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Farewell to Messenger

On Monday it became official: MSN Messenger Service (or whatever it was called in its final iterations) has been shut down. This shouldn’t be a particularly poignant moment for me –– I haven’t used MSN in years. But upon hearing of the chat system’s end, I was immediately reminded of how much we used to […]

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Discussing Gruesome over Dinner

We had dinner at our favorite Japanese restaurant yesterday –– Yummyaki in Waterloo. Yummyaki is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month, and we’ve been enjoying their outstanding atmosphere, service and food from the very beginning. Indeed, in addition to Iceberg’s annual New Year’s Eve planning sessions, we’ve held many an Iceberg meeting there. Most of those […]

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The Black Rod

The Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod. In Defense Command lore, this is the reaper-like figure who turns up in The Articles of Empire, to lead Daragh Ryan to his fate. After years of misdeeds, the Irish Lord would finally pay his penance –– and ‘the Rod’ was the only one with enough incontestable power […]

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The Frigates

By now most Defense Command readers will be familiar with my blatant thievery when it comes to building the fleet that protects Earth in the 2230s. Aside from invoking Second World War veteran HMCS Sackville, and borrowing battle ideas from the likes of Admiral the Lord Howe, I’ve also consistently ripped off the modern Royal […]

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Event Tradecraft – Jupiteer

The day was Thursday, the time was roughly 7:30 p.m., and the Iceberg team was in the final packing stages for Polaris 21. We were also waiting for a special courier delivery of two new Defense Command books –– The Gallant Few and The Jupiter Patrol –– scheduled to be released at that event. The […]

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Private Adventure To Mars

Interesting story this week: an eccentric Dutch millionaire has offered passage to Mars for anyone willing to commit to eight years of training for the mission… and to never coming back. This strikes me as a big ask –– I’m a Newfoundlander, and the prospect of not being able to hop a flight home would […]

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Naval History… For Space?

When writing science fiction, some of the best inspiration you can find comes from history. Whether you’re looking for personalities, cultures, broad societal themes, or ideas about the relations between alien cultures, the history books are full of good ideas (and bad ones) that can help shape your story. And if you happen to be […]

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Through Whose Eyes?

Whether the cosmos is gripped by war, a new world is being settled, or Champions are shifting the balance of politics in 1940, the way a story is written depends entirely on the characters you choose to follow. I know that’s probably the most obvious observation I could make, but I think it’s important for […]

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Glorious February

Good military historians say that understanding the literature can’t compare with knowing the ground upon which a battle was fought. They’re right; terrain almost inevitably influences military events –– as does the weather –– so if you’re writing about any sort of land battle (real or fictional) it’s a good idea to form a clear […]

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A Love Story with a War in the Middle

Forgive me for beginning with a completely obvious statement, but today is Valentine’s Day… and that gives me the perfect opportunity to spend a little time on the subject of romance. I’ll be the first to admit I’m a romantic… always have been and don’t plan to change… but I believe romance is less about […]

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It Can Be Frustrating

This week, I got my groove back. I know, that’s a horrifying expression, and it gets even worse if you try to picture how it looks if I ‘groove’ to anything… but it’s true. I’ve been hammering Black Sun since the holidays, knowing there’s a story there, but not quite able to break it out. […]

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Cold Snap

This week in Waterloo, Ontario, we’re in the midst of a cold snap, with wind chills dropping to –26 degrees Celsius (that’s around –8 Fahrenheit to our non-metric friends). It’s pretty brisk, reminding me of the weather from my years in Lethbridge, Alberta… a very dry and sharp cold can cut through to your bones, […]

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The Quarterdeck

Anyone who has worked with me knows that, given the choice between sitting and standing, I often prefer to stand. I’m effectively a bipedal horse –– though far less handsome than an equine, obviously. I’m not sure how my strange habit came about, but wherever it began, it clearly influenced the bridges of Defense Command […]

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What A Difference A Decade Makes

I’ve come to terms with the fact that, when developing a series, not every idea will necessarily fit. Trying to create a plot that accommodates everything is usually a recipe for disaster –– you need to have discipline, understand the story you’re trying to tell, and then trim away some of the distractions… without gutting […]

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Races And Empire

Ahead of the release of Firebox, I think it’s wise for me to revive a discussion that I first began in the historical notes of The Frontier. As we grappled with questions of race in that book, I felt it important to set my own context when it came to ethnic ‘authenticity’… and indeed, to […]

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Little Green Book

One of my more closely-guarded possessions is a little green notebook. Alas, this is not an archive of the phone numbers I’ve collected from ladies over the years. Indeed, considering how much of my time this book has taken up, it’s probably one of the reasons I’m single (along with being terribly aloof). Inside the […]

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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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The Shipbuilder

One of the greatest creative collaborations I’ve enjoyed over the past ten years has been with fellow Iceberg writer Wesley Prewer. If you’ve seen the Defense Command or Equations books, you’ll recognize his work… if you’ve read Seas of Sand, you’ll know it too. But Wes’s contributions don’t stop with cover images, or even written […]

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Our Story: Iceberg Celebrates Ten Years

On September 7, 2012, Iceberg Publishing hosted a very special Tenth Anniversary Gala reception at the Tannery Event Centre, in Kitchener, Ontario. Joined by approximately 80 of the company’s closest friends, Iceberg’s partners took the opportunity to reflect on the journey that had taken them to the start of their second decade of storytelling. When […]

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Final Cruise: The Martian War Concludes

Since 2006, readers have been following the heroes of Defense Command as they struggled against the Martian Imperium and other forces whose presence was far less obvious. This July marks the end of that adventure with the release of the last four novels in Kenneth Tam’s Martian War series –– at last, the question of […]

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