Friday, August 31, 2018

The Business: Brian Niemeier's "Combat Frame XSeed"

For all of you that backed Star Knight, and are waiting for your book, I would like to direct your attention to Dragon Award winner Brian Niemeier. He has a new series coming, a military science fiction series, that is as literally #AGundam4Us as it gets. That series is Combat Frame Xseed, and here is the book trailer telling you all about it.

As you can see, Brian's take on the mecha concept is far closer to the Real Robot subtype than my own is, and especially his similarity to the institution of Japanese Space Opera that is the Gundam franchise. He, like I, made good use of his blog to post lore entries that show off his mecha concept art. If you aren't following Brian's blog, you should; throw it into your reader or blogroll now. That way when he kicks off his own round of crowdfunding you won't miss out on it.

My post at the Study is a post-mortem on the Star Knight and follows on my end-of-campaign post.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

My Life As A Gamer: Streets of Hype Return

In case you missed it, one of the best brawler franchises finally gets a new installment. I'm on this hype train.

Since Capcom won't make these sorts of games anymore, we've had to rely on homages and indie originsls. Now SEGA decides that we could have a new Streets of Rage game. If it isn't trash, then I'm good with this. Maybe we could get a new version of Altered Beast now>? Or maybe WOTC will bother to make a deal for new brawlers, since Tower of Doom and Shadows Over Mystara still have significant followings.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

My Life In Fandom: Yamato 2199 Finally Available In The US

#StarKnight has plenty of anime inspirations, and another is Space Battleship Yamato. A few years ago Xebec was part of the committee that organized and produced a remake of the original series as Space Battleship Yamato 2199. It hit big i Japan, and its two follow-ons (the current being a remake of the second series as 2202) have brought in a new generation of fans for one of the institutions of Japanese Space Opera.

It took forever, but finally Funimation worked out a deal to release it in the U.S. under the "Star Blazers" brand used the first time. Unlike the Maceker of old, this release presumes that you know what Yamato is and it's priced accordingly. You'll have the option from the get-go to watch it in Japanese with English subtitles you do not need to tolerate the localization (unless Funimation fucked with things in translation- and that's a surefire way to get lynched since we're talking Yamato).

Unlike yesterday's post, this is a more reasonable release. The downside is that it's not the complete series, and that means yet another purchase down the road. (This is Episodes 1-13, so there is a Volume 2 to come.) At least we're getting proper Yamato this time; the old hackjob is absent here.

And yes, I want it for my birthday. You can buy your copy here. You won't regret anything but the pain your wallet feels.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

My Life In Fandom: SIEG MEIN KAISER! (They Did It! The Madmen!)

Ladies and Gentleman, Sentai Filmworks has released an unboxing video for their ultra-premium boxed set of the entire Legend of the Galactic Heroes OVA releases. That's the original 110 episode series, all of the Gaiden series (52 episodes), and all three movies in addition to a 200 page hardcover book with more information. Yes, you're paying $800, but it's a limited quantity of 1000 and a bunch are already taken. (Yes, I want one; my birthday is just over a month away in October.)

The license contract is why this is what we're getting this for a domestic (North American) physical release. Maybe, just maybe, a future release will have more sensible (for anime) offerings but I think that will be dependent on physical sales of Die Neue Thesis so budget accordingly.

Legend of the Galactic Heroes is my favorite anime, and therefore has a big influence on #StarKnight- something that will become more apparent in later books in the series. I'd been having to watch fansubs for years, and I'm buying the light novels (in translation) as I can to show that there is an audience for a commercial release. $800 is more than I can spare for this, and I'm not hearing about any other options coming, so if this is it then I can only hope that I am surprised one morning for a signature (as that too is required; you have to sign for delivery).

If you do decide to order a copy, at least your shipping is free. I hope that this sells out, whether I get a copy or no, because the more that LoGH merch sells here the more likely it becomes that I can buy a set at Amazon for $100 or less down the road. I'd not bother dealing with the Straw Hats if I had a better option, and a full HD remaster like this but in the sort of packaging the Japanese releases had would find far more purchases than this ultra-premium set would ever get.

And, as much as I love Yang's Gang, my loyalty is to Mein Kaiser- much like my namesake. If you haven't watch this before, now's your chance to get a physical release--legally--and share it with others.

Monday, August 27, 2018

My Life In Fandom: The Trailer For "Alt★Hero: Q"

The Supreme Dark Lord, Vox Day, has announced the balliest move by Arkhaven Comics yet. This should be a campaign to remember.

I look forward to this crowdfunding campaign. Arkhaven and Dark Legion has consistently delivered to date, despite being outside the main distribution channels for comics (so far), and the dread generated has been of value to other anti-SJW comics projects such as those by Jon del Arroz and Ethan Van Sciver (who can play Good Cop to his Bad Cop). How Q will be handled is what's got my curiosity, so I'm willing to give the Dark Lord a shot at getting my attention.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

My Life As A Writer: We Came, We Saw, We Conquered!

The Indiegogo campaign for #StarKnight's first book, Reavers of the Void, ended at 2am Central Time this morning.

95 backers contributed a combined total of $2126, meaning that not only did the campaign meet its initial goal but--in the last hour--it hit the first of its Stretch Goals. That means that Book Two will now be fast-tracked, so as soon as Book One is done and the ebook is in the hands of backers I will get on to Book Two. This will alter commercial launch plans, likely for the better.

And now, after 30 days of hustle, I'm going to take today to relax.

Thanks to all of you for making this happen. What's to come will be truly glorious. Galactic Christendom's rise shall come.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

My Life As A Writer: The Campaign Ends Tonight!

As one of my colleges and peers put it:

We're now at 170% of the initial goal. That's 30% left to the first Stretch Goal, and that's doable in the time remaining. Under $300 to hit that goal, and Book Two gets fast-tracked as a result of hitting it. See the Study for the final manuscript excerpt, and if that doesn't convince you to come aboard (or convince your friends to come aboard) then I don't know what will. (Tell me in the Comments.)

Friday, August 24, 2018

My Life As A Writer: One Day To Go For #StarKnight

One day left to go for #StarKnight, folks. This is the home stretch, and we're reaching for the Stretch Goals. Just 31% ($313) from that goal, and time's running out to guarantee a speedy Book Two. You can still make it happen by going here.

After the campaign concludes, this is the rough timeline:

  • While I wait out the 14 business days before the money goes into my account, do a pass looking for basic errors.
  • Take care of what needs to be done to pay my editor and get the manuscript into his hands, then do it when ready.
  • If no one volunteers to color the cover, find a colorist to hire and figure out how to work with/pay them.
  • Contact backers, ask how they want their ebooks delivered. (Leaning to setting up a Dropbox location and emailing backers the link when it's ready.)
  • Set up KDP account so that after backers get their stuff, I don't have to worry about uploading the ebook and POD files.
  • Get manuscript back, haul ass on the edits and finish that work.
  • Put together Acknowledgements, etc. for front and back of finished manuscript.
  • Finish the cover, put finished bits together into something for the formatter to work with.
  • Get finished files out to backers.
  • Get ready to launch.

Since I've never done this before, expect that to change, but so long as you that backed #StarKnight get your ebooks by New Year's Eve everything will work out. Yes, by the way, I do have Book Two already in the works, so you folks who bought Major or Minor roles should expect me to get a hold of you sometime later this year once I figure out what cast slots I have open for Book Two.

If you're not following me at Walker's Study (where I usually write about this sort of thing), it's linked in the Other Blogs tab above. If you haven't signed up for my newsletter, please do so; I would like to use a private email newsletter going forward, especially as (I hope) I can rely less on crowdfunding and more on normal business practices (such as merchandise offerings) to help me keep this going.

If you folks have anything you want me to consider to expand #StarKnight's viability going forward, the Comment section below is fine and otherwise you can email me if you want to talk privately.

Finally, I want to thank all of you who helped turn this into something real. Public or private, word or deed, thank you all. This book, and those to follow, would never have come to be without your support. I am grateful for all you've done, and I can't wait to see you enjoy what I've written. I may not hit like Nick Cole & Jason Anspach did with Galaxy's Edge, but I'm confident that I can entertain you all well enough to turn this into something that helps pay the bills going forward- and two years from now, I will be able to argue for getting into Super Robot Wars (and screw you SJWs for poisoning the well, I'll do it anyway).

Thursday, August 23, 2018

My Life As A Writer: Behold, The Cover For "Reavers of the Void"!

With just days to go, the (black and white) cover illustration for Reavers of the Void is here. Enjoy this World First cover illustration. if this is what you've been waiting for before deciding to back the campaign, then here you are; go here and make your support known.

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Never before has a cover combined a man with a lightsaber, a giant robot, and a space battleship. Reavers is the first ever to do so, and that's going to be a point I hammer henceforth. (You folks had about 50 years to beat me to this, and not one of you even considered it. I am disappoint.)

As noted on Imgur, we have our hero Lord Roland in the middle. Behind him is Countess Gabriela Robin. Durendal, Lord Roland's Real Robot, rises behind Roland. The small ship is Roland's also, the Baden-Powell. The man on the top is Red Eyes, and the woman opposite him is Zuzu the Painbringer. Between them is s Vatican Solar Guard battleship, the Oklahoma.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

My Life In Fandom: The SJWs Come For Anime

If you haven't heard about the latest act of blasphemy and Crime Against Humanity committed against anime and good culture, head on over to Brian Niemeier's blog and have your barf bags handy.

This the same degenerate CalArts crap that ruins American animation now falsely claiming to be anime. This is a fraud, and it needs to be condemned as fraud as well as punished--SEVERELY--as such. It's banned in my domain, and so are the lying frauds pushing this heresy, because they are flat-out admitting to pushing propaganda with this blasphemy.

No. The line is drawn, and those that violate it shall be punished. This will stop, one way or the other, and I care not which. These SJWs are doing nothing more than scamming money to mainstain hispter lifestyles that they can't be bothered to actually merit by putting in good, hard work actually creating anything. They can't create; they can only mock, corrupt, pervert, and adulterate- just like their father, Satan. Sure, Fork & Replace, but this needs to be actively resisted lest they Frame Game their way into making their mockery accepted for the real thing- as they did in Western comics.

#StarKnight's campaign concludes in three days, and as if this post we're at 169%. That puts us at 31% away from our first Stretch Goal, and now is the time to push it over that line. Go here and make that happen. It's the first step in practical resistance against this corruption, from which we can build a proper alternative to overtake this garbage and reclaim our culture.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

My Life In Fandom: Silver Empire's "Heroes Unleashed" Campaign Is LIVE!

If you backed #StarKnight, anything by Ethan Van Sciver, John del Arroz, or Richard Meyer then you really ought to give this new project by the folks at Silver Empire a fair shake. They're doing their part to create a new superhero scene free of the SJW bullshit you see out of the Big Two (including, alas, the films at a distressing rate).

We indie folks have got to do as much watching out for, and boosting one-another, as we can so that's why you're seeing this here; it's my way of paying the good fortune I'm enjoying forward.

As for #StarKnight, we're in the final days of the campaign. We're at 163%, with 37% to go to hit the first Stretch Goal, and as soon as I get that World First cover I'll post it all over so you can see the glorious piece that's going to make it crystal-clear what this series is all about. The train's leaving the station soon, so hurry here and get aboard before it pulls out.

Monday, August 20, 2018

My Life As A Gamer: No One Likes Ads, Twitch

Twitch decided that it hates customer good will. Today I got an email from them regarding changes to Twitch Prime (which I get as an Amazon Prime member).

As we have continued to add value to Twitch Prime, we have also re-evaluated some of the existing Twitch Prime benefits. As a result, universal ad-free viewing will no longer be part of Twitch Prime for new members, starting on September 14.

Let me make this crystal clear: Ads are the fucking DEVIL! They are a plague to be exterminated. They have no place, never have had a place, and never will have a place in viewing or listening. Like reading, they are for BEFORE and AFTER and not DURING.

So if you've shut off your ad-block, get ready and turn it on now. Oh wait, it gets better.

All other Twitch Prime benefits, like monthly channel subs, monthly games and loot, and chat badges are not changing. You can still get channel-specific ad-free viewing as part of Twitch Prime by using your monthly subscription token on a channel that has ad-free viewing for subscribers turned on. Plus, all Twitch viewers can get ad-free viewing across all channels by subscribing to Twitch Turbo. And with your Twitch Prime membership you can still take advantage of all the other Amazon Prime benefits, like free two-day shipping and access to Prime Video and Prime Music.*

This is horseshit. The reason for Prime is to kill the bullshit. Everything else is secondary to that and without this the value is gone. At least Amazon still remembers that the core of Prime (for Amazon) is free two-day shipping for all orders. Twitch forgot that the point of Prime is ad-free viewing across the site, and is riding on the fact that Prime is a derivative benefit to get away with this change. (You're paying for Amazon Prime, not Twitch Prime; the latter IS the former.)

Fuck this. Starve, Twitch. You're disposable, expendable, and fungible; the ad-blocks got ten feet taller. You will regret this.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

My Life As A Gamer: Razorfist Rants "DISHONORED Gets Woke, Goes Broke"

It's the Eloquence of Elocution. He's talking about how "Get Woke, Go Broke" fucked over Dishonored 2.

We're seeing the end-results of giving in to SJWs and their bullshit early, often, and repeatedly now. The corpses of dead IPs slain by the poz are piling up too high to ignore now, and Dishonored is the latest casualty acknowledged. More devs are seeing the obvious and starting to speak up, citing this demonstrable pattern.

What needs to happen now is that the anti-SJW game press outlets need to start getting those devs' dissents from SJW dogma out there, because more will step up if they see and heard others doing so. (Cascade effects are real, which is why Narrative Warfare matters.) And those of us who can help with our own outlets should, as we're able, do likewise.

We've seen this across SJW-infested media now that we need to openly hammer the point home: Get Woke, Go Broke.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

My Life In Fandom: Doozy Bots, A Bullet Dodged (#AGundam4Us)

This came over my Twitter feed late last night. We almost had this SD Gundam-like thing as America's First Gundam. Uh, yeah.

Bullet. Dodged.

Note the year: 1991. That's the year Batman: The Animated Series debuted, launching the DC Animated Universe (my preferred DC continuity). This show would have been buried by the competition, as were damn near every other actual series that went against it at the time, and there was no way that the target audience would have gone for that half-assed show over a Batman series that didn't talk down and otherwise disrespect the audience.

You do not break into a new market by shoving bullshit like this into their faces. Gundam Wing hit big for a reason, and that reason was a series that knew and respected the audience. American animation--to this day--has routine issues with coming at the audience seeking to talk down to it and otherwise shit on it- something audiences notice and "reward" by staying away in droves.

Sounds familiar, doesn't it? This bullshit was commonplace well before #Gamergate, #Comicsgate, and the other consumer revolts we have now got going and earned their monikers. Same bullshit, same causes, different day. Some things don't easily change, do they?

Support people who actually treat you properly. You won't get this from #StarKnight, which you can support here (and has a week to do as of this post).

Friday, August 17, 2018

Narrative Warfare: You Can't Abort The Retort

If they're shooting at you, you're going in the right direction, and this past week or so they've been hammering the Ralph Retort with fire. Cowardly cunts have gone after the Retort on YouTube, using the Flagging system to shut down first the main channel and then each backup in turn- with the most recent being Scratch Point's channel. This has required Ethan Ralph to execute a running battle from channel to channel to keep the Retort going, which is why this Tweet matters today:

While Ethan's made more than a few enemies, the most likely culprit is the man he recently exposed as a double-talking liar, fraud, and Gamma Male so bad he makes Scalzi and Wheaton look manly: "Mundane" Matt Jarbo (a.k.a. Garbo Jarbo) In brief, Jarbo got outed as flagging every last video that went negative in the slightest against him, and several of those he flagged had their income damaged or destroyed as a consequence. The worse part is that he lied about it and covered it up for over a year, including bald-faced lying to Ethan and his co-hosts for an hour straight before he got cornered on-stream and exposed as aforementioned. Thanks to one of those present at the time, Mister Metokur, we have a concise summary of it all in under an hour.

And you too may find it hard to not laugh with Ethan yells "Matt, NO!" (Note: Skip to 30:00 if you want to get to the killshot.)

The shit kept coming on the Retort after this, and this past week's had some killer guests (Lana Lokteff of Red Ice being just this past afternoon.) and I expect that anyone not Matt who would dislike the guest(s) would want to flag the Retort to attack those guests. But none of that changes what is increasingly clear to observers: Ethan Ralph is a rising independent media player, owning his own site and running a very successful livestream (The #Killstream) on weeknights. If you don't mind a rough-and-tumble crowd, you'll enjoy the show and will want to keep up with it as it moves from place to place.

And in the interest of full disclosure, I did a brief appearance a few weeks ago to promote #StarKnight, as my peer Brian Niemeier documented over at his blog Kairos. (See that, shit journos? Being ethical isn't that hard.)

Speaking of #StarKnight, we hit 159% as of this post and we've got about a week left in the campaign. My illustrator is at work finishing the line art for the cover, which I will share as soon as I get it, and I'm already putting in work on Book Two. Tomorrow I will post another manuscript excerpt over the the Study (which backers will get notified about), so if you're still on the fence now is a good time to come on down and join the party. This is the Space Opera you've been waiting for.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

#StarKnightSaga Lore: The Baden-Powell, Lord Roland's Starship

Baden-Powell (Longboat-class)

General & Technical Data

Class: VGSS-CS-M20
Name: Longboat
Ships of the Line: Longboat, Baden-Powell, et. al.
Unit Type: Corvette
Manufacturer: Shipwright's Guild, Earth
Operator: Vatican Solar Guard (Baden-Powell: Sir Ramsey Hennepin, Lord Roland)
First Deployment: AD 2950
Length: 100 meters
Width: 35 meters
Height: 20 meters
Crew: 2 (capacity for another 10, albeit in cramped conditions)
Armament: Tri-gun beam cannon in dorsal universal turret, missile launchers x2 (fixed forward, recessed in ventral hull).
Compliment: Destrier-style hover cycle x2.

Technical & Historical Notes

The Longboat is an old design, but it remains in service because it served as a first-order field testbed for many technological refinements that would go into more recent designs. Originally designated for long-range reconnaissance patrols and other similar scouting duties, the Longboat's ease of maintenance and rugged design made it a venerated favorite even for Guard officers who went on to the Admiralty.

It is now most often seen in service now as a litoral cutter across the Terran system performing customs and law enforcement functions, but its capacity to operate at long range for long lengths of time make it ideal for covert operations and several are still used in this capacity. Others remain in use as scouts, performing their original duties, often in conjunction these days with backup from a nearby Arrowhead-class cruiser if required.

Common Longboats use the universal turret on the dorsal side, but mount only a single beam cannon. There is no provision for mecha storage, requiring external mountings to carry any, but the duty profile of this ship class rarely calls upon needing such a capacity. Powered armor can be kept in the modest hold, but ground craft or a small boat are more common.

Certain older models have been retired from active duty and are seconded to honorably retired Guardsman willing to use it in private service on condition of reporting their doings to the Guard periodically as well as remaining in the Reserve for emergency recall. It is this provision that allows the Guard to routinely assign such ships to their elite class.

When Sir Ramsey Hennepin of Earth became the 12th Lord Roland in AD 2995, he received a reconditioned Longboat for his personal use as part of the panapoly of his new office. This recent refit upgraded many of the systems aboard, some of which were test-type items.

The turreted weapons were a new tri-cannon design; each barrel has its own traverse on the horizontal, allowing three targets to be engaged independently. (As of AD 2990 this was a test-type item; by 3001 it was being implemented throughout the fleet.) The power of these cannons were on par to what would be expected on larger capital ships, making Baden-Powell able to punch well above its weight class. (Deemed a successful test, but too expensive to make standard on subsequent refits of active units.)

The missile launchers, while standard, featured several new munitions types over the course of Sir Ramsey's adventures. Some did meet later approval for fleet-wide deployment and others remains reserved for limited use by elite actors. The automation aboard the ship easily allowed Sir Ramsey and one other to effectively operate the vessel, and Ramsey's access to Durendal made moot the lack of on-board mecha. It performed like a fighter in its flight operations, allowing it to keep pace with units such as the Sun Imperium's Ryujin units (a high-performance transformable design by House Kawamori).

It would remain as the 12th Lord Roland's personal starship until the conclusion of the Battle of Onares in AD 3010, where it was lost in the final moments of the battle.

We're now at 156%, which puts us at 44% towards our first Stretch Goal. There's 9 days remaining as of this post, so if you want to help hit that goal (or you want to know where to tell your friends to go) then go here and pledge your support today. The greater the result, the faster the books come out and the sooner adaptations to other media can get going.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

#StarKnightSaga Lore: The Arrowhead, The Solar Guard's Classy Cruiser


General & Technical Data

Class: VGSS-CS-M42
Name: Arrowhead
Ships of the Line: Arrowhead, Crockett, Magellan, Lewis, Clark, John Smith, Ponce de Leon, et. al.
Unit Type: Cruiser
Manufacturer: Shipwright's Guild, Earth.
Operator: Vatican Solar Guard
First Deployment: AD 2990
Length: 200 meters
Width: 40 meters
Height: 20 meters
Crew: 30
Armament: One primary beam cannon in top nacelle mount (fixed forward), two secondary beam cannons each in dorsal and ventral universal turrets, missile launchers x2 (recessed into hull, ventral side), personal defense cannons x20 (five per side recessed in arrowhead)
Compliment: Four Legionnaire-class mecha (aft hold)

Technical & Historical Notes

The Vatican Solar Guard began its modernization program well before the Matter of the Milky Way began, starting with its cruisers and battleships. It replaced the venerated, but aging, Ranger class of cruiser with the Arrowhead beginning in 2990, with the aim of making a proper successor that was an all-around upgrade. Being the most likely independent capital ship to operate alone beyond Holy Terra, it needed just enough capacity to be useful in whatever capacity it needed to display.

The design emphasized advances in automation to vastly reduce the amount of crew required, which in turn allowed the ship to be far smaller than the Ranger it replaced. With speed and resilience being prized by Shipwright architects, Arrowhead came out to be cruiser with surprising agility for a ship of its class. Some call it a corvette for Admiralty-tracked senior captains, and others a pocket battleship masquerading as a cruiser, but none call it ineffective- not alone, not in formation.

Its combat performance before the Matter began, it went against poorly-organized opposition such as your typical space pirates and heretical cults. Not one ship of this class had so as a scratch laid against it in such actions. It faced real opposition for the first time in action against the Red Eyes Armada as Arrowhead, Lewis, Clark, and Ponce de Leon participated with the battleship Oklahomain the reprisal campaign upon Hell's Heart in AD 3001.

Properly tested in combat, Arrowhead and its sisters proved its worth and the class would go on to be regular sights across the galaxy during the wars that would follow and define the core of the Matter of the Milky Way's many tales. It would serve well in many fleet actions and isolated encounters, with the last of the class being retired in AD 3030 where it became part of the Guard Archival Museum in orbit over Mars near the Barsoom War College.

We're now at 156%, which puts us at 44% towards our first Stretch Goal. There's 10 days remaining as of this post, so if you want to help hit that goal (or you want to know where to tell your friends to go) then go here and pledge your support today. The greater the result, the faster the books come out and the sooner adaptations to other media can get going.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

#StarKnightSaga Lore: The Ferguson-class, House Ireton's Heavy Cruiser


General & Technical Data

Class: Ferguson
Ships of the Line: Ferguson, MacCullough, MacLeod, Robert The Bruce, William Wallace, et. al.
Unit Type: Cruiser
Manufacturer: Royal Arsenal of New Scotland, New Glasgow
Operator: House Ireton, Dire March
First Deployment: 15 March, AD 2980
Length: 300 meters
Width: 70 maters
Height: 60 meters
Crew: 100
Armament:Spinal-mounted mega-beam cannon, primary cannon x4 (fixed foward in the bow), missile launchers (recessed in the hull) x2, personal defense cannon batteries x12
Compliment: Four Gallowglass-class mecha on external docking mounts.

Technical & Historical Notes

The Grand Duchy of New Scotland commissioned the Ferguson as part of a standardization of the Grand Duchy's military assets across its vassal domains. It was a peacetime design, concerned at most with pirates and other criminals and not with full-scale military operations. In its intended role of being a glorified paramilitary patrol vessel, it performed adequately, but participation in naval operations exposed the class's weaknesses as being undergunned and under-equipped.

Piracy on the edge of the domain's borders, such as the Dire March of House Ireton, revealed the key weakness of the class as being a lack of internal capacity to carry mecha and thus its ability to operate independently. To counter this Ireton ceased to do so in contested space and began assigning it as a command vessel to small groups meant to operate as rapid-response units. With its anti-mecha weakness ameliorated, the Ferguson class once more proved adequate.

After the Taking of Gabriela Robin, with many of the class lost at Dara's Folly, the Ferguson would first be demoted to garrison and second-line duties and then be replaced entirely with the Culloden class in AD 3005- a new class meant to function alongside the replacement for the Gallowglass, the Highlander. The last of the class would survive the wars to follow and is now a floating museum in orbit over New Glasgow.

We're at 132% now, so we're about one-third of the way to our first Stretch Goal. If this sort of thing is the sort of Space Opera you want more of, then head on over to the Indiegogo page and pledge your support here.

Monday, August 13, 2018

My Life In Fandom: The Classics Come West!

Synchronicity is a weird beast. A handful of us get serious about making mecha great again, and all of a sudden new licensing deals on the classics get inked so a new generation can enjoy the pillars of the genre. It's as if someone decided that the time was now to bring it back.

Here's a list of what got announced on Twitter via Discotek Media's account yesterday.

In addition there are two live-action releases coming that are relevant to our interests: Message From Space: Galactic Wars and Space Wolf Juspion. I'll embed the posts with trailers below, as they show a time when Japan's pop culture heroes were men and not boys- these are pre-Gundam.

There are announcements for Lupin the 3rd, Kimagure Orange Road, Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, and a series called Hells to read also but this is what I find pertinent for we the #AGundam4Us scene specifically and more generally the #PulpRev and #Superversive scenes generally.


Because the SF/F split in the West came later to Japan and still hasn't fully taken root there, and these older shows exhibit that it's far more of a sliding scale at the best of times. Due to the popular franchises being far more rooted in film and TV, it's a lot easier to see how the cultural degeneration we complain about in Western popular fiction went about over there and use that as a way to demonstrate what we're talking about to skeptical observers. (We have to go through action movies and TV series to get the same effect, which has its own issues due to deliberate memory-holing going on since the '90s.)

Works like those above are what #AGundam4Us builds upon and seeks to make great again by making new material, and I in particular draw upon the Super Robot as well as the Real Robot sides of mecha fiction for my own #StarKnightSaga- and if you haven't gotten on board that hype train yet then you can do so here. Meanwhile, Brian Niemeier has something far closer to the Real Robot end of things with Combat Frame XSeed. This is an exciting time for independent Science Fiction, and now is the time to join the scene.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

My Life As A Writer: The JimFear138 Podcast Ep.94 A Gundam For Us

Last weekend I recorded another podcast appearance with Jim Fear on his show. Today that show is live. Alongside Brian Niemeier and Rawle Nyanzi we talked mecha, #AGundam4Us, and our specific projects for a period time that would make not watching the NFL worthwhile. You can find that podcast--audio only--at Jim Fear's blog here.

Since that's not much of a post by itself, allow me to add a little something. In song, I shall sum up Gabriela's arc in Book One:

And yes, she does sing. Enjoy figuring out how those references work out in the story.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

My Life as a Writer: Appearing Today on Geek Gab!

I'm the featured guest once more on Geek Gab w/ Daddy Warpig and Dorrinal today, and I am promoting Star Knight. Tune in at 2pm Eastern live if you can.

This is the big reveal, the Work In Progress candidate for what will become a World First cover. No one previously combined a giant robot, a space battleship and a man with a laser sword on a cover or poster; Reavers of the Void will be the first ever to do so, and I cannot wait to see this go from pencils to inked.

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If you like what you see or what you heard, you can head over here to back the project.

Friday, August 10, 2018

#StarKnightSaga Lore: The Gallowglass, House Ireton's Front Line Mecha


General & Technical Data

Model Number: NSRA-GPMS06
Code Name: Gallowglass
Unit Type: Mass Production Soldier Mecha
Manufacturer: New Scotland Royal Arsenal, New Glasgow
Operator: Grand Duchy of New Scotland
Rollout: AD 2901
First Deployment: AD 2902
Accommodations: One pilot in torso cockpit
Dimensions: Height: 15 meters; Width: 5 meters
Weight: 35 metric tons (50 loaded)
Armor Materials: Lunar Titanium alloyed w/ Carbon Fiber Composite
Powerplant: Cold Fusion
Propulsion: None standard; (Optional) Rocket Thrusters w/ maneuver verniers on backpack hardpoint
Performance: Turn (180) 3 seconds; Run (land) 160 Kph (100 Mph); (Optional) Flight Pack: 800 Kph (500 Mph) w/ 10KM ceiling; Underwater: 100 meter limit
Equipment & Design Features: Sensors: 4000 meter range; tri-screen cockpit in a reinforced compartment.
Fixed Armaments: Beam Sword x1 in a hip socket, Beam Rifle (stored in lower back); (Optional) Missile Launcher (replaces Beam Rifle), Anti-Ship Cannon (ditto), Shoulder-mounted Missile Pods (exclusive with Flight Pack).
Technical & Historical Notes

The Grand Duchy of New Scotland needed a unit it could produce in-house to field in massive numbers to garrison the planets and other stellar locations it claimed dominion over, and it had to do so quickly. This compelled a design with basic features, but also a degree of modularity, with the intention of producing mission-specific modules to expand the viable range of operations. The result, taking inspiration from an Old Earth design that never got produced before the Cataclysm, was the Gallowglass.

The design proved to be effective within its intended operational parameters; as part of a unit, the model met expectations and saw favor with its pilots. The mission modules allowed this one design to dominate the Grand Duchy's military, with many Houses filling their arsenals and garrisons with this model as the 39th Century elapsed and the frontier space within the Archduke's grasp became pacified and colonized by his vassals' subjects.

Because of this design's emphasis on ease of production and modularity, it remained in active service for generations and older units got refurbished and upgraded to newer specifications over the years. It was only as The Matter of the Milky Way began that its age finally caught up to it, when its performance against the Red Eyes Armada's Goblin and Hobgoblin during The Taking of Gabriela Robin showed that this venerable design had met the end of its life at long last. At the insistence of House Ireton's duke, the Archduke commissioned the design of its replacement.

The Royal War Museum on New Glasgow would retain a working Gallowglass unit for archival purposes, in conjunction with the Royal War College, and the design's influence would be seen in its successors for generations to come. The aesthetic trademark of a plainly-appearing manlike model, like a giant-sized toy soldier, would become well-known as a hallmark of New Scotland design.

We're now at 116% for #StarKnight and working towards our stretch goal. I've gotten a penciled cover design candidate, which I will share during my appearance on Geek Gab tomorrow afternoon at 2 PM Eastern time. This is becoming a real thing, folks, so you don't want to miss it. If you backed it already, thanks- now tell your friends. If you haven't, get aboard the hype train here.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

My Life In Fandom: "Cells At Work", Where The Platelets Are Too Cute For Your Health

We take this moment out from promoting Star Knight to show you that Japan can make anything cute enough to give you Diabetes and kill you. This is from a series airing in Japan called (in English) Cells At Work, and it somehow manages to make the human body into a viable stage for action, comedy, and drama in that way that only Japan can do.

No, it's not going to become a timeless masterpiece, but it is entertaining. (They do mock a lot of common tropes.) You're better off watching this than a lot of other offerings out there, regardless of which side of the Pacific you're talking about.

And yes, the woman voicing the lead Platelet is the same actress that voiced Kanna in Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

#StarKnightSaga Lore: The Black Knight, When Good Mechs Go Bad

Cataphract (Black Knight)

General & Technical Data

Model Number: LNR-EM01A
Code Name: Cataphract
Unit Type: Limited Production Elite Combat Mecha
Manufacturer: Beretta-Ferrari Manufacturing of New Venice
Operator: Lega Nuova Roma (Black Knight, Red Eyes Armada)
Rollout: AD 2950
First Deployment: AD 2951
Accommodations: One pilot in cockpit torso
Dimensions: Height: 15 meters; Width: 5 meters
Weight: 50 metric tons (empty); 75 metric tons (loaded)
Armor Materials: Lunar-Titanium w/ Carbon-Fiber Composites.
Powerplant: Cold Fusion
Propulsion: Rocket Thrusters (feet, back) w/ maneuvering verniers in shoulders
Performance: Turn 180) 2 seconds; Run (land): 200 Kph (125 Mph); Flight (atmosphere): Mach 1 (10Km ceiling); Underwater: 200 meter limit.
Equipment & Design Features: Sensors: 6000 meters; 360 degree panoramic viewscreen w/ linear seat cockpit in ejectable ball module.
Fixed Armaments: Beam Sword x2 in forearms (eject out the palms to activate), Beam Shield x1 on off-hand arm, Beam Rifle x1 in main hand; (Optional) Missile Pods on leg and hip hardpoints, Missile Launcher (replaces Beam Rifle), Anti-Ship Cannon (replaces Beam Rifle), Shoulder-mounted missile hardpoints (for anti-ship missiles) x2

Technical & Historical Notes

The New Roman League--a confederation of Italian mini-states sharing a region of space coreward and towards Galactic North from Earth, underwent a modernization program for its militia in the middle of the last century. The lords of the league agreed upon a policy of issuing a shared model of manlike mecha to elite personnel. That model became the Cataphract, and the sight of these mecha--resembling plate-armored warriors from the Italian Renaissance of Old Earth in their aesthetics--became famous around the galaxy.

In the years since its introduction, the Cataphract became the model around which elite rapid-response and shock troop units built their ranks as those originally using them in household guard units transitioned to the Praetorian model from Mazarati-Benelli of Second Salermo. The Cataphract refined its design over the years, becoming well-known throughout Galactic Christendom and inspiring many other realms to build their own Limited Production models for use by elite units.

Because these units were meant for elite pilots, designers made the cockpit module in its entirety able to eject from a critically damaged mecha; those later retrieved could easily slot into another of the same model, during which time their personalized settings would export into the unit's firmware. This cut the downtime before a pilot could return to action greatly, and thus it became common practice for repair crews to swap a module to a fresh unit before commencing repairs on a damaged one. This modularity also allowed a pilot to quickly adjust loadouts. This greatly extended the lifespan of the model, with most Lega Roma elite units still fielding Cataphracts into the dawn of the 4th Millenium.

It is also because of this practice that one unit became the personal unit of the Red Eyes Armada pirate captain known as "Dashing Jack". During a daring heist in 2997, Jack and his crew followed up their daring theft in 2996 of the battleship that would become infamous as Redalen's Revenge with a raid upon New Palermo. They slipped past security on a stolen transport, took that ship all the way to a Lega Roma arsenal where damaged mecha get refurbished, and stole a total of 30 units- one being the Cataphract that would become Black Knight.

Now in the service of the Red Eyes Armada, it would sully the honor of the class by participating in a long series of pirate actions culminating in The Taking of Gabreila Robin in AD 3001- the inciting incident in The Matter of the Milky Way. That would be the beginning of the end for Black Knight, however, as volunteers from Lega Roma units would answer the call to come against Hell's Heart to rescue Countess Gabriela. Alongside Lord Roland of the Solar Guard, and other Solar Guard units, Black Knight would come to its end and the honor of the Cataphract would be washed clean.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

My Life in Fandom (and Writing): The Problem With Starships in SF

The Spacedock channel at YouTube put out a video today that's relevant to Star Knight, something I talked about in an early lore post over at the Study a while ago. I will go back through the ships I'd previously designed with this in mind to ensure I have consistency in my lexicon.

This will take a little work on my part, and only a little as I'm already mostly-there, but it wouldn't hurt to go back over my setting notes and see about tweaking what could use it for the purpose of making it clear to my audience that X is X and not Y. At least I know I nailed it with the Gomorrah-class carriers. If you appreciate this conscientiousness from an author, and you haven't already, you can show your support by backing Star Knight here.

Monday, August 6, 2018

#StarKnightSaga Lore: Anakim, a Red Eyes Prototype Test Bed

We crossed the line for the initial goal for Star Knight over the weekend. It's now safe to join the bandwagon, as you're guaranteed the book, so feel free to come aboard here.

I've talked late last with with my illustrator, and I hope to have the cover candidates ready to show you by this coming weekend, and I am certain that just the line art alone will excite you greatly. Until then, I'll put down some more lore posts on what's in Reavers of the Void.


General & Technical Data

Model Number: REA-X02
Code Name: Anakim
Unit Type: Prototype Manlike Combat Mecha
Manufacturer: Red Eyes Armada
Operator: Red Eyes Armada
Rollout: AD 3001
First Deployment: AD 3001
Accommodations: One pilot in torso-mounted cockpit
Dimensions: Overall Height: 15 meters; Width: 5 meters
Weight: 50 metric tons (70 fully loaded)
Armor Materials: Unknown
Powerplant: Unknown
Propulsion: Rocket Thursters in feet, shoulders, and back
Performance: Turn (180) 1.5 seconds; Run (land): 160 kph (100 mph); Flight (atmosphere): 800 kph (500 mph) w/ ceiling of 30Km & no stall speed; Underwater: Max depth 200 meters
Equipment & Design Features: 360 degree cockpit view system; Sensors: 6000 meter range; advanced DNA-coded enhanced control system.
Fixed Armaments: Red-colored Beam Sword in recessed hip socket; (Optional) missile pods on the hips, lower legs, or shoulders.

Technical & Historical Notes

When Red Eyes began designing his own mecha for the pirate armada bearing his name, he knew that he would have to have something both potent and prestigious to offer to his best pilots in order to cement their allegiance to him in the long term. That meant the implementation of his own models of mecha designed from the start for use by his ace pilots and chief lieutenants, starting with his own sister--Zuzu the Painbringer--and his best captain: Dashing Jack, captain of the battleship Redalen's Revenge.

What would become the testbed prototype Anakim began as a collection of desirable elements from similar mecha designs from across the galaxy as well as in the legends of Old Earth. He compared those elements to what he could afford to manufacture, and thus began a series of frustrating failures lasting from 2996 to 3000. Several daring test pilots died in testing the previous versions of Anakim, and it seemed that Red Eyes would have to conduct some serious industrial espionage to find solutions to his production problems.

It was the arrival of his prize from Garmil's Gate that allowed him to finish Anakim. The Warforger, the angel Azazel, saw fit to reward Red Eyes by fixing his problems. This effort proved trivial for the angel, as Azazel had access to abilities that the pirate warlord did not, which the angel used to shake the cobwebs from a mind asleep for many generations of men and establish his worth to Red Eyes- and especially to the pirate's patron and master.

Anakim's performance capabilities put it on par with the top-end designs it is intended to compare favorably to and contrast against just as well. The core of this is a control system meant to attune the assigned pilot to the machine via a DNA bonded sequence, a new biomechanical element added by Azazel to its control mechanism. This control scheme, assisted by a 360 degree viewscreen in the cockpit, gives the pilot reaction times as if he truly wore the unit as an armored suit.

While Anakim had only one weapon built into its frame, it featured quick-detach points on its hips and back for hand-held weapons and ordinance; Zuzu would take a beam lance, a long-range rifle, and some mech-sized grenades on a sortie usually but provisions for mech-sized rocket launchers, battle rifles, and a beam shield existed in the specifications. This allowed the suit to easily take up battlefield pickups to augment or replace deployed arms. As for protection, its armor materials were unknown at the time of its debut at The Taking of Gabriela Robin and so were the details of its powerplant. Observation only noted unusual degrees of aesthetic design in its frame; it resembled a giant-sized warrior of antiquity, albeit as a robot.

While Anakim would be a short-lived prototype unit, the data gained during its operational lifespan permitted the finalization of Red Eyes' intended elite pilot model--the Enkidu-class--which would roll out in the aftermath of the Taking of Gabriela Robin and thus ensure Anakim's place in the annals of the Matter of the Milky Way forever after.

If you want more original mecha action, head over to Brian Niemeier's blog and read what he's got for his new series: Combat Frame XSeed. He's also part of the scene we call #AGundam4Us, and as he's already proven himself a capable author ready and able to attract and satisfy an audience (that Dragon award and nomination are not for nothing), you will want to keep an eye upon him going forward.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

My Life as a Writer: Appearing Today on the Superversive Podcast!

I just concluded my appearance on the Superversive Sunday podast with Ben Wheeler. We talked all about Star Knight, and Ben closed out the show by reading both of the available manuscript excerpts live. For that alone, you want to give this a listen.

If you were at all worried about backing Star Knight, you need not worry now. This will happen, so there is no risk now to getting aboard the hype train, which you can do here.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

The Business: "Reavers of the Void" HAS MET ITS FUNDING GOAL!

WE HAVE CROSSED THE LINE! A new Perk unlocked: Major Supporting Role!

This needs some explanation.

To quote the Perk: You may appear in the series in a major supporting role. You may choose to appear as either a hero or as a villain. I will create the character in the spirit you propose, but I reserve final judgement in order to best fit the needs of the narrative.

The reason for why this Perk remained hidden until the initial funding goal is met is because there is no room for additional characters in Book One. This Perk, and the similar benefit afforded to those taking out the Premium Print Combo Perk, apply to Books 2-9 in the series.

This is a Perk for those who want to play the Muse. You're the inspiration. I'm doing the creation.

This Perk is independent of the Stretch Goals now in place, which are to guarantee the speedy writing and publishing of the rest of the series.

Why would I do this?

You can blame Scott Lynch for this.

Several of the characters appearing in his Gentleman Bastard sequence are based upon people he knows. This is hardly an unusual habit for SF/F authors, as many have confessed to the practice over the decades, so why not come forth and be open about it? Let those who are serious about this, who want to be a part of it, put their skin in the game. (That's why the Perk is at $100(US), to deter the lukewarm and make trolling expensive; the reservation will eliminate the rest of would-be trolls with more money than sense).

The reason for the cap of 50 is because that is the upper limit of additional major supporting roles in this series. It's a big galaxy, and this saga goes all over, but a narrative is a narrative and there is only so much room at any given time; if I don't talk to you for Book 2, I will by Book 9.

Friday, August 3, 2018

#StarKnightSaga Lore: Hell's Heart, Red Eyes' Fortress

Hell's Heart

General & Technical Data

Name: Hell's Heart
Unit Type: Space Fortress
Manufacturer: Red Eyes Armada
Operator: Red Eyes Armada
Operational Date: 6 June, AD 2995.
Dimensions: Height: 12 kilometers (7.5 miles); Length: 8 kilometers (5 miles); Width: 4 kilometers (2.5 miles)
Crew: 20000, w/ 3000 pilots, plus additional personnel from visiting starship crew/pilots.
Armament: Anti-ship missile launchers x20, anti-ship blaster cannons x20, anti-mecha personal defense cannons x200.
Compliment: 3000 Goblin-class GERWALK mecha (garrison), plus any vessels in dock.

Technical & Historical Notes

Long before the pirate Red Eyes became a warlord seeking to conquer Galactic Christendom, he decided to become more than just a savage alien pirate raiding for profit and prestige. To become a real power-player, one needed a base to operate from, and either you took one over or you built it yourself. In the first major exhibition of Red Eyes' future ambitions, the pirate convinced his crew to stake out a place of their own.

They found, out on the fringes of the galaxy, a massive planetoid. Having already build into smaller asteroids to create supply depots, caches, secret bases, and so on they took to the task of turning this huge floating rock into a space fortress. It was not done swiftly; knowing how his people think, Red Eyes wisely built out the fortress in stages. He rotated personnel on the regular, using the construction projects as the means for too-hot crews to lie low and wait out pursuits away from curious eyes.

Once complete, Red Eyes' celebrated the occasion by proclaiming the whole of the galaxy as fair game for their raiding, quoting a work of Old Earth: "From Hell's Heart, I stab at thee!" Ships stolen elsewhere soon came here to be stripped down and refit as raiders, and mecha stolen from elsewhere likely came here in increasing numbers for the same refit process. It was a short step from possessing the power to refit another's construction to doing your own.

That jumped into overdrive when a mysterious figure arrived just before Christmas of 3000. Shortly after his arrival, Hell's Heart underwent a stem-to-stern overhall and the original designs started rolling off factory lines running at all hours. The debut of the Goblin, and then the Gomorrah, worried many in Christendom- but it would be the debut deployment of a new and powerful machine that would horrify the surivors of The Taking of Gabriela Robin.

Hell's Heart would eventually be discovered, beseiged, sacked, and destroyed by the Solar Guard and several naval task forces volunteered for the mission, but its influence would be felt for many years thereafter as this mode of speed-constructing a space fortress would be rolled out on a galactic scope and scale in the wars that followed.

For more original science fiction featuring giant robot combat, look out for Combat Frame XSeed coming soon from Dragon Award winner and nominee Brian Niemeier. To help me make the Star Knight Saga happen, support my Indiegogo campaign here. We're at 83% to the initial goal, and a new--and exciting--Perk unlocks when we reach that initial goal.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

A Student Group In Japan Makes Anime: "Kūchū Gunkan Atlantis"

Anime News Network reported on the 31st that a student group in Japan crowdfunded an original work, a science fiction adventure named Kūchū Gunkan Atlantis (Aerial Battleship Atlantis). You can find the project page here, should you wish to go to the effort of contributing to it.

If the project still seeks funding, and if you can spare it, give those kids a hand. They are earning it.

I now address the group directly.

Dear Students of the "Gekigadan" Group:

I am--as the recent posts on this blog make clear--not only a fan of science fiction featuring mecha, but now an author of the same. I too have an active crowdfunding campaign going as of this post: The Star Knight Saga, one that I launched to help me create an original work inspired by the many works of science fiction I've enjoyed over my lifetime.

In addition to classic Western works such as A Princess of Mars, Galactic Patrol and Star Wars I've taken inspiration from many classic anime series. Mobile Suit Gundam, Super Dimension Fortress Macross, Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Aura Battler Dunbine, Mazinger Z, and others are all part of the pool of inspiration I drew from in creating Star Knight. I would be a liar if I did not confess to the hope of seeing my novels adapted into anime films or TV series, a thing that I'd not held out much hope for until I saw your trailer.

I understand that, as a student group, you are not able to produce at the speed of the established studios. I am not concerned about that at this time. I am concerned only in seeing that you and your team of talented youths be grated the opportunity to collaborate with the very best authors producing quality material to adapt into quality anime, wherever we may be. Though it may seem unorthodox for you at this time, I am already convinced that you have the talent necessary create works of everlasting beauty, quality, and lasting influence like those I mentioned above.

My peers and I here in the West would welcome the opportunities to work with you in the future, some sooner than others, as we are also creating not only mecha science fiction but plenty of other fantastic literature that would be ideal for adaptation into animated film or television. If you are willing and able to reach across the Pacific to us, we would be glad to welcome you as our colleagues.

I can be reached privately at the email address in the Contact tab above, or publicly in the Comments section below, and I hope that you seize this opportunity to open a mutually-beneficial relationship with us.

--Bradford C. Walker

For more original science fiction with that distinct aesthetic, look out for Combat Frame XSeed coming soon from Dragon Award winner and nominee Brian Niemeier. To help me make the Star Knight Saga happen, support my Indiegogo campaign here. We're at 75% to the initial goal, and a new--and exciting--Perk unlocks when we reach that initial goal.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

#StarKnightSaga Lore: Gomorrah-class Carrier

Great Gomorrah

General & Technical Data

Class: Gomorrah
Name: RPASS-C01
Ships of the Line: Great Gomorrah, Lilith, Delilah, Endora
Unit Type: Carrier
Manufacturer: Red Eyes Pirate Armada
Operator: Red Eyes Pirate Armada
First Deployment: 5 January, AD 3001
Length: 450 meters
Width: 250 meters
Crew: 100 (skeleton); 300 (standard) plus 60 pilots.
Armament: Corner-Mounted Point-Defense Weapon System (anti-mecha/anti-asteroid/anti-missile) x8, Multi-Purpose Missile Launcher x4.
Compliment: 60 Goblin-class GERWALK mecha (standard)

Technical & Historical Notes

When Red Eyes commissioned the design of the Goblin, he also decreed that a carrier vessel be produced to carry them forth. The same industrial constraints applied, so the resulting design is as basic as a carrier could be while remaining capable of fulfilling its intended purpose. The result was the Gomorrah class, the first purpose-built original design warship by a hostile alien power since the conquest of the Milky Way by Galactic Christendom.

The intention was to reduce Red Eyes' reliance upon stolen carriers, or transports converted into carriers, by taking the common elements of the models they've previously hijacked and stolen and building their own version of it. The result is a star-faring box with engines on one end incapable of atmospheric entry, a hangar bay in the middle, crew quarters squished as close to duty stations as possible, and fixed armaments reduced to the minimum for self-defense.

The Gommorah is a class meant to stand off beyond the range of most ships' guns, using its mecha as its offense primarily and its missile launchers as a supplement to that primary capacity. The point-defense cannons on the corners are its primary defensive arms; the ball turret design decision cuts cost by offering maximum coverage possible.

Its bridge doubles as a fighter command center, making this class ideal for managing a fleet and therefore selected as a flagship. This was the case for the fleet deployed upon New Edinburgh at its debut; Vice Admiral Zuzu, the Painbringer, chose the Great Gomorrah for that reason as her flagship.

This class would turn out to be a fragile one. Speed of construction came at the cost of protection and safety systems, which became apparent when Ireton and allied forces retaliated against the Red Eyes Armada after the raid on New Edinburgh, the taking of Countess Gabriela Robin, and the start of the Matter of the Milky Way. Several ships of the line got sunk, making it clear to Red Eyes that the doctrine regarding their use had to move back to their strengths as raiders, which would be the case thereafter.

In time this class would be superseded and replaced, but for the brief time it roamed the galaxy it proved potent, and later it would find a second life reconfigured into a logistical support role as a fleet tender or a hospital vessel. The last of the class would meet its end at the Battle of Onares, when Duke Far's famous "Ghost Fist Gambit" let him take Baron Sheelak prisoner and turn the Baron's flagship against Duke Onares' planetary shield.

For more original science fiction featuring giant robot combat, look out for Combat Frame XSeed coming soon from Dragon Award winner and nominee Brian Niemeier. To help me make the Star Knight Saga happen, support my Indiegogo campaign here. We're at 61% to the initial goal, and a new--and exciting--Perk unlocks when we reach that initial goal.