Proteus Natural Selection Saga

This all started with Symbiotica really. This rich world of Alphius Prime and their desperate escape from the end of the world.
Koli made her first appearance in Bound Hearts, the third book although she had been referenced right at the beginning of Book 1. As a writer, I remember the great Gene Roddenberry once referring to the Enterprise as a vehicle to tell stories in the now legendary Star Trek. For me that perhaps seemed something of a waste as for me, the ships are always as important as those that travel on them. When I created Symbiotica and then Proteus, I wanted these vehicles of storytelling to have a far more integral part within the stories.

I love the idea of exploring Koli's natural curiosity about Earth, the fact she was a living ship that ached to explore this strange new world with the inquisitiveness of a child. When I first created Koli in my head, she was nothing like she was to become. The more I wrote about her, the more I fell in love with the character. Slightly insane, always wanting to learn and so clumsy, she is one of the most endearing characters in the whole Symbiotica series and as things progressed, I wanted to tell more of her story until in book five, The Way Home I revealed the origins of Proteus itself and suddenly what was one living ship became five with the introduction of Terrik, Miras, Koshi and Vaj with the entire story of Proteus laid out, in part at least. I also in that book laid out a hint of the story to come, the idea that one of the Titans may have escaped.

That loose thread I dangled played on my mind and suddenly, the idea for Proteus as a series came about. The story of Miras and her brave and noble pilot Zenni Quinett. Of course, while I don't want to ruin the book, the Neo Alphius story expanded the story of Proteus, from the resurrection of Terrik, the unexpected arrival of Lunar, Terrik's twin sister, the nearly tragic consequences of what happened to Koli thanks to the events in The Way Home and of course the evolution of the Proteus species with the first naturally born Proteus ship, Miras's Daughter, Saya.

The Neo Alphius Saga was all about the cost of mistakes and error in judgement, and the efforts people will strive for to make things right. Miras and Orles's regrets and pain over the hell they had condemned their people to was the central theme and how far people will go to survive. This saga was the journey of one young ship as she fought overwhelming odds with her new friends to not only save their people, but her mother as well.  By the end of the story we also learnt at least some of the missing years Koli and the survivors of Neo Alphius had spent as in The Way Home, I focused on Terrik and her crew as they fought to survive. At the end, while there was loss, there was a new beginning with a new world and new adventures to go on.

With the Endless Saga the story moved towards a new story looking at the fact the universe is not a playground, but has its shares of wonders, and terrors. Endless explored the idea of change and accepting the universe around us and moving with it and what would happen if we did not. It also looked at the fall out and consequences on a very personal level for the Proteus ships. It is fair to say that Endless was a very hard series for me to write.
This said, Endless threw up some personal questions for our heroes. Questions that we need to answer here on Earth. We strive to move forward creating ever more complex technologies, but we do not ask the question. Should we be looking at creating AI and if we do, what rights do we afford it?
That was where I left Endless. The idea that change is inevitable and must be embraced but also philosophically how to we deal with that change.

This brings me to where Proteus goes from here and the new three part trilogy to come.
The Neo Alphius Saga was a tense adventure about survival.
The Endless Saga was an action adventure about change.
I can finally reveal the new series is called the Natural Selection Saga and quite against what you have known it is an action adventure comedy.

Natural Selection carries on from where we left off at the end of the Endless Saga and the long running story deals with the fallout from the first six books which by the end will tie off everything neatly, however while this story goes on in the background, you will find the actual story is far more personal. When I originally planned the Endless Saga there was always going to be a seventh book, entitled Ghosts. During the writing of Endless, Ghosts became a lot more personal and evolved in to a new three part story with Ghosts, Evolution and New Horizons.

Ghosts is due out late September and is an absolute riot of a book, by far probably the funniest story I have written to date and for a change, the hero of the story is not Zenni or Saya but someone I introduced during the Endless Saga. Issi Rem is the tech support from hell, overworked, arrogant and extremely rude, not to mention being something of a coward. By rights this story is a tense action thriller with everything under threat and the prospect of Verlon City being destroyed and by itself that would be more than enough for a good read but throw in hysterical characters like Issi, Talishia, Sellie and Tath and a mystery that needs solving you have the ingredients for a quirky and funny read.
All I will say is the ending will leave everyone reeling.

See you in the next chapter!

Bringing my Books to Life

Second Life that is....

With the help of a close friend, I have opened the Forgotten Library for all my books on Second Life. You can explore not only my series, but see models from Proteus, including a sneak peak at the upcoming Proteus Natural Selection Saga.

You can also join my group in world to get the latest news and if the interest is high enough I may consider doing talks and Q&A sessions once a month

If you are on Second Life, simply head to this location!

In world I am Nassau Xaris - come check it out!

Proteus Artwork - Aurora

Hinted at in Symbiotica Monsters of Tokyo and making her first appearance in Proteus Of Darkness and Light is Aurora.
Aurora is an Avoran scientific cruiser that ended up stranded on Earth after her crew abandoned her after she suffered serious damage.
Now partly restored she faced off bravely against the Apeyron fleet alongside Saya in the defence of Earth however while her acts were noble and she proved she is a force to be reckoned with, Proteus Unhinged revealed a potential darker future that starts with Aurora's need to find her sisters that travelled with her to Earth, then left her to return to the Avoran system.

In the upcoming Natural Selection Saga, Aurora will play a much larger role as our heroes try to fight the future.

Proteus Of Darkness and Light Released

The Endless Saga reaches its Epic Conclusion in Proteus - Of Darkness and Light.

Available from:
Rakuten Kobo
Apple iTunes
Barnes & Noble
Amazon Kindle

Also available at other afflicated retailers priced at $3.99 for the Ebook

The book is suitable for Teens upwards.

Rate 5 / 5 (Kobo)

Here is the Blurb!

"The Apeyron have returned to our galaxy with the threat of wiping out all intelligent life on Earth and the Demon home world of Aemus to reclaim what they see as their Empire however thing have taken a surprising turn with the defection of the young Apeyron warrior Tath now providing his insights and assistance to stop this madness before it begins.
With the creation of new defensive and offensive capabilities for the Proteus ships and the arrival of the Aemon's and human forces on Beletrix, the stage is set as three worlds are ready to fight for their own survival against overwhelming odds.
However the story is not complete as the hidden history of the Apeyrons is decoded with surprising revelations and twists buried deep in their past as the truth about the their history is revealed. Their plan is simple. Stop General Razon's insanity by invading Apeyra itself to revive the Emperor of the Apeyrons in the hope of restoring order.
With only four Proteus ships at their disposal facing a fleet of hundreds of Apeyron warships, will Zenni and Saya be able to put a stop to General Razon's threat of genocide and end this war before it begins?"

Of Darkness and Light is the epic conclusion to the Endless saga as the fate of three worlds hang in the balance. With the unexpected generosity of allies and surprise revelations from people they thought were their friends this is full on action adventure and the Alphians are playing by their own rules of war in an effort to bring peace.
Of Darkness and Light is now in its Second Extended Edition with over 30,000 words of new content, heavily reworked and revised. Taking the original story this reworked edition paints a far more vivid picture as you follow the cast of Proteus as they fight for the worlds of the Empire while also facing their own inner demons as they try to come to terms with the fallout of events.
The book also features a Proteus Unhinged mini story "Paved with Good Intentions" featuring Koli and Flip as they face a shocking revelation and meet someone they never expected.

Cover artwork feature Saya facing off against the Apeyron fleet over Earth. It was about time I put those dark wraith like ships I designed to use.

What? Do I really write LGBTQ stuff?

Since joining twitter I have seen a lot of stuff on there about LGBTQ in literature and after I had a talk with a friend of mine about my books, I found myself rather shocked by the fact this seemed to be a big issue.
So let me come clean, or maybe clarify some points.

I write books. Woo...
As a writer, I come up with stories I want to tell, create the characters within the books in high detail, then like a VR simulation, I throw them together and add my ideas. My books then follow their own story in my head and much like an organic process, I feel my way through the way the characters will interact with each other.
Considering the content of my books, am I am LGBTQ writer?
The honest answer there is no. I am a scifi writer. That's what my books are about. I am not having the characters holding up flags, I don't write the characters in a particular LGBTQ way. They are just regular, lovely likable people.

For me, this started in the mid 90's. On my main pen name I was writing in comic books and in also doing mainstream novels. I had been working on a book for a well known scifi franchise and I did something that tested the water. I introduced a strong positive alien female character who was actually gay. What I wrote had no sexual connotations and dealt with feeling and emotion. I knew the sensitivities of writing this at the time, I had friends who were gay and when it came down to it, I felt this was a natural progression. It was scifi after all and if you looked at how scifi represented itself the sky really was the limit and the only constraint was imagination.
Imagine my disgust when I got the first proof back from my editor to find the whole section washed with red and notes scribbled on it telling me to remove it in a not so polite way.
I found this almost hurtful. It was in a way telling me that the mass market did not want to see reality. I never questioned my friends. I just accepted them for the people they were, not which way they leaned. However as I realised over time, in the industry literary works were viewed by committee. At some point in the chain you would find someone who would object because of their own narrow minded beliefs.

For me, Symbiotica was nothing more than an idea dungeon where I could let my more creative side run amok, a way of venting my frustrations at these draconian points of view.
Over time Symbiotica has evolved in to this massive scifi universe. I put the characters in to a blender and saw where they went.
There was however a central theme that right from the start dictating where the books were going.
The Symbiotes themselves.
I have looked in to the philosophy of the series and the Vu'kno symbiotes in detail. Biologically they have always preferred female hosts. Females are more like themselves, nurturing and gentle.
As a result of that in the New Worlds Saga (Books 1 to 5) I had a group of strong, yet flawed human women take on Symbiotes and get thrown together.
I designed each of the characters in very different ways. Melissa Marks is a socially awkward geek who has struggled to find any kind of relationship and it is down to the fact she accepted social norms.  Poly Brenner is a quite self destructive woman and has bounced her way through a string of rotten relationships lowering her self esteem. Their relationship I always see as sweet. They are best friends that turned in to something more, but there was no kipper in the face moment. It just happened.
Then take Kat and Jo. Kat was about a straight as you could get and Jo really was oblivious to what relationships meant due to her horrible life. I have often said, it was Joulik and Lyphius and their eternal and almost comical love story that may well have affected Jo and Kat, but again these two fell in to orbit around each other and they are now happy.

This all said, there are characters in the book that don't fall that way and that is fine. Eve and Azeri for example, Flip and Koli, Renata, Sasha and Loren. They are all characters of undetermined sexuality although in my head they are straight.

The situation all my characters found themselves in was the glue. They were bound by their symbiotes and dragged in to a new, enlightening and challenging world. When I wrote the series, my goal was to follow the roller coaster ride and see where everyone landed by the end.
It certainly was not a broad statement of LGBTQ pride as in a way to me that would be an offensive idea. People are people. I judge them for the content of their character, not the life they lead.

The truth of the New Worlds Saga was simple. Behind the scifi, the adventures and sadness there was a singular theme. It was a love story. Poly and Mel with their stormy and fractured relationship, Jo and Kat with their playful and deeply loving relationship, even Coras and the sadness and pain she felt over losing Tioli.
Pure and simple. Love.
If you changed half of the characters names and gender nobody would bat an eyelid but for me, I didn't bat an eyelid because of the fact they are all women. There is in my mind nothing wrong with love and if someone does find it offensive, then there are other scifi books out there with strong and cliché male lead characters.

In Proteus, I intended to create a series that looked at Symbiotica from a very different point of view. Symbiotica was about a group of refugees from a now dead world living on Earth with their human partners. Proteus was about the same characters, but from a very alien and off world perspective and most importantly with their original host species, the Usha.
In the Neo Alphius Saga, I explore in more detail what the Symbiotes are as I tell the reader that they are in fact genderless and more alien than you could imagine. However because they prefer female hosts and the myth that the males are less compatible, they indentify themselves as female.  In the first Proteus book I do deal with this and I have the odd partnership of Hueka and her partner Toran, a male.
I wrote those characters because I wanted to explore the dynamic of their unusual relationship between host and symbiote however I have had some readers comment that it was nice to see what is in effect a Transgender character and seeing the struggle they have to find identity. Hueka is conflicted. She is a genderless lifeform that throughout her life has always identified herself as female, yet she is now bonded to a male. When she taken control of their shared body it gets confusing because she is outwardly a he.
I have in the Endless Saga only had Toran and Hueka as supporting roles, however in the Proteus Natural Selection Saga, I do intend to look at their partnership more and perhaps see Hueka finally identify with the fact she is now male.
Again, I never set out to create a Trans character. The idea was a philosophical examination of how the symbiotes perceive themselves. In fact until someone made that observation it really had not crossed my mind.

I think in summation I really must bring this back to where I started.
I write science fiction books.
For me science fiction is about the future, about new ideas, new horizon and the characters that take us to these places. Some authors write about LGBTQ subjects as their core theme, but that is not what Symbiotica, Proteus or the Dystopian Detective are about.
I am pleased that some of you have identified with the exploration and development of some of my characters however the one thing that for me is most important is this.
It doesn’t matter who the characters are or what gender they are. Love is what really matters.

That for me at least is the essence of a good story.

Alexander Nassau