Monday 31 October 2016

New Merlin story - "The Iron Tactician"

Appearing soon from Newcon Press is the first of the new stories I worked on earlier this year, and I'm very pleased to have it out in the world. "The Iron Tactician" is a 29,000 word novella featuring my recurring character Merlin. Somewhat drunk on his own glory, he's a far-future space traveller at a time of galactic war, on a lone quest to find a fabled super-weapon which may be the only thing that can end the aeons-long conflict. Although his heart's in the right place, Merlin is also vain and boastful, and prone to getting tangled up in the affairs of those smaller human cultures he happens to bump into on his travels. This doesn't always go as well as he might have hoped, as we discover in the new story.

"When Merlin encounters the derelict hulk of an old swallowship drifting in the middle of nowhere, he can't resist investigating. He soon finds himself involved in a situation that proves far more complex than he ever anticipated."

There are four Merlin stories to date, but in typical fashion they weren't written in chronological order, which would be:

Hideaway (2000)

Minla's Flowers (2005)

The Iron Tactician (2016)

Merlin's Gun (2000)

My new novella is the first in a new series for Newcon Press, all with artwork by Chris Moore, and which link together to form a single image. The story is available in both print and electronic formats, and Newcon will be doing a signed edition as well.


  1. Nice, been hoping for another Merlin story.

  2. Just read Minla's Flowers in the Aquila Rift collection, really looking forward to buying some more of Merlin's story!

  3. My copy just arrived from Subterranean! #163 in their run of 250! Huzzay!

  4. I Loved the story.

    By the way, trying not to be to stalkerish am I going mad, or have you taken a break from twitter?

  5. Hi Stephanie - many thanks, glad you liked the story.

    Yes, I've removed my Twitter account. No dramas, just decided it was a thing that had been fun for a while and was less so now (for me at least) so I decided to call it a day.

  6. Another Stephanie here who enjoyed The Iron Tactitian, and was also wondering what happened to your Twitter account! It's not a name thing, promised :-)

    I'm about to start reading Revenger on my Kindle but the font is all grey, hard to read -- trying to get Amazon to help but they're being... Amazon (I'm sure I talked with a chatbot). Do you by any chance know if anything was done publisher-side that might explain this? In the support thread I bumped into another reader who also had the same problem with your book!

    Frustrating as I'm really looking forward to diving in. And seizing this occasion to thank you for the hours and hours and hours of reading you have provided me over the years!

  7. Hi Stephanie - I'm not sure what might be up with the Revenger font, but I'll get it looked into. It's the first I heard of it.

    1. That would be really really cool, thanks so much!

    2. This may or may not help: on the iphone kindle app, chapter number text is blue, rackamore part title is gray, but text shows up nice and black it seems. I'm wondering if on the kindle paperwhite (where i have the problem) the "rackamore grey" doesn't contaminate the rest of the body text.

  8. Hello! I enjoy your work very much, but the Merlin stories are my absolute favorite! It had been a while between publication of Merlin's adventures. Any chance at all for future Merlin stories (hopefully sooner than later)?