We have a guest on the blog today. Mark Burgess is an author and veterinarian who works out of Portland, Oregon. Mark’s novel is the other half of Wildside Double #25, which also includes my “Ember Star.” I’ve never met Mark in person but we’ve corresponded via email and I can tell by his mention of Keith Laumer’s “The Last Command” in his acknowledgements that we’ve read many of the same works and have similar influences. Below, Mark tells us a bit about his story. I hope you’ll give him your support.
Hi everyone! I thought I’d write a short note about my new novel, The Battle for Eden, which is half of a double paperback from Wildside Press, paired with Charles Gramlich’s story Under the Ember Star. My novel is the third in a series about the human-Knacker war. The tale is set in the far future, and far from Earth, in a giant globular star cluster just outside the Milky Way galaxy. The humans who had settled numerous worlds there are unexpectedly confronted by the Knackers, an ancient nomadic race of large crustacean-like aliens. These creatures inhabit a massive armada of space-faring ships, and they live by raiding planets throughout the galaxy, both for food and raw materials. Unfortunately, the Crabs (as humans call them) see nothing wrong in harvesting other intelligent life forms for food, and humans seem to be high on their list of delectable edibles. Hence the conflict around which the series of stories is focused, as humans struggle for survival against a technologically advanced species for which war is a way of life.
I had already read the first two books in the Knacker series prior to writing “Eden,” and was enchanted by the unexplored possibilities left open by the initial installments. The original ‘concept’ story, a short piece by Ardath Mayhar, was written long ago and never published until recently. Ardath was an accomplished writer whose career spanned decades, and she recently passed away, but she lived long enough to see her Knacker story finally come to life in print. In “Eden,” I wanted to delve more deeply into how humans would be affected by conflict with a hostile alien species, how people would react, and how resilient could they be in the face of fear and loss. Last (but not least!) I wrote “Eden” to be a fun ride, full of action and exotic imagery as well as characters with depth. My wife likes this story best of all those I’ve written so far. The Battle for Eden is written as a stand-alone story, so you do not have to read the prior books in the series in order to enjoy this one. The first chapter is available to read on my Facebook page. My facebook name is authorvet. If you go to ‘Notes’ on the left page margin you’ll find free samples of several of my stories. If you like them, feel free to share with your friends!
I’m currently working on another Knacker story, “Dark Angels,” a somewhat darker tale which is set entirely in space, not planetside as most of “Eden” is. After that I’ll give the Knacker series a break, and work on some other ideas I’ve got brewing. My heartfelt thanks to Charles for consenting to having my story paired with his in this new double paperback; he’s an accomplished author and has far more published works in his resume than I, at this stage of our respective careers. May both our stories live long and prosper! ~Mark E. Burgess July 26, 2012