Purple leaves, English Dropship Infantry at war with the Chinese, and the history of the Human Legion universe.
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Purple leaves, English Dropship Infantry at war with the Chinese, and the history of the Human Legion universe.

My favorite military sf discovery of 2014 was Phillip Richards and his excellent Union Series. I was scanning the military sf charts on Amazon to see how one of my books was faring and spotted that the fourth Union book was released earlier this week. Naturally, I bought it straight away and have started reading Recce on my Kindle.  Very good so far. In the first book in the series, Andy Moralee has to survive first the brutal hazing from his fellow English Dropship Infantry troopers, and then survive the chaos of war against the Chinese. In the second and third books, Andy takes on more responsibility and has to face some big moral dilemmas as a result. Each book so far has a different feel to it, though always feeling firmly rooted in reality (the author is a serving platoon sergeant) and I’m intrigued where Phillip Richards will take us this time.

I’m making good progress writing the third book of the Human Legion series. As an example of the strange thoughts sf authors get that seem briefly to be of vital importance to us, I’ve written a short piece on why our characters are fighting in a forest where the trees are purple.

Next up on the website will be some original fiction featuring Troggie characters.

Some readers have said they would like to know what happened on Earth five centuries before the Human Legion stories were set. This was the turbulent period when Earth was forced into the Trans-Species Union, and a million children sent as slaves as part of the price of White Knight protection. And why the hell are they called White Knights anyway?

As you might imagine, there’s a story to be told on that topic, and I hope to write it in the not-too-distant future (though not until I’ve completed the Human Legion books). What I’ll be posting soon is a series of articles on First Contact and Earth history from the perspective of the characters in the Human Legion.

So plenty to come, but my first priority is, of course, to deliver the next Human Legion book.

Finally, today is a milestone in the history of the Human Legion books that leaves me astonished and immensely grateful. It’s just under a month since the first book was published, and today sales surpassed 20,000. In practical terms, that eases the financial pressure off my mind while I’m writing the next book.

Thanks for reading.

11 Comments

  1. Mark Boss says:

    Exciting times, Tim! I like that you’re putting in the hard work of world building for the Human Legion universe. That depth pays off for the readers. And congratulations on your awesome sales! Well deserved!

  2. SGT Mike says:

    Can’t wait to read more!! You’ve inspired me to write, but so far the logistics of housewifery post Army days and writing elude me. Well done sir, well done!!

    • timctaylor says:

      You’re very kind. All I can think to suggest is trying to set aside a regular time and place to write, even if it isn’t long. That worked for me. And thanks for all your comments. Keeps me inspired to write. 👍

      • SGT Mike says:

        Hmm, that is tricky with my schedule but I’ll give it a try. Worst case scenario my youngest starts full day first grade next year and I can work around that!

  3. Michael Chase says:

    I really appreciate the thought that went into the first two volumes in the Human Legion … here’s hopes the cross-species phernome changes work for the best :-)! We should all be space-rats!

    • SGT Mike says:

      If everyone is a ‘space-rat,’ who would be the Terrestrial Army Grunts/Soldiers? (TAS or TAG?)

      Go Army!!!

      • ruopp says:

        Hi SGT Mike,

        I’m really sorry if I fired your brains but I hope that it has hardwired the right neurons so you can write us a good Sci-fi story. 😉

        I have a real respect for the army grunts but in a space-faring universe the army end to be planetary, local, more like the Swiss army a militia army.

        In a space-faring universe marines are more adequate not only because they are needed aboard ships to board enemy ships or to repel boarding parties. But also in an invasion. They have to be dropped from their transports carriers in hot zones just like US, UK marines do. Their combat versatility is the key for this type of scenario.

        And if you didn’t read Phillip Richards series a really recommend it, maybe his books can be decisive for you to start your own series as he is also a grunt. 🙂

        Finally, here is a link (http://richardtongue.blogspot.ch/2015/01/writing-series.html) for another author’s blog that wrote an interesting post about “writing a series” and that may help you.

        Regards

        Hans

        • SGT Mike says:

          Hans,

          I’ll give it a shot! LOL, Maybe one day Greyhart Press can publish my stories!! Anyway, I love the activity on this site, it’s fun!!

    • timctaylor says:

      Thanks, Michael.
      I haven’t forgotten the device buried in Arun’s chest 🙂

  4. Hans says:

    Hi Tim,

    Congratulations for your achievement.

    About Phillip Richards, I agree with you, He’s a good author and I have all his books. I already bought RECCE but didn’t start yet (4 books on the row).

    Another author that wrote quite good stories both about space combat and ground combat is Christopher Nuttall. He has created an interesting Universe and wrote maybe 20 or more books around it. He has a full series about Marines and stand alone stories filling the gaps. Oh, I can’t forget to mention Jay Allan with his series Crimson Worlds.

    …As you might imagine, there’s a story to be told on that topic, and I hope to write it in the not-too-distant future (though not until I’ve completed the Human Legion books). What I’ll be posting soon is a series of articles on First Contact and Earth history from the perspective of the characters in the Human Legion.

    In my humble opinion it may be more appealing if you write these prequels or side stories while developing the main plot it eases the understanding of the universe you created. Both authors mentioned above followed this path and I can imagine they were quite successful. Another author that has an ambitious project (at least 45 books in a series divided in 3 parts) and is very successful is Ryk Brown. In his case, he used one hole episode to fill the gap of what happened on Earth while the main characters were away from home.

    Once again, congratulations for your achievement. 🙂

    Hans

    • timctaylor says:

      Thanks, Hans. I’ve not read Ryk Brown yet, but I’ve enjoyed several Chris Nuttall and Jay Allans. I have thought of writing companion stories to the main series as I go along, and that means a nice change of pace for me as a writer. But to be perfectly frank with you, the success of the first two books has taken me so completely by surprise that I’m eager to press on and deliver an excellent book3 before the attention disappears. I do still run a publishing imprint called Greyhart Press, and we had some bestsellers there. In fact, the best seller (according to Amazon sales ranks) that I ever published was something by an author called Bob Atkinson (another ex-soldier). That drifted away, although there is a sequel to that coming as soon as the artwork is ready, and that’s a book that Bob and I are very proud of. It’s a fickle business! Anyway, I’ve rambled. I meant to say that I’m hoping to fill some of the backstory and explanation of the wider setting on the humanlegion.com website. So, for example, there’s something coming soon about what happened on Earth five centuries before the time of Marine Cadet (but not all the details, because that might be a novel before very long).

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