Solar Warden by Peter Fuller is a BHW pick #militaryscifi #scifi #sciencefiction #bookboost
Military Science Fiction
Everything you were taught about man’s exploration of space… is a lie.
USAF pilot Colonel Steve “Scarecrow” Richardson is injured when his F-35 crashes in the mountains of northern Afghanistan. He’s rescued by an unusual craft that whisks him up to the world of a secret space program that uses advanced “Star Trek” type technology to battle a malevolent alien foe determined to destroy humanity, all of which is completely unknown to the inhabitants of planet earth. He enlists, but must use all of his skill and experience as a combat pilot to master the advanced technology, and all of his resourcefulness to help his fellow humans overcome their alien foes, who are winning the conflict.
Throughout his struggle to adapt to his new life as a member of this secret space program, Scarecrow realizes the enemy he and his fellow humans face have a dark, paranormal component to their existence that makes them as demonic as they are alien.
“Okay, this is not good …”
Colonel Steve “Scarecrow” Richardson was in the fight of his life. Plummeting to earth, his engine flamed-out and avionics de-energized, his F-35 Joint Strike Fighter had become nothing more than a meteor plunging to the desert floor. Following his wingman – he presumed now dead amid a fireball on the ground – and having failed to arrest his own descent or restart his engine, Scarecrow reached for his ejection seat handle. He hesitated. The thought of abandoning an 89 million dollar, state-of-the-art aircraft didn’t sit well with him, especially on its maiden mission. The thing still had its “new car” smell. With one hand on the control stick and the other clutching the ejection handle, he gritted his teeth and tensed as he released the stick and with both hands, pulled the black and yellow-striped loop located between his knees.
As the canopy blasted up and was swept behind the aircraft, Scarecrow shot vertical. The rush was disorienting, until he found the horizon, illuminated by the rising moon. Slamming into the airstream at still over 300 knots with less than 3,000 feet of altitude, the air hammered him as the parachute deployed with a crack, jerking his body and slowing his descent.
The impact and explosion of his own F-35 with the ground below and ahead of him played out in slow motion. Its fireball expanded and rose into the air, reaching hungrily towards him as he swayed under the nylon canopy. The shock wave knocked the wind out of him. On regaining his breath, he realized his trajectory, driven by his body’s momentum and the prevailing winds, was taking him right into the burning crash site. Attempting to avoid the flaming debris, he shifted his weight and adjusted his chute’s directional louvers.
Just a little more … just a little further …
Reflex caused Scarecrow to pull his knees to his chest as he drifted over the flames, hoping the few extra feet would be enough to keep him from catching fire. As he passed over the burning wreckage, a minor secondary explosion thrust flames upward and for an instant, they enveloped him. Clearing the plume, he was thankful neither he nor any of his gear had ignited.
In preparation for impact, he relaxed his body, went feet and knees together, then held his breath. Landing with a heavy thud in a tuck and roll, he sprang to his feet as the chute, caught by the early morning ground breeze, began to tug at him. He snapped the release and shook the harness off his body, then spun around to see how far he was from the wreckage of his fighter. He was barely a dozen yards away.
At this distance, another explosion could be deadly, especially as the plane’s full fuel load and ordnance cooked off. Sprinting away from the burning F-35, he began a frantic search for a firebreak or outcropping that could shelter him from a blast. There was none. Dodging brush and rocks, he raced as fast as he could away from the crash site, despite being weighed down with his flight gear.
Just when he thought he might make it to safety, the feared explosion erupted, launching shrapnel-like debris in all directions. A smaller piece hit him in the back of his HMD, cracking it open and pitching him forward to bounce and flop across the hard desert ground like a rag doll in a gale. While his helmet kept him from being killed instantly, Scarecrow still suffered a massive concussion. He managed to stop rolling, and lay face up on the packed earth. Dazed, he fought to remain conscious as flaming debris landed all around him. Unable to move, he was convinced that if he was hit again, it would all be over.
This time providence smiled on him, and he remained unscathed. When the echo of the explosion subsided, Scarecrow’s ears were filled with a loud ringing, augmenting the pain now growing inside his wounded skull.
Struggling to stay conscious, Scarecrow stared up at the sky. As he lay on the cold ground, he knew Bagram Base would be scrambling a quick reaction force (QRF). Unless they arrived soon, he also knew they would find him dead, overwhelmed by the head injury now beckoning him down into a seductive oblivion, or shot by a roving Taliban patrol.
Either way, he could no longer move, even if he wanted to. For the first time in his life, his fate was in the hands of others.
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub)
Award winning author Peter Fuller worked in the Military History Department of the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, Alberta, Canada for eight years. He has studied military history for decades – over the years, he’s written numerous articles and lectured at major museums and universities on the subject of military history. He has also been a regular panelist at NORWESCON since 2017.
Mr. Fuller has also studied the UFO phenomenon since grade school. He is a member of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), and has had a few “close encounters” of his own. He recently interviewed the son of a US military officer about his late father’s work on several special access projects for the secret space program.
Social Media Links