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Old April 27th, 2013, 11:28 AM
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Default Chuck Gannon's novel "Fire With Fire" --a COTI post/reply five years in the making...

A Traveller fan just pointed out to me that I made this promise back on March 19, 2008 in one of the forums (post #21 in “The Road Not Travell(er)ed” thread), when I was asked about my (then still in negotiation) fiction projects:

...For those several who asked on-line about my fiction, and for the
greater number who located me (I guess by Google) and sent similar
inquiries to my university account, I apologize for my reticence.
However, I don't want to say anything until everything is signed,
sealed, delivered. But at such time as I have concrete information to
share (publisher, release date), I will send the data to Hunter and
allow him to publish it if, and as, he sees fit. I will say this: I am
not writing in the Traveller universe, nor any knock-off of it.
However, it is interstellar hard sf where the laws of gravity,
economics, and Murphy all play a role in determining how things work,
and what conflicts arise. The series is not so much a space opera as it
is a future-set technothriller with (I hope) a heart, ideals, and
flesh-and-blood characters.

Again, my thanks to you all: participating in your forums has been a
pleasure and a privilege.

Best wishes,
Chuck Gannon...

Obviously, the novel in question is Fire With Fire (Baen Books) which hit stores on April 2 and spent its first two weeks on the National Bestseller list. It’s the first in an hard sf interstellar epic, Tales of the Terran Republic. Baen has already bought the next two in the series, and to give you a sense of the scope and tenor of the action, someone described book I (Fire With Fire) as “The Bourne Identity meets The Winds of War”). If that’s true, the second book (already in first draft, and titled “Trial By Fire”) could be aptly characterized as “The Longest Day meets Tora! Tora! Tora!”. Yes, the situation gets Very Bad Indeed.

You can find a Facebook page on Fire With Fire at--!/

--and the part of my website that funnels you into this series in particular (I work in plenty of others) is at— SF Vest.html

(if you are so inclined, it is avaible through all the customary outlets: Amazon, B&N, etc.)

If you browse around the Gaming part of the site, you’ll find a full bibliography of all my Traveller work and a few reflections from me on the game that started my career in writing for SF. Speaking of Travller, it’s only right to acknowledge that a lot of the content of Fire With Fire owes at least an inspirational debt to Traveller (and 2300 AD), and there are a lot of very specific Classic Traveller easter-eggs in the novel itself. On the most superficial level, a lot of Traveller terminology is slipped in as homages: there are high ports and down ports; there are extrality zones; there are "shift carriers" that are very close kin to "jump tenders". A person familiar with the game will have plenty of occasion to nod and smile knowingly.

More broadly, the novel is set in a future moment somewhat analogous to the first contacts between Terra and the First Imperium. I wouldn't draw TOO many parallels, except that I think these epochs--where a species is encountering new challenges and knows that it is overmatched, but has no choice but to keep playing for all the emarbles--are filled with drama. That’s the stage that Fire With Fire sets—and which Trial By Fire puts ablaze.

I do hope some of you will give it a look (there are free snippets on the web and on the Baen’s Bar site that allow you to read the first 25-30 % of the novel) and if you do, tell me what you think.

I look forward to hearing from you, and thank you for giving me a few moment of your time to “close the circle” on the book I mentioned five years ago!

Chuck Gannon
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baen, fiction, fire with fire, gannon

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