Here’s a quick preamble of all the stories that are set in the Legacies universe. Initially, I was going to include this with the description of that universe, but that page is long enough as it is! So here they are in chronological order, with only the briefest of descriptions
Flight of the Icarus: This story takes place in 2135, on and around the time that scientists working for a major aerospace corporation develop the first ever FTL engine. Naturally, this invention attracts its share of resistance, from religious groups who fear humanity is going too far, too fast, corporate rivals who want the technology for themselves, and bureaucrats who want to exploit the situation to their advantage. However, everything ends on a relatively happy note when the test flight (the Icarus) successfully makes the jump from the edge of the Solar System to Proxima Centauri.
Where to buy: Amazon.com/Flight-of-the-Icarus-Matthew-S-Williams/
Eyes in the Dark: This is a short story I wrote for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in 2010. It opens in 2182 and takes place aboard a deep-space liner known as the Argentine, which is part of a flotilla of ships destined for 36 Ophiuchi, a distant star system where they hope to be able to settle and ensure the survival of their respective nations. Since the flotilla left Earth before the development of FTL, they are forced to travel at sub-light speed, placing their crew in cryosleep and waiting a full eighty years to arrive at their destination. Unfortunately, one of the Argentine’s crew wakes up ahead of schedule and after a series of incidents, the Captain and crew quickly realize what she is. Seems the woman is a latent telepath and telekinetic who is unstable, lethal when confronted, and plagued by terrible visions – most of which involve their ship being destroyed! As they near their destination, the Captain and her crew struggle to find out all they can. One the one hand, they need to control her. On the other, they need to find out if she represents their doom, or their possible salvation.
Where to buy: Amazon.com/Eyes-in-the-Dark-Matthew-S-Williams/
Purity: This one takes place during the Sectarian Wars, circa 2202. It begins on the planet of Attica, a settled world orbiting Alpha Centauri, which has descended into armed conflict between government forces and a militia of religious zealots. Things then move to the Janus, one of the first TDF Destroyers ever commissioned, and its compliment of Marines as they are dispatched to the planet to take things in hand. In the course of battling against the local zealots and dealing with the population, they begin to understand just how complicated things are in the colonies. In the end, they come to the conclusion that if peace is to be had, it has to be forced, a decision which has a lasting impact on the colonies and the TDF.
Ultra-Lights: It is 2235 by this point, and the known universe has been largely settled. In the Core colonies, business is good and things are relatively secure. But in the Outer worlds, there’s a lot of tension between labor and management on the one hand, and Earth and colonial administrations on the other. Here, the story is told from the point of view of a group of private merchants who run a class four transport (ultra-light) and do commercial work for whoever will pay them. What begins as a simple, albeit unusual job, quick turns into a huge mess involving murder, intrigue and a huge frame up. For these private runners and the colonies at large, the line between business and politics has disappeared and become a zero sum game!
Akuma: A crime, cyber-thriller set in 2260 in the city of New Detroit, a world run by interstellar corporations, hustlers, and crime syndicates (the most notorious and powerful of which is the Akuma). This story takes place from the point of view of a small-time gangster named Sean “Shakes” Jacobs, an augmented human (homo novus) who crosses the wrong people and is living (for the moment) to regret it. As he travels from place to place, seeking answers and finding that his friends have either died or flipped, he begins to suspect that he’s part of a conspiracy that runs far deeper than a stolen shipment and a simple double-cross.
Turncoats: A story of espionage and counter-terrorism, set in 2288 during the height of the Civil War. At this point in the story, the Earth government and the TDF recognize that the interstellar network of resistance fighters, insurgents and terrorist cells is growing beyond their ability to control it. In addition, they find themselves unable to stop the flow of defectors to the other side. As a result, spies and assassins are being dispatched to infiltrate these organizations, locate the defectors and the recruiters, and eliminate them. The main character, an assassin named Mike Capra, is one such man who is given the job of locating four suspected traitors, high-ranking officers who are apparently thinking of switching sides, and eliminating them. The mission itself is hard enough since these people are not the easiest in the universe to get to. But as he gets closer to realizing his objective, he begins to notice some things that aren’t adding up, and even begins to wonder whose side he’s really working for.
Where to buy: Amazon.com/Turncoats-Matthew-S-Willliams/
Vega Rising: The last in the series, set in 2290 on the planet of Pasargad, star system Vega. It is a low point in the Civil War, the TDF has resorted to some rather brutal measures to restore order, and the resistance is looking for a way to turn the tide. As a result, all eyes focus on the most unstable theater in the war – Pasargad. Here, civil strife and violence have resulted in widespread repression, but the population remains committed to removing the occupying forces, its leaders even going so far as to consider escalation. Naturally, the TDF cannot abide escalation, and is forced to take even harder measures in order to deal with the resistance. In the end, things only get worse and a lot of people die (a LOT of people!), leaving just about everybody to wonder if violence is ever worth the cost.
Where to buy: Amazon.com/Vega-Rising-Matthew-S-Williams/
And that’s the last of them… for now, at any rate. When it comes to authors and ideas, there’s never a shortage, just a question of which ones to develop and which ones let slide.