Supremacy’s Shadow

 

Science Fiction / Thriller
Date Published: February 9, 2018
Publisher: SF Productions
 
For Hayden Cross, a military investigator in the far future, whether his wife faked her death is the question that is probably going to get him killed. Having lost the only job that kept him sane, he has few resources and fewer leads. Oh, and a sadistic crime lord really wants to kill him.
As he fights through an underworld of fanatical rebels, callous bounty hunters, and corrupt cops, each step takes him closer to the truth about his wife’s fate and the oppressive government he once loyally served. On the way he may even liberate a planet and stop a war … but only if he betrays everyone he loves.

Guest Post

My 5 Favorite Authors

I’ve read more SFF books than I can count in my lifetime (I started in elementary school, checking books out 10-12 at a time from my local library and speeding through them in two week spurts). While many of those books are lost to my subconscious, I discovered several authors in those early years who I loved so much that I ended up reading almost everything they released.

These authors are listed in alphabetical order, since I have no ranking, specifically. They’re all authors I love, and authors who I feel influenced my own writing and taught me how to be a better SFF writer.

Terry Brooks

I read The Sword of Shannara after reading The Lord of the Rings, so while I certainly saw the similarities, I still enjoyed it enough to try the next book. Elfstones of Shannara blew me away when I first read it, and the ending (melancholy at best) sticks with me as one of my favorite book endings of all time. I devoured everything Brooks wrote (my current favorite is the books in the Word and Void series) and if I owe anything to his writing, it’s the idea that no victory should come without great cost.

Orson Scott Card

I got started with Ender’s Game, and as a huge gamer myself, I tore through Ender’s thrilling adventures in Battle School and totally did not see the twist ending coming (and when I did, it blew my teenage mind). I also loved that Card made the universe of his book so rich, and that so many characters that seemed tangential in the original book had whole plot arcs and conflicts going on behind the scenes. While Bean is the best example of this, I also greatly enjoyed seeing what Ender’s siblings, Valentine and Peter, were up to while Ender was in Battle School. So if I took anything from Card’s work, it’s that even characters who aren’t on the page must have their own goals and struggles, even if we don’t see them.

C. J. Cherryh

My first exposure to gritty, grounded SFF came from C.J. Cherryh’s The Morgaine Cycle, which, as far as I’m concerned, was grimdark before grimdark was a word. Her characters were fascinating, powerful, flawed, and vulnerable, and their story always remained grounded despite Morgaine having a sword that could literally devour people’s souls. Over the course of her books, both Morgaine and Vanye became some of my favorite characters ever, and if I Cherryh taught me anything, it’s that any “superpower” a character possessed should always have a compelling reason not to use it.

Douglas Hill

Though most of what I read from Douglas Hill was his “young adult”, I consider his books suitable for any age and some of best action-packed, tension-filled SFF books I’ve ever read. His Young Legionary series was epic and introduced me to Keill Randor, one of the most badass characters my young mind had ever come across. Keill was like Buck Rogers crossed with Jason Bourne, and Hill’s books have literally no filler. The “cold open” of his first book, Galactic Warlord, is one of my favorite openings to any book I have ever read. So, if I learned anything from Hill, it was how to keep a story moving at a fast clip.

Mike Stackpole

While I got started with Mike’s Battletech books (some of the best “game” fiction I’ve read) I eventually branched out to read everything he’d written, including his X-Wing books and his Fortress Draconis series. Stackpole’s strength was always in his ensemble casts – his books always featured a number of characters who were all skilled, fascinating, and weak in their own ways. The way they played off each other in dialogue, action, and advancing the narrative always kept me hooked from cover to cover.

If Stackpole taught me anything about writing, it’s that you don’t need to make any character less interesting or compelling to make your “hero” more compelling. A cast of compelling characters is always going to be more interesting than a single badass surrounded by weak supporting folks, especially if you can find ways to put your main protagonist in conflict with his or her best friends.

 
About the Author

T. Eric Bakutis is an author and game designer based in Maryland. He is happily married and shares his house with a vicious, predatory cat and a sad-faced, cowardly dog. He’s been working as a professional videogame developer for over eight years. His first fantasy trilogy, Tales of the Five Provinces, is now complete, and his first science fiction novel, Supremacy’s Shadow, is due in February 2018.
In his spare time, Eric hikes with his lovely wife, little girl, and crazy dog, spends time in VRChat exploring the metaverse, and participates in local events like the Baltimore Science Fiction Society Critique Circle. His first novel, Glyphbinder, was a finalist for the 2014 Compton Crook Award, and his short fiction has appeared in several magazines and anthologies.
You can read his free cyberpunk police procedural, Loose Circuit, at www.loosecircuit.com
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2 Comments

  1. I guess I am still stuck in the past. For me, my most favorite sci-fi author is Isaac Asimov. This might have something to do with the fact that Asimov’s stories do not suffer from the Frankenstein Effect (where the creation turns on the creator). So in 2003 I decided to sit down a read a few old classics. My older eyes require me to buy used first editions over the internet ( I use https://www.bookfinder.com/ ) which means I sometimes get old dust jackets. Well, one jacket was a note from Asimov telling the reader to only read the following 15 books in a specified order (I republished the info here: http://neilrieck.net/links/cool_sci_fi.html#asimov-suggested-reading-order ) so I did. It was a life-changing experience which I could probably morph into a new religion (but I won’t because I don’t think Asimov thinks humanity already has too many religions)

  2. Alvin Toffler (Future Shock) once said that modern citizens must read “science fiction” because it will help cushion them from cultural change (Future Shock). IMHO, humanity will need to deal with the problems of “robotics and A.I.” long before we will ever need to deal with “first contact situations” but I have always found the former more interesting than the latter. So let me recommend something I’ve been watching lately on Netflix called “Altered Carbon”. This 10-episode series is a cross between “Blade Runner” (Ridley Scott/Philip K Dick) and Neuromancer (William Gibson). The program is getting very high “user reviews” on IMDb ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2261227/ ), Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes so it can’t be just me :-)

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