Who is Ian Whates?

The Human Legion

My co-writer, Ian Whates, is going to be vital to the conclusion of the Human Legion series. I’m sure fans will be curious to learn more about him, so I’ve interviewed him to reveal his darkest secrets. At the bottom are some links to his most recent novel which is Deal of the Day on Amazon.

Now read on…

Mr. Whates can often be spotted at science fiction conventions. Mr. Whates can often be spotted at science fiction conventions.

TIM: So, Ian, I’m trying to think how long we’ve known each other. About 2008, I think. Even before we’d met in the flesh, we’d unknowingly encountered each other as aspiring SF writers because we were both getting published in the same SF magazines. In fact, it was a magazine that brought us together. I used to subscribe to Interzone, which is the premier British magazine for short SF fiction. Within Interzone’s pages I enjoyed the stories of an author…

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Dying in the service of the Human Legion

Guess some of these titles are going to need altering...I’m quiet because I’ve been busy! I’m over 60,000 words into the fourth book of my new series, The Human Legion. I’m writing this with my new partner, Ian Whates, and that’s going very well indeed.

Just passed 55,000 sales of the series so far in 2015, which is encouraging.

Unfortunately, not everyone has made it this far. Today I wrote the death scene for a favourite old character. I don’t enjoy doing this half as much as some fans seem to think. However, this is military science fiction. To my mind, if you write about the military at war and no one you care about ever gets hurt, then that’s insulting to the real men and women who put themselves in harm’s way on our behalf.

For more on the Human Legion, head over to humanlegion.com

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Author United’s letter to the Department of Justice

There’s been a big fuss in the small world of publishing news recently because a letter has been written by somebody called Douglas Preston, and signed by some very important people who wish to return the publishing industry to the good old days when it was largely controlled by six big corporations (or maybe five now that Penguin and Random House have merged). It’s a big deal for me because this letter represents a direct threat to my livelihood. The text is long and boring and with lots of details that won’t make sense to publishing outsiders (or insiders for that matter). So I’ve taken the liberty of cutting out 99% of the words and rewriting it in metaphor. The essence of this very important letter remains unchanged. Indeed, I think it shines with more clarity in my version than in the original.


Dear Department of Justice,

Every year exploitative meat producers throughout North America and Europe force consumers to purchase turkey meat for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The resulting damage to the producers of other meats, and vegetarian alternatives, is devastating, a clear abuse of monopoly power, and incompatible with America ideals of liberty, free speech, and the unfettered flow of foodstuffs. We urge you to stamp out this abuse by investigating the market-abusing suppliers of turkey products, and declaring Thanksgiving and Christmas illegal.


Turkeys United


For a less metaphorical treatment of this self-serving attack by Turkeys United on book consumers, see this in-depth article by JA Konrath.

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LaveCon 2015 report

A report of my recent convention panel duties. My son was impressed when he saw his dad on the YouTube link. Well, I say impressed. What he actually said was: “you don’t look as embarrassing as I thought you would.” In other news, I passed 54,000 sales of the Human Legion books tonight. Not bad for the first seven months.

The Human Legion

Downton Abbey.

In the past few years, whenever I make new friends in America, and they realize that I’m English, they will often say: ‘Hey, I love Downton Abbey.’.  Of course, we all realize the world of Downton Abbey faded away long before I was born, but you could be forgiven for thinking otherwise if you had seen me last Saturday morning as I drove in my open top roadster through rolling green countryside, under perfect blue skies, on my way to… a country mansion: Sedgebrook Hall.

The country mansions of the upper classes that used to be dotted throughout England still exist, except they’re now mostly training centers and hotels. Last weekend, Sedgebrook Hall was home to one wedding party, perfectly manicured grounds filled with rabbits, and nearly two hundred sci fi nerds.

This was Lavecon 2015.

I’ve been to literary-themed science fiction conventions before, but this was different. Lavecon…

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A big announcement about the Human Legion

The Human Legion

I love writing the Human Legion books. Even though I have the story mapped out through to book six (and beyond for possible successor series), I often can’t vividly feel what is happening in the minds and hearts of my characters until I’m writing a scene for real. Sometimes my characters surprise me. They aren’t shy about telling me if my story isn’t right, or if they have a more interesting tale to tell than the one I had planned. Consequently I often update my ‘masterplan’. To give a timely Waterloo quote, the Duke of Wellington once said of Napoleon’s marshals:

The Duke of Wellington looking pleased with himself. Whether for wining the Battle of Waterloo or saying his famous quote, I cannot say. The Duke of Wellington looking pleased with himself. Whether for wining the Battle of Waterloo or saying his famous quote, I cannot say.

“The French plans are like a splendid leather harness which is perfect when it works, but if it breaks it cannot be mended. I make my…

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The New Ghostwriters of Science Fiction: my first six-month retrospective

I posted an article on the Human Legion site about how large the world of science fiction self-publishing has become. Warning! For those of a fed up disposition on this topic, I try to reflect my findings upon the Sad Puppies conflict, which is a punch-up that’s flared up over the Hugo Awards.

The Human Legion

I had my first Outside World review* for the Human Legion last week. A site called SciFi365.net picked up on Marine Cadet and recommended it. Said it was ‘more Haldeman than Heinlein’, which was an interesting insight, and while I’m a great lover of Heinlein, Haldeman’s The Forever War still remains in my mind as the definitive military SF novel, and the key book that turned me into an SF reader when I was a teenager.

To those who don’t understand the modern world of SF publishing, having my Human Legion journey go unnoticed by the Outside World might seem strange given that today is exactly six months since the first book in the series was published, and by one of those coincidences you never dare write in your fiction (because no one will believe you) today is also the day the series hit 50,000 sales.

Happy times. Click to see why... Happy times. Click to…

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(Almost) a milestone

IMG_1163It’s taken me a few months to get around to this, but I’ve just counted up my Kindle downloads and paperback sales for my Human Legion series that came out last Christmas. By coincidence I went past 50,000 at some point this morning.

That’s not really a milestone because the 50,000 includes 2,500 copies of the first book in the series that I gave away as free downloads last month. So I can’t yet say I’ve had 50,000 sales. But it’s still pretty good. As a result I hope you’ll understand when I say I won’t be accepting any new book layout requests for the rest of 2015. If I’ve already agreed to work with you, that’s all still good; you’re booked in!

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Renegade Legion: available to pre-order now

My latest effort is on pre-release now, for delivery on June 6th (which will probably feel like The Longest Day as I watch the Amazon charts)

The Human Legion

Arun McEwan had a tough time in the first two Human Legion books. Well, guess what? Now he’s in charge, and it’s going to get a whole lot tougher in Renegade Legion.

RenegadeLegion04You can pre-order the Kindle edition now by following this link, for delivery by Whispersync on the publication date of June 6th.

You won’t have to wait quite that long, though. I know some of you are eager to read on, so I’ll make you an offer: if you buy the Kindle book on pre-release, but want the book before June 6th, then let me know by emailing humanlegionbooks@gmail.com.  As soon as  I have the release version of the Kindle book ready, I’ll email it to you. You don’t need to prove you bought the book, I’ll take it on trust. I need to give Amazon the final version of the book at least 10 days before publication date…

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Going dark…

Taking a short break from all the beta work going on with Renegade Legion. Then it’s all hands to pumps. Hoping to publish the new book later this month.

The Human Legion

I’m loving all the debates kicking around the Human Legion website right now. It’s really exciting to see. However, you won’t see me contribute until the start of next week, or reply to emailed Recon Team reports, because I have my own recon mission to perform. Together with a select group of like-minded colleagues, I shall be entering the town of Burton-on-Trent on a three-day mission to assess whether they still know how to brew and serve a decent pint of beer.

Here’s a potted history of Burton, if you’re unfamiliar with this great international centre of culture http://beer-trotter.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/on-trail-of-pale-ale-in-burton-on-trent.html

Alternatively, here’s a picture. I’m sure you get the idea.

2010_Feb_CenterParcs_Burton 119

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Renegade Legion: a milestone

This is my big new release coming soon. The first two books (which came out last Christmas) have sold 40,000 so far. If this one does as well, I’m going to start feeling like a proper professional writer 🙂

We shall see…

The Human Legion

RenegadeLegion04I wrote the last scene today in Renegade Legion. Not the one that goes at the end (I wrote that last month) but the last one to be written. Now I’m running through some sections that need readjusting or reconnecting for consistency (Such as the dialogue from a character who died in a battle a hundred pages earlier. Oops! That’s just plain disrespectful). And another full read-through. Then I’ve got to lay it out. So still plenty of work before I’m ready to put it out on beta (though I’m hopeful that could be next week) but today is definitely a milestone.

Expect posts aplenty in the coming days on betas, trailers, sales, and maybe a short story from a character we’ve not seen much from up till now: Marine Laban Caccamo..

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