Sunday, March 29, 2015

The IX

Film? Game? Graphic Novel?

 
What Reviewers are saying about the IX
 
"Make This Superb, Sensational, Spectacular Story Into A Movie Please!"
 
"...let there be no doubt that I seriously do not anticipate reading a better book in 2015."
 
"This would surely translate into a tremendous theatrical film. The absorbing, action-packed storyline, and the vividly etched characterizations are already present in the writing in an incredibly visual way. One of the best-written science-fiction sagas to come my way in a long time!"
 
"...military science fiction in the grand tradition of Robert A. Heinlein, Poul Anderson, Gordon R. Dickson, Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, Janet Morris, and Joe Haldeman."
 
"Walk the Ix and get lost inside this wonderful story that is sure to become a modern classic of heroic and military science fiction."
 
"We would strongly recommend this book to any fan of adventure stories, not just sci-fi and agree that it would form the basis for a successful feature film."
 
"Brilliant writing, allied with fast paced and compelling action make this for a book that should be enjoyed over and over."
 
"This book shattered all of my expectations. I expected a good book, knowing Perseid Press and the kind of work that they put out, but I was not prepared for this kind of quality. Andrew Weston has a way of putting you in the moment, mist swirling around you, spent brass rattling into the ground near your feet, swords slashing your companions to death as they scream incoherent terror into the press."
 
"The author, with his own military background, provides fantastic research and information from the perspective of somebody who clearly knows his stuff. It's a gripping read and a real page turner. Graphic, novel with the right blend of war and sci-fi."
 
"Fight or die" is the only choice for warriors from the past, present, and future in a novel sure to please you if you like a mix of high adventure, military history, hard science fiction, and metaphysics. A tour de force! Highly recommended."
 
"You'll be on the edge of your chair for the climax of this major novel by an amazing, polymathic new talent."
 
"The IX has taken me back to the books I enjoyed in my youth (Jerry Pournelle's King David's Spaceship or Gordon Dickson's Hour of the Horde)"
 
 
 
 
Roman legionnaires, far from home, lost in the mists of Caledonia.
A  US cavalry company, engaged on a special mission, vital to the peace treaty proposed by Presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln.
A twenty-first century Special Forces unit, desperate to prevent a nuclear catastrophe.
From vastly different backgrounds, these soldiers are united when they are snatched away from Earth at the moment of their passing. Thinking they may have been granted a reprieve, imagine their horror when they discover they have been transported to a failing planet on the far side of the galaxy, where they are given a simple ultimatum. Fight or die. Against all odds, this group of misfits manages to turn the tide against a relentless foe, only to discover the true cost of victory might exact a price they are unwilling to pay.
How far would you be willing to go to stay alive?
The IX. Sometimes, death is only the beginning of the adventure.
 
Experience the Fight for Yourself!

 
The IX
 
Amazon:
 
Barnes & Noble:

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Could You Imagine A Game Concept Built On This?

The IX
 

 

Fight or Die!
What could unite a Roman Legion and the Caledonian army they are fighting?
 
Or a US Cavalry Company with the Native American tribes arrayed against them?
 
How about a highly trained and motivated Special Forces unit and the terrorists they have been sent to wipe out at all costs?
 
Yes…
What could such a diverse and mutually aggressive group possibly have in common?
 
Arden – and the Horde, that’s what!
 
Arden, home to a culture that has existed for thousands of years and which spans dozens of worlds. Regardless, their sophistication cannot prevent calamity at the hands of an unstoppable nemesis. Known only as the Horde, this enemy has proven relentless. They have not only stripped the outer colonies bare, but now threaten the existence of the entire Ardenese way of life.
Realizing there is nothing they can do to prevent the inevitable march toward extinction, the Ardenese governing body comes to a drastic decision. They gather together at their capital city, Rhomane, and place their remaining genetic heritage in a vast underground ark, in the care of an advanced AI construct called the Architect. Its mission? To use Rhomane’s dwindling reserves and safeguard their race by reaching out across time and space toward those who might be in a position to help reseed a devastated world at some time in the future.
That’s how soldiers from varying eras and vastly different backgrounds find themselves together. Snatched away from Earth at the moment of their passing they are transported to the far side of the galaxy. Thinking they have been granted a reprieve, their relief turns to horror when they discover they face a simple but stark ultimatum:
Put aside your former animosities and preconceptions in order to survive. Quite simply…
 
Fight or die!
 
How does this group of mismatched and antagonistic misfits fare?
 
Find out for yourselves, in The IX.
… And remember...
Sometimes, death is only the beginning of the adventure!
 
*******
 
 

Roman legionnaires, far from home, lost in the mists of Caledonia.

A  US cavalry company, engaged on a special mission, vital to the peace treaty proposed by Presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln.

A twenty-first century Special Forces unit, desperate to prevent a nuclear catastrophe.

From vastly different backgrounds, these soldiers are united when they are snatched away from Earth at the moment of their passing. Thinking they may have been granted a reprieve, imagine their horror when they discover they have been transported to a failing planet on the far side of the galaxy, where they are given a simple ultimatum. Fight or die. Against all odds, this group of misfits manages to turn the tide against a relentless foe, only to discover the true cost of victory might exact a price they are unwilling to pay.

How far would you be willing to go to stay alive?

The IX. Sometimes, death is only the beginning of the adventure.

Experience the Fight for Yourself!

 
The IX
 
Amazon:
 
Barnes & Noble:

The IX

Shining Like A Diamond

 
 
Why is the IX maintaining its stranglehold in the world of Science-Fiction?
What draws lovers of fantasy to its cause?
Why are so many people suggesting it should be a movie - a graphic novel series - or the latest craze in game design?
 
 
Fight or Die!
What could unite a Roman Legion and the Caledonian army they are fighting?
Or a US Cavalry Company with the Native American tribes arrayed against them?
How about a highly trained and motivated Special Forces unit and the terrorists they have been sent to wipe out at all costs?
Yes…
What could such a diverse and mutually aggressive group possibly have in common?
Arden – and the Horde, that’s what!
Arden, home to a culture that has existed for thousands of years and which spans dozens of worlds. Regardless, their sophistication cannot prevent calamity at the hands of an unstoppable nemesis. Known only as the Horde, this enemy has proven relentless. They have not only stripped the outer colonies bare, but now threaten the existence of the entire Ardenese way of life.
Realizing there is nothing they can do to prevent the inevitable march toward extinction, the Ardenese governing body comes to a drastic decision. They gather together at their capital city, Rhomane, and place their remaining genetic heritage in a vast underground ark, in the care of an advanced AI construct called the Architect. Its mission? To use Rhomane’s dwindling reserves and safeguard their race by reaching out across time and space toward those who might be in a position to help reseed a devastated world at some time in the future.
That’s how soldiers from varying eras and vastly different backgrounds find themselves together. Snatched away from Earth at the moment of their passing they are transported to the far side of the galaxy. Thinking they have been granted a reprieve, their relief turns to horror when they discover they face a simple but stark ultimatum:
Put aside your former animosities and preconceptions in order to survive. Yes…
Fight or die!
How does this group of mismatched and antagonistic misfits fare?
Do they survive?
Find out for yourselves, in The IX.
… And remember…
Sometimes, death is only the beginning of the adventure!
*******
 If you like science -fiction to contain an element of myth and fantasy and a cutting historical edge, then this is the epic for you.
*******
Amazon:
 
Barnes & Noble:
 
 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


SpaceX Photos – Now Available Under a Creative Commons License


For all those interested in astronomy and any other aspect of stargazing, I spotted this excellent article on Motherboard the other day – and had to share it with you here.
See what you think

*******

Following a launch last month that was operated by SpaceX but paid for by NASA, we wondered: Who owns the photos taken on the mission? And what do we lose when a company starts to own many of the photos taken in space?

Since the beginning of the Space Age, most photos we have of space, and most of the photos taken from space of the Earth, were taken by NASA. NASA is a government agency, so those photos go into what’s known as the public domain, meaning they can be used by anyone for any purpose, including commercial ones.

UPDATE: Elon Musk has tweeted that these photos are now in the public domain—we've got a new article that explores what that means and what you can do with the photos.

“We don’t talk about the public domain too often, but there are no restrictions, which is how it is for most NASA photos,” Parker Higgins, a copyright expert with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told me in a podcast we recorded about the subject. “You can use them for literally whatever you want… I saw an old ad the other day and the ad was for a chocolate bar that said it was ‘out of this world,’ and then it had a picture of space. They didn’t have to clear that with anyone.”

Soon after my first story, SpaceX reached out (after not responding during the course of my original reporting), to let me know it was working on a solution.

“We’re actually looking at this right now and will have more to say soon,” the company said at the time.

Wednesday night, the company created an official Flickr account with all of the photos released under what’s known as a Creative Commons license, which gives the public the chance to reuse and share the photos in many cases.
More than 100 photos, including some of the company’s offices, employees, launches, and pictures taken from space, are currently available.
The specific license SpaceX used is known as Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic, and it does have some restrictions. Notably, no one can resell SpaceX’s photos, even if you remix or alter them (unless it falls under “fair use,” which is another area of copyright altogether that we can talk about sometime). The photos can be used by journalists to illustrate news stories. UPDATE: SpaceX has changed the license to Attribution 2.0 Generic, which means the photos can be used anywhere, including for commercial purposes, as long as SpaceX is credited.

The license also allows, say, schools to make posters and put them in their hallways, students to use them in science fair projects, and internet artists to adapt and mess with them.

“We lucked into every photo of space happening to be accessible to everyone. Except now maybe it won’t be,” Higgins said in the podcast. “For each photo, it may not matter that much, but the fact we had a resource of all the images of the Earth freely accessible, and that could go away.”
SpaceX’s move is a good one, but we’re still losing something here. The Creative Commons license is much better than nothing, but it’s still a shift from what we’ve gotten used to with space photos. It’s a side effect, I suppose, of democratizing space.

UPDATE: SpaceX founder Elon Musk announced that the company has decided to make the photos available on Flickr under a more generous license, removing the "non-commercial" requirement. The move seems to have been prompted by a ​Twitter user's question to Musk about why the company originally went with a more restrictive license. SpaceX confirmed the change to Motherboard in an email. (Note that while Musk referred to the new license as "full ​public domain" on Twitter, the legal designation in the US is not technically the same, Higgins said. "The complicating factor is that (a) who knows if Elon Musk is using the word 'public domain' carefully, and (b) Flickr does not have an option for marking works with the CC tool used to release things into the public domain, a [Creative Commons] Zero waiver," Higgins said in an email. "It only has a 'no known restrictions' option (for, say, govt or historical works) which isn't quite right here. So I don't know which it is! Either [public domain] or [Attribution 2.0] is a marked improvement... but they're not the same thing and it's not clear which it is."

Courtesy of Jason Koebler


So there you go – just a little article, but one fraught with possibilities for those who love to keep their own stockpile of images. :)

Monday, March 23, 2015

The IX

The Universal Success of the IX is spreading
 
 
Were you aware of how many places The IX was popping up all over the known universe?
 
Just take a look at some of the venues:
**********
 
Amazing Stories:
 
 
 
Clarkesworld Magazine:
 

 
Black Gate:
 
 
Yes, the phenomenal success of the IX continues.
Find out for yourselves why.
 
**********
Roman legionnaires, far from home, lost in the mists of Caledonia.
A  US cavalry company, engaged on a special mission, vital to the peace treaty proposed by Presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln.
A twenty-first century Special Forces unit, desperate to prevent a nuclear catastrophe.
From vastly different backgrounds, these soldiers are united when they are snatched away from Earth at the moment of their passing. Thinking they may have been granted a reprieve, imagine their horror when they discover they have been transported to a failing planet on the far side of the galaxy, where they are given a simple ultimatum. Fight or die. Against all odds, this group of misfits manages to turn the tide against a relentless foe, only to discover the true cost of victory might exact a price they are unwilling to pay.
How far would you be willing to go to stay alive?
The IX. Sometimes, death is only the beginning of the adventure.
**********
Amazon:
 
Barnes & Noble:

Saturday, March 21, 2015


Improving My Writing.

This week, I thought I’d share some of the things I do to try and improve my own writing.

It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but, I find it works for me. Hopefully, you’ll find one or two things in there that work for you.
 

1.      As I write, I like to read aloud. I feel it’s the only sure way to ensure the rhythm of the sentences is okay. It also assists me to get a feel of the ‘flow’ of the narrative.

 

2.      Keep your exclamation points under control. I write a lot of action scenes. There’s a temptation to try and emphasize certain aspects of the dialogue with the dreaded EP! (See – one jumped in right there). So, as I complete my re-read of a section, if I see one has slipped in, I take a scalpel to it with bloody vengeance.
Try it.  Take them out in all but the most exceptional cases.
J

 

3.      Watch out for the word ‘suddenly’ – or similar. The bane of my life...(I refer to the action scenes I mentioned earlier. My editors pointed out my habit of doing this when I first started writing. I always work closely with my editors, so, I’ve made an effort to improve. The best way I’ve found to apply their advice is to approach the problem in waves.
As I write, I consciously try to avoid them if I can. When I do the re-read of a section for flow and rhythm, etc, I take a second look and get that scalpel out again. It’s a gradual process, and one that is now becoming a good habit.

 

4.      Keep a book. Specific scenes require certain descriptive words. But if you’re writing – for example – about a number of explosions taking place in quick succession, and each blast needs to be emphasized, don’t use the same word over and over. Use a thesaurus to assist you in the first place – AND – keep a book. I jot down those words I need, so I can memorize them, and refer to them instantly if I get stuck. (Explosion – blast – detonation – concussion – eruption – bang – implosion) – a little example J

 

5.      Write every day. I keep to a schedule. Others hate that. Find whatever is right for you, but write as often as you can...keep those creative juices flowing.

 

6.      And finally, finish the day when you’re still itching to write some more. It makes you look forward to what’s in store.

 

There you go. Nothing amazing or world-shaking, but these little pointers – constantly applied – keep my writing fresh, and help me improve. I hope they help you as well.
Until next time
J

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Some of the latest March reviews for the IX

 
At this point - May I express my heartfelt thanks to those who have gone to the effort of leaving a review. Both I, and my publishers at Perseid Press, really appreciate your contribution to our cause.
Andrew P. Weston
 
This was an exceptionally bold effort that blends several things into a wild mix that left me tired but satisfied. First, there is the theme of warriors transported to battle a horde of monsters, and the battle scenes are wild and all that one could wish for. We've seen this before, even though they are taken through both space AND time. But Mr. Weston doesn't take just one group (and here the title is a sly poke at the reader's expectations for the Roman Ninth Legion is just one of the groups), he scoops up the combatants from EACH side of three different battles in very different eras. The six opposing forces must find a way to work together, and all become part of the white hats against the monstrous horde. Oh, and there are the survivors of previous intakes, this being the ninth, who direct the war from the last remaining fortress.

So, settling in to an already complicated version of an alternative history mil sci fi, the reader is slowly introduced to the OTHER side of the war, and it is even more complex! As the story unfolds, the logic behind the choice of warriors is explained, sort of, and they all have roles to play. There is a big reveal that works but leaves some confusing shards that I chose not to sift through afterwards due to sheer exhaustion.

This is a fine mash-up of combat, American Indian mysticism, and high concept science fiction. Mr. Weston threw it all into the pot and it mostly works very well. Four and one-half stars.
*******
British author Andrew P Weston served as a military and police veteran in the UK. His background includes degrees in criminal law and astronomy and he is a member of the British Science Fiction Association and British Fantasy Society, and assists NASA on one of their research projects. Obviously his imagination takes these basic ingredients and interests beyond where most of us can imagine and manages to write books that deal with fantasy, science fiction, time shifting and a hefty dose of thriller adventure. That is why THE IX works so well.

A hefty book of 565 pages is tough to condense in plot, but the following synopsis manages to pull us into the wild madness of this story and seduce us into staying with this story until the end.' What could unite a Roman Legion and the Caledonian army they are fighting? 
Or a US Cavalry Company with the Native American tribes arrayed against them?
 How about a highly trained and motivated Special Forces unit and the terrorists they have been sent to wipe out at all costs?
 Yes...
What could such a diverse and mutually aggressive group possibly have in common?
 Arden - and the Horde, that's what!
 Arden, home to a culture that has existed for thousands of years and which spans dozens of worlds. Regardless, their sophistication cannot prevent calamity at the hands of an unstoppable nemesis. Known only as the Horde, this enemy has proven relentless. They have not only stripped the outer colonies bare, but now threaten the existence of the entire Ardenese way of life. 
 Realizing there is nothing they can do to prevent the inevitable march toward extinction, the Ardenese governing body comes to a drastic decision. They gather together at their capital city, Rhomane, and place their remaining genetic heritage in a vast underground ark, in the care of an advanced AI construct called the Architect. Its mission? To use Rhomane's dwindling reserves and safeguard their race by reaching out across time and space toward those who might be in a position to help reseed a devastated world at some time in the future.
 That's how soldiers from varying eras and vastly different backgrounds find themselves together. Snatched away from Earth at the moment of their passing they are transported to the far side of the galaxy. Thinking they have been granted a reprieve, their relief turns to horror when they discover they face a simple but stark ultimatum: 
 Put aside your former animosities and preconceptions in order to survive. Yes...
Fight or die!
 How does this group of mismatched and antagonistic misfits fare? 
Do they survive?
 Find out for yourselves, in The IX.
... And remember...
Sometimes, death is only the beginning of the adventure!'

Andrew's writing style is a muscular as his physique and he knows how to keep the reader on the edge of the seat without feeling as though the mission will never end. This is a strange (in a good way) and complex a combination of history and imagination and science fiction magic as is available today. It is a strong book by a solid author.
*******
As a child and teen, one of my favorite things to read about were the Romans. I loved the history, the mythology, the tales and legends. It all fascinated me. Picking up The IX, I anticipated having a ride much like that. I was pleasantly surprised to experience not only nostalgia, but a beautiful blend of history and science-fiction like I've never read.

Initially, it was not the tale but the writing style that blew me away. I connected immediately with the author as I was pulled into the story. The characters brought a sense of urgency with them; everything seemed to threaten them and their safety. The suspense of the story was second-to-none and left me flipping through the pages with my own urgency. I just had to know what happened next. I loved the descriptions of settings, the flow of the tale, and the unique direction the author took with the work. The "fight or die" adage turned into "read or die" for me.

If you enjoy novels with your heroes and villains firmly set, with a bit of historical flair, loads of action, and just the right amount of sci-fi to keep things interesting, this is the book for you. Highly recommended!
*******
Amazing. This is one of those rare books that pull you in right from the start, place you squarely within the narrative, and won't let go. I was there, I was in the story....and what a Unique and entertaining story it is.

Other reviews have covered the basic storyline, no spoilers here. Suffice it to saty that the premise is unique, well thought out and implemented, and most of all engaging..
I add my wholehearted endorsement--get this book and "experience it".

Must read, if you are a fan of History meshed with Science Fiction this book is for you, if you just like Science Fiction or a damn good read, this book is for you.
.
I would be very surprised if this was not made into a movie
(or better yet, a well planned out mini-series).
*******
'The IX' by Andrew P. Weston is a superb sc-fi read that takes you on a a wild roller-coaster ride. It's packed with action, great descriptive and life-like characters. It's both an interesting story from a historical point of view and so realistic sometimes you wonder if the author knows more and an intriguingly well told tale. Highly recommended to lovers of epic sci-fi.
*******
What a talented writer - combining history and science fiction, adventure, and suspense into one entertaining read. Well done Mr Weston; I'll be looking out for more novels from you!
*******
 
My apologies, I can't put every review within my blog pages. But rest assured, I do see them all and endeavour to learn from what my readers have said. I'm here to create worlds for you to loose yourselves in, places where your imagination can run free. Your comments help me to improve, and do that better.
Thank you.