Space Marine Apocalypse

Ragnarok is upon us. 

Ajax returns to an age of relentless war, his mind ravaged by terrible visions and with his rifle at the ready.

An axe age. A sword age. A wolf age.

The Hive Mind reveals strange new ships and hideous new creatures as the extinction fleet strives to feed its endless hunger. Swarms strike all along the border worlds, seizing as much raw biomass as they can and making their escape before human forces can respond. An experimental cadre of Bloodhound marines are created to oppose the garm raiders, even as a new Watchman ascends to take supreme command of the Einherjar.

The star fortress Bifrost must defend itself from a titanic assault as garm splinter fleets push through the front and strike at the heart of civilization itself. All the while a hybrid uprising organized by the traitor Loki threatens to bring down humanity from the inside out. Amidst the chaos the Einherjar must rally their strength and fight a desperate last stand with the fate of a species hanging in the balance.

Once more pulse rifle must meet tooth and claw in the ultimate battle for survival.

AVAILABLE NOW!   (click on the huge available now, over there, just to the left, yeah the bit all in caps)

Advertisements

Bedtime Story

The kids asked for storytelling instead of a book. My son insisted that the story be the adventure of a Bison, a Bull, and an Ox. I took a moment to collect myself, and then told this one freestyle. I have naturally given it a polish now that they are asleep and I am writing it down. Enjoy!

The world ended in fire, and all the water was taken by the hungry ghosts that clung to existence across the burning plains.

Bison, Bull, and Ox were the only ones left of their nations and they wandered the wasteland looking for Mirror Blue, a spring fed lake and the last of its kind. Vulture and his children whispered of renewal, and though the carrion only wished to eat the fallen beasts, Bison in his wisdom knew Vulture was speaking the truth. Vulture knew that wise Bison would not fall for any of his tricks and that Bull was a great warrior, so he soared high with his people and waited for the desert to do its work.

They traveled far and wide, living off the power of their nations that they carried inside them, until all three were near collapse.

Bison used the last of his power to stomp his feet with a mighty force, and then silenced himself to quietly that he could hear ripples moving across water, and he told his companions the direction they should go. Ox, ever loyal, carried Bison on his back, for the great beast could no longer continue on his own.

Vulture smiled because he knew Ox would tire twice as quickly now, and since the beast was neither wise nor a warrior, soon there would be meat on the ground.

In the distance three giant columns of swirling dust and wind rose to stand against the thirsty beasts, the force of their sandy gale scouring a few carrion birds from the sky to remind them of respect, and Vulture bid his people hold back.

The dust devils charged the beasts, and Bull, the mightiest fighter on the sands, rushed forward to meet them. He hurled his horned head back and forth and used his shoulders to drive the points home, piercing sand and flame and spirit. All three dust devils were flung to pieces and the wind settled, revealing Bull standing triumphant, though his skin was raw from the fight and his nation’s power spent.

Ox, ever loyal, lay Bull on his back beside Bison, and continued into the scorching waste.

Vulture and his people soon tired, and found themselves parched, the time soon coming for them to turn back, lest they too fall in this blasted place. Ox continued forward, his muscles straining and his tongue dry as the sand he crossed, and yet he did not stop. Vulture screamed in frustration and turned his people away, knowing now that Ox had a power of his own, and that it was great indeed.

Mirror Blue was waiting, and when Ox settled himself and his companions on the cool shores, their thirst was quenched and their nations closer to being saved.

By seanargo Posted in Uncategorized

Your Wires Are Showing

“The future is already here — It’s just not evenly distributed.” – William Gibson

It was so much easier to write cyberpunk fiction in the days before laptops, iphones, and bluetooth. Or maybe easy isn’t quite the right word, since the authors of the 80’s & 90’s were making up the technology as they went, imagining it freshly in their minds as they forged the motherboard of a genre that was just as much about style as it was substance.

High Tech Low Life

It was glorious. I cannot say enough about how shaped I have been by the works of William Gibson, specifically Neuromancer, the Shadowrun and Netrunner pen & paper role playing games, the anime Ghost in the Shell, and of course our man Philip K. Dick with stories and resulting film adaptations like Minority Report and Blade Runner. I love the movie Johnny Mnemonic, and no gushing about cybepunk from decades past would be complete without mention of The Matrix.

To write cyberpunk now, in the year 2017, is a different endeavor. So much of the technological advancements that get imagined in the above works are now commonplace. The sorts of “oh wow” moments that used to hit hard in cyberpunk works just don’t hit quite the way they used to, at least for most of us. I know there are still some basic cable shows that try to present hacking as people typing Really Fast and Looking Stressed at cascading lines of gibberish while they say “someone is hacking our network”, and while that isn’t remotely what real hacking looks like (and no amount of fast edits and soundtrack could make it exciting to watch), those shows and their presentation illustrate the line we creators have to walk between real life and dynamic fiction.

For “Beautiful Resistance” we did our best to imagine a near future that moved along a similar path of technological advancement as we are now. We created our fictional “CodeSource” to be the more conventional ‘system’ that is what we basic users experience today, even if amped up for dramatic purposes, so that it would ring true to a contemporary audience. We created our fictional “MassNet” as our ‘full immersion’ system, the computer dream world of our story, which functions much like the simulations in The Matrix films, or the Neuromancer and Snowcrash novels. Throughout the story we work to present an engaging story with near-future technology that feels legitimate given where we are, as a contemporary society, today. We knew that we had to give you just enough tech-speak to make sense of everything happening, but we did not go so deep into it that A) readers poke holes in our science and B) the story doesn’t get slowed down. Though the hacker parts of the story were the most difficult, there was also the ‘combat operative’ element, where we had to present cyborg warriors who had upgrades and implants that felt realistic enough for a near future setting, but were still exciting to read about.

We also had to look at implications of near future technologies, and what they might do to the political, environmental, and economic landscape. For this we imagined a post-WWIII world, where the great superpowers finally went for blood, and our story picks up some years later. In our imagined near future corporations have taken the place of most world superpower governments (that’s a theme with me I know) and the inequality of the world has become more dramatically pronounced. In our story the mega-cities of the first world country are the neon spectacles one might see in films like Blade Runner and Ghost in the Shell, while much of the rest of the world has experienced very little growth compared to where they are in our contemporary real world. Much of the setting, in fact the story itself, is based on the above William Gibson quote. While we don’t get preachy at all (we’re writers, not politicians, economists, or activists) we do address some of the unavoidable elements of setting a story about high powered agents pursuing first world agendas in the boardrooms and back alleys of what we call in our story ‘low grade regions’. In this way we were invited to present a rather poignant illustration of High Tech Low Life in a way that may conjure up images of Neil Blomkamp’s work from films such as Chappie, Elysium, and District 9.

As for the street shaman and the jungle island vampires, well, that’s another post all together.

This has been a project that I have wanted to create for some time, and am happy to finally be able to present it. Our goals are to give you a reading experience that feels less like science fantasy and more like science future, while still delivering on the style & substance promised by dubbing it a work of cyberpunk.

Naturally it is for you to decide if we accomplished any of this, and we are excited to get your feedback!

Art Scavenger

I have a facebook page for Necrospace (HERE) where I occasionally post scavenged and modified digital art. Most all of this stuff is either stock art that I’ve got laying around in my junk pile or uncredited and random pics that I’ve found online. I take these and give them some text and a few color & texture tweaks, then get the out there. I thought it would be fun to collect all of these into a single blog post. Enjoy!

 

Hammers and Jails

When Necrospace gets picked up for development as a series of films or an episodic (witness my optimism!!!) this is absolutely the song I’ll pitch as the theme song. Wrote many a word for these novels with this song. Given that as much of this series is a sci-fi take on the Industrial Revolution as it is our own modern times, I think it fits.

 Click the pic to listen.

By seanargo Posted in Uncategorized

Necrospace Teaser Trailer

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.

Space Marine Loki

Live. Fight. Die.

Live Again.

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.

EXTINCTION FLEET BOOK 2

Cyberpunk Noir

I am presently in the far depths of co-authoring a noir cyberpunk trilogy, very much in the vein of Shadowrun, and found myself rather enjoying writing pieces of a sword fight scene between two augmented operatives, though one is significantly less human than the other. This is an unedited section of that scene, which I particularly enjoyed creating.
 
“The samurai swung in a wide arc that would have sliced into her side had she missed the parry, and Laine realized that while the man had been augmented for strength and resiliency, perhaps even had parts of his brain adjusted for loyalty, there was little he could do against her so long as he thought too hard about it. Any fool could swing a sword, and anyone could become a master of the blade with enough training or upgrades, yet it was only with no-mind that one could hope to win with consistency. The woman allowed her augmentations to feed her data and silenced her conscious mind, allowing her ego and her assumptions about the outcome to dissolve into the datastream from her augments. The cyberware rode Laine into battle, her ego given over to the machine’s lighting fast calculations.
 
Perhaps had the Samurai too achieved a similar state, free of his conscious mind, perhaps he could have beaten her. To act without thinking, to be as pure as the kata, was the only way to even have a hope in beating the machine. Laine sidestepped another swipe of the samurai’s blade and drove her own into his throat, through the windpipe and the spine in one stroke. The samurai’s body sounded hollow as it hit the ground, sword clanking against the pavement, all of it recorded by Laine’s auditory enhancements. They always sounded hollow to her ears, the bodies as they died, no matter how augmented or not they might be, and often she would listen to their final moments over and over, as if hoping to divine the exact moment life left limb and spark died in the wire.”

Hostile Salvage Confirmed

NECROSPACE BOOK 5 

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.