John M. Olsen
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About John M. Olsen
John M. Olsen edits and writes speculative fiction across multiple genres and he loves stories about ordinary people stepping up to do extraordinary things. He hopes to entertain and inspire others with his award-winning stories as he passes his passion on to the next generation of avid readers.
As a past President of the League of Utah Writers, he encourages others at every opportunity and hopes to see the local community produce many more great authors.
He loves to create and fix things, whether editing or writing novels or short stories or working in his secret lair equipped with dangerous power tools. In all cases, he applies engineering principles and processes to the task at hand, often in unpredictable ways.
He lives in Utah with his lovely wife and a variable number of mostly grown children and a constantly changing subset of extended family.
Check out his ramblings on his blog. Safety goggles are optional but recommended.
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Titles By John M. Olsen
- Unacceptable Losses - (Mech short 1) The first of four unrelated adventure stories using the same suit of mechanized armor. Sergeant Carolyn Storm tries to get home alone through enemy territory.
- Mechanized Militia - (Mech short 2) Commander Jared Tucker must discover who is pitting two armies against each other.
- Maintenance Mode - (Mech short 3) The life of a mech maintenance tech gets interesting when the space station is invaded.
- The Order of Things - (Mech short 4) What do you do when Company 1337's food shipment turns out to be a mech, and you're the cook?
- Consolation Prize - Two teens get cut off from their settlement in the ever-present fog of Consolation, unable to call home.
- Three Strikes - How far would you go to defend your family? An orbital cargo inspector has her limits tested.
- Last Chance - A starship captain must chase down and eliminate rebels who escaped on a generation ship before he was born.
- Retirement Plan - All he wanted was to retire in peace on a backwater world, but no plan survives contact with the enemy.
- Adaptive Reasoning - Amidst an alien plot to conquer Earth, an android discovers what it means to be human.
- Sneak preview of Discovery: Polecat Protocol Book 1, an introduction to John M. Olsen's new Polecat Protocol science fiction series. Space miners must save themselves after disaster cuts them off from all outside contact. Then they discover it's much worse than they could have imagined.
You're a Mecha, a mechanical fighting machine with a human pilot. The guy that the infantry curse at in training and pray for in combat. The machine that the last hopes of your people ride on. The construct that strikes fear deep into alien hearts as they hear your turbines power up. The one able to pass through hell and come out the other side victorious, or die trying.
Cannon Publishing brings you ten stories from current masters of military science fiction that will take you from the magic of a Medieval village to the edges of the galaxy to fight inhuman foes.
Then came that day in July of 2015. Like the Romans when they found themselves within Pluto’s realm and discovered it was nothing like the desolate fires of damnation assigned to his Greek counterpart, Hades, those of us in modern time discovered that Pluto was nothing like we had imagined since 1930.
That iconic photo of Pluto, with the heart-shaped plain later named Tombaugh Regio, told us that there was so much more to the planet. First, it was not blue and not just solid ice as so many had expected it to be. Just like Pluto’s mythological domain, the planet displayed a variety of features and composition.
In this volume, what you will find in the pages that follow are twenty-one amazing stories of death and wealth set around a wandering cousin far out in the cold edges of our solar system. You will find Vikings, knights, warriors defending home and hearth, of triumph and tragedy, and, yes, even the god himself. You will read tales of great courage and great loss. Of sacrifice for a greater good and of justice delivered to the overly greedy. You will even find the aforementioned Walt Disney himself.
These are only a few of the amazing stories waiting within these pages! Journey into the last frontier with these seventeen tales of wonder and science, including award-winning stories by some of the top writers in science fiction and brand new tales by promising up-and-comers. Hemelein Publications, in cooperation with LTUE Press, is proud to present this exciting collection of space opera and hard science fiction tales. We created this anthology to honor Marion K. “Doc” Smith, the original faculty mentor behind the creation of Life, the Universe, & Everything, the annual science fiction and fantasy academic symposium held in Provo, Utah. Proceeds from this volume, and those that follow in the coming years, go to support LTUE’s mission of educating and helping new writers, artists, editors, and other creatives in learning the skills they need to become successful in the speculative fiction field.
Trace the Stars collects stories from Nancy Fulda, Sandra Tayler, Kevin J. Anderson, Brad R. Torgersen, M. K. Hutchins, Eric James Stone, Daniel Friend, Emily Martha Sorensen, David Farland, John M. Olsen, James Wymore, Eric G. Swedin, Jaleta Clegg, Paul Genesse, Wulf Moon, Beth Buck, and Julia H. West. Start your journey today!
A tyrannical United Nations pulls the strings of its colony worlds, ruling with an iron fist. Corporate interests take precedence, and brushfire rebellions smolder on the edges. One system, home to the only alien species yet discovered, with human allies throws off the yoke and calls itself Independence.
Jon Del Arroz - Gate Keeper: A UN operative works to stop the destruction of the Gate that allows star travel to systems.
Doug Dandridge – Leverage: A former UN Marine living on Mars rebels and strikes back at the Special Forces unit sent to kill him.
James Schardt - The Only Planet We Have: First contact with the alien Karan sets the stage for a revolution in their society.
Lucas Marcum – Unrest: Decades after first contact, UN oppression of the Karan leads to strange alliances.
James Peters - Sailing to Independence: A chance encounter with a dying man puts a spacer on the trail of a thousand year old treasure.
Jamie Ibson - Above My Paygrade: A new, unknown alien threat is kept under wraps by police brutality and betrayals.
Sean McCune - Debt Repaid: A retired Marine joins with a motley crew to uncover layers of conspiracies and potential death when they run afoul of the UN.
Daniel Humphreys - Finding Sara: A private detective is hired to find a runaway woman and encounters far more than he bargained for following her from system to system.
Bart Kemper - Miracle Machine: UN operatives on Earth conduct an operation to catch a rebel courier, with unintended consequences.
J.K. Robinson - The Jump: The crew of a smuggling ship carrying a forbidden cargo must outwit a UN patrol craft or die trying.
J.F. Holmes - The Big Picture: Mercenaries contract to carry out some dirty work, but there’s a hidden agenda running through all the players.
Scott Bascom - One Fish, Two Fish: Genetic engineers under contract to the mob work to perfect their product while keeping their own heads on their shoulders.
T. Allen Diaz - The Witch’s Spell: Corporate interests drive a deadly form of warfare and the order of the day is betrayal.
John M. Olsen - Three Strikes: A woman with a murdered family works to deliver her revenge against the government that killed them.
Sean McCune - After Party: The crew of a starship comes face to face with an alien terror aboard an abandoned space station.
But what happens when authors have too much free time on their hands?
Craft a story featuring our favorite feathered raptors: the CHICKEN.
Twenty authors deliver in some unexpected ways and live to crow about it.
From chickens in space to cozy murder mystery farm yards to schools of magickal thought...
Includes guardian angels, chicken shifters, aliens, and feathered matchmakers,
Maybe even a non-fiction adventure or two... and more!
These amazing chickens come from the minds of twenty cooped-up authors on the edge of cracking...
Read CRACKED: An Anthology of Eggsellent Chicken Stories.
In this anthology resides 18 stories of discovery and daring that exhibit the spirit of adventure that has led explorers to risk their lives trying to discover the mysteries and secrets of Earth.
Silesian Treasure by WJ Hayes - RAF Group Captain Enoch P. Simmons is tasked as liaison to a business convention. He meets Buchanan Polk and the pair suddenly find themselves in the midst of a robbery.
This Planet is a Hole by Lou Antonelli - An alien teen is forced to move with her family to the worst planet in all of space and she’s not happy about it.
Extinction Point by Richard Paolinelli - Every civilized planet reaches a point when its technological advances lead to its ultimate demise. Major Adam Armstrong has just discovered that Earth has reached its extinction point and he is racing back to warn his homeworld before it is too late.
I Hate Mars! By Arlan Andrews - An exile from Earth is sent to Mars in a robotic body. He hates the Red Planet, but makes an unexpected life for himself there.
The Mantle of Gaia by Jody Lynn Nye - When Earth is under attack from an enemy force, her defender might be the one with the most unlikely of talents. College student Winston Chun is the last survivor of the programmers who can operate the planetary repulsor web against the incursion of bloodthirsty aliens, but can he reach the control center in time?
Reality Run by Alfred Genneson - A post-human discovers the world outside of the computer.
The Lamp By Which My Feet Are Guided by R. W. Ware - What’s left after a religious apocalypse? The brave men and women of the Mavericks.
Escape From The Lost Land by Nathan Dabney - Explorers Virgil Shephard and Ross Kent have discovered a tropical paradise deep in the snows of Antarctica, but there lurks a mysterious evil from which they must escape.
Unacceptable Losses by John M. Olson - Caroline Storm is stranded in a combat zone, her team missing or dead, communications on blackout. Can she complete her mission and survive?
Climate of Change by Marie Genneson - A marital spat between Pluto and Persephone sends the world into chaos. Can Athena mend the split before the drastic temperature changes destroy the humans and kill them all?
Welcome to Mars! by A. M. Freeman - Some rivalries span decades, but how far is too far when doing what it takes to win?
The Dawn of Reason by Dan Gallagher - At the dawn of humanity there was a choice to walk in trusting humility, or else covet equality with God as a thing to be grasped. How’d that work out?
Under A Wayward Sun by Josh Griffing - Terran Fleet Ensign Jack Williams is about to make history on Topeka-2 as the youngest officer ever to lead a survey team to a planet’s surface.
The Hidden Conquest by Hans Schantz - Faster-than-light travel is a myth, yet an invasion crosses light years of space and eons of time, employing a small but devastating secret weapon to conquer another world. Can he can stop the Civic Circle’s “Hidden Conquest,” before it’s too late?
Complicit in Their Bondage by J. Manfred Weichsel - A US Soldier discovers an ancient secret in the mountains of Afghanistan.
Ringrun by Ben Wheeler - A robotic scientist is on the run from a nanotech swarm desperate to rip out the information he holds in his mind.
In this issue, you'll find:
New Rules for Rocket Nauts by Michael DeCarolis. A recently dismissed recruit watches in horror as an alien race betrays and massacres his former classmates. Now he may be the only person capable of stopping the first wave of an interstellar war.
The Price of Hunger by Kevyn Winkless. A desperate chase through the woods leads to an occupied cabin. Has Fred Moose doomed everyone to be slaughtered by the wending outside?
Retrieving Abe by Jay Barnson. Lydia Madison is the daughter of a dragon hunter, and the second of three wives in a plural marriage in a tiny village in the Utah Territory. When her husband is abducted by a dragon, only Lydia can rescue him... even if it means trading her own life for his.
Protector of Newington by John M Olsen. A wealthy inventor has been secretly sponsoring do-gooders in steam-powered suits for years. When another of his heroes faces death, can he just stand by and watch a good man die?
Brave Day Sunk in Hideous Night by Julie Frost. Ben is a PI with PTSD who also just happens to be a werewolf. He is handed a repo job that seems too easy to be true. Of course things go awry and an accident flings him into a grim future. Will he be able to make it back to his wife and friends, or will he be doomed to die amongst total strangers?
Taking Control by Jon Del Arroz. What is a seasoned outlaw to do when she's too worn out to heist?
Some things Missing from Her Profile by David Skinner. His blind date was kidnapped by Martians. He had no idea why. But he wasn't about to let them keep her.
Dream Master by Gene Moyers. What strange power could cause wealthy men to suddenly give away their fortunes and commit suicide?
Under the Gun by David J. West. A young man with a possessed gun that can't miss collides with an aging gunslinger that can't be hit. Trouble and death can't be far behind.
Circus to Boulogne by Mike Adamson. A WWII pilot is shot down over enemy-held territory. Will he make it to safety, or will he spend the rest of the war in a POW camp?
Brace yourself for the next exciting issue of StoryHack Action & Adventure. Taking cues from the greatest pulp magazines of a bygone era, StoryHack publishes all-new stories of bravery and derring-do in a wide variety of genres. There is something in here for everyone, and each story includes art.
Here's what you will find in this issue:
- Predator/Prey Relationships by Julie Frost. When Ben’s ability to shift into a werewolf is stolen, he must play a most dangerous game to get it back.
- The Temple of Baktaar by Jason Restrick. What deadly curses await when a pair of adventurers delve too deeply into an ancient, supposedly-abandoned temple?
- The Gambler's Tale by Jon Mollison. Mike has a plan to not just beat the house, but bring it crashing down entirely. The mob has other ideas.
- Crystal, Brass, and Copper by Matthew X. Gomez. When a robbery goes horribly wrong, can Bahar get any part of her old life back?
- Junior Partner by Brian K. Lowe. With his superhero captured by dangerous foes, a sidekick must decide what he is made of.
- The Crawlers beneath Avaris by David J. West. With city guards and assassins hot on his tail, Brutanis is forced into an underground maze. What he finds there may be worse than the trouble he’s fleeing.
- High Ground by John M. Olsen. Captain Alexander Kemp’s space station Icarus suffers an attack in orbit as the government on Earth below collapses. Can their advanced tools and mental grit keep them alive as they respond to a series of escalating attacks?
- The Chronicle of the Gorgon's Island by Keith West. A cursed prince and his right hand man are shipwrecked on an uncharted island with an unruly crew. Will the monster they find there kill them before they kill each other?
- Kakerlacs by Alexandru Constantin. After a long stint with the Corps, Mike returns to his hometown in the California desert, only to get tangled up in a sinister plot involving cops and tweakers who are more than they seem.
StoryHack is a triumphant return to fast-paced storytelling in short form. Give it a try, you'll be glad you did.
Twelve authors spin tales of true believers facing impossible odds, risking this life in the hope of gaining something better after. Mormon Battalion soldiers fight an airship, a bounty hunter crosses Porter Rockwell, cultists attempt to reanimate Brigham Young, and missionaries run into Cthulhu. These are just a few of the amazing tales by award winning, bestselling, and premier authors--
D. J. Butler, John M. Olsen, Steven L. Peck, Elizabeth Mueller, Scott E. Tarbet, Jay Barnson, Joe Monson, Amanda Hamblin, Christopher McAfee, Jace Killan, John D. Payne, and Lee Allred.
All Made of Hinges is the first installment in the incredible four-part Mormon Steampunk series by Immortal Works Press. If you love these stories, look for more in Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel, Press Forward, Saints, and A Mighty Fortress.
The League of Utah Writers, in cooperation with Thrive125 and Utah Humanities, presents a look back at the first 125 years of Utah’s statehood. This collection of poetry, prose, and essays paint a picture of Utah as a place through its history and its future. Journey with us through hidden stories of unknown lore, forgotten by folks and history books—sometimes even on purpose. These unique works come from a fascinating and diverse array of authors, each exploring what Utah means.
Featuring fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction by Denis Feehan, Amanda Freshman, Alexis Hansen, Aren K. Hatch, Jaron Hatch, RG Hughes, Jef Huntsman, Susan Izatt-Foster, Grace Diane Jessen, Letitia Archuleta Lester, Alex Jay Lore, Margot Monroe, J. T. Moore, Whitney Oliver, John M. Olsen, Jonathan Reddoch, Rebecca Marie Robertson, Natasha Rogers, Talysa Sainz, Mark Mason Taylor, D. Pat Thomas, Heidi Voss, Cassidy Ward, Rosemary L. Wise, Johnny Worthen, and Bryan Young
This anthology was made possible through a generous grant from the Utah Department of Cultural & Community Engagement and Thrive125.
StoryHack, Issue Four is finally here! Featuring past favorite and new authors, all penning works of furious adventure. Here's the lineup:
by Sidney Blaylock, Jr.
The captain of the King's Guard vows to kill the assassin after the death of the King. There's only one problem: it turns out she may not have been the killer.
by Spencer E. Hart
College-age Frank Mason accompanies his father to the private island of a reclusive billionaire and his lovely, yet lonely daughter. When armed men storm the house, what can they do to rescue their fathers?
Beyond the Temple of Baktaar
by Jason Restrick
Three years ago, Sam Walters emerged from those ruins, alone, unable to discover what had happened to his friend. Now, as he fights in the trenches of France during World War 1, a mysterious apparition in the night hands him his friend's journal.
by Brandon Barrows
Clint Hagar never encountered a foe he couldn't beat with bullets or fists - until he met the desert, alone and afoot. And though he survived, something inside of him has broken and he must now battle both his own fear and self-doubt while trying to protect a small, isolated town from the outlaws who terrorize it.
My Foe Outstretched
by Misha Burnett
In a future world two men fight a duel in the ruins under the city. The rules are simple--two men enter the tunnel, one man leaves.
by Julie Frost
A young werewolf, an abusive alpha, and a new pack--in space.
The Bouncer's Tale
by Jon Mollison
Trapped in a life as muscle for a crime syndicate, Robert "Bomber" Robinson struggles to maintain his humanity during the second worst night of his life.
by John M. Olsen
A retired military veteran settles down on a distant planet away from his old life only to find that violence is a universal trait. Old habits resurface as he is forced to step up and defend his neighbors.
The Spirit of St. George
by Damascus Mincemeyer
In an alternate 1922, a biplane squadron must engage in aerial combat with dragons that are ravaging the American Rockies.