A while back I reviewed a book that had the single most uplifting and soul crushing line I’ve ever come across in fiction. That line – although I didn’t mention it at the time – was “This is none of my concern.”
Time has dulled my memory a bit, so that may not be the exact quote, but it’s good enough for now. That book was Tom Julian’s Timberwolf and it was a wonderful read about a world of high technology, constant war, and the religious reasons for those wars. The lead character was a serious bad-ass name Timberwolf Velez and we got to see the world through his jaded eyes.
The really cool thing about self-publishing and the eBook revolution is it allows authors to do things we wouldn’t have been able to do even a decade ago. When the world only read books in print it would have been unthinkable to publish a stand-alone story about a character unless you could find a magazine willing to put it out there. The simple fact of the matter is books cost a lot of money to publish and distribute and no one in their right mind would even think about publishing a short story unless it was in an anthology. Now an author can write a story that expands on the larger work and make it available to fans for a minuscule cost. This is the exact sort of thing I’m doing with the Saxton series, in case you’re wondering.
This, I suspect, is exactly where Tom Julian is going with Breacher. It’s a short story set in the world of Timberwolf, but covers Velez’s earliest days in the armed forces and gives us some tantalizing hints about the universe at large and how Timberwolf came to be.
The action in Breacher is quick and tense, and the story is worth the read for that alone, but the hints about the back story and the world at large are what make it truly exciting. One can only hope Julian will continue to work away at the events that occurred before the final, epic conclusion of Timberwolf. So, if you’re reading this, Mr. Julian, it’s time to start cracking away on some war stories.
Somewhere in orbit off one of Saturn’s moons, a ship sits in darkness, awaiting its own destruction. A small squad approaches. Malfunction. Destruction. Three friends are set on the path to bitter rivalry.
Before Timberwolf Vélez became a legend, before Emmanuel Gray became a bishop, and Michael Solandro became his right hand, they were soldiers. Together. And before twenty years of war pitted Earth against the universe, they formed part of an elite group of specialized operatives: the Breachers.