Archives for posts with tag: Robertson

Today I bring you an author I’ve met in Twitter. Jon Fletcher has a very interesting life (that he’ll tell us a bit about later) and he’s real fun to follow. With another Twitter friend, Olivia, we’ve shared all kinds of slightly off-the-wall conversations. Jon has also shared some of his writing with us and I couldn’t help thinking he’d make a great guest for my blog. He bring us not only an original (that will be part of the new book in the series) interview with his main character Josiah Trenchard, but also tells us about himself and shares the prologue to his book. And now, I leave you with Jon, and Josiah…

Transcript of interview with Captain Josiah Trenchard of the United Worlds Space Navy by I.N.N. anchorman, Alexander Robertson, from his late night current affairs show “Rob’s On”:

ROBERTSON: Good evening, folks. This is Alexander Robertson. I’m joined in the studio by Captain Josiah Trenchard of the Wolverine class hunter-killer star-ship, the Might of Fortitude. Captain Trenchard has recently returned from a covert mission to protect a vital installation owned by the Papaver Corporation, and we are fortunate enough to have him here with us in the studio tonight. Good evening Captain Trenchard, or may I call you Jo?

TRENCHARD: No. You may not!

ROBERTSON: Okay then, let’s start with a brief history. You served aboard the U.W.S.S. Hand of Valour and were part of the peace keeping force sent to Europa. That battle was won by Captain Fisher wasn’t it; the so called hero of Europa?

TRENCHARD: It was a joint effort.

ROBERTSON: You were then transferred to the prototype Wolverine class ship, the Might of Fortitude as Captain Bird’s executive officer …

TRENCHARD: It’s referred to as a “boat”.

ROBERTSON: Right Jo. I’m sure that’s real important (smiles to camera and winks). There’s some confusion about what happened next. Would you like to comment on the rumours that the crew mutinied and were about to hand the shi… er, boat, over to the pirates?

TRENCHARD: That’s classified.

ROBERTSON: But Captain Bird was killed shortly after launch?

TRENCHARD: Yes. (looks at his watch)

ROBERTSON: And then you somehow managed to save the boat, single handed?

TRENCHARD: Yes.

ROBERTSON: Gee, you’re a really talkative guy Jo, I like that!

TRENCHARD: That’s Captain Trenchard to you…

ROBERTSON: So then your last mission was to protect a Papaver Corporation facility in the Kuyper belt. Tell me, how did you feel being promoted to Captain?

TRENCHARD: It’s a great honour to serve aboard one of the finest vessels in the fleet. The Might has a fine crew. They all carried out their duties admirably, under extreme pressure.

ROBERTSON: But we’ve received information that you’ve never completed the “Perisher” officer’s training course. What makes you think you’re qualified to command a hunter-killer star-ship?

TRENCHARD: (long silence) That was a field promotion, there wasn’t time to…

ROBERTSON: So what you’re telling me is that you have no qualifications to serve as Captain of a Wolverine?

TRENCHARD: I have served in the navy for many years, I…

ROBERTSON: You had two crewmembers injured on the last mission. One even lost a leg. Isn’t that true?

TRENCHARD: Unfortunately, yes, but…

ROBERTSON: Would that have happened if you’d received adequate training?

TRENCHARD: The injuries were unavoidable. We were in a battle situation for (edited) sake! We had a pirate ship bearing down on us and a homicidal enemy robot tearing the (edited) space-station apart. We were lucky to get away with the few injuries that we did. The men who were injured fought extremely bravely.

ROBERTSON: …and yet you had to be rescued by the S.S. Bertrand, Claude Papaver’s ship?

TRENCHARD: Rescued! (whispers something inaudible)

ROBERTSON: How about this nickname that you’ve picked up among your fellow officers, “The Fixer”? It seems like a tough sounding kinda name Jo? Are you a tough guy Jo? Are ya butch?

TRENCHARD: Where did you hear that from? I’ve never…

ROBERTSON: You’re getting quite a name for yourself Jo. If there’s trouble, send in the fixer right? He’ll get the job done, whatever it takes; even if that means bending the rules a little?

TRENCHARD: What? You son of a…

ROBERTSON: You went into that space-station your-self didn’t you Jo? Shouldn’t you have sent your executive officer in command of the mission? Do you think that she would have let a man lose his leg?

TRENCHARD: Watch your mouth, you arrogant piece of (expletive removed)!

ROBERTSON: You like a drink don’t cha Jo?

TRENCHARD: (looks confused) Occasionally, like any other sailor I…

ROBERTSON: Well we have witnesses that have seen you in Mike’s Bar, regularly drinking heavily until you can’t stand up any more.

TRENCHARD: Who…

ROBERTSON: Do you think an officer who smokes, drinks heavily, breaks the rules continually and disobeys standing orders; is a fit person to hold command of a military star-ship?

TRENCHARD: (stands from his seat and rips off microphone) I don’t have to stand for this (edited), you (edited) piece of (edited)! (walks away)

ROBERTSON: (calls after Trenchard) Do you think that you’re fit to be a star-ship Captain Jo? Can’t stand the heat Jo? Are you a coward too Jo?

TRENCHARD: (walks back towards Robertson, swings fist and punches Robertson off his chair) (edited) you!

End of transcript…

Jonathon Fletcher: Author of the Josiah Trenchard series.

I first started working on the story ideas for the Unity story arc when I was a film student at the University of Northumbria. The original idea was for a short film that I made (with a lot of help) in my third year. Ever since then I played about with the stories, mainly as film scripts. But then life got in the way. I finished the degree and started a job working as an assistant prop maker at Cosgrove Hall Films in Chorlton-cum-hardy, Manchester. The first show I worked on was Brambly Hedge, and then Rocky and the Dodos and Gerry Anderson’s LavenderCastle.

After about a year I left Cosgrove Hall with a group of other people who were setting up a new company called Hot Animation. I became the head of props and worked on some more Brambly Hedge and then the pilot for Bob the Builder. I gradually worked my way up and eventually became Series Art Director on Bob the Builder. After around fourteen series (I lost track after a while) and a few specials, Hot Animation was taken over by another company and they instigated a round of redundancies. I had been thinking about leaving for a while and so I decided to take the redundancy money and set myself up in business as a gardener.

I’ve been working as a gardener now for nearly ten years. I recently moved from Manchester up to the beautiful Northumberland countryside. Gardening gives me the time to look after my wife, who works very hard as a Head Teacher, and also have some time off in the winter to write. I’ve been working on the universe that Josiah Trenchard lives in, on and off since 1992.  I initially re-worked my short film idea into a novel and then looked into publishing via the traditional route, which seemed very hit or miss! Then a friend suggested self publishing on Amazon. He had a work colleague who was now making a fair income from writing books for Kindle. I didn’t want to give away my novel straight away, firstly because it wasn’t good enough yet, and secondly because I wanted to dip my toes in the self publishing waters with shorter stories first.

I already had some off-shoots from the main story in mind and so I decided to write a series of shorter novellas following the adventures of one mighty star-ship and one infamous Captain. Most of the best military sci-fi follows the voyages of an iconic vessel, from Star Trek to Jack Campbell’s “Lost Fleet” series, so that’s the format I chose. The idea for the first story was fairly easy to come up with. I knew that I had to introduce the prototype Wolverine star-ship, the Might of Fortitude, and that it would be set in the Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter and involve space pirates. To be honest, the most difficult thing was coming up with the name of the Captain, probably the single most important thing for the books. For a start his name would be on every book cover. Secondly it had to be something new, that nobody else had already used. I spent a while trawling through Google and searching for different names; nothing would do. Then one day, the name “Josiah Trenchard” just popped into my head suddenly. Was it divine inspiration or just my subconscious finally working it through? Whatever the reason, the name was perfect and the series was born. Josiah Trenchard actually translates as “the lord saves man of war” which is kind of cool for the main hero of your military sci-fi epic!

After that, the name of the space-ship was the next most important element. Most science fiction vessels have bold sounding single word names like “Vengeful”, “Nostromo” or “Enterprise”. Alternatively they have two word names like “Red Dwarf” or “Millennium Falcon”. I wanted to use a different format, one that could be adapted for many different star-ship names. Then I was near the sea one day (I tend to spend a lot of time at the coast when I can) and I started noticing the names on fishing boats. A large number of the boats were named “the something of something”, for example the “Pride of Newcastle”. And so after a fair bit of brain-storming, the “Might of Fortitude” was born. Other vessels in the series include the “Gift of Stealth”, the “Hand of Valour” and the “Breath of Vengeance”. It’s a format that suits military vessels and has millions of possible combinations.

Writing the first episode was hard because an establisher episode has so many constraints. You must introduce the main character, the setting, a problem for them to overcome, their enemies, and so on. You have to do all this in a finite number of words and keep it interesting for the reader. I think I did a pretty good job, and episode two is much better as the story just gets straight into the action. There are a lot of unanswered questions at the end of part two and some of the crew have undergone some pretty horrible traumas. Part three, “Berzerkergang”, should be out on sale as this blog is published. It picks right up where part two left off. This time the crew of the Might get to visit a planet’s surface and really delve into what make’s the Insurgent terrorists tick. The reader also finds out a good deal more about the mysterious Japanese assassin and the motives of Claude Papaver.

Each episode is loosely based on a classic horror / sci-fi theme, which is then re-told in my own style. Morgenstern obviously draws heavily upon Frankenstein, and Berzerkergang is a Jekyll and Hyde / Wolfman inspired plot. Part four is currently being written. It’s and action packed story and pits the crew of the Might against zombies! Well, it had to happen eventually, didn’t it?

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Excerpt from Josiah Trenchard Part Three: Berzerkergang:

Prologue “Campfire Tales”

The dancing flames flickered violently as a cold wind blew in across the compound. The four figures huddled around the old oil drum pulled their capes a little closer around their necks to ward off the chill of the night. The night watch was always hard, but the bitter cold was draining the last of the United Worlds trooper’s courage.

‘Throw another log on the fire would you,’ asked Stofan, hugging herself tightly to keep out the cold.

Coloroso duly obliged and the fire sparkled and crackled as the heavy log hit the smouldering embers, sending bright sparks whirling skyward.

‘You want to hear a story?’ said McGagh darkly, pulling a hip flask from his uniform pocket and taking a swig, then offering it around. ‘Not one of Vinny’s crap ghost stories, a real story?’

‘Hey!’ said Coloroso, alarmed. ‘Alcohol’s forbidden on duty,’ he cried.

McGagh gave him a disgusted look. ‘You haven’t been out of the academy long, have you lad?’

Coloroso shook his head.

McGagh pushed the flask towards him. ‘This is best Irish whiskey. If you don’t take a drink, then I’ll be offended, and so will my family and all our ancestors. You don’t want to offend my family do you?’

The underlying threat was clear. Coloroso took the flask and swigged a shot down, the harsh spirit stinging his insides. As he did, he noticed a tattoo on McGagh’s outstretched right hand. It read “Drink”. On McGagh’s left hand, the hand he preferred to punch with, he had another tattoo which read “Feck”. Coloroso passed the flask to Vinny on his left and then the others duly took a drink, the warmth of the spirit spreading across their chests. When the flask arrived back to McGagh, he took another deep drink and then stared into the flames, deep in memory.

‘Four years ago, just out of the academy myself, I was stationed on Mars. There had been grumblings from the Martian government for years. They didn’t like being ruled from Earth and wanted independence from the United Worlds. Our platoon was guarding the local United Worlds headquarters in the capital city of Belatu-Cadros.’

Shit…’ whispered Stofan. She knew what was coming. Every veteran in the navy knew about Belatu-Cadros. Vinny and Coloroso were probably too young to have heard the real story yet. Sure, they would have seen is on the news, but the media held back the details. They were looking on intently, their eyes shining in the dancing firelight with the innocence of youth.

‘Mars was still dusty then,’ continued McGagh. ‘The atmosphere processing was only half done. The magnetic pole shield had just been activated but the water hadn’t been released from the ice-caps yet. It was a hot, dry, hard-baked planet. Breathing was like being at high altitude, low oxygen. We still had to use breathing masks when the grit storms came down from the slopes of Olympus-Mons. It felt a little like hell. The only good thing about being stationed there was that the low gravity made moving around a little easier.’

McGagh stared off into the distance before taking another swig of whiskey and then grimacing, baring his teeth and making a sucking sound through them.

‘There had been demonstrations, banner waving and shouting mostly, a bit of pushing and shoving, nothing too violent; nothing that we couldn’t handle. I was on morning watch with ten other troopers at the front gate, all young lads. I’ll always remember those faces… good lads, good blokes. A young girl came up to the front gate. It wasn’t unusual for the local kids to sell stuff to the troopers, fags, booze, chocolate; anything that was rationed on the base. I remember the lads used to call her “Buttercup”, ‘cause of the flowery dresses that she used to wear. A guy called… Fred Townsend, strolled up to her and asked her what she wanted. I was standing just inside the guard hut. I could see her face clearly. She couldn’t have been more than fourteen…’

McGagh gulped. His mouth had suddenly become very dry.

‘She smiled, such a sweet little thing. I’ll always remember the look in her eyes…’

Stofan placed a reassuring hand onto McGagh’s arm. The big Irish man, tattooed, afraid of nothing and full of bravado, was actually shaking at the recollection.

‘She said something quietly in Townsend’s ear and his face just went… terrified, white like a sheet. He started running, but it was too late. This little girl, she raised her arm in the air and pressed the trigger that she had hidden in her hand.’

There was absolute silence around the fire. The flames whipped down for a moment in a gust of wind as if leaning in closer to hear the story.

‘I saw Townsend for a split second before I blacked out as the blast hit me. He was literally splashed across the ground by the force of the explosion. It even melted his dog tags and his fillings. When I came to, there was a pitched battle going on in the streets. We never found out where the Insurgents had got the weapons from, or the explosives. Suicide bombers hit several United Worlds buildings in a coordinated attack. Fifty troopers were killed in the first ten minutes. Then their armed forces moved in while we were still picking up our wounded.’

Vinny and Coloroso were standing with their mouths hanging agape. Stofan dropped her eyes to the ground. McGagh looked back up from the fire and stared straight into Vinny’s eyes.

‘That was the day that the war against the Insurgents really started. That day I learned one thing Vinny. Never trust anyone, not even a child. The Insurgents have no honour, they fight dirty. That’s why I did what I did to that crowd of civilians, why I’ve never been promoted, why nobody trusts me. I’m not proud of it, but any one of them could have been a suicide bomber. I couldn’t take the chance. I’ve paid for that every night since, when I close my eyes and see their screaming faces.’ McGagh paused and took another long drink of whiskey. ‘There’ll be no peace until every Insurgent sympathiser is buried in the fucking ground!’

There was another long silence. Stofan was about to speak when the silence was disturbed by a rhythmic banging that began on the ten foot high wire mesh gate that led into the compound. Vinny leapt towards the guard hut and hit a switch that turned on the overhead spotlights, illuminating the fenced off compound grounds. Stofan, McGagh and Coloroso, legged it over to the gate to see what the noise was.

The three troopers stopped still, their mouths agape. Standing outside the gates was a young trooper. His helmet was missing, as was the rest of his uniform. He was completely naked and his body was covered from head to toe with cuts and scratches. His face was blank, staring, void of emotion. A strange glow seemed to be coming from deep within his wildly staring eyes. He was hammering ceaselessly on the gate with his left fist.

Pound!

Pound!

Pound!

As the shaken troopers looked on, the most disturbing thing about the completely naked young man, was that he was covered, head to toe, in bright, scarlet, blood. Lumps of flesh and brain matter dripped from his skin. When he bared his teeth as the torchlight hit his face, there was human flesh and hair stuck between his crimson stained, snarling teeth…

Available in Amazon: Josiah Trenchard Part One “The Might of Fortitude”

http://www.amazon.com/Josiah-Trenchard-Might-Fortitude-ebook/dp/B009PK84WW/

 and Josiah Trenchard Part Two “Morgenstern”

http://www.amazon.com/Josiah-Trenchard-Part-Morgenstern-ebook/dp/B00AGZE6AO/

Part Three “Berzerkergang” is coming soon!

Jonathon Fletcher can be contacted on Twitter – @JonGardener and on YouTube – Evilgenius1972.

Honour, strength and unity!

Thank you to Jon for sharing with us (and I hope you’ll all download his books). And hopefully he’ll come to visit us soon with updates and tales. And next week…There will be more!

Hoy como es habitual los viernes, les traigo un autor invitado. Jon Fletcher. Conocí a Jon a través de Twitter (si, ya les oigo, otro…) y con otra amiga de Twitter, Olivia, hemos pasado ratos divertidos intercambiando Twitters sobre todo tipo de cosas, desde resfriados hasta animales con extraños cortes de pelo. Jon también nos ofreció muestras de su obra, una serie de ciencia ficción, y la verdad es que una página basta para quedarse enganchado. Así que le pregunté si vendría de invitado a mi blog. Y aquí está. Y no sólo nos ofrece una entrevista (que formará parte de su nuevo libro) con su protagonista, Josiah Trenchard, sino que también nos habla de su carrera (nada usual) y nos ofrece el prólogo de uno de sus libros. He traducido la entrevista y la biografía pero no me atreví con el prólogo para no interferir con el estilo de Jon, así que lo he dejado en inglés. Y si no hablan inglés, el resto del post yo creo que les animará a aprender.

Y sin darles más la lata, les dejo con Jon Fletcher!

Transcripción de la entrevista con el Capitán Josiah Trenchard de la Marina del Espacio de los Mundos Unidos con el presentador de la I.N.N., Alexander Robertson, para su programa de actualidad ‘Rob’s on’

ROBERTSON: Buenas noches. Soy Alexander Robertson. Me acompaña en el estudio el Capitán Josiah Trenchard de la nave estelar tipo caza-destructora Wolverine, el Poder de la Fortaleza. El Capitán Trenchard ha vuelto hace poco de una misión secreta para proteger una instalación vital propiedad de la corporación Papaver, y tenemos la suerte de que puedas estar con nosotros en el estudio esta noche. Buenas noches, Capitán Trenchard. ¿Puedo llamarle Jo?

TRENCHARD: No. ¡De eso nada!

ROBERTSON: De acuerdo, entonces empecemos con una breve biografía. Sirvió a bordo del U.W.S.S. Mano de Valor y fue parte del ejército para mantener la paz que se envió a Europa. Esa batalla la ganó el Capitán Fisher, el llamado héroe de Europa, ¿no?

TRENCHARD: Fue un esfuerzo conjunto.

ROBERTSON: Entonces le trasladaron a la nave prototipo Wolverine, el Poder de la Fortaleza como oficial ejecutivo del Capitán Bird…

TRENCHARD: Se le llama “embarcación”.

ROBERTSON: Vale Jo. Estoy seguro de que eso es realmente importante (le sonría a la cámara y guiña un ojo). Parece haber algo de confusión sobre lo que pasó después. ¿Podría comentar sobre los rumores de que la tripulación se amotinó y estuvieron a punto de entregar la nav…, embarcación, a los piratas?

TRENCHARD: Eso es información clasificada.

ROBERTSON: ¿Pero al Capitán Bird lo mataron poco después de embarcar?

TRENCHARD: Sí. (mira a su reloj)

ROBERTSON: ¿Y entonces de alguna manera logró salvar la embarcación completamente solo?

TRENCHARD: Sí.

ROBERTSON: ¡De verdad eres muy charlatán, Jo, eso me gusta!

TRENCHARD: Para usted, Capitán Trenchard…

ROBERTSON: Entonces su última misión fue proteger el edificio de la Corporación Papaver en el cinturón Kuyper. ¿Dígame, cómo se sintió cuando le promocionaron a Capitán?

TRENCHARD: Es un gran honor servir a bordo de uno de los mejores bajeles de la flota. El Poder  tiene una gran tripulación. Todos cumplieron con su deber admirablemente, bajo condiciones de extrema presión.

ROBERTSON: Pero hemos recibido información de que nunca completó el curso de entrenamiento para oficiales “eliminador”. ¿Qué le hace pensar que está cualificado para comandar una nave estelar caza-destructora?

TRENCHARD: (largo silencio) Esa fue una promoción en el campo de batalla, no hubo tiempo para…

ROBERTSON: ¿Entonces lo que me está diciendo es que no está cualificado para servir como capitán de una Wolverine?

TRENCHARD: He servido en la Marina muchos años, yo…

ROBERTSON: Dos de los miembros de su tripulación fueron heridos durante la última misión. Uno llegó a perder una pierna. ¿No es eso cierto?

TRENCHARD: Desgraciadamente sí, pero…

ROBERTSON: ¿Hubiera pasado lo mismo si hubiera recibido el entrenamiento adecuado?

TRENCHARD: Las heridas fueron inevitables. ¡Estábamos en medio de una (editado) batalla! Teníamos una nave pirata encima de nosotros y un robot enemigo homicida destrozando la (editado) estación espacial. Tuvimos suerte librarnos con tan pocos heridos. Los hombres heridos lucharon con extrema bravura.

ROBERTSON:… ¿y a pesar de todo le tuvo que rescatar el S.S. Bertrand, la embarcación de Claude Papaver?

TRENCHARD: ¡Rescatar! (susurra algo inaudible)

ROBERTSON: ¿Y qué me dice del mote que le han puesto sus compañeros oficiales, “El Arreglador”? Suena a nombre duro, ¿no Jo? ¿Es un tipo duro Jo? ¿Es un macho?

TRENCHARD: ¿Dónde oyó eso? Yo nunca…

ROBERTSON: Se está haciendo un nombre Jo. Si hay problemas, enviad al arreglador, ¿no? ¿El hará lo que haga falta, cueste lo que cueste; incluso si hace falta modificar las reglas un poco?

TRENCHARD: ¿Cómo? Es un hijo de…

ROBERTSON: Usted mismo entró en la estación espacial, ¿no Jo? ¿No debería  haber enviado al oficial ejecutivo al mando de la misión? ¿Cree que ella hubiera dejado que uno de sus hombres perdiera una pierna?

TRENCHARD: ¡Cuidado con lo que dices, tu arrogante (insulto borrado)!

ROBERTSON: Te gusta beber, ¿no Jon?

TRENCHARD: (parece confundido) Ocasionalmente, como cualquier marinero yo…

ROBERTSON: Tenemos testigos que dicen que te han visto in el bar de Mike, a menudo bebiendo tanto que no te puedes mantener en pie.

TRENCHARD: Quién…

ROBERTSON: ¿Crees que un oficial que fuma, bebe mucho, se salta las reglas continuamente y desobedece las órdenes; es la persona adecuada para estar al mando de una nave estelar militar?

TRENCHARD: (se levanta y se arranca el micrófono) ¡No tengo que aguantar esto (editado), tú (editado) pedazo de (editado)! (se marcha)

ROBERTSON: (llama a Trenchard) ¿Crees que estás en condiciones de ser Capitán de una nave estelar Jo? ¿No te atreves a contestar? ¿Eres también un cobarde?

TRENCHARD: (marcha hacia Robertson, dispara el puño y tira a Robertson de la silla de un puñetazo) ¡(editado)!

Fin de la transcripción

Jonathon Fletcher: Autor de la serie de Josiah Trenchard.

Empecé a trabajar en las ideas para la historia del Arco de la Unidad cuando estudiaba cinematografía en la universidad de Northumbria. La idea original era para un corto que rodé (con mucha  ayuda) en mi tercer año. Desde entonces siempre me he dedicado a darle vueltas y jugar con las historias, la mayoría como guiones de películas. Pero entonces la vida se puso de por medio. Terminé la carrera y empecé a trabajar como asistente del creador de atrezzo y decorados en Cosgrove Hall Films en Chorlton-cum-hardy, Manchester. El primer show en el que trabajé fue Brambly Hedge, y luego Rocky y los Dodos y Gerry Anderson’s Lavender Castle.

Al cabo de un año dejé Cosgrove Hall con un grupo de gente que iban a crear una nueva compañía Hot Animation. Me convertí en jefe de decorados y trabajé en más episodios de Brambly Hedge y luego el episodio piloto de Bob The Builder. Gradualmente fui avanzando hasta que me convertí el Director Artístico de la Serie Bob the Builder. Después de catorce series (perdí la cuenta al cabo de un tiempo) y algunos episodios extra, Hot Animation fue absorbida por otra compañía y querían recortar la plantilla. Yo llevaba tiempo pensando en dejarlo así que decidí aceptar el dinero del finiquito y empezar un negocio de jardinero.

Llevo trabajando de jardinero casi diez años. Hace poco que me mudé de Manchester a la bella campiña de Northumberland. La jardinería me da tiempo para cuidar de mi mujer, que trabaja muy duro como directora de una escuela, y también tengo tiempo libre en el invierno para escribir. Llevo creando el universo en el que vive Josiah Trenchard, a veces más a veces menos, desde el 1992. Inicialmente revisé la idea de mi corto y la transformé en una novela y entonces intenté publicarla utilizando la ruta convencional, que me pareció bastante impredecible. Entonces un amigo me sugirió que me auto-publicara a través de Amazon. Me dijo que uno de sus compañeros de trabajo estaba haciendo bastante dinero escribiendo libros para Kindle. No quería empezar con mi novela directamente, primero porque no era lo suficientemente buena, y segundo porque quería primero probar el agua de la auto-publicación con historias más cortas.

Yo ya tenía algunas ideas para historias colaterales así que decidí escribir una serie de novelas cortas siguiendo las aventuras de una poderosa nave estelar y un Capitán infame. La mayoría de las mejores historias militares de ciencia ficción siguen los viajes de una nave, desde Star Trek hasta las serie “Lost Fleet” (La Flota Perdida) de Jack Campbell, así que escogí ese formato. La idea para la primera historia me vino muy fácilmente. Sabía que tenía que introducir el prototipo de la nave estelar Wolverine, el Poder de la Fortaleza, y que tendría lugar en el Cinturón de Asteroides entre Marte y Júpite, y que habría piratas. Para ser sincero, lo más difícil fue inventarse el nombre del Capitán, probablemente la cosa más importante del libro. Para empezar, su nombre estaría en la tapa de cada libro.  En segundo lugar tenía que ser algo nuevo, que nadie hubiera utilizado antes. Pasé tiempo en Google buscando nombres pero nada, ninguno me valía. Y entonces un buen día, el nombre “Josiah Trenchard” apareció en mi cabeza de repente. ¿Fue inspiración divina o mi subconsciente finalmente llegando a una solución? Cualquiera que fuera la razón, el nombre era perfecto y nació la serie. ¡Josiah Trenchard se traduce “el Señor salva hombre de guerra” que es apropiado para el héroe principal de tu serie épica de ciencia ficción militar!

Después de eso, el siguiente elemento más importante ere el nombre de la nave estelar. La mayoría de los bajeles de ciencia ficción tienen nombres que suenan poderosos y decididos como “Venganza”, “Nostromo” o “Enterprise”. Alternativamente puede tener un nombre compuesto como “Red Dwarf” o “Millenium Falcon” (El Halcón Milenario). Yo quería usar un formato diferente, uno que pudiera ser adaptado para los nombres de muchas naves estelares. Entonces estaba cerca del mar un día (intento pasar mucho tiempo en la costa cuando puedo) y noté los nombres de los barcos de pesca. Muchos se llamaban “el algo de algo”, por ejemplo “El orgullo de Newcastle”. Y así después de generar algunas ideas, nació el “Poder de Fortaleza”. Otras naves en la serie incluyen el “Regalo de Sigilo”, la “Mano de Valor” y el “Respiro de Venganza”. Es un formato que se adapta bien a naves militares y tiene millones de combinaciones posibles.

Escribir el primer episodio fue difícil porque un episodio inicial tiene muchas limitaciones. Tienes que presentar al personaje principal, el lugar de la acción, un problema que tienen que superar, sus enemigos, y todo eso. Tienes que conseguir eso en un número determinado de palabras y mantener el interés de los lectores. Yo creo que hice un buen trabajo, y el episodio dos es mucho mejor ya que nos metemos directamente en la acción. Hay muchas preguntas sin respuesta al final de la segunda parte y algunos miembros de la tripulación han superado traumas horribles. La tercera parte, “Berzerkergang”, debería estar a la venta coincidiendo con la publicación de este blog. Empieza justamente donde acabó la parte dos. Esta vez la tripulación del Poder visita la superficie de un planeta y llegan a explorar de lleno lo que motiva a los terroristas insurgentes. El lector también descubre mucho más sobre el misterioso asesino japonés y los motivos de Claude Papaver.

Cada episodio está basado, libremente en un tema clásico de horror/ciencia ficción, al que yo le doy mi propio estilo. Morgenstern obviamente se inspira en Frankenstein, y Berzerkergang está inspirado en Jekyll y Hyde/Hombre Lobo. Estoy escribiendo la parte cuatro. ¡Es una historia llena de acción y enfrenta a la tripulación del Poder contra los zombies! Bueno, al final tenía que pasar, ¿no?

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Excerpt from Josiah Trenchard Part Three: Berzerkergang:

Prologue “Campfire Tales”

The dancing flames flickered violently as a cold wind blew in across the compound. The four figures huddled around the old oil drum pulled their capes a little closer around their necks to ward off the chill of the night. The night watch was always hard, but the bitter cold was draining the last of the United Worlds trooper’s courage.

‘Throw another log on the fire would you,’ asked Stofan, hugging herself tightly to keep out the cold.

Coloroso duly obliged and the fire sparkled and crackled as the heavy log hit the smouldering embers, sending bright sparks whirling skyward.

‘You want to hear a story?’ said McGagh darkly, pulling a hip flask from his uniform pocket and taking a swig, then offering it around. ‘Not one of Vinny’s crap ghost stories, a real story?’

‘Hey!’ said Coloroso, alarmed. ‘Alcohol’s forbidden on duty,’ he cried.

McGagh gave him a disgusted look. ‘You haven’t been out of the academy long, have you lad?’

Coloroso shook his head.

McGagh pushed the flask towards him. ‘This is best Irish whiskey. If you don’t take a drink, then I’ll be offended, and so will my family and all our ancestors. You don’t want to offend my family do you?’

The underlying threat was clear. Coloroso took the flask and swigged a shot down, the harsh spirit stinging his insides. As he did, he noticed a tattoo on McGagh’s outstretched right hand. It read “Drink”. On McGagh’s left hand, the hand he preferred to punch with, he had another tattoo which read “Feck”. Coloroso passed the flask to Vinny on his left and then the others duly took a drink, the warmth of the spirit spreading across their chests. When the flask arrived back to McGagh, he took another deep drink and then stared into the flames, deep in memory.

‘Four years ago, just out of the academy myself, I was stationed on Mars. There had been grumblings from the Martian government for years. They didn’t like being ruled from Earth and wanted independence from the United Worlds. Our platoon was guarding the local United Worlds headquarters in the capital city of Belatu-Cadros.’

Shit…’ whispered Stofan. She knew what was coming. Every veteran in the navy knew about Belatu-Cadros. Vinny and Coloroso were probably too young to have heard the real story yet. Sure, they would have seen is on the news, but the media held back the details. They were looking on intently, their eyes shining in the dancing firelight with the innocence of youth.

‘Mars was still dusty then,’ continued McGagh. ‘The atmosphere processing was only half done. The magnetic pole shield had just been activated but the water hadn’t been released from the ice-caps yet. It was a hot, dry, hard-baked planet. Breathing was like being at high altitude, low oxygen. We still had to use breathing masks when the grit storms came down from the slopes of Olympus-Mons. It felt a little like hell. The only good thing about being stationed there was that the low gravity made moving around a little easier.’

McGagh stared off into the distance before taking another swig of whiskey and then grimacing, baring his teeth and making a sucking sound through them.

‘There had been demonstrations, banner waving and shouting mostly, a bit of pushing and shoving, nothing too violent; nothing that we couldn’t handle. I was on morning watch with ten other troopers at the front gate, all young lads. I’ll always remember those faces… good lads, good blokes. A young girl came up to the front gate. It wasn’t unusual for the local kids to sell stuff to the troopers, fags, booze, chocolate; anything that was rationed on the base. I remember the lads used to call her “Buttercup”, ‘cause of the flowery dresses that she used to wear. A guy called… Fred Townsend, strolled up to her and asked her what she wanted. I was standing just inside the guard hut. I could see her face clearly. She couldn’t have been more than fourteen…’

McGagh gulped. His mouth had suddenly become very dry.

‘She smiled, such a sweet little thing. I’ll always remember the look in her eyes…’

Stofan placed a reassuring hand onto McGagh’s arm. The big Irish man, tattooed, afraid of nothing and full of bravado, was actually shaking at the recollection.

‘She said something quietly in Townsend’s ear and his face just went… terrified, white like a sheet. He started running, but it was too late. This little girl, she raised her arm in the air and pressed the trigger that she had hidden in her hand.’

There was absolute silence around the fire. The flames whipped down for a moment in a gust of wind as if leaning in closer to hear the story.

‘I saw Townsend for a split second before I blacked out as the blast hit me. He was literally splashed across the ground by the force of the explosion. It even melted his dog tags and his fillings. When I came to, there was a pitched battle going on in the streets. We never found out where the Insurgents had got the weapons from, or the explosives. Suicide bombers hit several United Worlds buildings in a coordinated attack. Fifty troopers were killed in the first ten minutes. Then their armed forces moved in while we were still picking up our wounded.’

Vinny and Coloroso were standing with their mouths hanging agape. Stofan dropped her eyes to the ground. McGagh looked back up from the fire and stared straight into Vinny’s eyes.

‘That was the day that the war against the Insurgents really started. That day I learned one thing Vinny. Never trust anyone, not even a child. The Insurgents have no honour, they fight dirty. That’s why I did what I did to that crowd of civilians, why I’ve never been promoted, why nobody trusts me. I’m not proud of it, but any one of them could have been a suicide bomber. I couldn’t take the chance. I’ve paid for that every night since, when I close my eyes and see their screaming faces.’ McGagh paused and took another long drink of whiskey. ‘There’ll be no peace until every Insurgent sympathiser is buried in the fucking ground!’

There was another long silence. Stofan was about to speak when the silence was disturbed by a rhythmic banging that began on the ten foot high wire mesh gate that led into the compound. Vinny leapt towards the guard hut and hit a switch that turned on the overhead spotlights, illuminating the fenced off compound grounds. Stofan, McGagh and Coloroso, legged it over to the gate to see what the noise was.

The three troopers stopped still, their mouths agape. Standing outside the gates was a young trooper. His helmet was missing, as was the rest of his uniform. He was completely naked and his body was covered from head to toe with cuts and scratches. His face was blank, staring, void of emotion. A strange glow seemed to be coming from deep within his wildly staring eyes. He was hammering ceaselessly on the gate with his left fist.

Pound!

Pound!

Pound!

As the shaken troopers looked on, the most disturbing thing about the completely naked young man, was that he was covered, head to toe, in bright, scarlet, blood. Lumps of flesh and brain matter dripped from his skin. When he bared his teeth as the torchlight hit his face, there was human flesh and hair stuck between his crimson stained, snarling teeth…

Disponibles en Amazon Josiah Trenchard Parte Uno “The Might of Fortitude”

http://www.amazon.com/Josiah-Trenchard-Might-Fortitude-ebook/dp/B009PK84WW/

Y Josiah Trenchard Parte Dos “Morgenstern”

http://www.amazon.com/Josiah-Trenchard-Part-Morgenstern-ebook/dp/B00AGZE6AO/

¡Parte Tres “Berzerkergang” está al caer!

Pueden contactar a Jonathon Fletcher en Twitter – @JonGardener y en YouTube – Evilgenius1972.

¡Honor, Fortaleza y Unidad!

Mucha gracias a Jon por compartir su obra y su vida con nosotros. Y a ustedes por leer. Y la semana que viene…más!

A.J.Lyndon

English Civil War historical novelist

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