I first came across Lucas Bale on Twitter before he’d published his debut novel, The Heretic. We chatted about self-publishing, he bought my book and said nice things about it, and I ended up beta-reading for The Heretic.
I mention this to brag and ensure it is recorded for all posterity that I knew Lucas Bale before he was a big deal. Because I think he will be. Remember you saw it here first.
The Heretic is the first book in his Beyond the Wall series, a magnificent space opera set in a terrifyingly authoritarian society. The book has a delicious Firefly-ish feel to it, and if you don’t immediately go ‘ooh’, I’m assuming you haven’t seen Firefly.
As a beta-reader, I was lucky enough to get a sneak peak of Defiance, the second in the series which was released yesterday. If The Heretic is good, Defiance is even better. This is the book that made me realise just how talented Bale is. He has a fantastic talent for imagery that makes a fictional planet in a far-future feel like a very real place. He also has a very annoying habit of ending chapters in a way that make me immediately turn the page and go to bed far too late.
If, like me, you’re broke, there’s good news too. The Heretic is now free for a few days, so get it quick. For those of you still reading on actual paper, there’s a Goodreads giveaway which will be open until 24th November. And if that wasn’t enough, new short story What It Means To Survive is also free. (FWIW, I’ve read this too, and it’s another I’m adding to your ‘Recommended Reading from SW Fairbrother’ list.)
There’ll be plenty of good deals going. I suggest signing up to his newsletter so you don’t miss anything.
Once you’ve read his stuff, and got all excited about it, don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon. He’s an indie author, like me, and every review makes a huge difference.
You can find Lucas Bale on Twitter (say hello while you’re there. He’s very nice and unlikely to bite), on Goodreads, or on his website (while there, don’t forget to check out the incredible spaceship artwork) .
Now take a look below and get a glimpse into Lucas Bale’s world:
EARTH IS GONE.
Centuries have passed since the First Cataclysm ended life on the blue planet. Humanity’s survivors are now dispersed among distant colonies, thousands of light years from the barren, frozen rock that was once their home.
A new Republic has formed – one in which freedom no longer exists. In return for the protection of the Consulate Magistratus, citizens must concede their rights absolutely. The Magistratus controls interstellar travel, access to technology – even procreation. Every citizen is implanted with a device to monitor their location, health and nutrition and emotions – perhaps even more. Organised religion is forbidden. All crime is punished by banishment or a lifetime of penal servitude on the Kolyma prison fleet.
And humanity’s true history survives only in whispers of a secret archive.
Yet there are those who preach a new religion and who want to be free.
A REVOLUTION IS COMING…
THE DARKNESS IN THE HUMAN HEART IS INFINITE.
At a time when power means everything, the ultimate power, the imperium, rests with the Consulate Magistratus. The murder of a man in the lowest caste may be inconsequential, but one man, one of the Caesteri who still believes in justice, refuses to ignore it.
The woman he hunts is violent and unstable, and haunted by her own callous ghosts. She will drag him to the furthest reaches of space, where the abyss which awaits them hides an unspeakable truth.
When faced with their own mortality, there is no limit to what human beings will do to protect themselves, their family, their property. The human mind changes when exposed to relentless horror. It becomes dehumanised. The grotesque becomes mundane. There is no pity, no remorse – only instinct. An instinct which cannot be controlled.
The imperium belongs only to those who are strong enough to wield it.
THE WAR TO CONTROL HUMANITY’S FUTURE IS ABOUT TO BEGIN…
What It Means To Survive
McArthur’s World is a frozen planet which has been bled dry by mineral mining corporations for three decades. When there is nothing left but ice and snow, the last freighter lifts off carrying away every remaining human being. When it crashes in a wilderness no one has ever returned from, there are only two survivors: a miner who wants to get back to the children he has not seen for two years, and the woman who forced him to come to McArthur’s World in the first place.
They think they’re alone, until the shrieks in the darkness come.