Most of last week my blog hosted authors who share one thing in common: They were among the 11 chosen by editor Doug Irvin to have their stories included in Space Force: Building The Legacy. The new military sci-fi anthology, based on the newly created United States Space Force, is now live on Amazon as both an e-book and in print.
When Doug approached me with the idea, I was intrigued, not only for the potential of the anthology, but by the overall concept of the United States Space Force itself. As someone who has read, watched, listened to and otherwise mentally devoured science fiction for nearly five decades, the real and the fictional USSF was right up my alley.
After I moved to Nebraska two years ago, I started a podcast produced by Midlands Scribes Productions. I created that entity with an eye on eventually expanding it into a publishing imprint that focused on Midwestern authors. Tuscany Bay Books remains open to all authors everywhere, but Midlands Scribes Publishing will have a narrower focus.
Doug Irvin, being a Texan, had delivered a perfect first opportunity for MSP and I took on the role as the anthologies publisher while Doug went out and rustled up some submissions. And, according to Doug, we got quite a few and from all over the world. In the end, the book is an international effort with authors from the United States, Canada and the U.K.
Among the 11 authors you will also find members, both current and former, of the United States Air Force and the Royal Air Force. One author even was assigned to the United States Air Force Space Command at one time. From the depths of both experience and imagination you will find 11 incredible stories that I am sure you will enjoy reading as much as Doug and I did.
That being said, when we first embarked on this journey, I had no intention of submitting a story to it. I’ve never written military sci-fi. I’ve barely read it aside from less than a dozen short stories and books. But one thing you’ll notice from my bibliography is that I’m not afraid to take on a new genre when the muse strikes. And, at literally the 11th hour, the muse knocked on the door and tempted me with a story concept.
So I put together CAG, which Navy folk will recognize as – Commander Air Group – polished it up a bit and sent it over to Doug.
Lest you think that I was an automatic accepted story because I’m the publisher, allow me to insert this edict I’ve given to every editor of an anthology I’ve published from this one to the Planetary Anthology Series: If you don’t like my story it does NOT make it into the book! I want the best possible collection to be presented and I’m also an old enough dog in this business to understand that rejections are part of the deal and my feels don’t get bent out of shape when I get them. And yes, I still get them.
Back to CAG, off it went to Doug, who obviously liked it because it is one of the 11 stories in Space Force: Building The Legacy. As an author you know you’ve hot the mark when the editor tells you that even though they’ve read the story several times and know what’s coming it still hits them emotionally.
CAG in this story is Lt. CMDR Robert “Cag” Carrington, Commander Air Group on board the carrier USS Shepard. Cag and his wingman, Matthew “Preacher” Carson, are on patrol in near-Earth orbit. Escorting cargo ships, keeping an eye out for pirates and other menaces is their daily routine. Carrington is a widower, his only child already embarking on his own career in Space Force and is reflecting upon his career as he enters his final month in the service.
But on this patrol, the two pilots will be put into the crucible. There’s will be the only ships standing between Earth and an asteroid on a collision course with our world. If they cannot stop it, no one on the surface below will survive.
As I mentioned before, Doug loved the story and I have to admit, despite my trepidations at tackling the genre for the first time, I’m really happy with it myself. The challenge with all short stories is developing both the characters and a fully in-depth plot in such a short space. With CAG, I believe I found that balance and accomplished both.
I hope you enjoy reading my entry into this incredible anthology as much as I did in writing it. And I also hope you enjoy reading the other 10 stories as much as I did too.
You can get Space Force: Building The Legacy on Amazon in e-book and print right here: