#2 most downloaded short military SF on Smashwords
Welcome Home, Janissary is a military SF short story taken from the anthology Further Conflicts – one of 13 in the anthology. (Don’t buy this if you already have Further Conflicts). At 6,500 words, this story would be about 26 pages in paperback.
This story is published by NewCon Press as an eBook only. The publisher intends for this to be a sample for the full anthology and so intends to give this book away for free. Please check price at the retailer website before purchasing. If you want it free on Amazon, click the box that says ‘report lower price’ and you might be able to make it so.
“Did I speak inappropriately?” Poor One-Ear sounded worried, though who could really guess what an alien felt?
Escandala pictured the two meter high furry hexaped, good ear erect in concern, contorting his throat painfully to converse in human tongue.
“Your words are not inappropriate,” she replied. “Merely inaccurate. I was fighting for my six-year-old boy, all right. Fighting to keep away from him. He frightens me.”
When reinforcements replenish the depleted ranks of human slave soldiers, they bring with them a dangerous pride in Earth and dreams of mutiny against the unseen alien masters. But for Escandala, the unfolding nightmare is not war or mutiny, but her son. The aliens have altered him, driving them apart.
As for her son, he just wants to go home…
This story of human marines in the service of the White Knights is further developed in the series of novels I am currently writing: Soldier Slaves of the White Knights. It also develops some of the background story referred to by The Reality War Book2.
The parent anthology, Further Conflicts, is picking up some nice reviews. Here are some of the comments about my story specifically:
SF website Pornokitsch had this to say about my story — “Welcome Home is an excellent conclusion to the anthology, indeed, to the pair of anthologies. Although there is a sprawling and wildly imaginative science fiction setting, the story ultimately takes place on a very personal level.”
WarpcoreSF — “Tim C. Taylor’s story is one of the most bleak, yet it’s still a very satisfying read.”
Strange Horizons had some nice things to say, including: “According to Taylor’s author biography, he is working on a novel connected to the story, which may account for the richness and depth of the worldbuilding and the care taken in characterization.” [Thank you, Strange Horizons. I'm glad you mentioned that because the novel you mention is called The Reality War and will be launched spring 2012]