The Orbit Series is J. S. Collyer’s first Science Fiction series. It has been described as ‘James Bond meets Firefly’ with ‘Adrenaline-pumping action’ and ‘depth of character’. The first instalment, Zero, was listed in Northern Soul Magazine’s ‘Best Reads of 2014’.
It follows the story of Kaleb Hugo, a high-ranking military officer from a prestigious family who is thrust into a pivotal double-agent role against his will. Existing amongst criminals, misfits and malcontents in a place where survival is scraped from space station colonies orbiting an Earth constantly recovering from war, Hugo’s eyes are opened to more than just life on the other side of the tracks.
One man in particular, Ezekiel Webb, born into the underworld but hopelessly entangled in the machinations of the higher powers in Hugo’s life, will lead him on a journey through levels of the universe and himself that he never previously dreamt existed.
Neither will emerge the same.
Book 1: Zero
Released Aug 2014 – 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
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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.