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New chapter is up on StoryShift! Find out what happens when Captain Thorsen attempts to subdue a wounded alien! Then the action moves into the stratosphere as the 5th Fleet's air arm arrives on the scene!
Vote now to decide what you want to happen next!
Check out my story The Oceans Burned on Storyshift here on NG! The new chapter just went up yesterday! You get to decide what happens next! Should Capt. Thorsen negotiate with the aliens or attack them while their guard is down? Vote now!
If you haven't been following StoryShift, you should really check it out! The third chapter of my new story is up and you can vote on what happens next. This chapter features a really tough decision, as the reader must decide whether to sacrifice some of their own men to protect some civilians or not!
EvilDog's newest game, StoryShift, is out and I was lucky enough to participate! It's a great app which lets you read stories and comics and then vote on what should happen next. The more you vote the more power your vote counts, just like a certain flash website, eh?
Bus seriously, EvilDog and all the rest of us authors and artists put a lot of effor into it so give it whirl! My story is called The Oceans Burned! It's a Military Sci-Fi story about a beleaguered colongy on a water planet. They're under attack from a mysterious enemy and so Earth has despatched a naval force. You get to decided what the military commanders do next, and your choice will determine if the battle ends in victory or total disaster!
My second short story: What Are They Good For? Is available on Amazon! Please give it a look! A version for nonkindle users will be coming soon!
I'd like to thank the awesome VerdRage for doing the cover!!
So I finally did it! Here Comes the Reaper is officially published and available for purchase on Amazon!! Thanks to everybody who helped me get it done! Huge thanks to kkylimos for doing the amazing cover work.
Thank you also to the guys over in the writing forum. If it hadn't been for your support back when I was just getting started, I probably would never have seriously pursued writing! Thank you so much!
So I created an entry in the collab list, but I thought I'd also make a post.
I'm looking for artists to do illustrations for my series Iron and Ice as well as cover art for some of the short stories I've written. I plan to publish them on amazon as free ebooks, so I'm in need of some good quality artwork! I write in the science fiction, military fiction, and horror genres, so if any of these sound interesting to you, please send me a message.
The first story I'd like to get a cover for is Here Comes the Reaper which won second place back in October's monthly writing contest.
In addition to being credited on the amazon page and in the ebook itself, I am also willing to pay for quality work, so lemme know if you'd like to make some pretty (but not too pretty) pictures for me!
Also, I realized it's been a long time since I posted for Snow Can Kill. If you missed the beginning, go here!
This is the story I'm looking to have illustrated, so take a read to get an idea of what you'd be drawing. If you're not an artists, take a read anyway!
Snow Can Kill Part 2
The Roxolan mech charged Yanin, firing its 57mm as it came. Its heavy feet kicked up snow as it charged through the drifts. Its exhausts expelled dirty, black smoke in angry puffs. Dimitri saw Yanin's halt and pivot to face his attacker. He spat 37mm rounds from his gun, but they bounced off the slanted armor in showers of sparks.
“Yanin, fall back! Don't let it close with you!” Dimitri's mind raced as he tried to think of a way they could lure the beast into a trap where they could pin it between them. In his mind he visualized the battlefield, the trees, the rise and fall of the ground, searching for something they could make use of. Dimitri's ride stumbled slightly as he covered a rough patch of ground. Dimitri shook his head. He had to concentrate on what he was doing. He wouldn't be much help face down in the snow. He fired a few futile bursts from his arm cannon, hoping to distract the Roxolan, but his shots went wide, exploding against a large rock. Even if he had hit it, at this range his cannon wouldn't do much against the mech's armor.
He pushed the throttle higher. His ride's metal feet slid dangerously as he loped through the snow. He had to get closer, or Yanin was a dead man. And if Yanin bought it, the Roxolan would come after him next. They had to do this together. The only chance they had of killing it was by hitting it in its thinner rear armor. Dimitri gritted his teeth and willed his ride to move faster.
Inside his ride, Yanin was cursing Dimitri, the weather, and himself for joining the Army in the first place. His ride groaned as he pushed its hard-worked legs to their limit. The gyros fought to keep him upright as he backpedaled away from the rampaging Roxolan. The ground shook with each pounding step, loosing snow from the trees. Yanin glimpsed a flash through the vision slit and braced as another shell whipped in. With a deafening clang the shell ricocheted off his right shoulder.
“'Let's split up,' he says. 'We'll surround it,' he says. 'Get away from it,' he says.” Yanin grumbled and returned fire with his arm cannon. “If I die out here I swear to God I will haunt that bastard for the rest of his lonely life.” Glancing through his port slit, he saw he was approaching a dilapidated stone house. It looked abandoned, its roof caved in by snow. Yanin looked for Dimitri in the blizzard, but saw only distant muzzle flashes.
Coming around the house Yanin ceased his backpedaling and turned his ride around. For the moment he was hidden from the enemy. With a grind of gears his ride began to move forwards, churning the snow. He began to pick up speed, intending to put as much distance between him and the Roxolan as possible. He flicked the radio. “Any time you felt like joining in?”
“Going as fast as I can.” Dimitri's voice sounded like it was coming through a tunnel. It echoed and warbled strangely. Maybe that near miss had damaged the radio. Great.
Behind him, the house exploded as the Roxolan slammed through it. Chunks of stone pinged off the rear of his cockpit and Yanin swore under his breath. He couldn't run with his backside completely open like this. He skidded to a halt and turned to face the enemy. The Roxolan shook debris from its hull like a wet dog. It took a menacing step forward, the great pincer clacking in anticipation of a kill. Steam hissed from the pistons of its legs.
The 57mm cannon was pointed at an odd angle. Yanin grinned. It must have jammed the turret when it busted through the house. “Got a little too eager, did you?” At least now it wasn't so lopsided. With a roar of its diesel engine, the Roxolan charged forwards. Yanin brought up the heavy maul on his left arm. The earth shook as the two steel giants closed with each other.
Welcome to the first installment of Iron and Ice!
This is something I initially began over a year ago and always intended to expand, but never got around to it. But now I’m going to bring this story together with weekly (no really!) updates. Every Thursday at 10 AM there will be a new section of the story. There will be an archive containing each segment on my blog so you can easily go back and read missed chapters. I'll probably put an archive in each of these newsposts as well.
Now, what is Iron and Ice, you ask? It is the story of a world where Russia as we know it never existed. Instead of a unified, world super-power, there are dozens of small nation states, warring with one another for control of the people, resources, and land. It is a brutal struggle with competing ideologies, religions, and heritages fighting for dominance.
Set in the early 20th century, the story follows one such nation, and its soldiers as they fight and die for their place in an unforgiving world against even less forgiving foes. There can be only one motherland. Who will be her chosen sons?
I hope you enjoy it, and thanks for reading! It’s going to be a wild ride.
Chapter 1: Snow Can Kill
Snow could kill. It was worse than all the bullets, blades, and rockets put together. It covered your view ports. It cut visibility to almost nothing. It made you slow. It made your ride slip. It made your body, already sore from hours in a cramped cockpit, ache like you’d been doing gymnastics all night. It hid your enemies until they were right on you. It made you easy to track. It caused your engine to freeze up. It meant you couldn’t touch your hatch with your bare hands – if your hatch wasn’t already frozen shut that was.
Dimitri was reminded of Makar and shuddered. Silly bastard had been on long-range recon. He must have gotten out to take a leak during a storm. They found his body clinging to the side of his ride, his fingernails torn off from scraping at the frozen hatch.
Dimitri pressed his face against the rubber lining of the view slit. His eyes stung as he peered into the blizzard. His teeth chattered and he tugged the rough wool scarf higher around his face. Shit, he could barely make out the shadow of Yanin’s ride ahead of him, stomping through the trees. He swore as snow swirled through the opening. God, he hated the stuff.
Dimitri grabbed the radio from its holster. “Yanin! Stay within visual range, damn you! We can’t get separated out here.”
“Oops. Sorry.” came the familiar drawl. Ahead, the shadow of Yanin’s ride halted. As Dimitri approached, the mech loomed out of the snow. Four meters in height, Yanin’s ride was vaguely humanoid, but with an oblong, headless body, reverse joint legs, and arms which almost reached the ground. On its back was a delicate array of aerials and antennae, all of which were almost useless in this weather. Like Dimitri’s ride, Yanin’s carried a repeating 37mm rifle in place of its right hand. The left ended in a close combat weapon. Yanin had a standard maul, while Dimitri favored an oversized chainsaw. He liked the way it sounded.
Dimitri gave Yanin’s ride a thump with his chainsaw arm as they came abreast.
“Thought you could ditch me out here you bastard?”
The radio turned Yanin’s laugh into a witch’s cackle. “Maybe. They’d probably give me a promotion.”
Dimitri ignored the jab. “Anything on your scopes?”
“Any contact with command or the other patrols?”
“Any chance of getting more then one word out of you?”
Dimitri sighed and put the radio down. He’d known the patrol would end up like this, alone in no man’s land unable to report back even if they found anything. A lovely exercise in futility.
He was about to order them back to base when they came upon downed tree. It had been snapped off, leaving just a stump in the ground. He leaned forward and peered through the slit, looking for any signs of whoever had passed through. Damn these tiny slits, he couldn’t see anything besides trees, rocks and snow. Lots of snow.
Still, Dimitri was sure this hadn’t been natural. Something big had come through here and it had been in a hurry. He grabbed the transmitter again. “You sure there’s nothing on your scopes?”
“Sure I’m sure. We’re as alone out here as you are every Saturday night.”
“Check again, wise ass. There’s something out there.” He paused before popping the hatch to add, “And I’ll have you know that my Saturday evenings are extremely eventful.”
Yanin’s retort about magazines and locked doors was drowned out by the rushing wind as Dimitri popped the hatch above his head and wriggled into the open air. He brought up his binoculars and swept them around, acutely aware that they were freezing to his face as he looked.
There! What was that? Damn, just a boulder. He wiped the snow from his binoculars and unstuck them from his face. For just a moment the howling wind calmed for a moment and Dimitri glimpsed a machine through the snow. Who was that? The last thing he wanted was a friendly fire incident to add to his singularly illustrious reputation back at base. It wouldn’t be the first time patrol units had gotten lost and bumbled into one another. The wind picked up again before he could get a better look at their mystery guest.
Dimitri grimaced. “Come on. Let me have just one more little peak, huh? Who’s out there?” he mumbled under his breath. As if obliging him, the winds dropped once again. Dimitri’s blood turned to ice in his veins, and not just because of the evening chill. As if the horned helmet painted on the side of the mech wasn’t enough, he could see a long barreled 57 mm cannon, traversing towards him.
Dimitri dropped back into the cockpit, banging his head against the lip of the hatch. He fumbled for the radio and as Yanin was perplexedly saying, “I’m getting a weak return at a heading of 26 degrees, it’s like-”
Dimitri began to cut Yanin off when the first shell exploded between them. Shell splinters pinged off his armor as he grabbed the control levers.
“There’s at least one of the bastards behind the trees, 300 yards bearing 29 degrees!” He shouted as his mech leaped into action, its powerful legs sending it bounding through the snow. “Circle to the right and we’ll surround him!”
Yaninn’s reply was garbled as another round kicked up a spray of snow and dirt at his feet.
Unlike Yanin’s ride Dimitri’s mounted a four barreled rocket launcher on its back. He turned his mech at the waist and strafed to the left bringing his rockets and cannon to bear. The enemy was intermittently visible through the blizzard. A series of rockets zipped towards it on smokey tails. The Roxolan saw them coming and darted behind a copse of firs. The rockets detonated among them but the enemy was shielded from the blast. Crashing through the burning debris, it surged forward towards Yanin.
It was a standard Roxolan design, a boxy body mounting the 57mm in a sponson on its left side, while its right had a multi-jointed arm ending in a pneumatic pincer. Although much more heavily armored then Dimitri’s or Yanin’s own mechs, it possessed astonishing speed and agility. The pilot sat at the top of the box, an armored cupola offering 360 degree visibility. It was a beautiful ride.
And Dimitri would kill it.
Beat the game this morning. Was rather underwhelmed by it. The story was meh and the graphics were really dated. But my biggest problem was the moral system the game used to determine the ending. Check out my blog post for a better explanation. I don't get why so many video games feel the need to incorporate these except to try and get people to play it twice.Unfortunately for me, only a good story or gameplay does that. I think I'll be trading this one in.
Hey, check out one of my short stories I wrote back in October. It's kinda late now, but I figure, we can't all be talking about christmas cheer, right? Gotta get some blood and guts in there too! I'll be looking for an artist to do a quick cover illustration, so if anybody is interested, PM me!
In other news, work on my novel proceeds, although slowly. I guess without the pressure of Nanowrimo, I write a lot slower.