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4HU & Other Stories
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Outside of the Human Legion Universe I've written other novels and shorter length fiction, and continue to do so. Here's a selection of a few highlights. I will be adding to this page as I release more books.

Join a mercenary company and see the galaxy.

Kill the bad guys and get paid... a lot!

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 mechas, and jump into the Four Horsemen Universe.

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

As of June 2020, I currently have seven 4HU stories (details below) including a new trilogy of novels that will have all been released by August 2020. 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 Thrill Addict, which makes a great introduction. If not, then see details below.

Where to start reading

The last time I counted, there were 48 4HU books out, and many more on the way, and that can seem a little daunting. My first 4HU novel, The Midnight Sun, is the 13th, 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. The trilogy of 'Midnight' books coming out between February and August 2020 are all in this Guild Wars series.  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 out August 21st 2020).

Dark portrait

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.

  • 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.

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

 

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

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

 

Paperback and Kindle Editions are available. As of June 2020, the audiobook is in production

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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.

  • 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.

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

 

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

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

 

Paperback and Kindle Editions are available. As of April 2020, the audiobook is in production

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com.au

 

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Midnight Sun Audio cover

The Midnight Sun

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

 

Space opera | Military science fiction | Space adventure | Galactic civilization | Aliens

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.

  • 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 below.
  • Many of the characters in The Midnight Sun first appeared in Contract Fulfilled, which was written first and comes earlier in story chronology.

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?

Bayonet Books Anthologies

I've written several stories for Bayonet Books anthologies, which are packed with top indie talent.

In Storming Area 51, I tell the real story behind Area 51. 4HU and Warhammer 40k cosplayers become gladiators in alien arenas under their team boss, President Kennedy from a timeline where the Cuban Missile Crisis didn't work out welll.

A reader asked me to write more orcs. So I did in 'From the Ashes'. It's post-apocalyptic Mid-Bedfordshire with vampire deer and the last troopers of the Woburn Militia.

Backblast Area Clear was so awesome, one of the stories was nominated for the Nebula Award. Outrageously, it wasn't my one ;-) However, my entry (The Hero of Azoth-Zol) is one of my favorite stories and was the first published piece of Chimera Company fiction.

The Nebula Award nominee story was by Richard Fox and set in his Ember War series. The Nebulas are voted on by members of SFWA, a club of science fiction and fantasy authors I belong to. I had never previously bothered to vote for awards other than the Dragon Awards because the kind of fiction I admire most is not fashionable enough to get nominations. That year was the exception when I did vote.

My Area 51 tale has a character cosplaying as a CASPer from the Four Horsemen Universe. I asked the series creators whether it was okay. I think they thought it was cool, in a weird meta way, to have fiction in which their creation is cosplayed. It's not just background detail, though. The costume choice has unexpected consequences!

Beta readers for my Area 51 tale asked if I had written more in that setting. I haven't. Not yet. But if you think I should, let me know :-)

My story in Backblast Area Clear was originally intended for the Galaxy's Edge series by Jason Anspach and Nick Cole. I got my wires crossed and thought they might be making a call for anthology stories. It was far too good a story to leave on the shelf. In fact, it's probably my favorite short story.

These anthologies are released as Kindle books and paperbacks. I've listed links to the paperback below because after a set period, the eBook is discontinued (due to various rights shenanigans).

From the Ashes (2020).

Backblast Area Clear (2018).

Storming Area 51 (2019).

Thrill Addict 2020 06 Gold_600px

Thrill Addict

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 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.

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

 

Novelette | Space opera | Military science fiction | Space adventure | Mercenaries | Aliens

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).

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.

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.

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

Paperback, audiobook and Kindle Editions

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

 

Anthology | Space opera | Military science fiction | Space adventure | Mercenaries | Aliens

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Tales_Lyons_Den

Tales from the Lyon's Den

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

 

Anthology | Space opera | Military science fiction | Space adventure | Mercenaries | Aliens

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.

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.

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

Paperback and Kindle Editions

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Based in Panama City, FL, the Adventures in the Arcane Syndicate have delivered stunning pulp adventure anthologies over the past few years. In 2018, they opened things up to more authors in the Lovecraftian madness that is the Cthulhu Edition.  

My entry in this anthology is set in Small Heath, Birmingham, England in 1925, on the road where I used to live. I saw many strange sights and often took the train into the city from Small Heath Station, but I never darted to ride it all the way back to Royal Leamington Spa. This story explains why.

Available in eBook and paperback editions with chilling illustrations for every story, you can find out more at Amazon US  |  UK  |  CA  |  AU  |  DE

 

Explorations: Colony

The Earth... lost. But humanity must survive. Somewhere.

 

Space opera | Anthology | Space adventure | Colonization | Aliens

'The Light of Distant Earth' is my novelette in this anthology of 12 leading authors, including Amy DuBoff, Scott Bartlett, and Dennis E Taylor, famous for 'We are Legion (We are Bob).

My story follows a desperate colony fleet pushed to the very edge of the spiral arm by implacable aliens. Yet even in the depth of despair, sometimes you can light a beacon of hope.

I’ve enjoyed the Explorations series of anthologies since the first one came out summer 2016. It’s classic space-oriented science fiction adventure with more than a passing nod to hard-SF. The series is loosely script edited by series supremo Nathan Hystad, and written by a range of authors but principally by the new wave of successful indy SF novelists. Like my 'For a Few Credits More' anthology in the Four Horsemen Universe, the stories are novelettes – a size in between short stories and novellas. I think that’s perfect for an anthology set in a shared universe, and I also think it’s a size that suits my writing style.

The anthology was published by Woodbridge Press in 2017.

When I wrote my story, I tried to channel my sense of wonder from reading Arthur C. Clarke as a kid. My story title is a homage via Clarke's novel, 'Songs of Distant Earth'.

Talking of Arthur C. Clarke, I used to work as a book designer, and one of the first eBooks I produced was 'Fables from the Fountain' (2011), a collection of fantastical shaggy dog stories told or set in a fictitious London pub, and very much a homage to Clarke's similar book, 'Tales from the White Hart' (1957). I've not read Clarke's original, but Fables from the Fountain is one of my favorite short story anthologies, and with the likes of Stephen Baxter and Neil Gaiman telling the stories it felt exciting at the time to be involved.

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

 

Paperback and Kindle Editions

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Explorations Colony

And there's more.

There's the two Reality War novels, and the novella Last Man Through the Gate, all of which are part of the Human Legion Universe. Although I'm proud of them, they weren't intended as military science fiction and so I'm not pushing them. I may rewrite them at some point to fit in thematically with the other Legion novels. 

I also have stories in various anthologies, but check the names as some stories appear in more than one. I'm in Total Conflict (I did the cover design for that) and the same story in Further Conflicts (which is an amazing cover and nothing to do with me). I wrote a story called 'Hill 435' for Crises & Conflicts, but if you're a signed up Legionary, you can get it for free so buy the book if you like, but not for that story. Also, Shoes, Ships & Cadavers and a bunch of print magazines from when I was starting out. The very first story I had published was called Themistocles, which won a short story competition in 2002. It was the origin story for the Human Legion. I had another Human Legion Universe story in a print magazine back in 2003, and one in a defunct online magazine in 2005. Neither of those involved the Human Marine Corps – it's a big galaxy!

I published a bunch of stories with Greyhart Press under my own name (many now de-listed while I'm thinking what to do with them) and YA fantasy/ SF stories with The Repository of Imagination under the pen name Crustias Scattermush. I'm still very proud of those.

One of the earliest short stories I wrote (in 2002, I think) still stands the test of time and is my favourite title. Sometimes it's free and sometimes it's 99c. The vagaries of Amazon, but you can see it here.

By the way, when I started being published, I decided to call myself professionally Tim C. Taylor.  I added the initial (it stands for Charles) because there were other Tim Taylors who published before me. Unfortunately, a decade later an Australian author started publishing as "Tim C Taylor" without the period. A lot of retailers and search engines think we're the same person. It's just one of those things and I don't think many people buy his books thinking mistakenly that they're mine. Anyway, if you see any of the books on this link then they're nothing to do with me: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/TimothyCTaylor  (BTW: I'm sure you wouldn't, but just to be clear, I'm pointing out this other author to avoid confusing us; please don't send him abuse!)