JUST this last week, Mark Iles, a fellow Brit had another science fiction novel released by Solstice Publishing. I am delighted to be part of a blog tour to promote his scintillating books.
ROAR OF LIONS is book three in your Darkening Stars series and I’ve had the pleasure of following the story from the beginning. It is military science fiction, but loaded with rich characters, making your stories an enriching experience for any reader.
Mark, I have a few questions if you don’t mind, followed by an excerpt to whet and wet our appetites for the full story.
Q1) Military science fiction has always found a following, often with readers with no personal experience of the armed services. Do you think they are sublimating inner violence through their reading and so become peaceful citizens? Or, in other words, why do you think military SF is so popular?
I know that a lot of service people go into creative crafts, be it writing, sculpture, painting or whatever. They’ve experienced a lot and can put this into their work, also you write what you know and so they often write about war.
Q2) Do you regard science fiction as a way to escape the confines in mind and body of this planet? If so how far can we stretch our imagination?
The imagination is a fantastic tool and look at the inventions that have sprung from science fiction, the list is endless. Without scifi we wouldn’t be attempting to escape the boundaries of our world, something that’s become a ‘must’ for the human race to survive. We even have the basics of an ‘EM’ Drive, something was thought impossible, and it’s about to be tested in space. There’s an engine that could theoretically open up the universe to mankind.
Q3) In my opinion it is a mistake to use alien names that are impossible to pronounce (says the author of Xaghra’s Revenge – hah). Eg Vrusk in Star Trek, Tc’a in C J Cherryhr’s Chanur. What is your view of alien names for human readers?
Alien names are a given, we can’t have someone from Alpha Centuri for instance, called Burt – unless as a nickname. I enjoy alien names, and also humanities take on them, how they’re shortened or changed to ones we can pronounce. I find it unlikely we’d be able to pronounce an alien’s name, or perhaps even hear it – depending on what communications they use, and while on that subject would they even have names? If they communicated via telepathy, they could use colours or a mental image Names are a human attribute, and we automatically assume others will have the same, quite an interesting avenue of thought. Incidentally, C J Cherryh was one of my favourite writers when I was growing up, and she still is. A remarkable lady indeed.
Blurb for ROAR OF LIONS
The ForeRunners have destroyed one of Capulet’s cities, and the joint Lenar-Human search teams are needed to root out the enemy. But when the empathic Lenars refuse to work without Selena Dillon and her team of commandos, they soon find themselves back on Capulet in an uneasy alliance with the planetary administration and in a race against time to stop the enemy from destroying other cities.
Throughout the galaxy billions are dying as the war spreads. Despite her fear that the alien Manta and their allies will turn against them, Selena needs to truly unite the Alliance of Worlds and find a way to destroy the ForeRunners before it’s too late.
Selena knows there’s no more running, and that sooner or later there will be a final reckoning between herself and the queen. But even if they survive that long she needs to discover who will stand with her, and who against her, in this final confrontation with the tyrannical monarch.
Excerpt from ROAR OF LIONS – brand new publication folks!
“Come now, Commander, we have far more important things to discuss than past grievances.” Her eyes glittered. “You heard about the destruction of Ephesus? That city had a population of over one million people, including troops and off-worlders. When Admiral Van Pluy informed me he was sending you back, one has to admit I was a tad miffed, but I realised that if anyone can stop this destruction from happening again, it’s you. Do your job, that’s all I ask.”
“And what about afterwards?” Selena asked, calmly. “When all the bad guys have gone. What should I expect, a knife in the back one dark and stormy night, an assassin’s bullet, poison, or perhaps imprisonment for life?”
To Selena’s surprise, the Queen’s lips thinned even further.
“As far as I’m concerned, Commander, I just want you to sort this issue out and get the hell off my planet. I’m sending someone by the name of Jennings to see you. He’ll be there shortly. You’ll find him most useful. I’m sure we’ll speak again soon, but until then be careful. I’d hate for anything unpleasant to happen to you.”
With that chilling ending the screen snapped off.
“Wonderful,” Selena muttered. She took a moment to close her eyes and breathe deeply, focusing on the moment, the scent of flowers and the soft touch of the wind on her skin through the open window. “I hate that damn woman,” she said, the thought intruding and expressing itself automatically. Best to say no more, no doubt her minions were listening to each word and watching every movement via various monitoring devices, no matter where she was.
End of excerpt.
The link for the first excerpt is in this blog https://abfunkhauser.com/2017/11/02/mark-iles-roars-with-book-3-in-scifi-series-darkening-stars/
The second blog day from K.A.Meng is here https://www.kamengauthor.com/single-post/2017/11/03/New-Release-Roar-of-Lions-by-Mark-Iles
Buy and enjoy Links
A Pride of Lions: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pride-Lions-Darkening-Stars/dp/149425445X/
The Cull of Lions: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cull-Lions-Darkening-Stars/dp/162526089X/
Falling from Grace & Others: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Falling-Grace-Others-Mark-Iles-ebook/dp/B00OYV3CHE/
Mark’s short stories have been published in Back Brain Recluse, Dream, New Moon, Haunts, Kalkion, Screaming Dreams, and the anthologies Write to Fight, Escape Velocity, Auguries and Monk Punk. With over forty years’ experience in the martial arts and a 9th Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo, he’s written features for the magazines Combat, Taekwondo & Korean Martial Arts, Fighters, Junk, Martial Arts Illustrated, profwritingacademy.com and calmzone.net. He also runs a writer’s group for the British Science Fiction Association, along with The Scribe for Veterans with the help of The Royal British Legion.
His first full length work ‘Kwak’s Competition Taekwondo’, was published in Hong Kong, while he was based there with the Royal Navy for three years in 1985. His debut novel ‘A Pride of Lions’, Book I in The Darkening Stars, was published by Solstice in September 2013. Book II, ‘The Cull of Lions’, was published a year later. ‘Roar of Lions’ is the third book in the series.
Solstice have also published four novellas: ‘A Connoisseur of the Bizarre’, ‘Sally Jane’, ‘Nightshade’ and ‘Santa Claws is Coming’ – along with the short story compilation ‘Falling From Grace & Others’.
Amazon authors page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mark-Iles/e/B004YZBP3I/