself included, and yet in the furious press of combat it was those base traits that held these thinly defined men true to each other.
We have made ourselves like them in order to win, thought Ajax as he ejected his spent carbon magazine and slapped a fresh one in the slot with the sort of mechanical discipline that took years to achieve, but we are still men. We feel the heat of victory, the sting of defeat, and the pain of loss when the warriors who stand with us fall to tooth and claw.
Indeed he had no idea what sports teams he preferred, what it had been like growing up on whatever planet he’d once called home, nor could he recall the last words he’d exchanged with his long dead wife. Such things had been sacrificed for his keen understanding of garm anatomy, roared Ajax in his mind as he shattered the knee of a sprinting drone, causing it to stumble and giving Silas a clean shot at its head. In place of a clear picture of his parents Ajax had the knowledge required to field strip his armor and equipment for cleaning and repairs, along with seemingly infinite tactical responses to the oncoming enemy.
Lost were the memories of happier times and gained was the intimate understanding of how to win.
Star Vikings and the Bug Hunt
I have been crazy about Beowulf since I was in elementary school, having fallen in love with the tale of a mighty warrior and his epic adventures only a few years before becoming equally enamored by the Alien(s) universe. When my brother and I were young I always wanted to play swords and he always wanted to play guns, so most of the time we had to take turns, until one day the idea hit me that we could be space guys and still battle fantasy monsters. So here we are years later, and once again (like Necrospace) I am transforming stories that I played out from my youth to fit the core Beowulf narrative I’m framing the novel with, to the point of adapting scenes based on the memories our childhood battle games.
I was knee-deep in the writing of Book 5 of my Necrospace series when my son wanted to play space marines versus angry tentacle crab monsters (yes, that’s how we roll in this family) and I found myself thinking about the story of Grendel as my son described the bad guys. That little seed stuck in my head and later that night I cracked open the Beowulf comic book I have on the shelf, and as I read it I imagined it with space marines. Thing is, when an idea hits you and won’t let go, you have to put down whatever else you were doing and get to work, which is why Book 5 of Necrospace will be coming out this spring instead of being hot off the press now. I wasn’t sure if readers would be willing to come along with me on this, given that I was trying to present an epic poem that had been remixed as military science fiction, but it looks like overall people were happy to take the ride. That supports has been very encouraging, and now that I am putting the finishing touches on Necrospace Book 5 there will be time to once again take up the fight against the Extinction fleet.
Expect more Beowulf remixing and expansion in more Norse Mythology SciFi this summer as we follow the marines of Hydra Company into the darkness between the stars.
If there are any of you good folks out there who happen to have purchased my most recent novel “Space Marine Ajax” I could really use an honest review on the product page. If you haven’t had a chance to check this one out, and enjoyed my Necrospace novels, you won’t want to miss this one. Thanks!
Click the marine…
The first novel in my new series, a blend of Norse myths, military science fiction, and a good old fashioned Bug Hunt…
Ajax answers the call of duty and becomes an Einherjar space marine, charged with defending humanity against hideous alien monsters in furious combat across the galaxy.
From the deepest parts of uncharted space an alien menace emerges, devouring all that lay before it, a great swarm that scours entire star systems of all organic life. This space borne hive, this extinction fleet, makes no attempts to communicate and offers no mercy.
Unified against a common enemy, humanity fights back, meeting the swarm with soldiers upon every front.
This is the story of fearless warriors who are sent to fight the wolves at the gate, by power armor and pulse rifle they must prevail, else humanity is all but doomed.
Grab yourself a nuka-cola and pull up a stump, milk crate, warm body, or whatever it is you generally prefer to sit on, and click this here banner to give a listen.
That’s right chummers…
Me & Julie went and made ourselves an audiobook of our humble little survival guide. You cannot possibly begin to fathom just how many bottle caps, bow strings, backstabs, and the like that we had to dole out in order to accumulate the gear, the talent, and the time to bring this to you. Unlike most other audiobooks you’ve probably experienced, if you’re the sort of wastelander who goes in for that kind of thing, this is a wholly different audio experience. In addition to top notch narration, we’ve got music, sound fx, and a little thing I like to call comedic timing.
Yessir it is guaranteed to entertain you for approximately four hours and fifty three minutes, though the chuckles last a lifetime, which should be plenty long if you pay attention to what we’re teaching ya. I didn’t survive those radioactive tic swarms for nothing!
Enjoy, and maybe we’ll see you still standing when the next calamity befalls this wasteland of ours.
The new year dawns with me gearing up to re-apply myself to the grind stone of Necrospace, a military science fiction series published by Severed Press that I have been working with for the last several years. At present I have four books in the series completed, with the first three being focused on the story of Samuel Hyst, a salvage marine from a brutal corporate society who finds himself caught up in events that affect humanity at large. All he wanted was a paycheck and pathway out of debt.
The fourth novel shifts focus to a supporting character from the core trilogy and we are shown a glimpse of the fierce world of the elite mercenaries that stalk the ruins of this scrapyard universe. Since completing those I have taken something of a break from the world of Necrospace and written the first novel in what will be a trilogy about clone troopers striving to save humanity from extinction at the claws and jaws of an alien swarm from deep space. I traded in the futuristic pulp noir of Necrospace for the strange equilibrium of Norse mythology and alien invasion scifi. It was a wild ride, and one I am glad I took. So now I have two series I am working on, with the first of the new series coming out soon and the next Necrospace shortly after, from then I’ll be writing one and then the other in what I hope to be a very productive year.
As I prepare myself to dive back into Necrospace, I find myself planning out the next four books before launching. There are a great many meta-plots and sub-plots at work throughout the first four books of Necrospace, and it is important for me that there be closure. I want to give the series plenty of room to breathe, for not just the epic journey of Samuel Hyst to reach its final conclusion, or for the mystery of the Gedra to ultimately be revealed, but for the Necrospace realm as a whole to reach a milestone that yields a satisfactory series finale. As keen as I may be to develop this series into a number of feature films or an episodic for streaming/television, not to mention my day dreams of table top role playing games, board games, and video games, all of that is a distraction until I am able to complete the robust tapestry that you (the reader) and I (the storyteller) have embarked upon creating.
As any of you who have enjoyed the first four novels of the series know, there is much that can happen in the span of four novels. As much of an intense journey as the first half of the series has been, you can expect just as much, if not more, from the next half. In the course of the novels we will re-visit our salvage marines, hunt forgotten technology on wasteland planets, and pursue scrap bounties to the edge of the universe. We will fight mutated nightmares, struggle against devastating alien technology, battle space pirates and corporate security forces in equal measure, and we will ride to war with the Folken once again.
Necrospace is rich with salvage, and soon the next chapter in our search for freedom and fortune will arrive. Time for me to get back to work. Until that day…