4 thoughts on “Book Review: “A Sword Into Darkness” by Thomas A. Mays

  1. As good a place as any to ask a few questions about the book. First of all, I enjoyed it, I found it refreshing and I think I focused more on the space opera and military science fiction, perhaps because the hard science bit was done so smoothly.
    Call me curious but:
    What was the trouble with North Korea all about? Did the Chinese get involved in it? I think the US won, it certainly did not disrupt Windward from its preparations.
    Why weren’t the Chinese, the Russians, I don’t know, the Indians involved in building ships?
    My slight disappointment, very, very slight, in that when the crew is put into stasis jumping at the Patron so much that happened on Earth is whisked away. Personally, I would have enjoyed a bit of news on how Earth was preparing for the coming battle, since the war by then had already started.
    I do hope there is a sequel planned.

    • Frans, really glad you enjoyed it, and I’m happy to answer any questions you might have. As far as the North Korean war, it does end up going well overall for the US, mostly due to the Chinese not getting involved. My intention is that it results in the end of the Kim regime and re-unification with South Korea. The war was essentially the last spasm of their aborted empire. In regards to the Chinese, Russians, and Indians not being providing ships, the fleets were built with an eye to our current geopolitical situation, in that we are unlikely to release such game-changing technology to even friendly antagonists unless we had no other choice. The effort thus ends up as a NATO-plus-select-partners effort. Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, the EU, Japan, and Korea (note no more North or South) all provide either warships or support vessels. Additional items of tech are farmed out to the major manufacturing empires, but critical components are withheld due to failures at the negotiation table regarding terms and concessions on Earth. This, of course, pisses off the excluded nations. India responds by ingratiating themselves to the US, Russia by consolidating their ties to the EU. China stands alone as a major competitor, and this will figure large in the sequel, Lancers Into The Light, which has much more of an on-Earth focus. I honestly never gave much thought prior to final publication about the effect of things on Earth. That wasn’t, in my head, where the adventure was, where the story should focus, but now I see it as a flaw to be rectified in the sequel. Think of it this way: The Allies won, and now they have a running start at the resources of the entire solar system and a wormhole to God knows where. The masters of all they survey, their focus is almost entirely external. And here you have China (and elements within a dozen other countries) left behind, their resource wealth suddenly worth much less, their tech suddenly years behind their competitors. These are the seeds for aggression, espionage, sabotage, and hasty expansion. It’s a volatile mix that WILL lead to conflict as those left behind look for a leg up on the future. And that’s not even considering that wormhole. I hope you’ll check it out when it’s finished and is offered late this year! For now, if you want another flavor of military sci-fi, I invite you to check out REMO. Thanks again!

      • I will surely check it out as it explains a lot as regards what was ‘missing’ in ASID.

        Guess I should have expected it, because frankly, with such a threat looming, regardless of the US SecDef, for the US to play politics … I mean, Earth is not sure of survival let alone not supplying the technology to antagonists. It seemed like denying a possible advantage, that is, more ships.

        Then again, I might have been ‘led’ overboard by an ‘Independence Day’ moment–let me assure it was not your fault. Windward’s vindication when the SecDef was dismissed suggested that kind of scene to me. I should have been more pragmatic and realist. After all we’ve been there already after World War II.

  2. Great book, just finished it and i am still reeling, and looking as excitedly towards that wormhole as Nathan and Kris. Cant wait for Lancers Into The Light to come out.

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