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  #1  
Old 04-22-2015, 01:55 PM
essayons4791 essayons4791 is offline
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Default Some new military science fiction

An excerpt from the first chapter of "In The Valley", a new science fiction book available on amazon.

Saint Michael, angel of battle,
We praise you to God on high.
The foe you gave was strong and brave
And unafraid to die.

The Battle of the Tenaru, August 21, 1942
By Robert Leckie


Battle shock

Paul Thompson had had enough. He tapped another near-cig out of his crumpled pack and surveyed the scene around him while his Halo crackled garbled messages in his head. The breeze smelled like marijuana and greasy smoke; the cerulean sky screamed out the dawn overhead. Occasional pops, like firecrackers tossed by careless kids, sounded from the stone upon stone village nearby.

Only the pops weren’t firecrackers Paul was hearing, it was gunfire. He and his merry band had just cleared the village of a Dissident cell. Their mortal remains lay at his feet. The clearing was still continuing and joy, oh joy, the Province Police had finally showed up to assist.

His ad hoc company of advisees (Paul was an advisor) had surrounded the village before dawn in a human slinky movement of cursing, stumbling men. He had joined the men on foot, unarmored. In the parlance of the Forces Infantry, it had been a Basic Dismounted Movement to Contact.

Doing stuff the old fashioned way impressed the locals and gaining their respect and covertly leading them was his job. Kinda tough to do that when he was cocooned in his two meter-odd tall Armored Suit. Had Paul been so equipped, he could have rolled up this cell, flattened the village and taken on a brigade of Old Earth panzers. But the situation dictated that he had to take an old-fashioned unarmored approach.

Cupping a near-cig in his left hand, he lit it with a bit of burning pot plant. He inhaled and wiped his eyes with the filthy sleeve of his locally adapted multicams. The villagers supplemented their income with the vast field of ganja he just had fought through. The unpleasant experience of bullets clipping off choice buds overhead while he fought for his life in the dark was not one he would care to repeat anytime soon. He swore he would never be able to smell ol’ Mary Jane again without the ball-tightening feeling of impending disaster; namely, a slug hitting him in the face. Even the trauma-weave ‘cams he wore wouldn’t help much with that.

Some kids were wailing over by a stony wall. Damn, it was hard to think over their screaming. Paul’s best guess was that they must be the families of the recently departed and exquisitely butchered Dissidents in the field. The ringing in his ears, the lamentations of the children were working together to block out thought. However, Higher was calling with questions.

“Two-Three” was Paul’s call sign. There was nothing cool for him like “Devil”, or “Maverick”. His handle was just a naked number. But then again the Colonel’s call sign was “Five”- the Colonel was a low-profile kind of guy. Usually soldiers of his rank would call themselves “Powerhouse Six” or something else dumb like that. That’s not how the Colonel rolled. Paul, being a fellow who had come up through the ranks, respected that.

“Two-Three, how many Shitheads did you roll up down there?” his Halo, the Colonels proxy, was trying to drown out the screaming kids again. Paul took a breath, scanned the tree line, and answered. “We got five.” Paul answered. “Five, do you have a visual on my position?” Paul would be happy if that was the case. The popcorn gunfire was getting on his nerves. Any additional security like the overwatch from an armored Suit was quite welcome.

He had noticed that he was getting jumpier by the day playing old-school infantry games with the lovely inhabitants of Juneau 3, on this his third combat rotation and by far the liveliest. The other two tours, while scary and challenging at the time, were a joke compared to this ball buster of a tour.

He once had thought it sucked to patrol a potentially hostile wasteland on say, Roodeschool 5 at forty clicks an hour in a Suit. Ha! If he had only known then what he knew now. Paul had been beating the boonies on foot on the “June-bug” while trying to mind-meld with a bunch of stinky Settlers, most of who were Dissidents. There was nothing like holding hands with a bomb maker you knew was trying to kill you, the secret hidden behind his smile.

Interested? Here's a link.

http://www.amazon.com/Valley-Jason-L...lley+lambright
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  #2  
Old 04-25-2015, 03:19 AM
Kachad Male Kachad is offline
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Your work or a suggestion?

I'm a sci-fi and fantasy guy, so may be downloading it, just curious if the work was yours.
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  #3  
Old 04-26-2015, 01:01 AM
essayons4791 essayons4791 is offline
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I've read stuff in this genre since I was a kid. Heinlein, Asimov, Haldeman, etc. Lately I've read John Birmingham, Ringo, SM Stirling and others. This book fits my tastes.
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Old 04-28-2015, 03:16 AM
Kachad Male Kachad is offline
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Excellent book. I would highly recommend it. Finished it in two days, disrupted my sleep pattern a bit.
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Old 04-28-2015, 06:46 PM
essayons4791 essayons4791 is offline
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Seems some people like this. So here goes, another excerpt from the first chapter of In The Valley:

Maybe Najibullah the Bombmaker wouldn’t be so cheerful if he knew that Force Intel had a listening worm implanted in his cheapo Halo. And Paul had to maintain the façade... his mantra had become “hold on”. Hold on one more day, one more mission. Put one foot in front of the other. Cherish each Suited-up mission; silently dread the basic dismounted ones. When his teammates weren’t looking Paul’s hands shook like leaves. He fantasized hourly about pulling his pistol, looking Najibullah in the eyes, and taking his life. One problem- Najibullah was a Province Police Major. Paul was under direct orders not to kill him.

Paul wondered when his Halo would dime him out as “combat-stressed” to the Colonel’s command unit. Maybe his headset was broke, the diagnostics gone haywire. It had to be, as hot as the fear and hate burned in his chest and as sick and cold as he felt in his heart.

He had humped all over this backwater in the name of peace and the universal brotherhood of man. He snorted in self-derision. There was no brotherhood, and there surely was no peace. Not now, not in the Stone Age, and certainly not after some bright boys and girls invented the Glimmer FTL Drive in the mid twenty-first. Turns out there were an awful lot of worlds within striking distance of old Sol that were in solar sweet spots and that had some small chance of habitability by man’s spawn. Old Earth had a surplus of people and plenty of crazies like, oh, a certain Paul Thompson- born and raised in Hopefield, Ohio, in the Pan-American Federation.

So here he was, and there was the Colonel with a simple answer, “Roger”. That’s mil speak for yes. He was still scratching himself as to the obscure origins of the word. Roger, who the h**l was Roger, and why did a man’s name mean yes? Paul would be d***ed if he knew. He loved hearing “roger” now, though. His guardian angel was on station over the unholy mess.

He threw the near-cig down and ground it out. Not that he was concerned with starting fires. After all, a man’s head was burning up in a brush fire not two meters in front of him. The gesture was just the force of habit. Maybe he ground the butt a little bit too hard, out of sheer disgust.

The Colonel, unlike Paul, was wearing a Suit, and Paul was d**n glad he was on the ridgeline overlooking Pashto Khel. That was the name of the village he and his merry men had just thoroughly perforated, penetrated and pilfered. So all the better that the Colonel could see Paul’s position, and be in place just in case Paul needed to call in the wrath of the Gods down on this miserable hole.

The head-honcho local on the op, Bashir, called Paul over. Bashir was a powerfully built dark-haired man with an incongruous potbelly. He spoke no Spanish and had just a little English. Paul only had a smattering of phrases from Bashir’s lingo. The translator program in the mil-grade Halo in his helmet covered most of the gaps. It wasn’t perfect, but you couldn’t expect a Halo from Earth to know all the local Farsi-derived slang.

Bashir spoke; “These men, they must die”. He was agitated, all hopped up on adrenalin and probably, if Paul’s guess was right, the local version of the venerable opium plant. If pushed, the seemingly unarmed Bashir would produce a P-39 pistol like magic, and someone would perish. Keeping Bashir on the team was important for everyone’s health.

Paul looked at the quivering mass of humanity at his feet. Three Dissidents lay like broken toys in various positions of unlovely death. “His” men (they were actually Bashir’s 2nd Company) had done well. During the pre-dawn firefight by the distant wall to the north, the Dissident cell had been persuaded to make a run for it. In doing so they had run through the rich, pungent marijuana smack into Bashir’s blocking force to the west. They died as they thought they were reaching a safe haven, gunned down and exsanguinated from two sides.

Paul’s advisor group had learned that the local Dissident leader, Commander Mohammed, was going to be home via a rat in the village the night before. So the Juneau Army soldiers had moved out for the kill. The entire operation, elegantly simple, resembled nothing so much as a noose tied around the necks of the Dissident cell. One rifle company, the 1st, had circled to the east, and the other, the 2nd, had circled to the west. Viola, the village was surrounded.

The fight started when a guard dog tipped off the Dissidents. A S***head (the Team’s earthy name for a Dissident) went to investigate and d**n near ran into Paul in the pot field by a wall. He opened fire so close by that Paul could swear, over his ringing ears, that he could hear the clatter-clatter-clatter of the bolt working back and forth in the clapped out receiver of the Kalashnikov rifle.

As firefights go, ordinance began whipping all over the place- s**t was flying everywhere, there was mass confusion, chaos, random dismemberment and death. Laser death rays were still for the future. Hot metal definitely held pride of place in the combat of the 24th century.
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  #6  
Old 04-29-2015, 04:10 AM
Kachad Male Kachad is offline
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The scene where Paul has a sit down with the psych and gets grilled about combat stress was extremely powerful.
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  #7  
Old 04-29-2015, 06:59 PM
essayons4791 essayons4791 is offline
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The book deals with combat and its side effects realistically, albeit in a science fiction setting. Sort of like Joe Haldeman's "Forever War".
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Old 04-30-2015, 02:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by essayons4791 View Post
The book deals with combat and its side effects realistically, albeit in a science fiction setting. Sort of like Joe Haldeman's "Forever War".
I have just read "Forever War" this past year. Another very good book.
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Old 11-24-2015, 11:01 AM
essayons4791 essayons4791 is offline
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The Forever War is an awesome book. Joe Haldeman, if memory serves, was a combat veteran of Vietnam. Nothing like some first hand insight when writing war fiction. Another great book that is non-fiction is "Helmet for my Pillow" by Leckie, or "With the Old Breed" by Sledge. Of course, both of those men's stories in also told by the HBO series "The Pacific". If you are going to read war fiction or non-fiction, may as well get it from the horse's mouth.
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Old 11-25-2015, 11:06 PM
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Another excerpt from "In the Valley" follows:

Inadequate shrinks

Paul ran into the combat stress technician one morning at chow towards the end of his tour. He had sat down to eat some delicious biscuits when the man sat down in front of him. There was no avoiding the encounter. No one was sitting particularly close by and Paul had no good excuse to stand up and leave, so he was stuck.

“I see that you have been in close combat lately.” The man had a surprisingly deep voice. He had no doubt been snooping in Paul’s Halo diagnostics- the shrinks could do that.

Paul chewed his biscuit and nodded. He knew to never say more than you had to in front of these guys and gals- they would get you sent away from your unit so fast your head would spin. One part of him wanted to start blabbing, to tell the shrink all that went on behind his eyes. The more rational part told him to shut up.

The psychologist tried again. “You fired your weapon. Did the experience bother you?”

Paul’s mind flashed to him crouching behind a wall, his rifle recoiling on his shoulder, the red aiming chevron- Paul shook the memory off. He knew he had to speak sooner or later.

“What is going on with you right now, Captain Thompson?” The shrink looked at him intently.

“Nothing, nothing really. Just trying to eat my biscuit.” Paul chewed as if he had a mission.

The combat stress guy bored in. “Your Halo is telling me you are experiencing elevated stress levels right now. Are my questions bothering you?”

Paul wanted to reach across the table and punch this f****er in the face. Who was he to pry in his head? What the f**k was he going to tell this smug f**k, this dude who had never been on the line, who had never fired a shot?

Paul spoke nicely, instead of acting out with the violence he craved. “No, not at all. I know you’re just trying to do your job.” He tried a smile. It felt glued to his face like a cheap child’s mask.

“Part of my job is speaking to soldiers like you, Captain Thompson. Or may I call you Paul?”

“Call me whatever you like. Is this going to take long? I have to go out on a mission in an hour.”

“This conversation has a direct relation as to whether you do go back out, Paul.”

There it was, thought Paul. The Threat. He would say whatever was necessary to return to the Team, and not end up on a shuttle to Jade.

“Alright, what do you want to know?”

Satisfied, the shrink continued. “Have you been reliving your combat experiences?”

“Yes.”

“Are you easily startled?”

“In my shoes, wouldn’t you be?”

“Do you feel uncomfortable without your weapon?”

“Of course, we have to carry one with us all the time here. You should know that.” What a dumb f***in’ question, thought Paul.

The shrink nodded. He continued- no doubt a questionnaire was scrolling down in front of his eyes. “Do you feel detached from others?”

“Yes, how else will I command them in battle?”

“Do you have trouble expressing your feelings?”

Paul laughed. Was this guy kidding? “Who am I going to express my feelings to? My mom? My girlfriend?”

“Please answer the question, Paul.”

“Expressing your feelings isn’t high on the list of things to do in a combat unit. Does that answer work for you?” This guy was getting on Paul’s nerves.

The shrink nodded. “Yes, I believe that works as an answer.” He continued. “Do you feel as if you are a danger to yourself or others?”

Paul saw himself shooting Najibullah the Bombmaker. That f***er, he thought, he had to get hurt. He saw the dead at Kanaghat, at Pashto Khel, other places. They were piles of forlorn rags and flesh. Yes, he thought, I am a danger to others.

He must have been woolgathering, because the shrink was looking at him intently. “Paul, are you there?”

“Yeah, yeah, I’m fine.”

“Could you answer the question, Paul?”

“Of course I’m a danger to others!” Paul lost his cool. “What the f**k do you think they pay me to do?”

“I’m speaking of inappropriate violence, Paul. I’m well aware that you are a combat soldier. I’m going to ask you this one more time, are you a danger to yourself or others?”

This f***head, thought Paul. This cheesed**k. With difficulty, he mastered himself. “No, I am not a danger to myself or others.”

The shrink relaxed. “Good. One last question, then I will allow you to return to your duties.” He paused. “Do you think that God speaks to you?”

Paul thought it was a ridiculous question on its face. Then he paused. In battle, at the worst of times, he had felt the presence of God. He couldn’t explain the feeling, but it was so. He spoke.

“No.” It was a bold-faced lie. Paul had indeed felt that God had spoken to him.

The shrink had the questions answered, he had checked the blocks in his standard Force’s combat trauma questionnaire. Paul thought that if this guy wanted to dig deeper, he would have found all sorts of stuff. But the Forces didn’t want that, so this guy skimmed the surface only.

“Well, Captain Thompson, I think that for a combat soldier in the midst of hostilities, you are about as well-adjusted as my parameters call for. Do you have anything else you care to add?”

Nice, thought Paul. Nice open-ended question at the end. The interrogator gives the subject just enough rope to hang himself, after all.

“No sir, nothing to add.”

The shrink from combat trauma gave a funny little smile and excused himself. Paul watched his free ride to Jade walk off. It would have been so easy, he thought. All he had to do was speak his mind and he would have been on a shuttle, flying away from all of this, away from Kill-a-guy, away from the Baradna.

But Paul couldn’t make it that easy. He still had a job to do. He forked up another mouthful of biscuit.
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Old 02-02-2016, 07:30 AM
Kachad Male Kachad is offline
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Just checked this author out again on Amazon, haven't seen any new books released.

Do you know if the Author is publishing in a different format, or heard anything about additional books in the near future?
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Old 02-03-2016, 12:15 AM
essayons4791 essayons4791 is offline
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Nothing published as far as I know. It'd be nice if something came out, though!

On another note, read some stuff lately that's pretty good. "Blood Red Snow" by Gunter Koschorrek- it's a first hand account of the fighting on the Eastern Front in WW2. Also read "Dark Victory" by Brendan DuBois, a sci-fi, aliens, humans with their backs to the wall, all the good stuff.

Thanks, Dad, for the gift of Sci-Fi! Been reading it all my life.

Last edited by essayons4791; 02-03-2016 at 12:21 AM.
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Old 02-03-2016, 02:35 AM
Kachad Male Kachad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by essayons4791 View Post
Nothing published as far as I know. It'd be nice if something came out, though!

On another note, read some stuff lately that's pretty good. "Blood Red Snow" by Gunter Koschorrek- it's a first hand account of the fighting on the Eastern Front in WW2. Also read "Dark Victory" by Brendan DuBois, a sci-fi, aliens, humans with their backs to the wall, all the good stuff.

Thanks, Dad, for the gift of Sci-Fi! Been reading it all my life.
Will have to check those out. Haven't read any of those referenced Authors or their books.

Been re-reading Heinlein's Expanded Universe. It's been a good week.
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Old 02-04-2016, 01:34 PM
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Heinlein rules. Sometimes he gets a little out there, but if you are going to read sci-fi, ya gotta stay flexible.

Checked "In the Valley" webpage on amazon, there's a limited offer on the ebook right now, 1.99. No hints as to upcoming projects, though.
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Old 02-09-2016, 08:14 PM
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Jackpot! A sequel is coming out, web says it should be out in June.

http://www.amazon.com/Jason-Lambrigh...ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Currently reading "Red Inferno" by Conroy, the premise is what if the red army didn't stop at Berlin in 1945?
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Old 02-12-2016, 02:53 AM
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Now I know what I will be reading in June, in between swatting mosquitos, getting in trouble with the Tractor, and fishing Walleye.
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  #17  
Old 04-23-2016, 09:55 AM
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A preview of the second book in the series is available on kindle's site.

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/2PBHGLNBQU12B

Looks like it'll be out in June.
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