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Sackville’s Home

By now it’s a cliche to speak of the ‘greatest generation’ –– children of the Great Depression, who emerged from a level of poverty and starvation that we can scarcely imagine, to fight the injustices being wrought in Europe. Cynics among us are rightly skeptical that any war –– no matter how apparently just its […]

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The Real Sackville

Defense Command readers will recognize DCNS Sackville. Skippered by Commander Katya Romanov through the Martian War, the corvette made a real difference –– despite being older and less advanced than the rest of the ships of the Belt Squadron. As Ken Barron wrote in The Mercury Assault: “And, somehow appropriately, our daring corvette Sackville lost […]

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Part-Time Writer: Bridge Between Worlds

For more posts in the ‘Part-Time Writer’ series, click here. I’d pay almost anything to transport some of the fictional characters I’ve written about into the real world. I mean, who wouldn’t want to hang out with Ciaran, the sarcastic five-year-old dragon who pretends not to be smarter than everyone else and knows his Fred […]

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Perspectives of the Part-Time Writer

For more posts in the ‘Part-Time Writer’ series, click here. Well, it’s 2019. I’ve been thoroughly negligent when it comes to author notes (spending too much time pretending I know how to use a camera), but the nearest thing to a new year’s resolution I have is to start posting once again. And at least […]

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Dedication

So far 2018 has been a quiet year for author notes, as we’ve all been quite busy with other projects. If you want to know what I’ve been up to, click here to read my stories about the real people currently reshaping the future of energy. I don’t usually remark on book dedications –– those […]

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The Real Colette

At this point, my obsessive relationship with HMCS Sackville is reasonably well documented. It began when I based a Defense Command corvette on her, then escalated in 2013, when I spent Battle of the Atlantic week with her in Halifax. After that, Sackville turned up in Champions, swimming through Newfoundland’s coastal waters with Alex in […]

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Nancy Wake

In 1994, Nancy Wake auctioned off her war medals for profit. Some said this was to pay for booze, others suggested it was part of a feud with the Museum of Australia, but one friend and neighbor offered an explanation which I choose to believe is most accurate: she did it because someone told her […]

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The Year Was 2017…

I don’t get embarrassed about baby pictures. I don’t understand why anyone would –– there’s no shame in looking like a child when you happen to be one. I do, however, get very embarrassed about my earliest writing. No matter how old you are when you start, it’s a safe bet that your first stories won’t be […]

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Fray

It is 1944, and Lady Emily’s insurgency is growing. Though the vast majority of the genetically-enhanced Champions in the British Empire and the United States remain loyal, some have heeded her call to overturn civilization, and to make themselves masters of two planets. The forces of Jimmystown must struggle to prevent open rebellion. When two […]

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Everything Begins to Fray

Shortly after her abilities were revealed to two worlds in 1919, Lady Emily began making public appeals to save the children of the savages. She believed it was the British Empire’s duty to send troops to rescue those genetically-enhanced innocents, so that they could be spared lives of slavery and given the chance to become […]

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Platform For Dreams

Less than three weeks ago, I was clinging to my seat aboard a Beechcraft 1900D as we approached the runway in Deer Lake. After a seven hour wait in St. John’s, I’d managed to get aboard a plane that would take me across Newfoundland, but it was going to be an eventful flight. St. John’s […]

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De-Kentaminated

The pun was so bad. Sitting in the passenger seat of Matt LeDrew’s car as we pulled away from St. John’s Airport, I was immediately reminded of just what sort of nemesis Engen’s founder really is: the kind who invents shockingly bad puns. And apparently this particular pun had been put into service at Sci-Fi […]

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Damage Report

Let’s be honest: fiction writing can be a pretty antisocial business. From the research that goes into crafting a story, to the time spent at the keyboard tapping it out, to the hours of editing, authors are obliged to spend a great deal of time locked inside their own minds. This is why some people […]

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Just Plain Late

It’s quite impossible for me to be fashionably late, so this week I’m going to be just plain late. As previously mentioned, I’m going to turn up at Sci Fi on the Rock this weekend, but I won’t be on the ground for the entire event. The convention kicks off on Friday afternoon and wraps up […]

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Two Weeks To Retirement

I have very few regrets when it comes to Defense Command. One lament continues to be that I never changed Ken Barron’s first name… because forever more, people will think I’m him. I’m not. Or, at least, I don’t want you to think I am. Whatever. The second lament is much more important: it wasn’t […]

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Sins Of Mars

Veteran Defense Command corvette DCNS Sackville had come out of the Luna yards fully restored with a fresh coat of paint, and was on her way to Belt Two to be turned into a museum. Aboard was Admiral Ken Barron –– the supposed ‘war hero’ who would cut the ribbon at the museum’s opening. Five […]

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Defense Command Turns Ten

Fast-paced, irreverent, and sometimes heart-wrenching, the Defense Command series by Kenneth Tam made its debut in 2006 at Toronto Trek –– then Canada’s largest fan-run science fiction convention. In 2016, this adventurous military science fiction series officially turns ten, and Iceberg Publishing will mark this milestone in a number of exciting ways. The anniversary celebration started […]

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The Last Ship

Navy stories are tough to get right – particularly in the modern era. The setup usually sounds appealing: an ensemble of characters working together within a ship that is a character all on its own. But when you get into the practicalities of storytelling, the complications are plenty. Those characters, for instance, are stratified by […]

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Fashion for Champions

You learn a lot when you moderate writing panels. While I was appearing as a guest at the Toronto Trek convention around ten years ago, I chaired an author panel about writing female characters. It was there that I picked up a piece of advice from one of my colleagues, which I remember to this […]

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The Right Ships

You know trouble is coming when Wes Prewer and I start talking about warship designs. Admittedly, things went quiet on the Black Sun front some time ago –– another false start has come and gone, but in its wake there have been some very interesting developments… developments that I suspect will lead us where we […]

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