The Orbit Series
Book 1: Zero – OUT NOW
Kaleb Hugo is everything an officer of the Service should be: loyal, expertly trained, unquestioning. He has done everything ever ordered of him and has done so with a pride that comes from knowing you are fighting for the good of humankind… until the day that he made a decision to go against orders to obtain victory and save lives.
The battle was won, but Hugo was condemned and dishonourably discharged by Service commanders for defying regulations. There is no place in the Service for heroes. Their soldiers serve and obey.
Unofficially, Hugo is re-assigned to captain the crew of the Zero, an eight-man craft classified as, at best, a privateer ship and at worst a smuggling and criminal enterprise vessel. But what very few know is that the Zero, and her crew, are contracted by the Service. Their role is to investigate and infiltrate the less savoury levels of society. They sell on, buy in, bargain, threaten and report back on everything the political levels the Service don’t officially want to know about.
The Zero’s rag-tag crew look to their commander, Ezekiel Webb, as their leader and middleman between the regimented expectations of the Service and the harsh and unpredictable demands of the underworld of colonial space. He has lived in both worlds his whole life and has trouble adjusting to Hugo, as he has every captain before him.
Hugo has to find a way to manage this unruly ship and unruly crew as they are pulled deeper into an orbit-wide game of politics, deceit and corruption which will threaten to tear them apart as well as throw humanity back into a cycle of war and destruction. Hugo, Webb and the crew will have to overcome personal tragedy, insurmountable odds and every depraved twist of fate that the Orbit can throw at them in order to survive and prevent events that could threaten the lives of millions.
For Kaleb Hugo, nothing will ever be certain again.
Teaser Flash Fiction ‘Downtime’ available here.
Teaser Flash Fiction ‘Promise’ available here.
Book 2: Haven – OUT NOW
In this action-packed sequel we return to our heroes Hugo and Webb, now faced with a New Age in Service politics that doesn’t amount to much change for the good in the previously loyal service officer’s eyes. The former crewmates are faced with a new challenge, this time personal to them both, that takes them to Marilyn Harvey’s home colony: Haven, the only independent space station, free of Service or local control and, some would say, free of law and order in general.
They head to Haven in the hopes of tracking down a native of the colony who is wanted for many dangerous crimes. Hugo believes the information the mark has will help them shut down a dangerous Orbit-wide smuggling ring, though his true motives are not what he’d admit, even to himself.
Webb, now a drifter having been unable to find a direction with his new life, agrees to help his former captain as he is all too familiar with the lawless colony and hopes to find some answers to questions of his own. However, neither of them are as prepared as they thought to face the intense socialist atmosphere of the fractious colony, or the things they will discover about each other and themselves on the way.
More action, more danger, more intrigue.
Book 3: Silence – OUT NOW
Silence is the third and final instalment in J. S. Collyer’s Orbit Series and was released 30.7.16
Kaleb Hugo has been missing for a year. He disappeared without trace or explanation, but popular rumour is that he has abandoned his position and his family to join the revolutionist group Red Star, alleged to be gathering force in a new colony on Mars and set on a future ruled by a democratically-elected Orbit Alliance and not the militarised Service.
Ezekiel Webb, his former crewmate and best friend, has, on the face of it, taken little interest in Hugo’s fate, rumoured or otherwise. The two men have barely spoken in years and Webb has immersed himself in his new life in the Eclipse Division of the Service. He is captain of his own undercover unit and whilst the Service Commanders don’t always approve of his methods, his abilities cannot be questioned.
It is these abilities that the Special Commander of the Service, Hugo’s mother, now needs to retrieve her youngest son from wherever he has fled to…or wherever he is being held…whether Webb is agreeable or not.
Webb will come to discover far more than he ever wanted to know about the new forces moving against the Service, both from without and within, and, invariably ends up caught in the eye of the rising storm, not knowing who of those around him he can trust, if anyone.
Discovery, betrayal and revelation lie ahead for two men that have journeyed further together than they ever thought they would and will once again learn that survival is a relative term when you turn your back on who you are.
Published Short Fiction
‘No Way Home’ – Stories from which there is no return SciFi Anthology
“Stories From Which There is No Escape. Nothing terrifies us more than being stranded. Helpless, forsaken, cut-off. Locked in a place from which there is no escape, no way to get home. A soldier trapped in an endless war dies over and over, only to be awakened each time to fight again – one of the last remaining few seeking to save mankind from extinction. In rural 70s England, an RAF radio engineer returns to an abandoned military installation, but begins to suffer hallucinations, shifts in time and memories that are not his own. A widower, one of ten thousand civilian space explorers, is sent alone to determine his assigned planet’s suitability for human colonisation, but stumbles across a woman who is part of the same programme and shouldn’t be there at all. A suicidal woman in a poverty-stricken near-future America, where political apathy has allowed special interests to gain control of the country, takes part in a particularly unpleasant crowd-funding platform, established by the nation’s moneyed elite to engage the masses. An assassin from the future, sent back in time to murder an insurgent, is left stranded when he fails in his mission and knows he will soon cease to exist. These sometimes dark, sometimes heart-warming, but always insightful stories and more are to be found in No Way Home, where eight of the most exciting new voices in speculative fiction explore the mental, physical and even meta-physical boundaries that imprison us when we are lost.”
My short story Grist was selected for this anthology that topped the Scifi anthology charts on Amazon soon after its release.
‘Jessica’ – horror colaboration novella for Halloween 2014
Writer and blogger Helena Hann Basquait is the driving force behind Jessica – a collaborative horror novella for Halloween 2014. With contributions from yours truly and many other writers, it is not for the faint of heart but definitely for those with a thirst for the intriguing and unusual.
“There are rumours that I keep a writer trapped in my basement… but I assure you… Jessica is and always was here of her own free will. Until one day she disappeared, and I began to realize that everything I thought I knew about her was wrong. Everyone has a terrifying story about Jessica B. Bell. Some of them are even true.”
‘Old School Horror’ – Siren’s Call Publishing Ezine April 2014
My short story ‘Wasteland’ made it into this issue of Siren’s Call Publications horror Ezine. The issue is full of short stories and editorials.
‘All Hail the New Flesh’ – Sci Fi Short Fiction Collection 2014
“A scientist tries to cure all disease, unwittingly bringing about the end of Humanity; Sentient computers take revenge upon an internet troll; A computer genius builds a machine which can see into the dreams of others, with dark consequences; A girl wakes up in a hospital bed after an accident, but the kindness and concern of her parents and her doctor hide a terrifying truth; An android learns what it is to be Human.
“These are just a few of the unsettling situations from the minds of these new authors in this collection of short science-fiction stories, a selection of terrible prophecies of technology run amok, of terrifying, unsettling futures, and oddly familiar worlds. Delve inside the minds of these new authors, immerse yourself in their imaginations and ask yourself the question: “What if?”.”
My short story Isaac Heights made it into this collection of dystopian sci-fi: androids, or ‘Doubles’, have been given equal rights as humans, meaning they can’t be shut down if they go wrong but instead go into medical institutions to be treated or reset. One newly qualified doctor hopes to make a difference to one unfortunate soul doomed to judgement and institutionalisation. He has hope that Eden can be saved and if not by the system then he has to find his own way.
‘Tuned to a Dead Channel’ – Sci Fi Short Fiction Collection 2013
“A Collection of 14 short dystopian Science Fiction stories by 11 of the best new authors in the genre. Vast, terrible future societies where Humans have lost facets of their freedoms are the backdrop for these 14 tales of horror, redemption, and humanity in the face of insurmountable odds. An essential collection for any fan of the genre, and for anyone who has ever asked the question – “What if?””
My short story ‘Ash’, about two people that try to scratch a chance from the remains of humanity, made it into this thought-provoking and engaging collection.
Harvey Duckman Presents: Vol 2, SciFi/SpecFic Collection
This anthology features work by exciting new voices in speculative fiction, including both established authors and previously unpublished writers.
These short stories give a glimpse into some fantastic worlds that are already out there for you to enjoy, as well as a taste of more to come.
Volume 2 includes stories by: Phil Busby, A.L. Buxton, J.S. Collyer, R. Bruce Connelly, Phoebe Darqueling, Paul Goodchild, Lynne Lumsden Green, Craig Hallam, Jon Hartless, Mark Hayes, Andy Hill, Fred Johnson, Peter James Martin, Ben McQueeney and A.D. Watts.’
I’m lucky enough to have my short story ‘Ash’ featured in this wonderful collection.