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About Stephanie Osborn
Few can claim the varied background of award-winning author Stephanie Osborn, the Interstellar Woman of Mystery.
Veteran of more than 20 years in the civilian space program, as well as various military space defense programs, she worked on numerous space shuttle flights and the International Space Station, and counts the training of astronauts on her resumé. Her space experience also includes Spacelab and ISS operations, variable star astrophysics, Martian aeolian geophysics, radiation physics, and nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons effects.
Stephanie holds graduate and undergraduate degrees in four sciences: astronomy, physics, chemistry and mathematics, and she is "fluent" in several more, including geology and anatomy.
In addition she possesses a license of ministry, has been a duly sworn, certified police officer, and is a National Weather Service certified storm spotter.
Her travels have taken her to the top of Pikes Peak, across the world’s highest suspension bridge, down gold mines, in the footsteps of dinosaurs, through groves of giant Sequoias, and even to the volcanoes of the Cascade Range in the Pacific Northwest, where she was present for several phreatic eruptions of Mount St. Helens.
Now retired from space work, Stephanie has trained her sights on writing. She has authored, co-authored, or contributed to some 50 books, including the celebrated science-fiction mystery, Burnout: The mystery of Space Shuttle STS-281. She is the co-author of the Cresperian Saga book series, and has written the critically acclaimed Displaced Detective Series, described as "Sherlock Holmes meets The X-Files," and its pulp-bestselling prequel series, Gentleman Aegis, the very first book of which won a Silver Falchion award. She has dabbled in paranormal/horror as well, releasing the ebook novella El Vengador, based on a true story. Her recent popular science book, Rock and Roll, a discussion of the New Madrid fault and its historic quakes, was a multiple-genre bestseller! Currently she's launching into the unknown with the Division One series, her take on the urban legend of the people who show up at UFO sightings, alien abductions, etc. to make things...disappear.
In addition to her writing work, the Interstellar Woman of Mystery now happily "pays it forward," teaching math and science through numerous media including radio, podcasting and public speaking, as well as working with SIGMA, the science-fiction think tank.
The Mystery continues.
To contact Stephanie, email her at email@example.com.
Join the "OfficialStephanieOsbornFanClub" on Facebook!
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All-new stories from New York Times best-selling author John Ringo’s “Black Tide Rising” series:
Kevin J. Anderson
Jody Lynn Nye
Michael Z. Williamson
Christoper L. Smith
At the publisher's request, this title is sold without DRM (Digital Rights Management).
About the Black Tide Rising Series:
“Not only has Ringo found a mostly unexplored corner of the zombie landscape, he's using the zombie frame to tackle a broader theme: the collapse and rebirth of civilization. The zombie scenes are exciting, sure, but its the human story that keeps us involved. A fine series.”—Booklist
John Ringo brings fighting to life. He is the creator of the Posleen Wars series, which has become a New York Times best-selling series with more than one million copies in print. The series contains A Hymn Before Battle, Gust Front, When the Devil Dances, Hell’s Faire, and Eye of the Storm. In addition, Ringo has penned the Council War series. Adding another dimension to his skills, Ringo created nationally best-selling techno-thriller novels about Mike Harmon (Ghost, Kildar, Choosers of the Slain, Unto the Breach, and A Deeper Blue). His techno-thriller The Last Centurion was also a national bestseller. A more playful twist on the future is found in novels of the Looking-Glass series: Into the Looking Glass, Vorpal Blade, Manxome Foe, and Claws That Catch, the last three in collaboration with Travis S. Taylor. His audience was further enhanced with four collaborations with fellow New York Times best-selling author David Weber: March Upcountry, March to the Sea, March to the Stars, and We Few. There are an additional seven collaborations from the Posleen series: The Hero, written with Michael Z. Williamson, Watch on the Rhine, Yellow Eyes, and The Tuloriad, all written with Tom Kratman, and the New York Times bestseller Cally’s War and its sequels Sister Time and Honor of the Clan, all with Julie Cochrane. His science-based zombie apocalypse Black Tide Rising series includes Under a Graveyard Sky, To Sail a Darkling Sea, Islands of Rage and Hope, and Strands of Sorrow. A veteran of the 82nd Airborne, Ringo brings firsthand knowledge of military operations to his fiction.
Gary Poole has worked in the entertainment and publishing industry for his entire adult life. He's worked directly with John Ringo on over a dozen novels, and has adapted several of them into screenplays (all of which remain in development). When not working with Ringo, he is the managing editor of a successful alternative newsweekly in Tennessee and spent years on the radio as a talk show host and award-winning broadcast journalist.
Dominick Ashton is a rookie cop in the headquarters of Her Majesty's Imperial Police. Unfortunately, in an Empire full of corruption, treason, and upheaval, that's one of the most corrupt organizations of them all. But Ashton is a straight shooter. Can he do the job he's trained to do without perverting his honor, or will crooked cops take him out instead?
And what will happen when he's called upon to solve a case for the Empress herself?
AN INTERVIEW WITH STEPHANIE OSBORN
EMPIRE: Imperial Police runs parallel to EMPIRE: Usurper and EMPIRE: Tyrant?
Yes. Dominick Ashton has always dreamed of being a detective. He graduates the Imperial Police Academy late in the reign of Ilithyia I, only to find that IPD Headquarters is corrupt. The Imperial Police Trilogy parallels the first six main-plot EMPIRE books, and the end of the trilogy will lead into the next main-plot EMPIRE book.
This is another trilogy?
Yes. The EMPIRE series is all trilogies. It allows for more story development and more epic story arcs. In this case, it follows Nick Ashton through his entire career in the Imperial Police, with the changes in the Empire as backdrop to the story.
This is your second outing in one of Rich Weyand's universes. You seem to enjoy working with him.
He and I get along great. He's easy to work with, a great writer, and comes up with some really cool universes and characters. I like his writing in general, and the stories get me caught up in them. It’s fun for me to write in them.
We both have science backgrounds, we're politically compatible, we both write fast, and we're both pantsers - we don't use outlines. So I don't have to give him an outline for approval. We plotstorm, where we come up with the basic plot concept for the story arc, then he turns me loose. I try to double-check with him before making any big decisions, though.
But the really cool thing is, HE LETS ME USE HIS MAIN CHARACTERS! A lot of authors don't let you do that if you're writing in their universe, but Rich does. That means these aren't just side stories, these are part of the big picture, just told from the parallel perspective of a different character. Nick Ashton is the protagonist of this trilogy, yes, but he does interact with the main characters of Rich's trilogies - Bobby, Dee, Amanda, and Saaret. That makes it even more special.
So Rich has a light editorial touch? He seems like the sort of person who might be more controlling.
Nah. He knows I recognize my responsibility in writing in his universe. I'm honored he trusts me with that responsibility. He doesn't interfere at all. Quite the opposite - every few days I'm bugging him about some idea that I've had, wanting to make sure I remember this or that correctly, or "where is X in the timeline/books?" I want to make sure I am as true to the universe and the characters and HIS vision as I can possibly be. He's drawn me maps from scratch based on what's in his head, hunted up photos to depict what something looks like, all kinds of stuff like that. And then he lets me write it as I see it happening.
How long did it take to write EMPIRE: Imperial Police?
This book is heavily intertwined with the previous books, particularly EMPIRE: Usurper & EMPIRE: Tyrant. I realized partway into it that I was thinking about the book wrong. It didn't have tension, didn't have drama, because I was thinking about what had come before -- so I had to go back and rethink it. I rewrote some stuff, and came at my plot concept from a different angle. And then it worked. So that added about a month extra, at least a week of which was just thinking. So all told, about three months.
And they have just the man to set it up.
Nick Ashton gets his most difficult assignment yet — Section Six!
Its first mission: Wingard Sector, where someone is interfering with the Emperor's plans. There's another word for that:
It’s the Twenty-Second Century. Humanity has taken its first steps into the galaxy, and we’ve found ourselves in a vast playground of alien races, environments, and cultures. As the newest players on the universal stage, though, our position is readily apparent—we’re at the bottom of the food chain.
Welcome back to the Four Horsemen universe, where only a willingness to fight and die for money separates Humans from the majority of the other races. While some of the stories inside deal with mercenaries, others introduce readers to the other guilds, organizations, and races that make up the landscape of the Four Horsemen universe, as well as providing additional insight into the characters of the mainline novels. What’s it like to be a medic on the beach or to learn how to kill from a mother not your own? Come find out!
Edited by bestselling authors and universe creators Mark Wandrey and Chris Kennedy, “The Good, the Bad, and the Merc” includes sixteen all-new stories in the Four Horsemen universe by a variety of bestselling authors—and some you may not have heard of…yet. In a galaxy this big, you’ll find that some of the races are good and others are bad, but only the best are mercs!
Inside you’ll find:
Foreword by David Drake
Argonaut by Kal Spriggs
Shell Game by Terry Mixon
The Last Dragon by Terry Maggert
Hero of Styx by T. Allen Diaz
The Beach by Philip Wohlrab
Velut Luna by Christopher L. Smith
Keep the Home Fires Burning by Jason Cordova
Vvremya by Mark Wandrey
The Last Guardsman by Stephanie Osborn
Unto the Last–Stand Fast by Robert E. Hampson
The Demon of Ki-A by Eric S. Brown
Under the Skin by Marisa Wolf
Inked by Mark Wandrey
Angels and Aliens by Jon R. Osborne
Life by Chris Kennedy
Lessons by Kacey Ezell
Want to keep up with the Four Horsemen universe? Visit Chris Kennedy Publishing and subscribe to the mailing list!
All hell is breaking loose between the Sintaran Empire and the other space nations. Which means Imperial City is a hotbed of the espionage, intrigue and machinations spanning most of human space.
Nick Ashton is the guy where the buck stops. But can he and his team prevent the other star nations from making off with state secrets?
And who's targeting the Throne?
Captain Mary Rao, Jablonka's planetary tactical officer, seems to be under the gun from all angles, but neither the Sigurdsen Base military police nor the counter-intelligence investigations personnel believes that it's anything more than a confluence of accidents.
Lieutenant William Campbell of the CSF Intelligence Division believes differently. What he doesn't know is who or why.
And if he can't figure it out soon, he could die with her.
Cleaning up the Imperial Police on Sintar turns out to be harder than Nick Ashton thought, when surviving members of the "old guard" infiltrate Headquarters and conspire to kill him and Director Carter in order to take over. But is one of their trusted number part of the conspiracy? Who can they trust?
Meanwhile, tensions are rising between other star nations and the Sintaran Empire, and the focal point is Imperial City.
Can Ashton and the others eliminate the conspirators before they're eliminated? And can they do it in time to aid the Emperor?
But he'd find out, soon enough.
The Division One series:
Alpha and Omega
A Small Medium At Large
A Very UnCONventional Christmas
Tour de Force
Definition and Alignment
Break, Break, Houston
with more on the way!
An Interview with Stephanie Osborn
How long did it take you to write this book?
I wrote some of the original stories a couple decades back, but didn't know what to do with them. When someone suggested I think about publishing ‘em, they weren't much more than short stories. First I had to transfer them off floppy disks, and edit them until I could stand to read ‘em without cringing. Then I had to make them coherent, novel-sized stories. I think this book has taken the longest, because I was trying to figure out where I wanted the overall series to go. Maybe 3 months, to take it from around 30,000 words up to about 125,000.
How much of the plot do you have in your head when you start?
I'm a pantser, but that doesn't mean I don't have a structure in my head. I have to have the major plot points, to include who are the protagonists, antagonists, and nature of the conflict, before I can write a word. I have to "see" the conflict & the scenes in my head before I can describe them. So I guess the answer is, it all has to be in my head before I can start.
You're a scientist, but you use warp drive, blasters, and artificial gravity.
I look at what would be a useful and logical development, then look at cutting edge research to devise a reasonable/rational extension of that research resulting in those items. “Alcubierre drive” is the technical term for "warp drive," the concept that the ship generates an enclosed wave function around itself. This is because there’s no limit on a wave function’s speed. "Blasters" are just a good shorthand; in the first book of the series, the full name is "Proto-cyclotron blaster." It's a particle beam weapon. I assume a powerful, efficient, and very compact power supply, but if you have an entire galactic civilization to work with, somebody would have figured that out. And I postulate that a manipulatable Higgs field can result in lots of nice gadgetry, like artificial gravity, tractor beams, shaped force fields, pressor beams, and more. So just because it's a science fiction buzzword doesn't mean I haven't applied my scientific knowledge and background to make it something more than that.
Where does your writing fit into science fiction writ large?
My overall style and subject matter is favorably compared to Robert A. Heinlein, E. E. "Doc" Smith, & Arthur Conan Doyle, all of whom were definite influences when I was growing up. Other influences that sometimes come out are people like Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, & H. G. Wells, and even William Shakespeare, Mark Twain, & Charles Dickens. More recent influences include Lois McMaster Bujold and Travis S. Taylor.
How much of your inspiration comes from your background at NASA?
I've read and watched SF since I was a kid. I went into the space program because of two things: Star Trek, and the Apollo One fire. I looked at the former, and thought, 'That's where we could end up.
And the claim of this tall, imposing alien woman calling herself Myclestra, that she came from another universe, was impossible. Worse yet, Myclestra claimed to be a bounty hunter tracking an evil shape-shifting perpetrator who wielded real, powerful, world-shattering…magic. Not simple cantrips, but wizardry that could destroy a world…or a galaxy.
But as terrible as her perp was, it was the gigantic sword slung over Myclestra's back that was the true threat to everything Echo and Omega strove to protect. A five-foot-long blade, forged from the heart of a neutron star, crowned with a hilt of fabulous gems and precious metals. A sword literally haunted by a spirit that could be the end of Galactic civilization in the entire Milky Way…and more.
Echo finally takes Omega on a training run to make her a certified starship pilot. And he secretly delights in seeing Omega’s joy at fulfilling a childhood dream. Everything is going great.
But when the Cortians arrive to arrest Alpha One for crimes against the Cortian Amalgam, the resulting dogfight severely damages their spacecraft, and Alpha One crashes on a primitive protoplanet. Echo and Omega are badly injured, and they must work together to survive in the wreckage, while the Cortian fleet searches for them, and Alpha Line tries to fight through to rescue them.
Fifth book of the Division One series.
Books in the Division One series, to date:
1) Alpha and Omega
2) A Small Medium At Large
3) A Very UnCONventional Christmas
4) Tour de Force
5) Trojan Horse
6) Texas Rangers
It’s Christmas in NYC, but it’s anything but a Silent Night—the mole is leaking classified information, and the agents are in danger of losing their anonymity. Worse, the more paranoid agents suspect they have identified the mole—Omega!
Complicating matters, the Prime Minister of Lambda Andromedae III has arrived to negotiate a new trade agreement with Earth.
Will Omega be able to refute the accusations? Will the internal conspiracy expose the Agency? Who is responsible, and will the Agency survive?
Third book of the Division One series.
Books in the Division One series, to date:
1) Alpha and Omega
2) A Small Medium At Large
3) A Very UnCONventional Christmas
4) Tour de Force