Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Forlorn

My first novel, that I now have the rights back for, is availble on Amazon. This means I get 70% of the cover price - 76% if you follow the link above, as opposed to the 6% I got from each paperback sale of the original. It has been available, for free, on the Baen Free Library for some years. I'm hoping there are a few readers out there who haven't got it yet, or who think giving Dave $3, for a story that gave them pleasure, is worth it.

I have included my original epilogue, which was cut from the earlier version.


Across the one human colony world, a place technologically regressed to near medieval, possibly the last place humans still survive, a desperate search continues. Scattered across the deserts, tangled jungles, and alien fortresses, lie the core sections of the matter transmitter.

These sections hold the key to vast wealth, power, or… the fulfilment of the colony’s purpose: to help humankind survive the rabidly xenophobic alien Morkth who will tolerate no other intelligent species. The Morkth managed to follow the colony ship, and, despite their mothership being shot down and their queen being killed, they continue their relentless struggle to destroy humankind… and to reconstruct that incredibly valuable matter transmitter. If they succeed, they’ll be able to return to the hive with the location of the colony of vile humans, and have a new world to occupy. If they fail, they’ll destroy the planet.

The search has gone on for centuries, and it is all reaching an end point. The future hangs in the balance.

The Morkth have lasers, aircraft, nukes. Those who want the core sections for their own ends… have vast armies. Against them are three unlikely reluctant heroes: A street child thief, a dispossessed spoiled brat of a princess, and a confused, amoral Morkth-raised human, armed only with 14th century weapons and their own wits.

It’s a lost cause, a forlorn hope.

But it’s all humans have.


  1. Hi Dave,

    Me, well, I'm bloody confused. Dave Freer, adventurer on rooves (bugger off spellchecker, 'roofs' is Ameriglish, we type Ausglish), in oceans, on sides of mountains.

    Dave Freer, who shouted from the rooftops he'd never sign a contract with the evil mainstream publishing industry again.

    Who then participates in a really wonderful hour on Baen Radio Hour, and has apparently signed a contract with Baen for a successor to the Slow Train.

    I will be thrilled to read "Fast Train To Andromeda" and am puzzled how you could have left holes for new adventures.

    The only reason for the turn around from the past year's whines and whinges about payments is that you need to maintain your stature as a "real published writer" so that you don't get lost in the miasma of the self published by teenagers pornography that Amazon has inflicted on the world with the Kindle.

    When I was a Baen slush reader, I rejected an awful lot of trash. Now I'm stuck reviewing endless teenage pornography written by girls and boys who think BDSM is rape, rather than an unusual form of real love. If either sex writes once more about "it flowed so freely the bucket overflowed" I'm either going to throw up or slit my throat. Anyway, I've resigned from that task. Amazon isn't disappointed, they wouldn't publish my reviews, which were "not in accordance with corporate policy".

    Where are you headed, old friend? (Old? Yep. You've passed 50. Its all downhill from here.)


    Clarky from QLD VVBG

    1. I need the money, that's all. The money coming in from the e-books will equal, and possibly exceed the advances... but it may take 10 years to add up to that. Yes, I love the transparent accounting, yes, I love the monthly reliable payments. But a book earns me less than a day's wages a month. So I need 20 to earn less than the minimum wage a laborer earns - or about 2 books a year advances is bare survival. So I am willing to negotiate for enough to help us survive as I work on transitioning. I still have 3 under contract.

  2. Understood.

    Wish you well.

    I wish to be a beta reader, if that isn't too presumptuous.