I’m an indie author and self-publisher. As such, I’ve grown to rely on myself for most things – I write, I edit, I format, I design covers, I build websites, I market, I publish – and I also handle my own illustrations!
That said, I decided to show you all some of the illustrations I’ve done over the years!
I seem to have entered this world with stories to tell, and as I’ve said before, I started writing stories almost as soon as I could hold a wax crayon! Over the years these stories became more refined (fortunately – ha ha!) and as soon as I started to self-publish them, I needed to provide some kind of visual reference to the reader, to give them an idea of what I was describing in words. To accomplish this, I picked up a pencil, some marker pens, and some paper… and roughly 25 years since the last time I sat and doodled and sketched at school, I started to draw again. The result? A few dozen illustrations – many of which were included in a number of multimedia projects related to my writing, such as book trailer videos I used to promote my books!
The process of completing these illustrations was quite a lengthy one – before I even got to the making of the book trailers! First I had to sketch each image out in pencil, then in thick or thin markers. Then I had to scan them in digitally and edited out little blemishes or other flaws on my computer. After that, I’d save the black and white images to use in future coloring-book projects – and used a graphics app to color them in digitally!
The final products were then used to make book trailer videos, or to brighten up my author website, and to promote and market my books. These images are not included in any of the books though, so if you want to see them, you’ll have to browse my website or read this run of articles!
The illustrations I’ll be showing you in what I expect will be a short run of articles, are the ones I like best, and I’ll be telling you a little about them while I’m at it!
Look, I realize I’m no Michelangelo – I know my limitations, but at least I didn’t make a couple of stick figures with speech bubbles and call it “art” – so save the criticism! Otherwise, enjoy! 😉 Comments welcome as always.
“Entrance” (from Panic! Horror In Space #1, “Static“)
This illustration is of the entrance to the mining administration building on the abandoned Terran outpost on Floridia-7!
The place had lain abandoned for decades already by the time Flane and the I.S.S. Mercury dropped by for the filming of an episode of the popular paranormal investigation cult-TV show “Specter Adventures” – and needless to say, Floridia-7’s reputation as being the most haunted abandoned Terran outpost anywhere in the galaxy was highly justified! Things began to go wrong for the Specter Adventures crew almost as soon as nightfall… well, fell.
The picture was intended to convey the decay and vandalism evident at the entrance to the administration building – a huge, sprawling complex of dusty, haunted, spooky corridors with paint flaking off the walls, broken windows, toppled and scattered furnishings and signs that things didn’t end too well for any would-be vandals!
It was a technically challenging image to me as I wanted to include perspective as well as the trail of paint or marker left by the graffiti artist who was dragged up while writing the word “HELP” on the wall – and across the ceiling!
“Put Ding Back #2”
The above image shows a space tug using a tractor beam to tow the small moon Ding – made entirely of titanium – back into orbit over the Terran Colony Deanna. The Australia-shaped gray area below it is Atro City, the capital of Deanna. Spanning the bay area is Bottlenose Bridge, one of the major landmarks of Atro City. The triangular shape shown as the point of origin of the shuttle is Atro City Space Port.
Deanna is famous (or infamous, depending on who you ask) for being the only Terran colony that has a small moon that falls down occasionally. As if that weren’t bad enough, it is also known as the only Terran colony which bothers to put it back up again! Why does Ding keep falling down? Why, because it’s so small – only around 50 feet in diameter, that visiting ships often don’t see it and keep bumping it out of orbit! If you’ve read the Quantum Series stories, you’d know this. 😉
Although in the stories, it usually takes a dedicated team of between 3 or 4 space tugs to return the small moon Ding to its appointed spot in orbit over Deanna, this illustration was more simplified, for use in a book trailer video. As far as I can recollect though, I never actually used this one 😉
“Derelict Search” (from “Demonspawn” book trailer video)
This one comes from the book trailer video I did for “Demonspawn”, book 2 in Galaxii. It shows members of the crippled starship Mordrake aboard the ancient alien derelict ship they encounter as if by pure luck. They go aboard to search for materials and spare technical parts they might adapt to effect repairs to their own ship and to bail them out of their own desperate circumstances.
They find the alien crew long dead, the decks littered with mummified corpses – whole … and ripped to pieces… but by what? Terror lurks in the shadows… a theme I tried to include in this picture.
“Retaking Mercury” (from Panic! Horror In Space #1, “Static“)
This one shows the two main characters from Panic! Horror In Space – Captain Stuart Flane (Captain of the starship Mercury) and his Exo, Commander Vic Chapman – boarding their own ship via an airlock.
In that part of the story, both Vic and Flane – and a team of ill-fated ship’s security marines – had boarded a long-lost loderunner called the Kilgary, which had disappeared more than 40 years previously. While there, the dead bodies of the Kilgary crew mysteriously reanimate – and after a tooth-and-nail battle with zombies, only Vic and Flane escape! But that’s only half the task – as for some reason, the Mercury isn’t responding to their hails either… and the lights just went off! This image shows them passing through the airlock complex of the Mercury – having just made a daring, risky space-walk to get back to it, with a row of viro-suits hanging on the side, illuminated by their helmet lights. They proceed with blasters drawn, at this stage not knowing what to expect!
I tried to convey an atmosphere of suspense, mystery and tension in this image.
“Corsair Survivor” (Panic! Horror In Space #2, “Life Signs“)
This image shows a wounded Corsair survivor aboard a devastated Corsair raider, surrounded by his dead comrades. The ship is encountered by a deep space luxury cruiser, the Demeter, and the severely ill space pirate is mercifully rescued by the cruiser’s security detail and returned to their sickbay. From what the security chief can tell, it seems that all the Corsairs aboard the ship seemed to have started fighting each other, with the result that their foundling was the last survivor. Oddly enough, most of the Corsairs bodies appeared to have been draped with garlands of garlic and clutching crudely-made crosses in their cold, dead hands.
“The Bridge of the Kilgary” (from Panic! Horror In Space #1, “Static“)
This illustration is of the bridge of the ghost ship Kilgary – a commercial loderunner reported missing some 43 years before the hapless crew of the Mercury stumble across it in deep space!
I tried to show the interior of a futuristic starship bridge, contained within curved and angled surfaces, while also conveying the mystery – and lingering, threatening terror of the Kilgary. What had happened to her crew – why had they apparently just lain down and died where they were? Why could their cause of death not be established – even by the most sophisticated sensors aboard the Mercury? Most puzzling of all, why had the last entry in the Captain’s log been deleted?
“Attack On Starbase 91” (from Galaxii #2 “Demonspawn“)
This one comes from “Blachart”, book 1 in Galaxii. It shows the ruin of Starbase 91 – which had been attacked and destroyed by space pirates known as Corsairs – and as it was discovered by the starship Antares which had been sent to investigate.
I first sketched this particular image in ballpoint pen in a notebook back in 1992, when I was 19 years old! Much later, I scanned it in, edited out the writing lines and then did a lot of other detail work using image apps. The flares are from fires burning within, where air is leaking out, and the glow effects were added with PowerPoint. I redrew a simpler version of the same image to use in the book trailer video for the book a few years ago. It shows the view from the I.S.S. Antares as it arrives at the scene several days after the attack. Here it is below:
Okay – so technically that’s six images this time – in case you’re keeping count! 😉
“Hanging Tree” (from Quantum #5, “Prodigal Sun“)
This is a pretty dark one! It shows a lone tree on a hilltop, with a hanged figure which had been strung up from a branch. If you’ve read “Prodigal Sun” and its sequel, “High Steaks” you’ll know a little about it already – but suffice it to say, they tell the story of how hate rises on the quirky little colony of Deanna, where a slumbering, menacing side to humanity unexpectedly awakes – and not even the quaint little moons Ding and Dong can lighten the mood. Some very nasty things begin to happen there – as witnessed by the inscription drawn on the tree with paint:
In case you haven’t guessed it yet, “Prodigal Sun”, “High Steaks” and the next few titles to follow in the Quantum Series, are allegories for what’s happening in today’s world – the renewed rise of fascism, racism and eugenics… and the rise of heroes to stop it. The thing is, in order for the heroes to do their thing, they have to have enemies, and when your heroes are light, their foes have to be dark – and I had to dig deep in order to do these latest two books in the series!
“TR-714 Alliance” (from Quantum #1, “Black Sunrise“)
This image shows a the Alliance, the ship that first brings Cindy-Mei Winter to Deanna on her holiday! In the background you can see Dong, Deanna’s larger moon. The Alliance is of the Bannor Class, the largest type of Human loderunner, which travels around the Terran Empire dropping off and picking up all sorts of cargoes. Being largely automated, have only a token crew aboard. Rather than travel by a more usual cruise liner, Cindy-Mei opted for a quieter (and cheaper) trip aboard the Alliance. It’s while she’s onboard this ship that Mei meets Fred the Arborian.
“Trump, Trump, Trump” (from Quantum #5 “Prodigal Sun“)
I sketched this from a photo I found, to use in the book trailer video for “Prodigal Sun“. This illustrates the moment democracy ends on Deanna – when the fascist revolutionaries reveal themselves and strike – the moment their armed paramilitary wing descends upon Lupini Square, marching on, surrounding the people who’d gathered to welcome the visiting Prince Justin – who has only just been assassinated…
I wanted to convey a feeling of power, ruthless mechanized efficiency – a chill factor.
Since “Prodigal Sun” and “High Steaks” are filled with parallels between that world and what’s been happening here in ours, I thought the use of the sound-effect “Trump” appropriate to describe the march of fascism.
“Dr. Cove, Dead” (from Panic! Horror In Space #2, “Life Signs“)
One of the first mysterious deaths aboard the luxury deep-space liner Demeter involves Dr. Cove, discovered one morning in the medical lab, dead in his wheelie-chair – with a large chunk of his neck blown out by the Corsair blaster found at his feet. Ship’s security isn’t too sure what to make of it, since Dr. Cove – nicknamed ‘Creepy Dr. Goth’ by some of his co-workers due to his morbid fascination with disease and death – didn’t appear to be suicidal around the time of his death… so for a while his death is ruled accidental… but there are far too many questions…
I tried to show a pretty ordinary brightly lit futuristic medical lab aboard a well-appointed space liner – clean, sterile, neat and organized – sharply contrasted with the horror of the body of a colleague, and blood and tissue splatter on the nice clean fittings! This death of course, is only the first of many to follow…
“Crazy Lady’s Last Flight” (from “Best Served Cold“)
By the end of my novel “Best Served Cold”, things have become rather busy! At the peak of the battle between the invading Ruminarii and Earth forces near Pluto, the enormous warship Sekhmet has become disabled – somehow the damage has engaged the untested stardrive, which is powering up for an unstoppable hyperdrive jump… at a time when Humanity has never left its home starsystem – at least, not on purpose!
Two of the main characters – Alex Nikolls, a destroyer pilot, and Marian Mureau – a woman out for revenge against the Earth Defense Force officer who murdered her parents years before when she was a child – are aboard the Sekhmet at that time. Alex and his crew are in the midst of the panic-gripped crew of the huge ship as they scurry to abandon it! With everyone bailing out in every small shuttle or ship that could carry them – some even jumping into space in viro-suits, Alex and Marian are soon facing the reality that they may be stranded on the ship as it builds up to go into hyperspace – to be destroyed or lost somewhere in the unknown! As a last resort, Alex drags Marian with her – back to her own destroyer, which they had crash-landed in one of the landing bays – and may still help them leave the Sekhmet in time! Badly damaged and largely inoperable, the Crazy Lady’s retro thrusters are about all that will still work – but it’s enough!
The image shows the Crazy Lady reversing out of the open hangar bay, through the energy shield covering the door meant to seal the air inside! Scrapes and gouge-marks are visible on the deck plating where the ruined ship has impacted and has dragged itself back out again.
“Paritinian” (from Panic! Horror In Space #3 “Dust“)
In “Dust“, a long-lost starship that disappeared three months into a mission of deep-space exploration more than 60 years ago, turns up out of the black at a starbase, leaving a lot of questions unanswered. What happened to the crew? If they’d left the ship, why had they apparently taken nothing with them? Why was there still food on the tables in the mess? Why was a shower left running?
In the ship’s shuttle bay, a word is discovered carved into the wall near the airlock. “Paritinian”. Was it a name? A planet perhaps? Or a warning? And everywhere onboard, dust.
I wanted to convey an impression of mystery and underlying fear and abandonment with this image.
“On The Bridge Of The Mercury” (from Panic! Horror In Space #2 “Life Signs“)
Aboard the Pioneer Fleet starship “Mercury”, things happen at their own strange pace! This image shows the Captain of the Mercury, Stuart Flane seated at his station on the bridge, sipping coffee from his favorite mug! Beside him, his best friend and executive officer, Commander Vic Chapman, gets excited about the sensor readings of Brigid 4.4 – an apparently lifeless planet they’ve been scanning!
“Satan’s Wheelie-chair!” (from Panic! Horror In Space #1 “Static“)
While the “Specter Adventures” team are filming their paranormal lockdown inside the abandoned mining complex on Floridia-7, justifiably called the most haunted abandoned Terran outpost in the galaxy, the team leader Mak Sagans is chased down the deserted, dusty, dark corridors by an apparently possessed wheelie-chair! He’d rested his camera on the seat just moments before – and it remains there – the seat turning as though to keep the camera on the action!
If you’re a fan of the real-life paranormal investigation series “Ghost Adventures” you might recognize some parallels between the characters of part 4 of “Static”, since they are all loosely based on them! I would call “Dead Center” a well-intentioned parody of their series!
I thought this scene in the story was very funny actually, and had a great deal of mirth while drawing it!
“Long Jump” (from Panic! Horror In Space #1 “Static“)
I drew this picture to illustrate the enormously empty space between the two ships, Kilgary and the Mercury when Flane and Vic exit via an airlock and wearing their viro-suits, have to walk outside. The Kilgary is a derelict loderunner encountered by the Mercury, and during an investigation, the exploration team from Mercury is set upon by what appears to be zombies – the undead crew of the Kilgary!
As if that’s not bad enough, they’re not getting any response from their own ship – which also appears to be in trouble! Out of options, and with a mass of zoms on their heels, Vic and Flane escape out an airlock and consider their options. Their only viable option is to do a space walk back to their ship… which is kilometers distant… to do this, they have to literally jump across the gap!
The drawing was based upon a model I’d built – photo below:
As a matter of interest, these two diarama photos were taken posed against an LCD monitor! The camera I used was my Nikon DSLR!
“Miora” (from Panic! Horror In Space #2 “Life Signs”)
This image was drawn to illustrate Miora – a ghost encountered aboard a ruined ship wrecked on Brigid 4.4. She stands as the boarding party from the Mercury first meet her – with her back to them in one of the hydroponics gardens of the wrecked alien ship.
Miora died long ago and although she appears to be a solid, physical young woman, when she died, she was quite elderly. Once Dr. Killian and Vic discover her mummified body lying in a bunk-bed in one of the cabins, she tells her tale to Stuart Flane – for whom she has developed a fondness.
Brigid 4.4 – called Hamet by its original inhabitants – endured a cataclysmic nuclear war long before. Miora was a young girl aboard the ship which was in orbit, with her parents who were scientists charged with preserving plant and animal life in the hope of restoring the planet’s natural ecosystem. The war derailed all their hopes and obliterated all life on the planet, and the ship – damaged by an orbital missile strike, crash-landed on the surface.
The survivors could not leave the safety of the ship due to the entire surface of the planet being transformed into a radioactive wasteland, and so lived out their lives as best they could, tending for the plants and animals in their care, forming new relationships with each other, marrying, having children and so forth. The older ones gradually died off, and life should have continued in that way – but sadly, disease struck and gradually the small population died out – until only Miora remained. She cared for the plants and for the animals as best she could, alone for much of her last years alive. Somehow, she stayed behind and never left, driven by her sense of responsibility – to tend her charges until the day it was safe to release all of them into the wild again…
“Mob” (from Panic! Horror In Space #2 “Life Signs”)
Aboard the deep space luxury liner Demeter, mysteriously cut off from the rest of the galaxy seemingly by sabotage, and with people falling ill and dying from an apparent pandemic aboard, hysteria breaks loose. Religious fanatics set out on a witch hunt accusing passengers and crew of being vampires and lynching anyone they suspect of being complicit in any way, shape or form! Every single one of the poor hapless victims is 100% innocent.
In this image I wanted to show the ugly side of human nature, which sad to say, is pretty much most of it, right? Cruelty and savagery are a big part of humanity – and just because people act civilized and in future may travel the stars in peace and comfort and think of themselves as advanced and superior to their ancestors doesn’t mean it’s true. Ugly superstition and ignorance enforced via religion will likely hold humans back for a long time to come still. We only need to look at the terrible events raging around the world that fill our news feeds on a daily basis right now to see that.
“Firefight” (from Galaxii #1 “Blachart“)
In Blachart, I described a firefight between Mykl d’Angelo and Blachart – and a number of Corsair law enforcers in an alleyway behind the unique nightclub on the Corsair home world, Meradinis. This takes place during their covert behind-enemy-lines intelligence-gathering mission.
I did this one for the book trailer video and added laser effects in PowerPoint, and tried to capture the excitement and action of the scene in this image.
“Departure Lounge” (From “Duck Blind“)
This is the inside of a giant space port simulator – the departure lounge. Interstellar Vacations LLC is a company that runs a giant simulator of a space port and an adjacent luxury space liner. People pay to made to believe that they are really on an interstellar voyage. The man in the white ice-cream suit is “Captain” Charlie Branson.
Charlie has had an interesting past and is a silent partner in the company, so he’s pretty settled financially. He loved the money and the glitz and glamor of being a pretend-captain of a cruise liner – but he’s become disillusioned and unhappy with the fake pretense of it all… and wishes desperately for it all to be real… somehow. One morning he wakes up and everything is the same – only disturbingly different… the ship is real and traveling through deep space, all his crew is made up of different people, it’s the 27th century – and people keep insisting his name is Andy…
The image is of a pensive moment showing Charlie pausing in the terminal building before heading on to the simulated space liner Freedom.
“Before The Charge” (from “Little Green Men“)
In my short story “Little Green Men”, the Flortians are short and green and extremely bad tempered. Divided both culturally and technologically, two tribes – the Idet and Soluut dominate the planet Flort – where a chartered passenger ship carrying a group of clowns to an annual clown convention nearby, has recently crashed. The Terrans send an envoy to negotiate with both in order to recover the wreckage and the bodies – and also to open diplomatic relations with Flort. The only trouble is – the Flortians look almost exactly like the little cartoon green men used to portray aliens on Earth for generations… and don’t appreciate being laughed at at all!
In drawing this I did my best to capture the cartoonishness of the Flortians as well as the awkwardness of the moment before the incredibly offended Flortian tribesmen – previously blood-enemies to each other – exchange glances of agreement and immediately after this, lead a combined charge of both their armies against the offending Terran envoy and his aide who has despite his best efforts burst out laughing on the small podium!
“Blood Diamonds” (from “Death By Vampire“)
This image was drawn to illustrate Nubian blood diamonds. Mined on the planet Nubia, they aren’t called ‘blood diamonds’ because anyone died mining them… they have that name because they’re the color of the blood of several species – green blood – like the Jim-waians. Valued at one hundred thousand credits apiece, they are part of an exchange – payment for the lives of ten Terran hostages being held by a terrorist group… only the Terran secret agent charged with making the delivery has other plans…
I sketched the form and lines of my own left hand for this image.
“Drag” (from “Death By Vampire“)
This one is also from “Death By Vampire” – where the secret agent (and secret vampire) Lirian Nimah ties off the loose end called Atreya Vandalwa, a double agent working for the terrorist group called “the Crusaders”.
“On The Beat” (“A Really Bad Day In The Life Of Lance Corporal Thomas O’Blivion“)
Aboard a starbase, a security guard patrols the decks, passages and halls. Meanwhile, as boredom with routine and the overriding tightness of his uniform pants are his main concerns, Lance Corporal Thomas O’Blivion is unaware that he’s about to become a hero!
“Realization” (From “I, Mac“)
Eric hasn’t seen his cousin Elvis Sloane in years. Before he realizes it, the first thing he’s done when he arrived home from a business trip and discovered his worst childhood bully waiting in his apartment, is to smash a porcelain dog figurine over his head! This picture picks up the tale at that moment – when Eric realizes what he’s done and is torn between worrying whether he’s killed Elvis – and worrying that he hasn’t!
Since “I, Mac” is a comic tale, I saw nothing amiss with adding the cartoon birds tweeting and circling Elvis’s head! In the mirror hanging on the wall at the back of the image, you can see Catisha sitting on the kitchen counter, observing proceedings with interest.
“Star Chart” (from Galaxii #3 “Dead Beckoning“)
I drew this to illustrate a navigation console on the bridge of the Antares with the Omegan Quadrant on its display screen.
“Strato-penguins” (from the Quantum Series)
I often refer to strato-penguins – native birds living on Deanna – flying high and almost never setting foot on the surface of the planet, eternally migrating westward. They eat, sleep and live their entire lives in flight, propelled by their natural internal rocket engines which – to be frank, would give a dedicated chemist nightmares!
It’s easy to think that something so unusual and complex might experience problems – and things do go wrong sometimes. Occasionally, one of the flock will fly a little too high, and then the following happens:
“Ow!” (from Panic! Horror In Space #1: “Static“)
This picture shows Dr. Fred Killian, chief medtech officer aboard the I.S.S. Mercury – having just started treating a crew member of the loderunner Marconi in his sickbay, when the man spontaneously burst into flames – apparently as a result of actions attributed to an apparition that attacked him in the daybed! Killian is of course, understandably shocked! Killian holds a fire extinguisher and the patient – staring at the wall-panel that the frightening apparition of the little blond-haired boy had just disappeared through. The patient’s first words once the fire has been put out are “Ow! Fucking…. ow!”
Yes, Panic is scifi-horror, and yes, this could also be rather funny if you have a warped sense of humor like mine… but it’s also quite terrifying if you stop laughing long enough to think about it… which is pretty much how some people cope with the horrors of real life, isn’t it?
“Lange’s Legacy” (from Panic! Horror In Space #2: “Life Signs“)
This is a sketch of the interior of a shuttle found by the I.S.S. Mercury. There is only a corpse on board – and unknown individual who had been dead for a trifle less than the shuttle reportedly went missing. A very long letter is discovered in the hands of the body – a letter ostensibly written by someone else, telling the tale of the fate of the Demeter – one of the most enduring of recent space cruise liner disasters.
“Courier” (From “I, Mac“)
In I, Mac Eric has bundled his unconscious cousin – and childhood bully – into a trunk and set out on a master plan of revenge! He calls a courier service who arrive at his apartment to collect the trunk – and leave with it on a robo-trolley trundling all the way behind them… Of course, it’s only when the couriers get back to their office that they realize the article was meant to be delivered to the apartment right across the hallway from Eric’s… to Mrs. Parks – a terrifying nosy-neighbor – and when they do go back all the way to deliver it, grumbling under their breaths, Eric will be glued to the security camera beside his door, watching!
“Corsair Ship, Stranded” (from Panic! Horror In Space #2: “Life Signs“)
In this image I drew a derelict Corsair raider from behind, showing the engine thrust cones surrounded by their support framework. The drawn part was separated from the surrounding background and superimposed over a starry backdrop in PowerPoint.
In this story, a luxury space liner receives an SOS and pulls over to find a Corsair ship has suffered some mysterious catastrophe. There is only one survivor aboard, and the liner crew take him aboard – and that’s really where things started to go bad for the Demeter.
“Confrontation” (From “The Devils In The Sky“)
In my short story “The Devils In The Sky”, the Titan, a ship from Earth encounters a hostile alien ship that violently attacks them. Being alien, its design parameters are completely unfamiliar to the Terran crew. I wanted to show the smaller Terran ship being intimidated by a much larger, more powerful alien craft of unknown capability.
“Deceased” (from Panic! Horror In Space #2: “Life Signs“)
This picture shows a patient having died in the Demeter’s sickbay from an unknown ailment – and just one of many. In fact, the crew and passengers of the space liner appear to be facing a pandemic – and they’re losing. Hope is one of the first casualties.
“Propaganda” (from Quantum #5 “Prodigal Sun“)
This illustration from “Prodigal Sun” shows a propaganda poster and graffiti from Deannan Service League supporters on the colony Deanna. A sudden rise in fascism leads to unfortunate circumstances for the colonists, who suddenly awake to the realization that the colony’s government has been overthrown by a paramilitary coup led by Nazis who intend to secede the colony from the Terran Empire. This leads to the Deannan Uncivil War. I employed deliberate spelling errors in this image (“humin”, “agen” etc.) as a commentary on the similar low-intellect of supporters of fascism in today’s world.
“Shuttle Bay” (from Panic! Horror In Space #2: “Life Signs“)
This picture shows the inside of one of the Demeter’s extensive hangar bays. Two parked shuttles in the image are shown facing the row of doors – which have been locked from the bridge to prevent any shuttles from leaving the doomed ship! It’s from here that Sean Lange and his companions must launch their escape bid – only they aren’t the only ones thinking that way…
“Cemetery Hall” (from Panic! Horror In Space #2: “Life Signs“)
Aboard a crashed ship found on a long-dead alien planet, Captain Stuart Flane of the I.S.S. Mercury, his Exo Commander Chapman and Dr. Killian discover a large chamber which appears to have been where the trapped crew entombed their dead, respectfully laid out facing the same direction and covered in blankets. They move through the cemetery hall to another part of the ship, where they encounter – quite surprisingly, a single living member of the crew. Or is she?
“Flatular Canaries” (from Quantum #5 “Prodigal Sun“)
Flatular canaries are native to Deanna. Like all Deana’s bird species, they are “reverse-birds” meaning that the ball-and-socket arrangement of their joints is reversed. Flatular canaries, as their name suggests are full of flatulence and fart almost continuously – and very tunefully. In fact, this is how they communicate since they have no vocal chords! They are just one of many weird and wonderful idiosyncratic life form to be found on Deanna.
I based their appearance on a photo I saw of some exotic “frogmouth” birds, because they look quirky and even a bit constipated!
“Plague” (from Panic! Horror In Space #2: “Life Signs“)
Aboard the space liner Demeter, a mysterious disease breaks out – one which causes the ship’s sickbay to be swamped by casualties. This scene shows passengers struggling to reach the sickbay.
“Sandpaper” (from Quantum #1, “Black Sunrise“)
In “Black Sunrise”, the Captain of the loderunner Alliance shakes hands in farewell with Fred the Arborian – a sentient and locomotive plant creature from the planet Arboria. Bran Johannsen has issues with Fred – mostly to do with resentment, mostly relating to Fred saving the day by intervening in the attack on Deanna by hostile aliens and saves the day when he drops a huge cargo container holding several hundred tons of Samorian sherry on the invading warship – which blazes on the tarmac of Deanna’s space port for days afterwards. Fred receives a medal – pinned to his ceramic pot – and Bran suffers from intense jealousy because he’s just along for the ride as the captain of a completely automated cargo vessel, feeling totally useless! In parting on the boarding ramp to the shuttle taking him down to Deanna, Fred offers a prehensile branch to Bran. Bran accepts it, but the creepy feeling of having his hand clasped by foliage freaks him out and he leaves the hangar bay to look for sandpaper…
“The Gates Of Xanadu” (from Quantum #6, “High Steaks“)
In High Steaks, the revolutionary fascist Deannan Republican Army deliver truckloads of “undesirables” rounded up in the three largest cities of Deanna to the concentration camp called Xanadu Re-education Facility. This is meant to be a bleak picture to inspire dread simply by the barrenness of the landscape, with no shelter nor cover, just towers and fences of barbed wire – and the elements.
“Bridge Of The Titan” (from “The Devils In The Sky“)
This is a view of the bridge of the I.S.S. Titan as it confronts a hostile alien ship intruding into Terran space. A battle results – and after fierce fighting in which the Titan is almost destroyed, the alien is so badly damaged that it explodes and a lone survivor is picked up in a life-pod.
The bridge layout for most of the Terran starships is pretty much standard, as I explained previously in various articles about my scifi series and short stories. Tech used in these ships is also explained at length in a free guide “The Galaxii Guide To The Terran Space Fleet“.
“Guilty” (from Galaxii #2 “Demonspawn“)
In Demonspawn, the crew of the Mordrake are marooned in deep space aboard their disabled ship, unable to call for help and having to face the reality that they will live only until the air and power run out. The resentful crew lay the blame squarely at the feet of Captain Blaine – who retreats to his own cabin and crawls into a bottle… several bottles. A matter of days later, the Exo – Commander Lofflin discovers that the Captain has been murdered in his cabin… and the word “guilty” found drawn on the wall in the Captain’s own blood. This is only the start of the story however, because as the Mordrake drifts deeper into uncharted space, it encounters another derelict ship that offers them the chance to repair their engines and save themselves.
“Exodus” – Corsair Ancestors Leave Earth After WW3
At the end of the Third World War, Earth is a devastated ruin. Roughly a decade later, Earth would have already recovered – to face the invading Ruminarii in the Gimp War – but being impatient, the ancestors of what would eventually become the Corsairs build long-range ships and choose to take their chances in the black.
“Map Of Atro City” (from Quantum #1, “Black Sunrise“)
A very basic map of Atro City, the capital of the Terran Colony called Deanna. Most of the landmarks indicated are mentioned in the six current books in the Quantum Series.
“Fred, Barista At The Slipped Disk” (from Quantum #5, “Prodigal Sun“)
Fred the Arborian is a sentient and mobile – that’s walking and talking – alien vegetative life form… er, plant. Wherever he goes on Deanna, people tend to become a little distracted… walking into walls, tripping over coffee tables, things like that. One of the many jobs Fred holds during his stay on Deanna is as a barista at The Slipped Disk, a 24 hour nightclub in the garage levels of The Plaza – the biggest and most fancy shopping center in Atro City. Fred dazzles patrons by fetching, opening, pouring and serving a half-dozen drink orders at a time with all his tentacle-like leafy appendages…
Now you have seen some images that should give you a little insight into the stories I write!