Good morning everyone!
I’m rather excited this morning! So much so, that I got up two hours early. Today, I have the distinct pleasure of hosting author Mark Iles!
Mark’s novel, ‘A Pride of Lions’, is being released by Solstice on the 30th! That’s this coming Friday! If you’re a sci-fi reader, you’ll love it. Why do I say that? Because I read his novel in my EIC duties and it kept me wondering where it would go next two hours later when I was having dinner with my family.
So, now that I’ve whet your appetite with the cover, here’s Mark!
‘A Pride of Lions’ is released on Amazon on Friday 30th August. An SF novel with a difference ‘Pride’ looks at criminals in the future and how they might be dealt with. Thrown into the pot is a craving for revenge, a love interest, a psychopathic killer and the desperate battle for the very survival of humanity.
Selena Dillon and her cohorts attempted to murder the ruler of their planet. Caught red handed they are now being tried for their crimes.
An opaque dome fell around the jury, hiding them from view. The judge rose to his feet and, beard rattling softly, left the courtroom to relax in his chambers, until he received notice they’d reached a verdict. When an orderly finally came and summoned him, he returned to his seat, sat down heavily and pressed a button that cleared the jury’s screening.
“Have you come to a decision?” he asked loudly.
“We have,” their spokesman replied.
“Then show your verdict.” As he nodded for them to carry on, they all reached forward and pressed the relative buttons in front of them.
The judge looked at the results on his console, and hid an inward sigh.
Their spokesman glanced at the results and swallowed, adding, “We find all of the accused guilty of the crimes stated.”
When the man sat back down again the judge addressed the prisoners. “You’ve been tried by Federation Law, and have even confessed to the sickening crime of attempted murder, of Royalty nonetheless, and also of murder itself. You’ve also been found guilty of the heinous crime of terrorism, and I’m sure that you all know full well that each of these crimes carries the sentence of death.”
There were angry growls from the crowd and the robosec bellowed, “Silence in court!”
A slim dark-haired woman stood up and banged her fist loudly on the wooden barrier in front of her, her face working in fury as she shouted, “This is a farce. If they’d succeeded you’d be giving them medals now, instead of punishing them. This sucks! Everyone here knows that those who should be on trial are the Queen and the Royal Family. They’ve murdered thousands of people, and these guys only tried to rid our planet of that tyrant. They’re heroes, not criminals!”
Selena looked over and grinned broadly, as she recognised her old school chum Linda McKenzie. Catching her eye, Linda added, “Tell them to shove it up their arse, Selena. You guys did the right thing, and we’re all damn proud of you. Others will try the same thing, you’ll see, and sooner or later someone will succeed and we’ll finally be rid of those murderers.”
“Get that woman out of my court!” the judge roared, watching angrily as guards dragged Linda away, although the audience continued to protest. “The next person who makes any noise will be dragged outside and whipped on the spot!” he bellowed, eyes widening as he glared at them. Gradually silence fell once more.
“However,” continued the judge more collectedly, turning back to the accused and ignoring the rumpus, “it’s in my power to offer you an alternative. We’re currently upgrading the military, as we do from time to time. This allows me to offer you the option of serving in the Penal Regiments, until you either die in their ranks or are discharged after twenty-five years’ service under their terms of contract. You each have three minutes to decide.”
‘A Pride of Lions’ is the first in ‘The Darkening Stars’ series. Having written features and fiction for over 30 years I applied to do an MA in Professional Writing. ‘Pride’ had been bouncing around in my head for some time, and I seized the opportunity of the MA to produce this first novel as part of the course. It’s without doubt the best choice I’ve ever made, as it really focused me. Getting this novel accepted is the perfect conclusion to a wonderful experience.
Thanks for stopping by, Mark!