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If you enjoy interstellar adventure, seeing double crossing villains get their just deserts, exotic aliens as both allies and foes, and a huge Galactic Union made real by the imaginations of dozens of leading science fiction authors, then maybe it's time for you to register with the Mercenary Guild, train to operate the latest CASPer mechs, and jump into the Four Horsemen Universe.

Created by Mark Wandrey and Chris Kennedy, the Four Horsemen Universe (4HU) was a huge hit in 2017 and continues to grow with new authors and returning scribes exploring the boundaries of this shared galaxy of adventure.

As of July 2021, I currently have eight published 4HU stories.

If you enjoy them, please let me know. Better still, leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads and tell the publisher. The more people do that, the more I'm likely to be slipping into my CASPer suit again and exploring more of this universe!

The Four Horsemen Universe is published by Seventh Seal Press, and you can find out more information at the publisher's website, where you can also sign up to the email list and receive an introductory short story. Here's the link. If you've signed up to the Legion, you should already have my free story Thrill Addict, which makes a great introduction. If not, download it here.

Where to start reading

The last time I counted, there were over fifty 4HU books out, and many more on the way. That can seem a little daunting. My first 4HU novel, The Midnight Sun, is the thirteenth, but that doesn't mean you have to read the first twelve to make sense of it. So... where to start?

Well, the good news is that most of the books are standalone, and I wrote The Midnight Sun so that new readers can jump right in with that book without needing to read any of the others first. Just to confuse matters, I then wrote the novelette Thrill Addict as an introduction to the characters in The Midnight Sun. Then I wrote Midnight Diplomacy. Seriously, though, you can start with either, and then if you enjoy the setting, you can read the others in any order. And if you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, at the time of writing, you can borrow the books for free. I myself read the books out of sequence. However, since I got started, things have gotten slightly more complicated. The publisher has an updated official sequence explanation here, but here is my personal field guide to the 4HU books.

'Season 1' is called the Revelations Cycle

This kicks off with novels by the two creators (Mark and Chris) featuring each of the four mercenary companies known collectively as the Four Horsemen (you can see the book covers in the banner above). Further books in the Revelations Cycle add backstory and explore many other aspects of the Galactic Union, such as the Peacemaker Guild. There is a story arc that runs through the background of the initial four books, but only comes to the fore at the end to the novel The Golden Horde. You can see the latest list of Revelations Cycle books on amazon.com here.

My son's Lego version of The Midnight Sun

'Season 2' is called The Omega War

This 12-book series kicks off with A Fiery Sunset, which follows directly from events at the end of The Golden Horde, and ends with Alabaster Noon. You don't need to have read any of the other books to enjoy A Fiery Sunset, although I will point out that one of the personal story arcs that ran in the background of some Revelations Cycle stories is twisted into a new direction in A Fiery Sunset. If you started here and then went on to read the earlier books, that may spoil the twist and the earlier books would have a different impact.

The second book is my The Midnight Sun, and you can definitely start with this novel and jump backward if you like it to read the earlier books. It references the events at the end of The Golden Horde, and a little of A Fiery Sunset (though not much as I wrote Midnight Sun first).

For readers (and listeners -- these books are available in audio or coming soon) who want to read the main sequence in the precise order, here it is: Cartwright's Cavaliers, Asbaran Solutions, Winged Hussars, The Golden Horde, A Fiery Sunset, The Midnight Sun... and more to follow soon.

BTW: although I think of The Omega War as season 2, that doesn't mean the Revelations Cycle is done. There are still many stories to be told that sit outside of the main sequence.

The third and current main series is called THE GUILD WARS and kicked off with Storm Clouds. My 2020 trilogy of 'Midnight War' books are all in this Guild Wars series (Endless Night, The Dark Before the Light, One Minute to Midnight).  There are several side series too that absolutely can't be dismissed as 'secondary' in any sense.

One of the best ways to figure it all out and get involved is via the Facebook '4HU - The Merc Guild' group, which you can join here.

You can hear me discussing the series with the publisher, Chris Kennedy, on this Sci Fi Shenanigans Podcast episode.

In chronological story order, my stories are: Thrill Addict, Midnight Diplomacy, Contract Fulfilled, The Midnight Sun, Endless Night, The Dark Before the Night, One Minute to Midnight (co-written with Chris Kennedy), and Monster at the Gate.

The Midnight Sun

Sisters Sun and Blue are on the run from Earth, operating a mercenary company on behalf of a mysterious alien owner in another part of the galaxy. Many of the mercs are not even human, so when the company becomes embroiled in the repercussions of a crisis on Earth, the sisters have to ask themselves: what are they really fighting for?

This novel is part of the Four Horsemen Universe published by Seventh Seal Press. You can start reading straight away with this story. The characters first appeared in Contract Fulfilled (my story in the anthology: For a Few Credits More). I have also written a personal field guide to the Four Horsemen Universe, which you can read at the top of this webpage.

You can see a preview by tapping on the cover image or following this link.

 

Paperback, Kindle Editions and audiobook editions

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Narrated by the great Todd McLaran, the audiobook,published by Podium Publishing, is available from Amazon and Audible. Why not spend your next Audible credit on this mercenary adventure?

  • The company, Sinclair's Scorpions, was developed by author PP Corcoran and can be found in other Four Horsemen books.
  • I was inspired to write some of the swamp world scenes by accounts from real soldiers behind enemy lines in the jungles of Burma and Vietnam.
  • My son built the cover art in Lego. There's a picture of it somewhere on this page.
  • Many of the characters in The Midnight Sun first appeared in Contract Fulfilled, which was written first and comes earlier in story chronology.

Join a mercenary company and see the galaxy. Take down the bad guys and get paid... a lot.

 

Shot down behind enemy lines | Space adventure | Galactic civilization | Lottsa aliens

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Endless Night

"All hands, this is the captain. Battle stations! Battle stations! Midnight Sun will execute Plan Mechanix. I repeat, Plan Mechanix. May the gods have mercy upon our enemy’s souls and make our yacks bloat with combat bonuses.”

This novel is part of the Four Horsemen Universe published by Seventh Seal Press. You can start reading straight away with this story, but it continues after the events of The Midnight Sun. I have also written a personal field guide to the Four Horsemen Universe, which you can read at the top of this webpage.

You can see a preview by tapping on the cover image or following this link.

 

Paperback, Kindle and audiobook editions are available.

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  • I worked all of my earlier 4HU stories into the backstory for this novel.
  • The boarding pod featured on the cover art is actually a Corvus class dropship. It's a Goltar multi-role craft we see more of in the next novel. It somewhat resembles a Goltar.
  • The name 'Goltar' came from Chris Kennedy (series editor among other things) during the writing of The Midnight Sun. In my first draft I had called them Rietzkens, because the secretive aliens had only been seen on the planet of Tau-Rietzke.
  • I hadn't planned on there being such a long gap between the release of The Midnight Sun and Endless Night (it was 22 months). Fans had started asking what the Midnighters had been doing doing the Omega War. I had to figure that out myself. All is revealed in Endless Night.

Space opera | Military science fiction | Space adventure | Ancient alien artifacts | Underwater shenanigans

 

The Dark Before the Light

It’s always darkest before the light…

Defeated in battle, the fractious alliance of Goltar, Spine Patriots, and the Midnight Sun Free Company are chased across the Spine Nebula by the Endless Night and their sea monster allies, the Tyzhounes.

Abandoning the nebula is not an option. For the free trader skipper, Lenworth Jenkins, the people of its fifteen tormented worlds are the cause he’s been searching for all his life.

The Midnight sisters, Sun and Blue, can’t abandon their people trapped in the nebula or its fabulous prospects of wealth and opportunity.

On a water world behind enemy lines, Branco, the former Binnig spy is dying. Can he make a difference one last time?

As Endless Night stretches across the nebula, those who still resist must dig deep and believe that however dire the situation, this is the dark before the light.

This novel is part of the Four Horsemen Universe published by Seventh Seal Press and continues where Endless Night left off. I have written a personal field guide to the Four Horsemen Universe, which you can read at the top of this webpage.

You can see a preview by tapping on the cover image or following this link.

 

Paperback, audiobook and Kindle Editions are available.

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  • I rarely name check real people, but the McPherson's Star system is named for an old fan of the Human Legion series who's been blessing me with his generosity and uplifting energy since 2015. Thank you, sir. And you too, Trey.
  • The starkillers are ancient abandoned tech from a forgotten era... Or they were when I first dreamed them up. After The Dark Before... I co-wrote 'One Minute to Midnight' with Chris Kennedy, and Chris had a much clearer idea of who built them and what the consequences of their discovery might be....
  • Talking of name checking real people, in the dedication I mention Obadiah Jex. My brother was researching our family tree and came across this ancestor of ours who lived in Suffolk in the 18th century. It was too good a name to ignore. I hope he would have appreciated being remembered this way.
  • Talking of Suffolk, I've never lived or worked there, but I used to work at a chemical plant just across the border in Manningtree and got to know a lot of Suffolk folk there with strong accents. It's where my parents met. It also used to have a research chemist called Margaret Thatcher who went on to become prime minister.

Military science fiction | Space junk as weapons | Ancient alien artifacts | Underwater shenanigans

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One Minute to Midnight

It's one minute to midnight…

This is it! All the battles through the Spine Nebula have come to this. Not just that but the Raknar job, the first encounter with Endless Night, hooking up with Branco, the ex-Binnig spy... everything has led to this moment.

On the brink of Armageddon, The Midnight Sun and every ally they can hold onto must prevail.

The consequences of failure are inconceivable.

The price of victory steep.

This novel is part of the Four Horsemen Universe published by Seventh Seal Press and continues where The Dark Before the Light left off. I have written a personal field guide to the Four Horsemen Universe, which you can read at the top of this webpage.

You can see a preview by tapping on the cover image or following this link.

 

Paperback, audiobook and Kindle Editions are available.

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  • This is the first novel I've co-written since War Against the White Knights in 2016.
  • A 4HU short story by Charles E Gannon was added as a late-breaking bonus. It isn't part of the events in the Spine Nebula, but it is certainly a part of the wider 4HU story. Most importantly, it's a great read.
  • One Minute to Midnight concludes threads I've been laying down in all six of my 4HU stories prior to this book. I hope to write more 'Midnight Sun' flavored stories with the survivors, but this is very much a conclusion to my 4HU stories to this point. The future will look very different.
  • The way we divided up the work meant that Chris and I both wrote chapters featuring the mercenary company created by the other. Can you tell who wrote what???

Space opera | Surprise alliances | Ancient alien artifacts | Payback time!

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Thrill Addict

You can run, but no one can hide from the dark forever.

  

This is a novelette set in the Four Horsemen Universe and featuring the characters in my other 4HU stories. It makes a good jumping off point into 4HU.

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The Spine Nebula is a failed sector of space. It's a playground for pirates and smugglers, and a haven for the desperate and greedy – a perfect place for sisters Blue and Sun to hide.

But they've made powerful enemies, and no one can hide from the Endless Night.

The only way out is to fight.

This novelette is normally only available for signed up Legionaries.

You can join up here.

However, I am currently running a promotion for Thrill Addict directly from Prolific Works here. (which might be easier if you have the Prolific Works app).

This story is set before the events of Contract Fulfilled in the For a Few Credits More anthology, but was written straight after The Midnight Sun.

It was a little strange to write a story set in someone else's universe and publish it myself. Naturally, I asked permission first.

Thrill Addict is not the only 4HU story to mention challenge coins. In fact, there was a Kickstarter campaign to make real 4HU challenge coins for some of the mercenary companies, including The Midnight Sun Free Company. In Thrill Addict, we learn where the company motto comes from.

Novelette | Bad, bald, and beautiful | Mercenaries | Alien pirates

For a Few Credits More

This is an anthology of thirteen novelettes set in the Four Horsemen Universe

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In my contribution, Contract Fulfilled, Sisters Sun and Blue are on the run from Earth, operating a mercenary company on behalf of a mysterious alien owner in another part of the galaxy. The galaxy is a dangerous place filled with double-crossing, treacherous, and murderous beings. The worst of them are other humans. But the Midnight Sun Free Company has a reputation for never failing to fulfill a contract, and it's a reputation Sun and Blue will stop at nothing to keep.

This novel is part of the Four Horsemen Universe published by Seventh Seal Press. You can start reading straight away with this anthology; in fact, it's a particularly good place to start. The characters I first wrote about in Contract Fulfilled appear later in my novel The Midnight Sun. Also look out for the earlier anthology, A Fistful of Credits, which includes an excellent novelette from JR Handley and Corey Truax who worked on the Sleeping Legion series. I have written a personal field guide to the Four Horsemen Universe, which you can read at the top of this webpage.

You can see a preview by tapping on the cover image or following this link.

Paperback, audiobook and Kindle Editions

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Contract Fulfilled was inspired by the tales of bounty hunter, Johnny Alpha, that I used to read in 2000AD comic when I was a boy.

After writing this story, I went on to write The Midnight Sun and then Thrill Addict. In terms of story chronology, Thrill Addict comes first.

Anthology | Space opera | Subterfuge | Space adventure | Mercenaries | Espionage

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Tales from the Lyon's Den

This is an anthology of eighteen novelettes set in the Four Horsemen Universe

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In my contribution, Midnight Diplomacy, Sisters Sun and Blue have to make a success of their first contract in charge of the Midnight Sun Free Company or face the fate of its previous commander. When Sun is put out of action, it's down to Blue to take charge of the diplomatic mission and Blue doesn't do diplomatic

This novel is part of the Four Horsemen Universe published by Seventh Seal Press. You can start reading straight away with this anthology; in fact, it's a particularly good place to start.

You can see a preview by tapping on the cover image or following this link.

Paperback, audiobook, and Kindle Editions

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In Midnight Diplomacy we see alien race called the Buma. Series creator Mark H Wandrey wrote of the Buma who made first contact with Earth in his short story 'Gateway to Union', which you can download if you subscribe to his mailing list. It's a great read.

Anthology | Space opera | Crazy pilots | Space adventure | Alien religious artifacts

In the Wings

This is an anthology of fifteen novelettes set in the Four Horsemen Universe.

Authors have taken secondary characters from other 4HU stories and made them the stars.

In my contribution, Monster at the Gate, scavengers on a dying world encounter a monster on a mission... someone you might recognize...

You can see a preview by tapping on the cover image or following this link.

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My original plan was to tell the tale of Captain Jenkins (who we first see in Thrill Addict and meet properly in Endless Night.) Why did he leave Earth for good and ply the trade lanes of the Spine Nebula?

Maybe I'll still write that one day, but I had a better idea — or, at least, one I thought would be more popular. So I wrote that instead.

Anthology | Space opera | Military science fiction | Cigar chomping women | Scavengers | Aliens

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