For Vader’s Fist: The Fighting 501st
The Imperial Star Destroyer moved silently through the blackness of space, its
lights dimmed, its huge sublight engines blazing with the urgency of its mission.
The man standing on the command walkway could feel the rumble of those engines
through his boots as he listened to the muttered conversation from the crew pits
below him. The conversation sounded worried, too, as worried as he himself felt.
Though for entirely different reasons. For him, this was a personal matter, the
frustration of a professional dealing with fallible beings and the
capriciousness of a universe that refused to always live up to one’s
preconceived notions as to what was fitting and proper. An error had been made,
possibly a very serious error. And as with all errors, there would likely be
unpleasant consequences riding in its wake.
From the starboard crew pit came a muffled curse, and he st…
Dragon And Soldier
The screams of the dying K’da and Shontine in the Havenseeker’s engine room were
growing louder. Draycos tried to shut out the sounds—tried to cover his pointed
ears with his paws. But nothing helped.
He could see them now, back there in the engine room. Which was odd, because
Draycos himself was up in the Havenseeker’s control complex, all the way at the
other end of the ship. He could see outside through the navigation bubble as the
unfamiliar enemy ships sent the all too familiar violet beams of the Death
twisting and sweeping across the Havenseeker’s hull. The Death was coming closer
to him … closer … closer…
With a jerk that sent his claws scratching across the soft plastic coating of
the floor beneath him, Draycos woke up.
«Bad dream?» a soft voice came from across the room.
Draycos blinked his eyes, clearing away the last images of the nightmare. The
room was mostly dark, but there was e…
Slowly, Thrr-gilag lifted his gaze from his contemplation of the stained restraint suit resting across his legs. «Yes, Ship Commander Zbb-rundgi?»
«The Diligent is ready to lift,» Ship Commander Zbb-rundgi said. «We’re waiting on your arrival.»
«Thank you,» Thrr-gilag said. «I’ll be just a few hunbeats longer.»
Zbb-rundgi’s eyes flicked around the alien study group’s private conversation room. «The disassembly crew can deal with the rest of the equipment, Searcher,» he said. «There’s nothing here you have to supervise.»
«I understand,» Thrr-gilag said. «As I said, I’ll be a few hunbeats longer.»
Zbb-rundgi’s midlight pupils might have contracted slightly. At his distance Thrr-gilag couldn’t tell for sure. «The Overclan Prime’s instructions were quite clear, Searcher,» the ship commander said. «We were to leave as soon as we were ready.»
«And we’re not yet ready,» Thrr-gilag told him. «Y…
Alien as hell.
«Scan complete, Commodore,» the man at the Jutland’s sensor station reported briskly. «No other ships registering.»
«Acknowledged,» Commodore Trev Dyami said, flexing his shoulders beneath his stiffly starched uniform tunic and permitting himself a slight smile as he gazed at the main display. Alien ships. The first contact with a new self-starfaring race in a quarter of a century.
And it was his. All his. Trev Dyami and the Jutland would be the names listed in the Commonwealth’s news reports and, eventually, in its history books.
Warrior’s luck, indeed.
He turned to the tactics station, fully aware that everything he said and did from this point on would be part of that history-book listing. «What’s the threat assessment?» he asked.
«I estimate point one to point four, sir,» the tactics officer reported. «I don’t find any evidence of fighter ejection tubes or missile…
Less complex than such recent novels as Manta’s Gift and Angelmass, this start to a new SF adventure series from Hugo Award-winner Zahn will appeal largely to younger readers. Fourteen-year-old orphan Jack Morgan, former small-time thief, is on the run, framed for theft from megacorporation Braxton Universis. Hiding out on an unoccupied planet, his only companion an artificial intelligence programmed with the personality of his con man uncle Virge, Jack witnesses a battle between incoming spaceships. While looking over the wreckage, he meets Draycos, a dragon-like K’da, sole survivor of an advance team of K’da and their Shontine allies-murdered by their enemies, the Valahgua, with a terrible energy weapon called «the Death.» With Valahgua-backed mercenaries searching the planet for survivors, Jack and Draycos work together to escape. Despite Virge’s continuing doubts, Jack agrees to help Draycos find out who betrayed his people; but first they must prove Jack’s innocence and get the police off his back. Along the way, each will earn the other’s trust as they learn to work together as a team. Zahn keeps the story moving at a breakneck pace, maintaining excitement even when the plot becomes cliched. –From Publishers Weekly