Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The Empire of Ruin (The Chronicles of the Second Interstellar Empire of Mankind, Book 4) by Robert I. Katz

Release date: April 30, 2018
Subgenre: Space Opera

About The Empire of Ruin


Two thousand years ago, Michael Glover was a soldier. He still is.

In command of one of the most advanced ships ever built, posing as an itinerant merchant captain, Michael Glover has wandered from world to world, building his unorthodox crew and trying without success to avoid trouble.

He found a refuge for the citizens of Chronos, who fled a pocket Universe about to implode, and he helped Douglas Oliver, the Secretary General of Illyria, uncover the deadly plans of a rogue military commander allied with the slaver network, and now Michael Glover has accepted a commission to spy for naval intelligence.

The slaver network is expanding. The worlds and habitats of the Second Empire have come under attack from unknown adversaries. The enemy hits and runs and vanishes, slowly sapping the Empire’s strength.

The outlines of an Empire wide conspiracy can dimly be seen and so far, all attempts to identify the enemy have failed.

The Empire has almost unimaginable power, but power is worthless with no one to fight.

Michael Glover has been given a mission but he will carry out his mission in any way that he sees fit, because Michael Glover has secrets of his own.

What is a soldier to do when faced with overwhelming odds? Whatever is necessary…

Fans of Iain M. Banks, Peter F. Hamilton, Lois McMaster Bujold and David Drake will love The Empire of Ruin.




Chapter 1

“Canapé, sir?”
Michael surveyed the tray of assorted tidbits held out to him by the little drone and selected a mushroom stuffed with crab meat. The crab, nearly four meters long and armed with pincers that could easily decapitate a tiger, had been confined in a holding tank until an hour before the party, when it had been electrocuted and then rendered down into succulent, tender morsels. “Thank you,” he said.
“My pleasure, sir,” the drone said, and floated on toward the next party-goer.
It’s good to be rich, Michael thought. His suit resembled an ancient tuxedo but it was as light as air and fit him like a second skin. Men, women and a scattering of alien beings, some waddling on three legs, a few floating with the aid of anti-gravity belts, a few others skittering across the polished marble floor on stiff, black exoskeletons, all of them dressed in elegant, obviously expensive clothing wandered through the enormous room, mingling, chattering and occasionally idly discussing deals and arrangements that would affect the flow of billions of Empire credits and the lives of thousands of employees.
Michael smiled. Rich, he thought again. Pity it wasn’t real. Then again, considering the fact that he owned the London, the London’s cargo and the size of his current credit balance, it pretty much was. Upper middle class, at least, or lower upper, if he wanted to stretch it, and hopefully a lot more to come.
“Mr. Barrad,” Johnathon Prescott Jones said, “welcome to Prescott House.”
“Thank you, sir. It’s a pleasure.”
The Prescott Corporation maintained a sizeable corporate retreat on the very little, but very important world of Dancy, with its own private beach, Empire class restaurants and notable spa. A week at Prescott House was a favorite perk of the corporate elite young and old and while in residence, the Prescott Jones family lived in private quarters occupying the top two floors of the main building. The party to which Michael had been invited occupied the main ballroom.
The older Prescott Jones, for many years CEO and Chairman of the Board of the Prescott Corporation, looked nothing like his nephew, so recently deceased in a skiing accident on the winter resort habitat of Kodiak (or so the official story went). He was tall, well-built and tanned, with sharp gray eyes and a ready smile.
“You have an interesting reputation,” Prescott Jones said.
Michael smiled, sipped his drink and modestly said nothing. Prescott Jones smiled back. “The example that you represent is enticing. I wish that I had the freedom to travel the space-ways, but I’m afraid that corporations do not run themselves.”
Michael gave a negligent shrug and signaled to a drone carrying a tray full of champagne. The drone drifted toward them. Michael deposited his empty glass on the tray, selected a new one and sipped, nodding his head. The champagne was excellent. “This is true,” he said, “but they don’t have to be run by you or by me. You could delegate all of it and spend your life doing whatever amuses you.”
Prescott Jones looked for a moment as if he was considering this idea, then he smiled wistfully. “The Prescott Corporation is successful and growing. I flatter myself that it would not be so successful if someone with a less immediate interest were in charge.”
Michael raised an eyebrow. “Your nephew did not share your convictions.”
Prescott Jones blinked. “My nephew,” he said.
“Paul Prescott Jones. I met him recently, shortly before his demise, on Kodiak.”
Johnathon Prescott Jones stared at him. He wrinkled his nose and glanced away. “My nephew and I disagreed about many things.”
“I found him to be a generous and charming man.”
“Did you?” Prescott Jones seemed surprised at this. “My nephew had a simple approach to things. He had no need to strive and so he didn’t. It does not do to speak ill of the dead, but he lived a frivolous life. I would have been bored.”
“Perhaps he had other interests of which you were unaware.” No perhaps about it; but Johnathan Prescott Jones’ apparently was indeed unaware of his late nephew’s criminal inclinations. His heartbeat did not increase. The scent of fear, or even of interest, was not present.
Prescott Jones stared at him. “I doubt that,” he said.
Michael shrugged. “He fancied himself a gourmet and was very proud of his chef. I attended a number of dinner parties at his residence.” Michael allowed his eyes to sweep around the capacious room. “A small estate. Nothing so grand as this.”
Prescott Jones nodded his head. “Well, I’m glad you’re enjoying yourself,” he said, then he seemed to spot something in the crowd. “Excuse me. There is somebody I need to speak with.”
“Of course,” Michael said. “Thank you again for inviting me.”




About Robert I. Katz:

I grew up on Long Island, in a pleasant, suburban town about 30 miles from New York City. I loved to read from a very early age and graduated from Columbia in 1974 with a degree in English. Not encouraged by the job prospects for English majors at the time, I went on to medical school at Northwestern, where in addition to my medical degree, I acquired a life-long love of deep dish pizza. I did a residency in Anesthesiology at Columbia Presbyterian and spent most of my career at Stony Brook University, where I ultimately attained the academic rank of Professor and Vice-Chairman for Administration, Department of Anesthesiology.

When I was a child, I generally read five or more books per week, and even then, I had a dim sense that I could do at least as well as many of the stories that I was reading. Finally, around 1985, with a job and a family and my first personal computer, I began writing. I quickly discovered that it was not as easy as I had imagined, and like most beginning writers, it took me many years to produce a publishable work of fiction. My first novel, Edward Maret: A Novel of the Future, came out in 2001. It won the ASA Literary Prize for 2001 and received excellent reviews from Science Fiction Chronicle, InfinityPlus, Scavenger’s Newsletter and many others.

My agent at the time urged me to write mysteries, as mysteries are supposed to have a larger readership and be easier to publish than science fiction. Since I have read almost as many mysteries as science fiction and fantasy, and since I enjoy them just as much, I had no objection to this plan. The Kurtz and Barent mystery series, Surgical Risk, The Anatomy Lesson and Seizure followed between 2002 and 2009. Reviewers have compared them favorably to Patricia Cornwell and Robin Cook and they’ve received positive reviews from The Midwest Book Review, Mystery Review Magazine, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Lady M’s Mystery International, Mystery Scene Magazine, Library Journal and many others.

In 2014, I published a science fiction short story, To the Ends of the Earth in the Deep Blue Sea on Kindle for Amazon. Since then, I have made all of my previously published novels available for purchase on Kindle. A new science fiction novel, entitled The Cannibal's Feast, was published in July 2017. The next, entitled The Game Players of Meridien, a tale set far in the future after the collapse of the First Interstellar Empire of Mankind, is the first in a projected seven book science fiction series, and will be published on December 16, 2017. The second novel in the series, The City of Ashes, will appear early in 2018. In addition, a fourth novel in the Kurtz and Barent mystery series, The Chairmen, will also be published in the first half of 2018.

Website | Facebook | Mailing list


No comments:

Post a Comment