Shepherd's Horizons
by Gene Kelly

"The warship cried out its pain as metal being torn apart was heard and felt throughout the ship. It seemed to last forever."

Brian Shepherd and his Interplanetary Council warship New Horizons live in interesting times. Following 200 years of interstellar peace, two events have everyone ready for war. First, the warship Banshee is destroyed on an exploratory mission after encountering an anomaly that could only be detected by antiquated radar. This barrier in space destroyed the Banshee’s probes and shuttles while concealing the Thorans, a warlike alien race ready to make devastating contact with humanity. Second, the Ravenhurst Empire, a young coalition of planets known for their religious zealotry, are ramping up their control and have nearby planets and outposts expecting war. Shepherd and his crew on the New Horizons will have no choice but to be part of the battle that will end a longstanding peace and usher in the next era of humanity’s exploration and colonization within deep space.

Intriguingly, the inspiration behind this series came from time spent by the author playing a play-by-email computer game in the 1980s. After capturing the elements of strategy, intrigue, and space combat and both novelizing and building that world, the author has now transported readers into a universe with proud traditions and memorable characters. However, it’s worth noting that this story is not merely a recorded history of the activity of that decades-old computer game, and Kelly injects so much lore and depth to his storytelling that the audience will find themselves invested in the story within the very first chapter. Like many of its peers, this tale balances human interaction and drama with breathtaking and action-packed battles between starships that will leave readers cheering and their imaginations spinning. Laying the foundation for books to come, this series promises plenty of excitement and fascinating intergalactic worldbuilding.

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