Today is the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. Zero Hour was 07:30 British Summer Time, and that’s why there’s a two-minute silence across the UK from 07:28 when this post should go out. The battle lasted 141 days and cost a million casualties. Not just British casualties, but Australian, Canadian, French, German, Indian, Irish, New Zealand, Pakistani, South African and others too. The numbers are unimaginable to me, and that’s a good thing because it means my generation hasn’t been blighted by war on that scale. That’s why it’s important to remember. To remember those who found themselves caught up in the nightmare of July 1st, 1916, but also those who served their countries since, including those who still do. Because if we don’t remember, it’s more likely to happen again. I find this photo particularly poignant. These are […]
I’m a great admirer of author PP Corcoran, author of the Saiph series and who is now working on another military SF series. We worked together on the Empire at War anthology. He’s just been interviewed here by SFFWorld and it’s worth a read. The Empire at War includes (amongst other great things) the first Saiph novel and also the first Human Legion novel, so if you haven’t yet dipped your toe in either series, this is a good way to do so. You can read the start of The Empire at War online straight away by following this link, or check out the Empire website here. You can find out more about Mr. Corcoran at his website: www.ppcorcoran.com In other news, I’m hard at work finishing off the first Revenge Squad novel and have been discussing the final and sixth Human […]
After the war what next? That’s when the hard work starts, that’s what! In the forthcoming Revenge Squad series, the Human Autonomous Region is fighting for stability, and that’s not just to provide a decent life for its citizens. If you’ve read the Human Legion series as far as Book 5 then you will probably be thinking that if any freedoms have truly been won, then they are going to be highly fragile. Winning freedom is one thing. Making it work, is quite another. As we saw in part one, you can compare this chaotic region of space to Central and Eastern Europe between the First and Second World Wars. And it is a much more constrained area of space (and time) than we experience in the Human Legion books. To begin with, at least, the Revenge Squad books are […]
Back in the pulp science fiction of the 1930s and 40s, galactic politics in these earliest space operas were usually easy to grasp. You had space empires, space federations and sometimes space republics. (People must have had a lot of space in those days). Whether the person at the top of the tree was a queen, emperor, or president made little practical difference. And how were such sprawling empires held together? Well, naturally, with quasi-military or feudal setups, often supported by a pernickety bureaucracy that readers were invited to ridicule. Empires competed in a kind of military-political Olympic Games where the winners were determined not by the country with the most gold medals, but the empire with the most planets and star systems. In the constant struggle to expand your empire, there were three common mechanisms of advancement: Conquering planets […]
The Human Legion series starts on the planet of Tranquility. The last we saw of the planet was the book Human Empire, where Colonel Nhlappo set in train the wakening of the Sleeping Legion, the inspiration for the series of the same name by J.R. Handley. In the forthcoming series, we will get to see parts of the planet we’ve never seen before. Team Handley have revised the map, which you can see below. I think they’ve done a superb job, much better than the scrawl and scribble I used for the first few Legion novels. If you haven’t already, sign up to become a Legionary to be notified of how to see advanced copies and get involved with the recon teams. There’s not much longer to wait now. Recon teams for the first Revenge Squad and The Sleeping Legion novels are likely to start operating […]
Last month I announced the new Legionaries group with the prize draw of a signed Human Legion audiobook on CD. The winner of the prize draw is Thomas with a Comcast email address and who I think might hail from San Diego. Thomas, if you’re out there, please get in touch. I’ve been trying to reach you for the past month! For everyone else, fear not, I’m going to do another draw at the end of the month for a signed audiobook (on CD) of your choice out of Marine Cadet, Indigo Squad, or Renegade Legion. My publisher (Tantor Media) gave me a few but they’re running out, so I won’t be doing this regularly with the audio CDs. There are rumors of other swag that might be forthcoming, such as official Liquid Refreshment Dispensers bearing the insignia of one […]
The publisher of The Empire at War: British Military Science Fiction has made the Kindle edition available for free download until June 14th. This is an anthology of military science fiction novels, short stories and articles from British authors. The first Human Legion novel is included, as is an exclusive Human Legion short story called The President’s Son. Plus, of course, novels from other great authors and stunning internal artwork. If you haven’t already got the collection, there will never be a better time to grab it than now. Tell your friends too, but hurry because the offer runs out tomorrow. Click here to go to the Kindle Preview for the book.
Okay, you’ve seen this image of NJ McCall before, but here he is with his final cover text (click or tap on the main image for a full-length view). He doesn’t look very happy, and if you read the book, you’ll understand why. Don’t worry, though, after the scene captured in this image things get better for NJ (before they get much, much worse…). In the course of delivering entertainment thrills, this book treads on some potentially treacherous ground that I want to get right: corruption, racism, combat veterans finding it tough to adjust to civilian life, and extreme farming to mention just a few. So I’m hoping you will help me out and read through the beta version which should be ready in a couple months. In the Legionary Bulletin, I’ll be giving download links to the beta for anyone who […]