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The Adventures of Haldan Thane

FERANDAN cover

Ferandan – Book One – a novelette

Haldan explores the piles of scrap that cover the entire surface of Ferandan. There he seeks answers, but finds himself in great danger under the cool red sun. His adventures with the piercers, dwellers in the waste, lead him to understand that not everything is as it seems at the recycling factory where his father works.

Ferandan is the first in a science fiction adventure series about a young man named Haldan Thane. They’re all short, quick reads with this one being a novelette with just over 14000 words  and the rest of the series being novellas (under 40000 words, aiming for about 25000 words each) in homage to some of my favourite books by the greats (e.g. Rocketship Galileo, The Trouble on Tycho and the Ruum short stories).

RYLOMOS cover

Rylomos – Book Two – a novella

Haldan’s new career in the futuristic city of Iqium on Rylomos gets off to a bad start, where he finds himself an outcast until he is recruited into a group determined to bring to light the injustices happening on the planet.

I’m keen to hear what people think of Rylomos as it features characters inspired by some of my classmates at Greenbrier High School.  I hope Rylomos is as fun to read as it was to write, even within the narrative structure it had to have in order to start from the end of Ferandan to Haldan’s situation at the start of Crilum.  For me, there was some delicious ‘what-the-heck?’ scenes in it, when Haldan was deeply embarrassed or exactly what he didn’t want to happen is exactly what does.  I think the story also helps to lay the groundwork to explain why Haldan is so determined to succeed at all costs and is suspicious of authority figures.

Crilum_cover - Copy

 Crilum – Book Three – a novella

Haldan seeks a new start and buys an abandoned asteroid mine. He finds the mine is not quite as abandoned as he was led to believe and his efforts to make a living with the help of his two trusty robots turn into a fight just to stay alive.

It’s the most pure sci-fi of the series, and I was experimenting with a tight focus on a minimal number of characters in situations that would make anyone want to run screaming.  In my early posts, I elaborated on the origins of this story, as it was the first written and how, in the beginning, some of the test readers weren’t on Haldan’s side, which was a big surprise for me as I hoped that Haldan would be a reluctant hero to readers.  So there were some important and necessary details that had to be made before it was published.  

 PERSEID cover SMALL

Perseid – Book Four – a novella

Haldan and his new friends journey to a nearby space station to get needed supplies for the asteroid mine. He and his crew find more than they bargained for, investigating an unknown transmission, rescuing a mysterious young woman and finding themselves arrested on a station that’s under attack by pirates.

I was really pleased with how the story coalesced and think it captured the sense of fun and adventure that the whole series is about. I especially had a lot of fun with the pirates.  I went over my target length just through following the story to its conclusion, so it came in at a hefty 28000+ words.  

KOLEOS cover FINAL3 flattened

With their asteroid mine operational, Haldan and Vyalla set out to organise their marrying ceremony, but unfortunately run into an old enemy and get caught up in his power-mad plan. Even the help of friends may not be enough to save them from the terrible fate they have planned for Haldan on the broken moon, Koleos.

This book was really fun to write, bringing back one of readers’ favourite villains from the earlier books.  It was written a year and a half after the others, so there was a lot of thought put into the plot and I feel it flows a bit better than the others.  Also, my female character gets to share the spotlight with my original protagonist and this was a big challenge as I wanted to expand her personality a good bit.  She has developed an inner strength that I think has grown quite a bit since she was first introduced in Perseid, but also has weaknesses that are hinted at and of course the villain preys on.  It’s also the longest of the stories, at just over 33000 words.

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One of the things I strove for with the Haldan stories is to get away from all those ‘ultimate evil vs ultimate good with the entire universe at stake’ stories, as well as all those very metaphysical, deep sagas. It was more like, what’s going on over in this tiny corner of the universe? I wanted them to be short reads, so the first is a novelette with the rest of them being novellas around 25000 words each roughly. I’ve tried to keep a sense of fun and outrageousness throughout the series, so I hope people enjoy that. Technically, they were challenging to write, given how difficult it is to keep errors from creeping in and to maintain cohesiveness with details, like if he turns off a light, it can’t be on in a subsequent scene.

I should also mention that the books aren’t aimed for young adults, but hopefully they would like them too. I’ve given this more thought. I think that Haldan’s adventures are appropriate for young people, as they are about humanity and courage, not just physical courage but also moral courage. Mark Twain said that ‘is is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world but moral courage so rare’. I think he was spot on.

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The books are available in ebook and in soft-cover print versions.

Happy Reading!

Mark

 

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