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About T. Allen Diaz
T. Allen Diaz is a self-professed nerd and author of speculative fiction. He is best known for his gritty storytelling and edgy work. The moon-based, cyberpunk noir, LUNATIC CITY series typifies his dark, fast-paced writing style and flawed, relatable characters, while the WAR OF THE GODS SAGA delves into the deep lore of a fantastic, post-industrial civilization wrestling with the rise of an ancient evil and the moral pitfalls faced when combating it. His first series, THE PROCEENA TRILOGY, is a space opera with the grit and sci-fi military action of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA and the tumultuous, revolutionary setting of LES MISERABLES.
In addition to his solo works, you can find his stories in Chris Kennedy’s and Mark Wandrey’s FOUR HORSEMEN UNIVERSE where his tales HERO OF STYX and THREE GLADIATORS appear in THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE MERC, and LUCK IS NOT A FACTOR: MORE TALES FROM THE LYON’S DEN respectively. His story THE WITCH is featured in THE HUNDRED WORLDS ANTHOLOGY, and DEBT OF HONOR can be found the CANNON PUBLISHING MILITARY SCI-FI/FANTASY ANTHOLOGY by John Holmes.
T. Allen lives in the Tampa Bay area with his wife and two of his three kids (one has flown the coop.) He has served as a firefighter in the region for more than twenty-four years and intends to retire as a fire company captain in the coming months. He is diligently working on new material and looks forward to dedicating his full energy to his writing.
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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!
It’s the Twenty-Second Century. The galaxy has opened up to humanity as a hyperactive beehive of stargates and new technologies, and we suddenly find ourselves in a vast playground of different races, environments, and cultures. There’s just one catch: we are pretty much at the bottom of the food chain.
What do you do when the odds are stacked against you? Mercs plan, strategize, and sometimes even scheme, but there is one thing they all believe—luck is never a factor.
Unless it is.
Enter the Four Horsemen universe, where only a willingness to fight and die for money separates Humans from the majority of the other races. Edited by bestselling authors and universe creators Chris Kennedy and Mark Wandrey, “Luck is Not a Factor” includes all-new stories in the Four Horsemen universe by a variety of bestselling authors—and some you may not have heard of…yet. The nineteen authors take on various aspects of the universe, giving you additional insight into a galaxy that isn’t at war…but definitely isn’t at peace. There’s only one thing for sure—anything’s possible for a fistful of credits!
Inside, you’ll find:
Preface by Chris Kennedy
“Luck is Not a Factor” by Mark Wandrey
“Jury-Rigged” by Paul E. Cooley
“Hunting Trip” by Jon R. Osborne
“To Sell Your Cloak” by Joseph Capdepon, II
“Sattara” by Christopher Woods
“Test and Devaluation” by Thomas A. Mays
“The Humans Inside” by Jamie Ibson
“A Sword for Striking” by Rob Howell
“Confluence” by Lee Dunning
“Hell Hath No Fury” by Brad R. Torgersen
“All’s Fair in Love and Mercs” by Jon Del Arroz
“The Price of Devotion” by Michael Ciaravella
“A Simple Recon Mission” by Philip Wohlrab
“Three Gladiators” by T. Allen Diaz
“Target of Opportunity” by Terry Maggert
“Scooping the Competition” by Terry Mixon
“A Token of Affection” by Kacey Ezell
“To Save the Earth” by Chris Kennedy
“CASPer’s Widow: The Last Goodbye” by JR Handley
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.
Alex Piasecki ~ During the Iraq War, a United States Marine Corps fire team goes to the rescue of a young boy and encounters an ancient evil. It will take massive firepower and violent action to get out alive, if they can. A Joint Task Force 13 story.
Lucas Marcum ~ Trapped in the hull of a badly damaged starship, a young sailor must make difficult decisions to save her ship and her crewmates. A story set in the best selling Valkyrie universe.
David Castlewitz ~ Set in an alternate universe where World War One is fought in the southwest U.S., “Saving the Monica Korn” tells the story of a lone German battlewagon and its battered crew. Although desperate to get back to his own lines, the commander must first rescue a German agent with information that is vital to the war effort.
Jason Weiser ~ A French Foreign Legion officer feels the weight of tradition weighing on him on a far distant planet. As his platoon battles a merciless enemy, he comes to understand what the price of a last stand can be.
T. Allen Diaz ~ Sergeant Jimmy Dix has spent a lifetime in the Great War of Survival against a reptilian foe from the far side of the galaxy. When he is caught in the losing siege of Haven, all hope seems lost. Can he and his squad survive this hellish nightmare? And, how will humanity ever pay its debt of honor?
Chris Morton ~ Soldiers on the battlefield, killing aliens who must be extinguished before colonization can begin. Day after day, they wait for night to come, for the next fight. The waiting has become worse than the combat itself.
Kevin Steverson ~ Even as humanity struggles to defeat an alien enemy deep in space, battles are still being fought amongst ourselves. Advances in technology might be the key to victory, if a soldier can survive long enough to use it.
James Schardt ~ A new accountant with minor magical skills is hired to find a problem with military supply shipments. He quickly gets in over his head.
Barry Ireland ~ A man searching for military relics in the mud of the river Thames finds a strange canister that he cannot open with any tool that exists. An enigmatic German appears, opens it easily and reveals a long hidden Nazi secret.
Jason Cordova ~ Out of time, the war for Earth rages as scientists struggle to stop two cataclysmic events from happening simultaneously, and possibly save the world while they're at it.
Michael Morton ~ A pair of military investigators searching for WMD in a hidden laboratory in post-invasion Iraq find more than they bargain for when they discover who is behind their grisly discoveries.
Yakov Merkin ~ . Another day at the most boring, dead-end job in the Galactic Alliance’s Legion Navy turns out to be the day that you might get killed.
J.F. Holmes ~ The Post-Apocalyptic world may be a hard place, but you survive by watching each other’s backs out of loyalty and love. An Irregular Scout Team One story.
Rayne has a new lease on life, but her new life is not her own. The gangster who paid to save her life now owns the medical lean on her, and she has no intention of giving up her grip.
When a surreptitious meeting goes terribly wrong at the hands of an old enemy, Rayne is sent to follow up on report that Marko Krovopuskov is alive. But, the hotter the trail gets, the more Rayne finds herself being turned into the most wanted person in the city.
As she tries to stay one step ahead of the most dangerous assassin in the country, she finds herself trapped between a growing political crisis and a secret bio technology that could change the region and the world.
Rayna Miloavich lives a life of intrigue and adventure as a cyborg agent for Krovopuskov Security Solutions. She travels the world, participating in industrial espionage and dangerous missions of theft and assassination.
But, when she takes a side mission in the Far East, she’s confronted with something unexpected: a mysterious rival equal to her own amazing talents. And, as she goes from the hunter to the hunted, she is forced to face her own hazy past that comes into focus one broken memory at a time.
When she decides to stop running from where she comes from, she realizes with horror that this mysterious new rival might hold the keys to this past and who Rayna really is.
But to find that out, she’s going to have to overcome this deadly new foe and confront a powerful Chinese gangster bent on her destruction.
Success doesn’t always solve a man’s problems…
Frank Parker’s should be riding high, but the fame gained from the Latham Case has turned to notoriety. The TCPD won’t be stalled in their quest for answers, Tsaris’ shadow seems closer than ever, and no one can be sure where the Loonies will appear next.
When Katsaros hires him out for another “missing person,” he worries it’ll be Lenny Marquez all over again. However, every case is different, and he soon realizes this young man needs his help.
As he peels back the layers of this case, his investigation puts him on a collision course with one of the most powerful men in the city. But he’d better hurry, because a mysterious hitman has him in his sights, bringing the past into focus and forcing Frank to confront a horrible possibility.
Can Frank save this kid with the weight of his past bearing down on him? What of this mysterious new hitman and his agenda? And, how will he ever save his daughter who keeps slipping farther and farther from his grip?
Get this page-turning cyberpunk noir and find out!
The Road to Redemption is a Perilous One!
Frank Parker is still reeling from the Lenny Marquez Case and is working off his frustrations as a Katsaros enforcer. When Janet Foxx asks him to look into a so-called wrongful conviction, he finds himself trying to prove the innocence of one of Tycho City’s most notorious killers. The case’s broken path soon takes him to the infamous Pandrom Prison, where he’ll come face-to-face with old demons that could change everything and turn him away from his crusade to find his partner’s killer.
But he can’t languish for long. When his sequestered family finds itself in the crosshairs of a Lunatic hit squad, Frank must act to protect them and find a murderer before time runs out on his reluctant client. Can he find his family before the Lunatics? Will the truth be too much for Frank to bear? If he’s not careful, he might find redemption for his notorious client and maybe a little for himself.
Read all about it in this lightning-fast, cyberpunk noir
The Circle Tightens!
Frank Parker should be riding high after taking down another dangerous foe. But another person close to Frank lies dead, and he knows he may not remain free long enough to bring the killers to justice.
Norrington and Hammond are running out of patience and Tsaris has built a powerful case. Soon, he will lose what influence he has, and the Rick’s murderer might escape justice forever.
But that turns out to be the good news. As Frank does his best to dodge arrest in the Upper City, word of a Lunatic plot to tie up loose ends caused by Rick’s murder reaches Frank’s ear, and he must not only stay ahead of the TCPD, but also race after the elusive hitman who’s been stalking him for weeks.
Frank is willing to die for Mattie and Suzanne. But that might not be enough to spare them both, and Frank must again face the limits of his control. For both of them might not survive and he might soon be haunted by a new ghost, one he might not be able to live with.
A cyberpunk noir in the tradition of Blade Runner and Altered Carbon!
Detective Frank Parker couldn’t let it go. If the department wouldn’t investigate his partner’s murder, he would.
Now, the Tycho City PD is coming for his job, and a city’s-worth of tattoo-faced psychos are out for his blood.
When he takes a private case from a shady entertainment mogul, it takes him on a wild rollercoaster ride from the seedy nightclubs and human despair of the Lower City to the bright lights and high-tech luxury of the Upper. As he closes in on his quarry, a terrible truth comes into focus.
An innocent victim is caught in this dangerous city’s crosshairs, and Frank is her only hope. But this is Lunatic City. Betrayal is in its DNA. And even Frank might find himself powerless to deny this town its pound of flesh…
War looms! An ancient evil rises! And two outcasts are the realm’s only hope!
Hyram Tregar’s family is haunted by a terrible shame. When this pious youth follows in his disgraced father’s footsteps, his rising star outshines the son of one of the oldest houses in the realm. Now, he finds himself shunned by the most prestigious military academy of the land.
Ptyrol Czirtarro is enduring a self-imposed exile to live a forbidden life on the edge of civilization. He’s happy to do this obscure, thankless job if it keeps him from the haughty life and hypocritical judgment of high society. But, when he stumbles upon an ancient evil in the jungles of a faraway land, he cannot stay on the fringe. Because, if he’s found what he thinks he has, the world faces a threat not realized in millennia.
When these unlikely heroes join forces to save the king from a terrible fate, their days as pariahs seem behind them. But these disgraced warrior-mages will soon learn what it means to confront prophecy.
For their path to redemption will bring them face-to-face with a formidable evil that dwarfs the power of mere mortals. What is more, the temptations and dark histories these would-be heroes must overcome will be their own, and one misstep will not only cost them their very souls, but cast the world into chaos.