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How to start Operation Breakout early.
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MOBILIZATION NEWS

Welcome to Legion Bulletin 15, which features news on how to get a sneaky discount on the next Sleeping Legion novel, competitions, exclusive fiction, and a whole lot more.

Let’s start with the big news this month. Operation Breakout, the plan to liberate the planet of Tranquility from the Hardit New Order, commences April 25th. Operation Breakout is the third novel in the Sleeping Legion series, the story of what happened to the millions of human (and not-so human) soldiers secretly cryo-frozen over centuries in readiness for a future war. If you haven’t tried out a Sleeping Legion book, there’s a link at the bottom of this Bulletin to download the prequel novella, The Demons of Kor-Lir.

As with any large operation, the success on launch day depends on quiet but vital preliminaries. And so it is with Operation Breakout. I’ll be doing a soft launch a few days earlier. This is partly so that I can be sure Amazon’s systems have fully accepted the new novel, partly to give a chance for early readers to register reviews before the formal launch day, but mostly I’m quietly releasing a few days early at the price of $0.99 (or local equivalent) as a reward for Bulletin readers. Keep your eyes peeled a few days before April 25th, because I’ll be alerting you to the soft launch via email.

Operation Breakout

At the end of Fortress Beta City, the second Sleeping Legion novel, the human forces are split between rival factions, and the Legion forces led by Lance Scipio and Tirunesh Nhlappo have just weathered a ferocious onslaught from the Hardit New Order.

Bloodied yet defiant, now it’s time for the fight back.

What should we expect in Operation Breakout? Who better to ask for clues than the author himself, JR Handley? So that's precisely what I did:

Kaden Roy. Who is he, and why did you add him to Operation Breakout?

He made his entrance into the Human Legion Expanded Universe in book two, Fortress Beta City. Kaden initially existed to show my readers that the world is vast, and that what we see isn’t all there is. The White Knights have all types of human units with various organizational styles and combat roles. Since you used the Legion style, I organized his home world on the phalanx. The Legion was historically very disciplined, but relied on sheer size and brute force to accomplish the goal. They were willing to soak up casualties, which was why they were such a large organization. Where the legions relied on discipline and unit cohesion, phalanxes, were smaller and relied on the ferocity of the individual warriors to accomplish the mission. This change in mentality allowed Kaden to offer a perspective of the Human Legion that an Arun McEwan, Springer or Lance Scipio could never have. Kaden was an outsider, peering into the window.

Once I started thinking about Kaden, he took on a life of his own and I fell in love with him. If this series sells gangbusters, I would love to go back into the universe to tell the story of his people. He’s a fiercely macho warrior, a soldier of the void, who chafes at becoming a “Marine.” He’ll play an even larger role in book four!
 
We glimpsed the alien Sangurians in Fortress Beta City, but we get them full blast in Operation Breakout. Can you give us a taste of what’s in store for us? What was the most fun and the most challenging aspect of writing this new race with the visual similarity to Earth rabbits?

First, let us acknowledge that they’re not the Easter Bunny. They’re not the playful kind you leave with your kids. These bunnies might look cute and cuddly, but they’ll rip your face off and skull frakk you just because it’d please their gods. They’re extremely tribal, love to fight and we find out that the rumors about them aren’t exactly true. In reality, the Sangurians are worse and even more ferocious. As for writing about these warriors, I guess the fun part was getting to go off the deep end regarding their martial prowess. I’d mentioned that they were the stuff of nightmares, and then I got to rewrite some of those nightmares!
 
So far in the Human Legion and Sleeping Legion novels, we’ve seen the region around the Marine bases at Detroit and Beta City. Do we get to explore more of Tranquility-4 in Operation Breakout?

In Operation Breakout, we see the conclusion of the quest to conquer the continent of Serendine. The Marines of the Human Legion get to explore life outside the cloisters that are the White Knight cities. Instead, we see the natural world of Tranquility-4 and what was left behind as humanity’s overlords shrunk back into themselves and withdrew some of the cool technology from the Human Marine Corps. For everyone who ever wanted to know what the planet looked like, this book will wet your whistle!
 
The human soldiers in the Sleeping Legion are a mixed bunch, some of them bio-engineered so much that they are probably no longer Homo sapiens. Nonetheless, do you think they share a similar outlook to soldiers in contemporary professional armies? Are there key differences? How about tactical doctrine: does a squad of Legion Marines in the 27th century fight differently from soldiers of today?

I believe that the humanity of our species is universal, even with the enhancements that the Legion Marines were given. I would think that they’re basically like modern soldiers, in that they fight for the warrior on their left and right of them. They would likely echo the sentiments of General Patton; the object of war isn’t to die for your country but to make the other son of a bitch die for his. I would imagine that one of the main differences would be the amount of bruises these enhanced Marines could take without falling. Further, they would be healthier overall and so would shoot better and run farther. That’s a great thing, because you want your warriors to be fit. This main difference transitions into the differences of tactical doctrine. Because they’re physically superior specimens, you could plan on covering more ground than with terrestrial combat.

They’d be better suited to life fighting in the void as well, since they were bred to be resistant to the ravages that zero-gravity has on the human body. Another tactical difference for 27th Century Marines would be the need to think spherically instead of two dimensional. Void combat doesn’t just exist on the plane like we think of modern combat. Instead, it exists in a sphere and you have complete situational awareness of what’s going on around that bubble if you want to live.
 
We’ve already cast the voice actor for the audio editions of the Sleeping Legion books, and we’re excited to have Jeffrey Kafer on board. I’m hoping for a movie franchise too. To help that sweet deal along, can you offer casting suggestions for Lance, Hayley, and Sashala?

Hmm, as I contemplated the answer for this I realized that I watch too many crime dramas! Most of my choices were in various cops and robbers shows. I promise, the only people I plan on killing are on the pages of my book! Anyway, the actor I would choose to play Lance would have to be a young Shemar Moore. He played one of the main investigators on the hit television crime drama “Criminal Minds,” and had just the right amount of swagger for how I envisioned Lance Scipio.

As for Hayley, well I in my head Cote de Pablo is the perfect choice. She played Ziva David on the television crime drama NCIS, and had the right look. Like many of the characters in Tim’s Human Legion world, they’d have to be younger but Cote has the right look. More than that, she pulled off the sassiness I always attributed to Hayley, despite her angst over her growing pains. Whomever we pick would have to be able to pull off looking like a teenager though, as Hayley starts Operation Breakout on her 16th birthday. Happy Birthday, don’t die today. Very appropriate for the Human Legion Universe, if I do say so myself!

Finally, the actress I envisioned playing Sashala Kraevoi would be a teenage Jana Kramer. She’s an American country music singer now but I remember when she was an actress on the televised “Friday Night Lights” which aired over a decade ago. She has the right build, and the right amount of depth to play a complicated character like Sashala. Plus, if you saw her when she was playing the ‘Nationwide’ girl you’d realize she could do her own stunts!
 
We begin Operation Breakout with Tranquility-4 ablaze with conflict. Actually, conflicts, and those armed struggles are accompanied by multiple tensions that could lead to war. The planet’s in a bad way and the situation is far messier than the easy storytelling route of having united humans versus united aliens. Some of those conflicts are resolved in Breakout and some not. Without spoilers, can you give us a sneak peak of what readers can look forward to in the book you’re working on at the moment: Maternal Vengeance?

Answering, without answering? You do realize that I’m not a lawyer or a politician don’t you, Tim? Okay, well at the end of Operation Breakout we see some people dead and some not dead. In Maternal Vengeance, the story continues with the final showdown between Nhlappo and Spartika. People will die, people will cry and Lance will get to play with his shiny sword. Oh, and Sashala gets to play with her knives! In a nutshell, this story decides which faction controls the Tranquility System: Nhlappo or Spartika. From there, who knows where the Legion will go?


There will be more (we haven’t finished doing the interview yet), which I’ll post on humanlegion.com later this month. 

Read more from the horse's mouth at JR Handley's blog.
 
 

Swag Competitions


Congratulations to James from New Windsor, NY, who won last month’s swag competition for a Sleeping Legion mug. I don’t know what his favorite beverage is, but I’m sure it looks super smart in that liquid refreshment dispenser. I’ll be doing ongoing monthly swag competitions, and for April I’ll be giving away a signed copy of a Human Legion audiobook on CD. All you have to do to enter is to be signed up when I picked a randomized name at around the end of the month.
 
[Ndeki's Notes is a series of Legionary-exclusive short fiction in which NJ McCall explains his view of the galaxy to an as-yet unidentified youngster. NJ is talking about the world of Klin-Tula, but much of what he says also illuminates the worlds of the Sleeping Legion and Human Legion books.]


Maite,

Littoranes.

They make up 28% of Port Zahir’s population, so I’ve no doubt you’ve seen plenty. They’re amphibians who look like overgrown newts, but with a pivoting joint partway along the torso that lets them raise themselves up like a rearing centaur.

You know the ones – always complaining that life is better underwater.

Let me tell what you might not know.

Littoranes are prone to be excitable for a cause. They aren’t fussy about which cause they follow, and if they don’t have one handy they will soon invent one. As I found out for myself one evening, some of them get roused about eradicating the humans from Port Zahir, and that’s a nasty business and no denying. Nonetheless, it’s just as well they’re so excitable, because the early days of the War of Liberation was to them a holy war against the White Knight blasphemers. And in the earliest days, when it first fought real battles, the Human Legion consisted of few dozen humans and a few billion Littoranes. Bet they don’t mention that in history classes at school.

The story goes that the Littorane Queen was impressed by General Arun McEwan’s earnestness and Admiral Indiya’s sexy hair. Queen,  general, and admiral – Littorane, Marine, and Spacer – the three of them were so energized by the thought of what they could accomplish together, that the first 72 hours after they met was filled to the brim with wild, uninhibited, multi-species… kissing and cuddling.

I guess you’re plenty old enough to know exactly what I mean, but you’re also young enough that I want to pretend you don’t.

Let’s just say that the kissing and cuddling was so intense, that McEwan and Indiya spent the following week recovering from the experience. When they were back to their normal selves, they found they had successfully secured an alliance with an entire race, and one both renowned for ship production and girded for holy war.

You might scoff, Maite. Probably laugh the old man’s story off as a pile of steaming drent, but I’ve heard that tale of three-way love spoken on a thousand Marine lips. And if it wasn’t true, how else do you explain the Human-Littorane alliance? There’s no denying the reality of Littorane battleships. They’re big bruisers, and I should know because to begin with, I fought against them on the other side.

Littorane individuals are hefty things too. They carry a lot of mass, and despite their claws, it’s their tail that’s their most dangerous hand-to-hand weapon. Watch out for Littoranes with cord tied to the tailtips. They can whip that out and slice through a human limb with ease. And guess which bit of their anatomy they wriggle and thrash about when they’re hot for love?

McEwan and Indiya certainly took one for the team that session, proving that sometimes there’s more to winning wars than firing bigger darts and bombs than the other side. Sometimes what you need for victory is an interspecies sex romp that tests the limits of human endurance.

I bet they don’t teach you that at school either.

The Queen was barely hatched when she met McEwan and Indiya, but she’s a wise old lady today, venerated by tens of billions of her people… and loathed by billions more.

The holy war unleashed passions suppressed for a hundred generations and beyond. And with the White Knights defeated, or at least biding their time, the passions that roused the Littoranes to war now fizz and crackle through their people, like a static buildup waiting for a chance to discharge.

Which is something you need to be wary of, because if you meet a Littorane individually, or in small groups sprinkled amongst other races, they are maddeningly meek. Best thing you can do is to ask politely – and without any sudden movements – whether they require assistance, because with singleton Littoranes there’s a good chance they’re in dire need of something, but are too timid to ask.

On the other hand, if you encounter a community of hundreds of Littoranes or more, check you brought some big friends to watch your flanks, and always go heavily armed.

And if a Littorane queen asks you whether you have plans for the weekend, make your excuses and get off planet fast.

That about wraps it for Littoranes. Got to go now. There are some people I need to visit. I don’t think they want to see me, but they did some very bad things, and no bad deed should go unpunished. In that, the Queen of the Littoranes and I are so tight, you’d have to prize us apart.

Until next time. There are plenty of aliens to go and I’m just getting started here.
 
Yours,
The Betrayer.
 
Past editions of Ndeki’s Notes can be found on Humanlegion.com at: https://humanlegion.com/books/revenge-squad/ndekis-notes/

Why give away Operation Breakout for 99c?

 
I wince at the hardback pricing policy of traditional publishers, because in charging a large premium for hardbacks, they are taking advantage of their most loyal readers by forcing them to pay a higher price for essentially the same product (There is only a small difference in production and distribution costs between hardbacks and paperbacks).

I prefer to do the opposite, and reward loyal readers by offering them a lower price. However, whether $0.99 or $3.99, the books are always good value and for some readers a couple of dollars makes little difference. So I regularly get told off for making my books too cheap from readers who want authors to get a fair reward for their labors. If you’re one of those people, then bless you, and I assure you that I will raise the price of Operation Breakout to $3.99 shortly after release. You can always wait for that :-)

People also ask me about Kindle Unlimited because we’ve all heard about how artists on Spotify need a gazillion streams of their song before they can afford a cup of coffee. Kindle Unlimited is much more generous. If you borrow Operation Breakout on Kindle Unlimited, and read all the pages, Amazon will pay us more money than if you bought the book at $2.99. At $3.99 is about evenly balanced. Thank you.

SF and Fantasy book promotion

One last and very exciting thing. There’s a science fiction and fantasy promotion running right now on Instafreebie. Some of you first became aware of Legion books through Instafreebie, but for those who don’t know, it’s a way of discovering new books and new authors for free. Hop on over to the promotion by clicking or tapping the image below to go hunting for new authors. You’ll find names you’ll probably recognize: C.C. Ekeke, Jay Allan, Michael G Thomas, but there are also many other great writers waiting for you.
 
That’s it. Beyond this point are just the links for the current Legion starter library downloads. Thank you for your support, good luck in the competition, and don’t forget to keep your eyes open for a message from me later in the month when I invite you to fill your boots at the soft launch of Operation Breakout.

Enjoy your reading,

Tim.

REVENGE SQUAD: HURT U BACK (ending soon)

2752AD. The first morning of NJ McCall’s posting to Port Zahir doesn’t start well. Revenge Squad Incorporated’s outpost is deserted, the police give him a serious shakedown, and a religious cult tries to recruit him. But Fate has decided to take things easy on NJ for his first day, because it’s not until the afternoon that people start trying to kill him.

REVENGE: it’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta deliver it!

‘The Dresden Files’ meets ‘Firefly’ in Revenge Squad, the new urban fantasy/ space opera crossover series by bestselling author, Tim C. Taylor. Set in the worlds of the Human Legion, ‘Hurt U Back’ makes a great entry point for new readers.

Download Hurt U Back now

THE SLEEPING LEGION: THE DEMONS OF KOR-LIR

A lethal orbital defense platform.
A squad of green Marines.
A silent alien killer.
WHO DIES NEXT?

2441AD. A quarantine platform in the Rakasa system goes quiet and a squad of freshly minted Marines are sent to investigate. The blood soon flows, but there is one Marine who has the bravery and cunning to take on even the most lethal hidden foe. Set 125 years before the events on Tranquility that sparked the creation of the Human Legion, 'The Demons of Kor-Lir' is a standalone novella that is also an introduction to the Sleeping Legion novels.

Download Demons of Kor-Lir now

TALES OF THE HUMAN LEGION: HILL 435

Hill 435 – the final objective in our liberation of the planet.
My final objective of the war.
If I survive, I can retire.
SO WHY DO I KEEP DYING?

2681AD. In the brutality of the Human Marine Corps, there had been no room for Marines who grew old; you served the alien masters until your usefulness ended, and then you were ended too.  But then Marines rebelled to form the Human Legion and fight the War of Liberation. What now for Marines at the end of their career?

Hill 435 is a 6,500-word short story set in the worlds of the Human Legion.

Download HILL 435 now
This is Legion Bulletin #15, available exclusively to enlisted Legionaries. 
LEGIONARIES CAN ACCESS PAST ISSUES OF THE LEGION BULLETIN BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: https://humanlegion.com/bulletin/
Copyright © 2017 Human Legion Publications, All rights reserved.


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