25 September 2010

William's Ten favorite Sci-Fi Vehicles

Nigel led the way with this topic, so, I had to answer with my own list.

1. The Spinner from Blade Runner. With most things with Blade Runner, the Syd Mead designed flying police car changed the way the future of the car was shown and thought about it.

2. The M557 Colonial Marines APC from ALIENS. Like the Spinner, the APC changed the way that sci-fi looked at military vehicles.

3. The MFP V8 Interceptor from Mad Max and Road Warrior. The only way to describe this vehicle is pornographic...the noise it made on screen, the raw emotions...then it died...and I cried.
here is a great link to the car's story: http://www.madmaxmovies.com/cars/mad-max-interceptor/index.html

4. The M12 LRV Warthog from the HALO universe. Most military sci-fi does not have Jeep-like military vehicles, but HALO changed that. One of my favorite events in any HALO games was getting to run & gun in this machine.

5. The M831 Troop Transport of HALO 3. Some how this warthog reminds me of the Jeep Unlimited....and I am of the firm belief that this can outrun a standard Warthog

6. The REF VR-052 Cyclone from Robotech.
I grew up with this series, and I am not a fan of motorcycles. However, the ability that the Cyclone gives a normal soldier is something.

7. The Kaneda Motorscycle from Akira. I am not much for motorcycles, I'll leave that for my uncle, but the Japanese love the motorcycle. This was one of the most original designs, and is thing of beauty. I still don't like Akira though.

8. The G.I. Joe VAMP. I had this toy as a kid, and loved it's futuristic look, later I learned that the toy was based off of the "Rambo-Lambo" LM002. Oddly, the HALO warthog and this the VAMP look alike...hmmm....


9. The Griffon race car from 1988's Bubblegum Crisis anime. This vehicle is close to the Bugatti Veryon supercar (and on my lottery car list), and appeared in a era where high-powered supercars were rare. I'm glad those days are gone.

10. The Mercedes-Benz ML-320 from the The Lost World. There was just something about a civilian luxury SUV retrofitted for heavy duty that gets to me. I used this vehicle in some of my military sci-fi.

21 September 2010

Custom-Part Seven: "Darts Down Range!"

All Jamie could smell, while huddled in the wet dirt was fresh blood, in her fractured mind; there was no doubt that the Nix biological artillery bombardment had reaped a heavy toll on the line.

A brutish hand excavated Jamie from her cowering position, and pushed her back on the wall. Ibanez loomed behind her with his officer pistol trained at her head.

“HOLD THE LINE! NO ONE RUNS OR I’LL FUCKING SHOOT YOU MYSELF!” Jamie deliberated which would be a better death, his pistol or a Nix claw? The devilish streaming blaze of flamethrowers further down the line broke her thought.

“Here they come!” Someone shouted.

“Darts downrange!” The line of Custom soldier responded Ibanez’s order with the almost musically rattle of gunfire pouring into onslaught of Nix warriors. There was no need for Jamie to aim; the thick murderous swarm cast darkness in the horizon.

The Nix did not waver from their fanatical drive, despite the wall of gunfire. Jamie nearly shit herself from the sheer sight, and shaking from icy fear, she fired her weapon until the aroma of warped metal emanated from the barrel.

The alien horde did not just scramble for the trench line, some leapt over the hail of lead, directly into the trenches. From the Customs’ point-of-view, the threat of death was everywhere, in front as well, as behind. This tactic divided the attention of the soldiers, and decreased the level of fire.

That gave the enemy a crack in the defenses to pour through like a flood. The satanic Nix legions were everywhere at once.

Among them, next to them and on top of them. Soldiers were dying, body parts flying everywhere. Jamie, filled with icy panic, abandoned her position for higher ground.

With the primitive overpowering desire for survival fueling Jamie, she spun around, and scouted out an escape route avoiding Ibanez. She would not have to worry about him, a Nix straddled his eviscerated body, scooping out his large intestines.

She swept her auto-shotgun, tearing its exoskeletons into shreds. When one died, three more jumped from over the top of the trench, and flicked their claws. When the shotgun clicked empty, Jamie cursed wildly, jetting a snap kick into one rushing Nix, and worked on the pack with her .410 pistol. When that quickly ran out, she grabbed a Reaper rifle from a dead hand.

As the Honiara sky turned dark, the Nix withdrew from the trenches, and Jamie followed the general retreat of soldiers.

“What the hell?” Jamie asked. “They had us!”

“That’s a bad sign.” Beth whispered

“Maybe it’s-”

A whistling cracked through the smoky air, and acid shot through Jamie’s stomach when she realized that it was sound of the spikes. This propelled the soldiers to seek any cover.

In the distance, the automated laser point-defense lens tracked and fired at the incoming alien projectiles. In the mud of the trenches, Jamie could hear the booming of the beams and the snap of an interception. There were too many for the targeting software to cope with through, and a steady hail of these projectiles landed on the trenches.

One rolled into the trench next to Jamie. Jamie pointed her pistol at it, but did not fire. Her mind struggled to identify it. It was not a spike, but a ball.

“What the hell is it?” Nicky asked

“Maybe the Nix is throwing their basketballs at us!” One soldier poked at it with his Reaper.

It flew open and sprayed thick goo over everyone in range.

“FUCK!” Screamed out Mariam clawing at her eyes. “It burns!”

“Kill it!”

Jamie had a permeation of death stalking her. If it’s Nix, she told herself, it means only death.

When Beth pulled the trigger, the entire trench became a gauntlet of flames. Jamie turned her back to the fireball, and witnessed soldiers rolling on the ground trying to put themselves out. Jamie tried to help Beth, but the Nix made their move. Confusion mixed with automatic weapons made for a goddamn disaster. In such close quarters, the darts meant for the Nix were tearing up soldiers instead.

There was nothing Jamie could do, but save herself by seeking higher ground. Everyone that she knew on this moon was burned to death, and her mouth felt lined with ashes…the ashes of their defeat…

19 September 2010

You make the Call!

To all readers and visitors to FWS: in preparation for the next flash fiction serial, two ideals have presented themselves and....I want you to pick the next flash fiction serial!

For your direct democracy consideration is Beachhead and HALO: Frontlines

Beachhead is the 12 part serial that looks at the last planetary battlefront in a long war between two human governments. The parts of the serial will examine the war for the planet Janus from different points-of-view. The story is a combination of KILLZONE, HALO, the Normandy Invasion of 1944, and the Pacific Campaign. I have already written several parts and it much grander in scale than CUSTOM.

HALO: Frontlines is the 10 part serial that is set during the Human/Covenant War, written from the different human points-of-view. The serial would span the war from Pelican pilots, SPARTANs, ODST Edward Buck, to more with everyone's favorite "hyper-lethal" SPARTAN-III, Noble Six. Several parts of this fan-fiction serial are under way, and it has been a real joy to write.

So, you, the reader of FWS get to make the call on how I spend my free time, either on the frontlines against the Covenant or on the beaches fighting against fellow humans.

Please leave a comment on this post to vote....

12 September 2010

The FWS Review of The Forever War Graphic Novel

In 1988, Belgian artist Marvano committed himself to a three-part graphic novel serial  based on the the Forever War by Joe Haldemen. Original, the graphic novels were published in Europe, and came to the states via NBM publishing in the early 1990's. Joe Haldemen was directly involved in the process of turning his work into a visual medium, and was pleased with the outcome. The Forever War Graphic Novel was later broken up and published in B&W  for Dark Horse Comics' Cheval Noir series. Today, these graphic novels have become rare, only Volume One seems to somewhat available, while Volume Two and Three are very hard to find.  I paid $5.60 for  Volume One in Very Fine condition from Lone Star Comics in Arlington, Texas (they have a few more if you are interested). That is less than the original 1990 cover price!Sometimes, things go your way...Volume One covers the first 80 pages from my 2003 Eos tradepaper edition of the The Forever War.

The Good

The Forever War Graphic Novel Volume One is one of those rare gems of military sci-fi, due to the amount love and attention that was put into the work. Being a fan of the book, and the regard that I hold it  in, I can honestly say that this is an outstanding graphic novel, and is more or less faithful to the original text.
In the first few pages, I was surprised to find a section written by Mr. Hadlemen on his experiences in Vietnam in 1968 (complete with pictures), covering the link between the Vietnam war and the genesis of the Forever War. Following this, Marvano gave  why he had the desire this project. I took away the feeling that Marvano was committed to give the best Military Sci-Fi book the best comic adaption possible.
And he did.
Most of the narration in the graphic novel, is directly lifted from the text of the book, give the reader the best of both worlds.
I actually re-read the novel after finishing the graphic novel, and I found the graphic novel modernized some element of the book, including the figthing suit to look more like a militarized NASA space suit, the laser finger from the novel is replaced with a more rifle-like weapon, and the vehicle that takes them from ship-to-shore is based on the American Space Shuttle, worked quite well.
Some of the art is breathtaking, and I wanted to hang it from my walls.
After witnessing the power of Marvano's art, it will be hard for me to not see this art when I read the novel. That's how organic it is with the text.
If a mini-series or movie was more or less based off of this version of the book, then Avatar is going to get it's blue ass kicked.

The Bad

For a work to be translated into a visual medium, you have to make cuts. Namely the assigned sexually partners, military-approved drug use, and the genesis behind the UN task force drafting only 150+ IQ rated people is not stated. Much of the detail on the fighting suit is omitted. The most critical plot device cut from the graphic novel is the interaction between Marygay and William, whose relationship is vital in last portion of the book. Nearly nothing is exchanged between these characters in Volume One, where in the book, they are often each other's preferred bed partners.

The Ugly
The only ugly portion is the rarity of this series. I was about to locate Volume Three for a very good price, however I have yet to locate Volume Two  for sale for less than my car payment.

Should you buy this?
YES!!! If you are a fan of the book, then is the cherry on top. Buy it while it is still cheap before Mr. Scott makes the movie. This is what Mr. Scott should use for the basis for this upcoming 3-D epic film verison of the Forever War. This combines the best elements of the novel, while making changes for the audience and times.

If you own Volume Two in good condition, please email me with a price...we can do some business.

10 September 2010

Remember Reach

This, my friends, is what great Military Science Fiction looks like:

Remember those that gave us courage when we faced destruction...

Remember those who fought to the last soldier...

Remember who gave us all hope when we faced the last moments...

Remember those that gave honor in their last breath...

Remember those that held the line against the coming storm....

Remember REACH!

Remember NOBLE TEAM....heroes to the last....

The extended 2 minute version is here for download:

08 September 2010

CUSTOM: Part Six-Triage

Jamie was awake jolted and she fully expected to be in purgatory, but instead she was a gel-filled triage-bed. Jamie shot up, and Jamie was instantly being pushed back into the bed by strong hands.

“Easy, Custom, you’re fine now.” Above her saw the face of exhaustion. She stopped struggling and noticed the messy hair, pale skin, and stained uniform

Busy time to be a medic, she thought


“Sandy.” The medic barely moved her mouth as she said it. Jamie started to sit up slowly this time and soreness danced through her chest.

“That Nix sure liked you, troop.” The medic mocked.

“I’m pretty tasty.” Jamie tired to smile through the bitter spent feeling. “Am I clear to return to duty?”

Sandy made a puzzled face. “Don’t you wanna rest, troop?”

“No time the line’s about to collapse.” Jamie steadied herself as she stood, and darted her eyes around for her kit.

“All right,” The medic sighed, “new hardsuits around the corner, the old ones are outside to be sent to the recyclers.” Jamie nodded, and slapped on a fresh uniform. All around her was horror. Despite the hardsuit, the Nix biological weapons took a bloody toll on them. One quick slash could cut an armored custom in half.

Jamie had been fighting on this moon for years, but hospitals always left her feeling wrecked. Everywhere her eyes fell, there was a Custom suffering. Screams, prayers, and alarms filled her ears, and made her twitch.

“Code!” FUCK!” “We’ve gotta code!!” The medic took off for the coding patient, and Jamie felt herself go green and pale as she watched them work on the broken body. She took off running for the exit and only stopped once the sun hit her face. Jamie felt instantly better, more whole, and more alive, knowing that she wasn’t going to die in underground aide station.

Her hands dug through the piles of hardsuits gathered around the entrance, scouring for her old suit, all while cursing the Nix that slashed the armor. She had just got this one the way she liked it! She finally found it and salvaged the cross that her mother had given her just before she was hauled away to basic. Jamie took a moment to remember her mother, and what the cross had symbolized. Jamie had seen too much death to believe in religious meaning, but she could still believe in her mother’s love.

She wiped her wet eyes, and pulled on a new Mark VII armor, and attached the cross while, walking towards the ridge, as artillery landed close by. More Custom soldiers ran to the trenches where she had been wounded. All around her was a sea of activity

It was the big push.

A temporary armory had been set up just on the ridge. While she waited in line, she could see the flood of organic warriors, fireballs, and muzzle flashes. It was a chaotic scene as the armory techs threw Reapers and Shatter pistols at the soldiers. Jamie gathered up her weapons and watched the techs beginning to load a drum for their own Atchisson.

While she slapped in a fresh magazine of flechettes, and loaded her sidearm, Jamie was engulfed in a legion of other Custom soldiers running for the trenches. Everyone had panic running through them, this is how it always happened. The Nix got their shit together, and decided to make a coordinated assault, devastated the major military installations.

Jamie’s mind flashed back when she was stationed at Aquila base. It didn’t exist anymore; it was a tomb for those that bought time for the evac…. She had lost some good friends there. It still plagued her nights.

Jamie got a rolling pit of acid where stomach should be once she saw how far back they had been pushed back. There was a sense deep within her that told her that this was the end.

“So good of you to join us, Jamie!” Hissed Mariam as Jamie took her position on the line.

“Damn girl!” Jamie shot back. “Did you see what that fucker did to my foot?!”

“Excuses Jamie, excuses.”


“Shhh!” Tom said.

“What the hell, dude?!”

“Listen! What’s that whistling noise?” Jamie and Mariam turned up their audio pickups, and they too heard the whistling.

“Reminds me when I was on the archery team in high school.” Said Mariam.

“I don’t think-”

It was the point-defense laser lens that opened up first, tracking and taking out something from the skies. The cracking of the invisible beams striking their target rumbled down to Jamie’s hardsuit.

It wasn’t enough.

Four foot spikes rained down on the trenches at terrifying speed, the skies darkened with the biological hailstorm. Jamie was splashed with Mariam’s hot blood, throwing Jamie down into the trench wall. She hugged it for dear life, screaming in her helmet while pained cries bounced over her.

She could feel the thump of bodies next to her; she closed her eyes and waited for the bombardment to stop.

05 September 2010

INFO-BURST-01 09/05/2357

This is the first of a series of infor-bursts on my forthcoming military sci-fi book Endangered Species.
 I am hoping for the book to be out on Amazon.com by August of next year for e-book download. Or maybe a publishing company would like it?


"We didn't know, Colonel. We didn't know...even you didn't-"
"Stuff that shit, Captain, you knew...the vid stream is covered in it."
"No, they were there....waiting for us. The suits weren't enough."
"You're elite, Captain Leeds, the best the Union as got, you were enough."
"No, Colonel. It was never enough....never."
"Save the PTSD talk, Leeds!"
"Colonel, this war against them-"
"We're going to win...them or us. It's that fucking simple, Leeds."
"Yessir. Simple, sir."
"Fucking right."
"What next, Colonel Jefferies?"
"Intelligence branch got more psych Q&A for you."
"When can I see my troopers, sir?"
"In a couple of hours."
"Leeds, if I have anything to say about, you're going back in, to kill'em."
"I would like nothing better, sir."

04 September 2010

William's Top Ten Sci-Fi Weapons

These are my Top Ten Science-Fiction Weapons.

The Blade Runner Detective Special M2019 .44 PK-D. Love this gun, it haunts me at night...no...really...it does....

This the 10mm M-41A Pulse Rifle, one of the best, most realistic sci-fi guns ever. I think I would take this to Iraq or North Korea...watch out Kim Jong il!

The Terminator Westinghouse M25A1 5mm Phased Plasma Rifle. A realistic military view of a DEW rifle.

The M-590 USMC 7.62x51mm Rifle from Space:Above and Beyond. I firmly believe that this rifle gave birth to the HALO MA5B rifle.
Think about.

The WASP 9mm Revolver from Avatar. My father loves old-school wheelguns...and seeing this one one-screen made me smile.

The StA-52 LAR from the first KILLZONE game. This weapon uses a bullpup drum magazine, and a single-shotgun...used this over the ISA M82...partly to watch the loading animation

The HALO 3 ODST featured a rare concept, a caseless SMG that is suppressed. Love to fire this one, just to hear the sound effect.

For some reason, I love the Starship Troopers Morita rifle. It makes no sense, and the movie is...well....but damn! The Morita is a sweet gun!

The Seburo M5 5.45x18mm featured in the Ghost in the Shell Manga. I dare you to read the Manga, and not fall in love with it!

The REF Mars Gallant H-90 Particle Beam Gun system from Robotech: The New Generation. In 1985, when I was watching Scott Bernard hunt Invid on occupied Earth, I wanted to be right beside him with one of these! What was so groundbreaking about the H-90 was that it could go from pistol to rifle with a few attachments.