W. H. Mitchell

Science Fiction Author

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Tag: dragonsofandromeda (page 1 of 2)

Magnus Black: Exit the Dragon

I’ve written a new short story centered on Magnus Black called “Exit the Dragon”. This will be incorporated into my new novel The Dragons of Andromeda. Please take a look!


Dragons of Andromeda, Chapter 2

Below is the first scene from The Dragons of Andromeda, Chapter 2.  The rest of the chapter is available for patrons on my Patreon site here


Sub-basement 31 was over three hundred feet below the Regalis starport on Aldorus. Magnus Black found this useful for two reasons. First, it was too deep for someone to transmat in or out, including transmatting Magnus without his permission. Second, it was too deep for weapons fired from orbit to reach, even if someone wasn’t timid about destroying the thirty floors above sub-basement 31 and whatever happened to be sitting on the starport surface.

It was also dimly lit. Magnus liked that most of all.

Positioned in the shadow of a rusted storage container, Magnus waited. His head and face were shaved to a mere stubble and he wore a dark leather coat. Inside the coat, a blaster pistol hung by a shoulder holster.

Down the line of other containers, an elevator door opened with a cheerful ding and a man in uniform stepped out. His name was Colonel Hugo Grausman, a man Magnus knew very well.

In his fifties, the colonel wore a green uniform with black, spit-shined boots. His dark brown hair was cut high and tight revealing a large scar running along the side of his head.

Colonel Grausman held up his hands and turned completely around, showing that the holster at his hip was empty and no other obvious weapons were visible. Magnus let him stand there for a full minute before saying anything.

“I didn’t expect to see you again,” Magnus said, “unless I was going to kill you.”

Following the assassin’s voice, the colonel took several steps in that direction before stopping.

“I get that a lot,” he said.

“I hope this isn’t just the Intelligence Service luring me into a trap,” Magnus said, emerging from the shadow.

“They’re still looking for you?”

“If I’m still breathing, they’re still looking for me.”

“Maybe I can help you with that…” the colonel suggested.

“Is that why you’re here?” Magnus asked. “To do me a favor?”

“Not exactly.”

“I’m hurt,” Magnus replied.

“There’s been a terrorist attack on Marakata,” the colonel said.

Magnus shrugged. “That’s a daily occurrence…”

“A suicide bomber got into the green zone and blew himself up, taking out half the officers’ quarters,” the colonel went on.

“The Draconians aren’t going to stop until the Imperials leave their planet.”

“I know that!” the colonel said angrily. “I’ve been fighting them for over twenty years.”

“So why’s this attack different?”

“Because my wife and kids are dead! They died in the explosion!”

Magnus arched his eyebrow, but said nothing.

“We killed off the terrorist cell responsible,” the colonel continued after collecting himself, “but the leader’s still at large.”

“Who is it?”

“Do you still remember General Ekavir?”

Magnus glared. “You know damn well I do.”

“Then you won’t mind going after him for me.”

“He’s not my problem any more,” Magnus replied.

“A lot has changed since you were there,” the colonel said. “Ekavir has lost most of his people from reprisal raids. The rest don’t want to be anywhere near him. They say he’s lost his honor.”

“I guess killing kids will do that for a person.”

“The two of you have unfinished business. This is your opportunity to finish him off once and for all.”

“Are you sure he’s still on Marakata?” Magnus asked.

“The planet’s been under blockade since the attack,” Colonel Grausman replied. “I haven’t allowed anyone off the planet except myself to come here. He’s got to be in the jungle somewhere. It’s just a matter of finding him.”

“On a world covered in jungle. That shouldn’t be hard…”

“Some of your old contacts are still alive. I’ve made sure of that.”

“What about payment?”

“Five hundred thousand credits,” the colonel replied.

Magnus shook his head slowly. “Not enough.”

“Like I said, I can get the IS to stop looking for you.”

“Now, how would you do that?”

“I’ve made new friends,” the colonel said. “They might do me a favor if I ask nicely.”

“The IS was pretty pissed when I quit,” Magnus replied. “It didn’t help that I killed their agent on my way out the door…”

“Is that a yes?”

Magnus considered for a long minute but finally nodded. “Okay.”

Chapter One of Dragons of Andromeda

Take a look at the first chapter of my next book, The Dragons of Andromeda. It’s still a work in progress, but I wanted to give a taste of what it offers. Note, this is on my Patreon page. For only $1/mo you can get additional access to new, patreon-only content including other chapters of my new book.

The current word count for Dragons of Andromeda is at around 40K, or about half of my goal. I have thirteen chapters done and hope to complete 26 to 30 before the book is complete.

Magna Architecture

I hope everybody’s having a good holiday (Christmas,  Hanukkah,  Cthulhu Eve, etc.)! As for me, I’ve been working on a chapter for Dragons of Andromeda set on Diavol, the Magna home world, in their capital city Oras Dracilor. Like the Magna themselves, their architecture features uncompromising shapes and lines:

Along Embassy Row, on the West End of Regalis, the Magna consulate stood like a mausoleum as dark as Magna blood. Built from volcanic basalt from their home world Diavol, the embassy was a series of straight, right angles forming a monolithic structure without windows. – Arks of Andromeda, Chapter 24

I used Brutalist architecture as inspiration, but instead of concrete, I envisioned everything built from the basalt of their volcanic home world. It’s a hellish landscape to be sure.

The Slave Pens of Oras Dracilor

I’ve begun the next big story arc in Dragons of Andromeda, which I call “The Slave Pens of Oras Dracilor”. It revolves around Sylvia Flax, famous news anchor of VOX News. While investigating a story, she gets captured by Celadonian Corsairs, a race of “goblins” and rivals to the Pirate Clans. They attack ships, keeping the cargo and selling the unfortunate passengers to another race called the Ougluks (“hobgoblins”). These brutes are slave traders who supply the Magna with captives to be sold on their home planet.

The story arc will take Flax across the border of the Magna Supremacy and it’s up to the crew of the Wanderer (Ramus, Fugg, and Gen) to find a way to bring her back. I expect this to be one of the larger arcs in my new book so I’m glad to be finally working on it.

Free Sample of Arks of Andromeda

Leading up to releasing Arks of Andromeda, I’ve posted a free sample (chapter 4) on a site called Instafreebie.com. Between now and when I publish, I hope to raise interest using freebies like this.

Last night I finished the fourth chapter so far of Dragons of Andromeda. That brings my current word count to 10,000. Of course, if I want a novel of at least 80k words, that’ll mean I’ll need around 32 chapters.

In the most recent chapter, Mel Freck meets Sir Golan (the Green Knight) and his robot Squire. Since the first book, Mel has become a little bitter after what happened with the man she loved, Davidson. Perhaps it’s ironic that she once again finds herself teamed with someone driven to help people (much like Davidson).

New Cover

Remember when I said I was going to still use my own cover art? Well, after much deliberations and water boarding, I changed my mind and hired a better artist than I. His name is Steven Novak and he’s awesome and cheap (which is redundant I know). Here’s his cover and its quite a bit better than mine.

I have completed three chapters of my new book, Dragons of Andromeda, and have started prep work on the next story arc I call “Squire and the Green Knight.” It involves a chivalrous, green-skinned alien and his robot squire. Also, because she’s my sister’s favorite character apparently, Mel from the first book is also joining the fun.

So, both story arcs introduce new sub-species (is that racist?) of the Dahl. The first race is called the Dokk (Dark Dahl) and the second are the Sylva (Woodland Dahl). These represent the dark elves and wood elves respectively of fantasy tropes. Later, there’s going to be yet another Dahl race called the Sarkan (Red Dahl). I love elves and I don’t care who know it!

Recycling & Cover Confusion

I’ve been working on Dragons of Andromeda for around two weeks now and I’m up to 5k words. Today I made the decision to include a portion of a short story I started maybe two years ago but never finished. Basically, it was about an Imperial heavy cruiser and its crew. Since my “Crimson Kiss” story included an Imperial ship, I decided to splice the two together. As an added bonus, I changed the name of the executive officer (XO) of the warship to Maycare, instantly making him the nephew of Devlin Maycare from Arks of Andromeda. This also creates a link between this story arc and the one that Uncle Devlin will have in Dragons.

I posted the cover I did for Arks on a FB page for authors to get feedback. While several people liked the retro look, the person running the page (who’s very successful as an indie writer) strongly suggested I get a professional artist to do the cover so my book looks like the others out there. While I appreciated and understood her argument, namely that a professional cover would sell better, I was very torn because I really loved the one I made. So, after looking at a lot of artists and seeing how much they charge (a lot), I decided that I will still go with my own cover. I worry about how this will affect my sales, but I really don’t want my book to look like all the others. I guess I could always change it down the road, hopefully after I make some money. 

And so it begins

I began writing my second book, starting with the Crimson Kiss story (starring Ramus, Fugg, and Gen). Unlike my first book, I’m going this one a little differently. Instead of writing the chapters in linear fashion, I’m doing each story arc separately and then joining them together later.

There are usually two kinds of writers: those who outline everything and write from their plan, and those who write “by the seat of their pants.” I actually fall in between: I have an idea of what I want to happen in each chapter, then break each one into scenes (again with a vague idea of what happens), and then I write seat of my pants from there. This has led to some emergent plot points that I hadn’t planned when I started.

This time around, I have the story ideas without any chapter structure. It’s a lot more “loosey goosey” then I’m normally comfortable with, but I’m up for trying new things (hoping they don’t end in utter disaster). However, the great thing about writing is you can do as many drafts as you like, so even if it’s terrible at first, you can fix it before too many see your dirty laundry. 😉

Next Novel Prep

I’ve started serious preparation for my next Imperium Chronicles novel, The Dragons of Andromeda.

I’ve been outlining some of the story arcs that will be included. Some characters from Arks of Andromeda will return and I’ll introduce plenty of new characters.

Right now, there’s going to be two stories featuring the crew of the Wanderer (Ramus, Fugg, and Gen). The first, based on my graphic novel The Crimson Kiss, will tell the story of a missing crew and a mysterious sub-species of the Dahl. In the second story, intrepid reporter Sylvia Flax will find herself in deep trouble and it’s up to Ramus and company to help (assuming she needs any).

In another story arc, Maycare, Prof. Doric, and Henry will travel to the Talion Republic (an ally of the Magna) to locate a valuable book written by a race called the K’thonians. In the process, however, the group becomes entangled in interstellar intrigue and an ancient species from deep space.

Killer-for-hire Magnus Black will return. Hired to kill the leader of a Draconian guerrilla group, Magnus must return to the Draconian home planet where he served in the Imperial military and received the nickname “The Butcher”. Will his past come back to haunt him?

And finally, although I haven’t outlined it yet, we will see what’s happening with the two sleeper ships when they return to the Imperial capital. Will they get a warm welcome or the cold shoulder? Also, Yost and his cyber associates will journey to Bettik, seeking repayment for the debt the robots owe.

And there could be more stories. We’ll see…