Sunday, March 31, 2019


The IX Series
Prelude to Sorrow



Have you ever wondered why it is Prelude to Sorrow has been hailed as transcending genres? There’s no secret to it. With tributes to chronological fact; alternative history; sound science; metaphysical fantasy; science fiction, and with a supporting cast of strong characters, Prelude to Sorrow was bound to make an impact.

Look at what readers and reviewers had to say:

Weston’s storytelling style reminds me of Neal Stephenson

Yet another stellar masterpiece

Stunning, both in its story and quality of writing


Prelude to Sorrow is a superb requiem to the IX Series
Military sci-fi action at its should be

B Nelson (Top 500 reviewer)
Action, action, action. This is a stunning saga both in its story and quality of writing. "The IX: Prelude to Sorrow" by Andrew P. Weston, is a strong follow up to books one and two of the IX series, Impressive wrap up. Wow. Five Stars.


Black Gate Fantasy:




Want to find out more?
*********


Prelude to Sorrow

Fight or Die.

The task force dispatched to eradicate the Horde menace on far Exordium failed, and for those few left alive, the tenet by which they have survived for so long resounds as never before.
Now marooned, out of time and out of place, the survivors lick their wounds and struggle to recover while the Horde gather their strength for a final strike that will change the course of history forever. The fate of the galaxy – and more – hangs in the balance.
But fate, it seems, isn’t done with the Ninth, and our heroes find themselves forced to mount a last-ditch attempt to end the threat once and for all.
Will the darkness be vanquished, or will our heroes’ efforts finally signal the beginning of the end of their adventure?

Find out in – Prelude to Sorrow – the stunning conclusion to the IX saga.




The IX Series



A Final Word on What Readers Say:
If you’re looking for an epic tale paying homage to the past (Ancient Rome) while situated in the future (think Star Trek), pick this up right now. While this is a standalone, I highly recommend you start with The IX and then Exordium of Tears before reading this phenomenal conclusion. Trust me, the payoff is worth it!



Wednesday, March 20, 2019


The IX Series
Exordium of Tears



Exordium of Tears, the second book of The IX Series continued the stunning trend of attracting rave reviews. Why do you think that was?

Look at what readers had to say:

A sequel that doesn't disappoint

Best Science Fiction book I’ve read in years

A tour de force! Highly recommended









Would you like to discover what happened to those misfits from Earth who survived?

Here’s a clue. . .

Exordium of Tears

Fight or die.
A brutal tenet by which the refugees from Earth – including the lost 9th Legion of Rome; the 5th Company, 2nd Mounted Rifles; and the Special Forces anti-terrorist team – were forced to endure while the Horde menace existed.
Now that threat is over, the survivors long to settle down and reclaim the lives stolen from them. However, such aspirations remain beyond their reach, for shadows loom on the horizon that not only threatens the future of Arden, but the universe too, revealing once again that…

Death is only the beginning of the adventure.


Would you face death to save everything you hold dear?

Then join with the Ninth as they take the battle to where it all began in. . .

Exordium of Tears

Wednesday, March 13, 2019


The IX



Have you ever wondered why it is The IX held the #1 slot for six of its first twelve months in print? 

Then wonder no more.

Look at what readers and reviewers had to say:

Military sci-fi in the grand tradition of Jerry Pournelle, Gordon R. Dickson and Robert A. Heinlein

Remarkably graphic

A brilliant and creative adventure












Want to find out more?



The IX

Roman legionaries, far from home, lost in the mists of Caledonia.

A US cavalry company, engaged on a special mission, vital to the peace treaty proposed by Presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln.


A twenty-first century Special Forces unit, desperate to prevent a nuclear catastrophe.


From vastly different backgrounds, these soldiers are united when they are snatched away from Earth at the moment of their passing. Thinking they may have been granted a reprieve, imagine their horror when they discover they have been transported to a failing planet on the far side of the galaxy, where they are given a simple ultimatum. Fight or die. Against all odds, this group of misfits manages to turn the tide against a relentless foe, only to discover the true cost of victory might exact a price they are unwilling to pay.


How far would you be willing to go to stay alive?


The IX. 


Sometimes, death is only the beginning of the adventure.


*********


Do you feel drawn to the plight of the band of brothers pulled away from all they hold dear?

Would you care to fight their battles with them?
 

Then live the dream

The IX


Saturday, February 23, 2019

The IX Series


Have you availed yourselves of the hardcore sci-fi IX Series?
Take a peek at a little reminder of the journey so far
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The IX
Roman legionaries, far from home, lost in the mists of Caledonia.

A US cavalry company, engaged on a special mission, vital to the peace treaty proposed by Presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln.


A twenty-first century Special Forces unit, desperate to prevent a nuclear catastrophe.


From vastly different backgrounds, these soldiers are united when they are snatched away from Earth at the moment of their passing. Thinking they may have been granted a reprieve, imagine their horror when they discover they have been transported to a failing planet on the far side of the galaxy, where they are given a simple ultimatum. Fight or die. Against all odds, this group of misfits manages to turn the tide against a relentless foe, only to discover the true cost of victory might exact a price they are unwilling to pay.


How far would you be willing to go to stay alive?


The IX. 


Sometimes, death is only the beginning of the adventure.


Exordium of Tears

Fight or die.
A brutal tenet by which the refugees from Earth – including the lost 9th Legion of Rome; the 5th Company, 2nd Mounted Rifles; and the Special Forces anti-terrorist team – were forced to endure while the Horde menace existed.

Now that threat is over, the survivors long to settle down and reclaim the lives stolen from them. However, such aspirations remain beyond their reach, for shadows loom on the horizon that not only threatens the future of Arden, but the universe too, revealing once again that…

Death is only the beginning of the adventure.



Prelude to Sorrow
The task force dispatched from Arden to eradicate the Horde menace failed, and for those few left alive, the tenet by which they have survived for so long resounds as never before.

Fight or Die!

Now marooned, out of time and out of place, the survivors lick their wounds and struggle to recover while the Horde gather their strength for a final strike that will change the course of history forever. The fate of the galaxy – and more – hangs in the balance.

But fate, it seems, isn’t done with the Ninth, and our heroes find themselves forced to mount a last-ditch attempt to end the threat once and for all.

Will the darkness be vanquished, or will our heroes’ efforts finally signal the beginning of the end of their adventure?


*********

Still not sure?
Look at what some of the leading lights of speculative fiction had to say about the IX Series:

Amazing stories - The IX

Epicstream - Exordium of Tears

Black Gate Fantasy - Prelude to Sorrow

Now find out for yourself. The links are in the sidebar. . .

Wednesday, December 26, 2018


End of Year Revelations


For those who have followed the IX Series since its inception back in 2015, I think you’ll agree, it’s been a blast! To think that an idea spawned by true events, and mingled with a sprinkling of mythology here and a touch of fiction there, would grow into an epic critically acclaimed by some of the leading lights of speculative fiction – and enjoyed by readers from across the globe – still warms my heart, even now.

And it’s the readers especially that I’d like to thank, for they proposed a wonderful suggestion I’ve been chewing over for some time.

Yes, by way of review, messenger and email, fans kept asking if I’d ever considered writing more about the world of the IX, and in particular, those events leading up to the summoning of the Ninth Legion. Was it really necessary to call them? How did the previous intakes fail so badly? What was the fall of Arden like? And how did the Horde rampage manage to catch a civilization at the height of its power, one that had existed for more than twelve thousand years, by surprise?

When those queries started arriving, I must confess, I found it rather flattering. To think that I had touched readers deeply enough for them to want to delve into the history behind the IX was a dream come true. That’s what every author strives to do.
However, as the volume of those inquiries increased, I began to give them serious consideration. I thought about it some more and raised the question with the esteemed Janet Morris, owner of Perseid Press.

The result?

It is with a great deal of pleasure – and not a little trepidation – that I announce the undertaking of a new venture into the IX Universe. Starting in January 2019, I will begin laying the foundations of an IX “origins” story whereby the questions raised above – and more – will be answered.



It’s going to be a long ride, but I look forward to seeing where the journey eventually takes us.

(Stay tuned to my website and blog for more details/titles, etc, as things progress)



Monday, December 17, 2018

Black Gate Fantasy Review

Prelude to Sorrow


The most excellent folk over at Black Gate Fantasy recently expressed their thoughts on the final book in the IX Series , Prelude to Sorrow.

Here's the gist of what they had to say:

*****************************
Weston’s done a good job with this series. He took an idea that had been used before and breathed real life into it. In the Horde, he’s created one of the most intriguing and monstrous villains of late. The battles, whether on the grounds of alien worlds or of ancient Earth, are gripping, and the reader feels every slash; every explosion. The exploration of the mysteries at the heart of the Horde’s onslaught and their gradual discovery is compelling. And the answers won’t make you groan with their obviousness. Above all, the ending is pretty cool. I should’ve expected it, but I didn’t, and that’s something that always make me happy. Yeah, The IX trilogy is a solid addition to the ranks of military sci-fi.

If you have a yen for the sort of military sci-fi written by the late Jerry Pournelle, then Weston’s series is for you. Actually, I take that back a little bit: something for which I praised Weston in my review of The IX was that he avoided the insufferable political pontificating of much military sci-fi. The series is also wonderfully lacking in glibness and the strawman villains that blight some contemporary military fiction. Weston has a big — nay, huge — story to tell. It’s packed with “Doc” Smith-worthy spaceships, self-sacrificing heroes, formidable enemies, and a few clever big ideas lurking in the background.

*****************************
For the full review, please clink the link below:



Thank you to John O'Neil and Fletcher Vredenburgh in particular:
You guys rock!

Saturday, September 8, 2018

The Soldiers of The IX
The Special Boat Service


The Special Boat Service
Less well-known than their army counterparts, the Special Boat Service is the UK's naval Special Forces unit. Although the SBS is part of UK Special Forces – along with the SAS, SRR and SFSG – and its application can be made from members of the Army, Royal Air Force of Royal Navy, the vast majority of SBS operators tend to come from the Royal Marine Commandos.

History.

The SBS began its history during World War 2 as the Special Boat Section, an Army commando unit tasked with amphibious operations. The men of the fledging unit were not particularly well trained or equipped but they were enthusiastic, resourceful and cunning. Usually working in 2 man groups, paddling ashore on canoes launched from submarine motherships, the teams would seek out and sabotage high value targets such as rail and communication lines. The first of such raids took place along the shores of Italy and the Mediterranean islands.
The fledging special operations force also developed anti-shipping skills, using canoes to sneak into harbors and plant limpet mines on the hulls of enemy ships. In November 1942, one group of Royal Marines, who were to become known as 'The Cockleshell Heroes', carried out an audacious attack on German shipping, a raid that took them far up the Gironde river where they sank 4 enemy ships.



Their expertise at clandestine infiltration made the SBS the perfect choice for inserting and extracting secret agents in the European theatre and this was a task they carried out many times throughout the course of the war.

1950s - Korea


The Korean war saw the SBS teaming up with specially formed 41 Independent Commando Royal Marines and the US Army to create a joint raiding force. Operation Double Eagle was to conduct sabotage missions along the Korean coast, launching raids from submarines and warships. Railway lines, tunnels, bridges and general targets of opportunity were all blown up by the raiding parties, damaging the North Korean's lines of supply and communications.
The Cold War

The Special Boat Squadron, as it was then known, was kept busy during the long standoff between East & West. Known activities include:

  • Inserting and extracting agents from Eastern Bloc coastlines.
  • Intelligence gathering on Russian naval capabilities. An example of this is when a pair of SBS divers covertly photographed and examined the hull of a new Russian Battlecruiser when it docked in the port of Gibraltar.
  • Role playing - along with the SAS, SBS would frequently play the role of Soviet Spetznaz (Special Forces) troops in mock attacks on NATO installations. Some believe that these exercises caused an overestimation of the Spetznaz's capabilities.
  • Coastline Reconnaissance - beaches and harbors of potential hotspots around the world were clandestinely examined with the aim of preparing the way for amphibious landings.
  • Training - SBS teams passed on their expertise to cold war allies and strategic friends. Amongst those instructed included the U.S. Navy Seals and the Sha of Iran's Naval Special Forces.

1970s - Counter Terrorism

The seventies saw a dramatic rise in terrorism throughout the world with politically motivated attacks in the Middle East and Europe. In 1975 Britain resolved to be ready to react to and prevent any acts of terrorism against its interests. The SBS were given the maritime counter terrorism role (MCT), with responsibility for protecting sea ports, ferries, cruise ships and oil platforms. The Special Air Service (SAS) would respond to all other incidents. In the event of very large installations being taken by terrorists, such as nuclear power plants, a combined response of SAS/SBS would be mustered.
In 1979 the increase in off-shore oil installations prompted the formation of 'Commachio Company', 300 Royal Marines trained to respond to terrorist incidents amongst North Sea oil fields. The SBS provided a section, 1SBS, to Commachio Company, whilst another stayed at Poole to cover all other MCT responsibilities.

1982 - The Falklands Conflict

The SBS saw action in the South Atlantic in 1982 when Britain retook the Falklands from the Argentineans. They carried out reconnaissance weeks ahead of the arrival of the main task force, laying up in hides cut into the barren landscape. The SBS, along with the SAS and Royal Marines were responsible for retaking South Georgia, which although militarily insignificant, was a great morale boost for both the approaching task force and the British public.
The night before the planned landing of British forces at San Carlos, the SBS cleared Fanning Head, a hill that overlooked San Carlos Bay. The Argentinean defenders were shelled up by Naval Gunfire whilst the SBS assault force were flown in. After calls for the Argentineans to surrender were answered with gunfire, the SBS attacked, killing 12 and taken more prisoners. This was a small but vital operation. The Argentineans on Fanning Head were manning heavy weapons that could have been brought to bear on the landing force.
Another notable incident occurred when a force of SBS assaulted an Argentinean spy trawler that had been shadowing the British fleet. The ship had been damaged by bombs and cannon fire from an earlier attack by Navy Sea Harriers and was listing badly when the assault force arrived in 2 Sea King helicopters. Using techniques developed for maritime counter terrorism, the SBS assault team fast-roped onto the deck and quickly secured the ship without any shots fired. Along with the shaken crew, vital intelligence documents were also retrieved and flown back to the fleet. This was the first air-to-ship storming of a hostile vessel in military history.
Towards the end of the conflict, with British forces closing on the capital, Port Stanley, a joint SBS/SAS mission was launched against Stanley harbor. The plan was to put in a diversionary attack from the sea, to draw Argentinean forces and attention away from the main defensive line. 

1987 - Formation Of M Squadron

The SBS's counter terrorism role is expanded with the amalgamation of 2 existing SBS sections into M squadron which now took over the MCT role from Commachio Company.
The SBS becomes the Special Boat Service and is taken under control of UKSF, an organization comprising the SAS, SBS and 14th Intelligence Company. All 3 services come under control of the Directorate of Special Forces (DSF).

Since then, the SBS have been active at many garden spots around the world.

You might be wondering what it takes to join such an elite force? Here’s a condensed prĂ©cis of the selection procedure:

Qualification

To be eligible for selection, a candidate must be male, and must have have served in the military for at least 18 months and have 3 years left to serve.

Joint Selection

Stage 1 - Special Forces Briefing Course (2 Days)

Candidates are shown what to expect as a Special Forces soldier with a series of lectures and tests. Basic skills such as swimming, map reading and basic fitness are tested.

Stage 2 - Endurance (4 Weeks)

Kicking off endurance is a Battle Fitness Test which weeds out anyone without a basic level of fitness.
Designed to test fitness and determination, the first 3 weeks of selection take place amongst the barren hills of the Brecon Beacons in Wales. A series of timed marches is undertaken. Wearing heavy bergens, candidates must navigate themselves over the steep hills along a series of way points. Endurance not only tests stamina, but also the ability to keep going whilst suffering inevitable blisters, cramps and the tender affections of the frequently harsh climate. Over the 3 weeks, the marches get progressively longer, and the bergens get heavier. The climax of this phase is known as 'the long drag' - a 40 km march that must be completed in less that 20 hours.

Stage 3 - Initial Continuation Training (4 Weeks)

Basic SF skills of weapon handling, patrolling and demolitions are taught. Candidates who can't absorb and apply these skills are RTU'd. (Returned to Unit).

Stage 4 - Jungle Training

In the heart of thick rainforests in Belize, UKSF jungle training pushes the candidates to their limits of endurance. The particular skills needed to meet the demands of navigating, patrolling, fighting and surviving in dense jungle are taught and practiced. A series of exercises tests the student's ability to apply what they have learned.
Stage 5 - Combat Survival (4 weeks)
Combat survival features a series of lectures on escape and evasion techniques, followed by exercises in which the candidates are hunted down and captured by other troops (often Royal Marines or Parachute Regiment). Once captured, students are subjected to intense interrogation. Whilst waiting for tactical questioning (TQ), candidates are placed in stress positions, deprived of food and water and sleep and subjected to white noise. They are then interrogated and must only give their name, serial number, date of birth and rank. All other questions must be answered with a stock reply : 'I cannot answer that question'.

After Joint Selection

The few that make it through the 1st 5 stages of selection have achieved a major milestone. And this is where our candidates’ part ways. Those wishing to join the SAS are awarded their beige beret and then assigned a squadron and troop.


However, SBS candidates go on to face a final – and extremely rigorous – section which tests their ability in the water.



Swimmer Canoeist (SC3) Training Course

The SC3 course involves training in diving in all conditions, canoeing (often over long distances), underwater demolitions, beach reconnaissance and surveying techniques. Any man that has reached this stage of selection is technically in the SBS but is considered under probation and subject to being RTU'd if he fails to measure up.
If he passes that probation . . . the world is his oyster!



That completes our roundup of the soldiers of The IX. I hope you enjoyed the tour. Be sure to look out for aspects of the details we've discussed the next time you read any of the current books from the IX Series, as I'm sure you'll be delighted to spot them in the way each group of soldiers operate under the harsh conditions they face. 

And remember - Fight or Die! Death is only the beginning of the adventure. . .