Novel Links

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Book of Stone: Zone 6

For April, Stone Soldiers.info is celebrating the A to Z Blog Challenge with daily letter-themed entries about the people, places, and things of the series. To view past and present entries visit the Book of Stone by clicking on the link on the righthand side of this page. 




 ZONE 6


A circular area designated extending out from a supernatural/preternatural threat (LOOSE RABBIT, RED TITAN, BRIGHT STORM, etc.) the minimum safe distance. ZONE 6 varies in size based upon the threat, extending outward as far as necessary to prevent hazardous exposure. Armed forces are instructed to either retreat to Zone 6, or beyond Zone 6.

Command orders may specify over radio that the Zone 6 is expanding or contracting, e.g. "Zone 6 now 3 to 7 kilometers" specifying the closest armed forces may be allowed to a specific threat.

The civilian population is prohibited from being within Zone 6. Evacuations initiated under these conditions call for all civilian personnel to be moved outside of Zone 6, with conventional armed forces confined to the innermost point of the Zone, or farther. Only preternatural forces with Command-authorized access are allow to pass beyond Zone 6, into the designated threat area. 

The term is loosely modeled on the Nuclear safe zones (I, II, and III).  


Behind the Scenes

One of the biggest challenges of writing any military series is balancing the need for authentic "military speak" with reader familiarity. While many readers might know all the jargon, non-veterans might not. Throw in a science fiction twist, like the preternatural forces of Stone Soldiers and Spectral Ops and you have to start inventing military terms to cover the situations, creatures and conditions now part of the created world. 

Fortunately, writers can turn to history for examples on how to do this. In the 1940s, the advent of nuclear weaponry resulted in a shift in warfare tactics that necessitated a whole new lexicon terms. The War on Terror and our Information Age Cyber Threats re doing the same thing. Using these as examples, it's possible to come up with appropriate terms. The trick is to just not over use them...

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Book of Stone: Yūrei

For April, Stone Soldiers.info is celebrating the A to Z Blog Challenge with daily letter-themed entries about the people, places, and things of the series. To view past and present entries visit the Book of Stone by clicking on the link on the righthand side of this page. 



 Yūrei by Sawaki Sūshi (1737)

  
Yūrei



First Appearance:  Spectral Ops: Island of the Damned

Description:  Japanese Spirit-being

  

Known by a variety of names around the world, and appearing in different types and kinds, spirits, or non-corporeal entitites, are known by all cultures. In Japan, the term Yurei is one of many used to describe NCEs. Some consider the Yurei as spirits "temporarily" released from hell to complete an outstanding mission.

Souls who die violently, do not receive proper funerary rites, or die while consumed by a desire for vengeance, Yurei are believed to not pass on peacefully to join the spirits of their ancestors in the afterlife. Instead, their souls become ayurei souls, capable of travel back to the physical world.

Buddhist beliefs claim that the journey from the world of the living (konoyo) to that of the dead (anoyo) can take 49 days. In this limbo-like phase, ayurei can attend to unresolved issues.

It is further claimed that there is a correlation between the degree of suffering in life and the severity of actions in the afterlife. It is reported that the intentions of ayurei are not always evil, but it should be noted that their actions are almost always damaging to the living they encounter. 

Finally, it is believed that a yurei can only receive release from the prayers of the living--allowed the soul to pass into the underworld.

Acceptance of the existence of these disembodied souls was so widespread in Japan that by the 1800s they had begun to influence art and theater, inspiring Kabuki and Yūrei-zu (painted or woodblock print images).



Behind the Scenes
In Shades of War, readers were exposed to the shade, a remnant ghost some believe is more of an after image of the deceased. In Pale Horseman, a demonic entity capable of possessing the living and existing for centuries was introduced. In A Lucky Day to Die, formerly-human souls were corrupted into pale imitations of demons, trapped and harnessed for their power. In Spectral Ops, the spirits unleashed on the small French town of Moyenne were of greater variety, including what appeared to be traditional ghosts, banshees, poltergeists, and possessing spirits. 

Spectral Ops: Island of the Damned continues the ghostly theme of the series, with the spirit war moving to the Pacific where readers will learn about Asian spirits.




Friday, April 28, 2017

Book of Stone: X-Ray Seven

For April, Stone Soldiers.info is celebrating the A to Z Blog Challenge with daily letter-themed entries about the people, places, and things of the series. To view past and present entries visit the Book of Stone by clicking on the link on the righthand side of this page.




  
X-RAY SEVEN



First Appearance:  Spectral Ops: Island of the Damned

Description:  Warrior-monks of the Japanese Emperor

  
Long ago, the Empire of Japan was plagued by oni, demons that rampaged throughout the land, terrorizing the people. The Emperor of Japan decided that something must be done, and gathered his most trusted advisers, wisemen and sorcerers.  

The Emperor's servants gathered the finest warriors in all the land, training them in the dark arts so that they could  defeat any foe, mortal or supernatural. Of the trainees, seven were chosen and named Senshi Onmyoji, the Warriors of the Garden.

Aided by the sorcerers who trained them, the Warriors set out and quickly defeated and imprisoned all the Oni they could find. Their ethereal prisoners were bound to talismans that the Warriors then took far out to sea, to a secret island-prison constructed at the Emperor's order, to be imprisoned for all eternity.

Their mission complete, the Warriors returned to Japan and resumed their protection of the Emperor and his people from all otherworldly threats, and trained their successors, each Warrior taking on seven disciples to one day replace them.

By the 21st Century, the Warriors of the Garden have evolved, adapting to the changes both in their homeland and around the world. Operating under the name "X-Ray Seven", the Senshi Onmyoji strike at any supernatural threat, while guarding the secret of Jigoku no Shima--the Island of the Damned. 


Behind the Scenes
The third book in the Spectral Ops series, Island of the Damned takes place in a remote corner of the Pacific Ocean, on a forgotten island shrouded from sight by ancient magic. Imprisoned on the island are many Oni. For centuries, they have plotted their revenge, awaiting the day someone would be foolish enough to set them free. When that day finally arrives, Detachment 1039 finds new allies in an ancient order of sorcerer-warriors who have secretly served the Chrysanthemum Throne for centuries: The Warriors of the Garden. 

Look for Island of the Damned on Kindle, Fall of 2017.