Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Introduction to Spinward Fringe

Put simply: Spinward Fringe is a long running series of Space Opera Books by author Randolph Lalonde. The origin story behind the series is in the First Light Chronicles trilogy, now collected in Spinward Fringe Broadcast 0: Origins.

The story is set in the far flung future and follows two crews as they make their way through a complicated galaxy in decline. At the core of the story is a ship, a constant fight for survival and the sometimes complex situations that come up for the characters and on a broader scale.

This series often crosses sub-genres between Hard SciFi, Cyberpunk, and a few other styles. Through it all the characters are our eyes and ears, providing context and a real emotional connection to events both personal and galactic in scale.

As an independent author Randolph Lalonde realizes that his readers determine the longevity of the series and his overall quality of life. He writes full time, spending most of his efforts on the Spinward Fringe series.

Here are the books in chronological order accompanied by a brief synopsis:

Spinward Fringe Broadcast 0: ORIGINS -Includes all the First Light Chronicles Books
Formerly known as The First Light Chronicles Omnibus

First Light Chronicles: Freeground
Freeground station houses an entire civilization of humans and it’s under siege. Low on manpower and allies, they discover a group of friends with original thinking who can defeat cadets and trainers alike in detailed virtual combat simulations. Fleet Command has no choice but to send them on a very real, very dangerous mission: to go into the galaxy and acquire allies and technology on their behalf.

First Light Chronicles: Limbo
The First Light crew have emerged from hyperspace into a war zone. Forced to choose a side, Captain Jonas Valent commits them to a fight for freedom against an unknown enemy. The Vindyne Corporation is hell bent on taking the agricultural jewel of the Gai-Ian solar system, Concordia. How Captain Valent and his crew weather this storm will change the crew, the ship and their mission forever.

First Light Chronicles: Starfree Port
The First Light crew enjoy their first safe harbour while repairs are conducted. The consequences of their encounter with Vindyne are becoming apparent. They are being hunted. With enemies circling they're pressed to continue their mission. The crew are faced with their most daunting challenge yet: to balance personal desires with what they must do for the Freeground Nation.

Spinward Fringe Broadcast 1: Resurrection
Captain Jacob Valance has no memory. Left on a strange ship on the fringe of the galaxy, he was forced to begin a new life. Years pass. He’s been joined by a ragtag crew of fringers and become a man who can recover lost property, hunt down hardened criminals and go where others fear to tread. Little does he know his search for clues to his past is about to bear fruit.

Spinward Fringe Broadcast 2: Awakening
The Samson crew are caught in their Captain’s problems as his past catches up with him. As new allies start to fall in line old enemies come out of the shadows. While they struggle to deal with their own problems, Regent Galactic starts putting a plan in motion that could bring about the fourth fall of man and position themselves as the saviors. Their ambition could spell disaster for the entire galactic fringe

Spinward Fringe Broadcast 3: Triton
After narrowly escaping a brush with an old enemy Captain Valance and his crew reach out to their allies for help. Meanwhile, allies and enemies from his past are set to reveal themselves in unexpected ways, changing his life and the galaxy forever.

Spinward Fringe Broadcast 4: Frontline
Captain Valance and his crew are finally learning to work as a unit. Oblivious to the grander designs of the Order of Eden, they are drawn into a brutal conflict over a planet the Order is depopulating so they can use it for themselves. Who will survive the encounter?

Spinward Fringe Broadcast 5: Fracture
Part One Of The Rogue Element Trilogy
The crew of the Triton is making their way to Ossimi Station, a safe haven for independent ships and traders. In a galaxy gripped by conflict and teetering on the verge of chaos, Captain Jacob Valance and his crew will be faced with the unexpected, the unknown, and an opportunity to save thousands of lives. Will their sympathy be their undoing?

Spinward Fringe Broadcast 6: Fragments
Part Two Of The Rogue Element Trilogy

The crew of the Triton continue their misadventure near Ossimi Ring Station. They are forced down different paths and a fight for freedom that will cost them dearly begins. New opportunities, dangers and experiences await them all, as the Order of Eden stirs, advancing their own agenda.

The Expendable Few - A Spinward Fringe Novel
AKA Broadcast 6.5
Commander Clark Patterson and several other officers in the Freeground Military are ejected from regular service when a desire to look beyond Freeground Nation’s borders is proven by an oppressive government. They are assigned dangerous missions by a special Intelligence Oversight Group.

If Commander Patterson and his people complete these missions, they’ll gain their freedom from Oversight and have the opportunity to start over in a tumultuous galaxy. Patterson’s fascination with another crew who left Freeground years before and managed to survive serves as a destination, but will they survive to reach it?

*** This book takes place between and during Spinward Fringe Broadcasts Six and Seven. ***

Spinward Fringe Broadcast 7: Framework
The crew of the Triton find themselves marooned in the Rega Gain solar system. Refusing to abandon the refugees and liberated slaves who joined them along the way, Ayan Rice and her friends negotiate a deal with the Carthan Government to found a home on a terraformed moon.Meanwhile, the fugitive, Jacob Valance and the former Samson crew work to restore their ship and continue their fight against the Order Of Eden in earnest. Little do they know, the fight will resume well before they're ready, and the entire Triton crew will find themselves caught in a war that threatens to change the galaxy forever.Burning questions are answered in Spinward Fringe Broadcast 7: Framework, the cumulative book in the Spinward Fringe series. Stories come to an end, characters face their destinies, and the series changes forever.

Spinward Fringe Broadcast 8: Renegades
It has been months since the Siege of Port Rush. The Warlord, under the command of Jacob Valent, has been travelling to ports across the sector to gather intelligence, capturing ships and cargo as they go. Manpower and funds are still in short supply, but the Captain is winning the support of the British Alliance, and his crew suspects he has a long term plan that will lead to bigger prizes.
After a period of intense training with the new Ranger Division, Alice and a number of young recruits fight the last remaining forces left behind after the siege. The enemies on the ground near Haven Shore are almost eliminated, and she will have to make a decision: remain with the new outfit, or return to the Warlord, her father’s ship.
Haven Shore has become a beacon for peace while war looms in the near future. Politics and petty squabbles threaten to destabilise the new government while commanders fight for the manpower they need to complete repairs on the Triton and the rest of their small fleet.
Ayan, Jake, Minh-Chu, Alice and their friends will face the greatest of challenges as they are forced to make life and death decisions. The galaxy teeters on the verge of all-out war, and they have very little time to find their place before it begins.

Spinward Fringe Broadcast 9: Warpath
The war is on! Conflict grips the Iron Head Nebula and the star system that Jake, Ayan, Minh-Chu and their loved ones call home. The Order of Eden, British Alliance and other organisations creeping in the shadows enter into an all-or-nothing conflict that will change the political shape of the galaxy for centuries while Freeground is forced to leave its home space in search of help and safety.

This is what the crew of the Triton, the Warlord and the residents of Haven Shore hoped to avoid, but it was inevitable. The great galactic war has begun, and there are even more combatants waiting in the shadows to exert their influence on the conflict

Spinward Fringe Broadcast 10
More information on this book will be available soon.

Spinward Fringe Broadcast 11
More information on this book will be available once Broadcast 10 is available.

Interviews With Randolph Lalonde About Spinward Fringe

Audio Interview with Twisted Sci-Fi

Interview with Read Freely

Interview with Two Ends Of The Pen

Spinward Fringe Chart History

All of the books have reached the top 10 on Smashwords and a few other sites that carry independent writers' work. Here are two of the many articles mentioning the rise of a few of the books:

Spinward Fringe Broadcasts 1 & 2: Resurrection and Awakening rising to the top 10 in Science Fiction on the Apple iBookstore.

Spinward Fringe Broadcast 7: Framework #1 in Science Fiction at Smashwords


If you have any questions, concerns, or would like to offer advice on how to improve this mini-guide, please post a comment below.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The First Spinward Fringe Trailer

It took the weekend, but after assembling choice bits of audio and all the useful images I have from Spinward Fringe I managed to cobble together an early trailer for the Spinward Fringe Series. The image design took less time than I thought it would, and I managed to take first crack at a cover for a book that's in long term development.

For anyone who happens to be a long time reader of the series, the second background image is a huge hint as to the subject of the book I'm developing as I write the regular Spinward Fringe series.

Here's the video:

[A quick note to the author who asked me where I "stole" the graphics from: Any images, music, or audio clips I didn't generate myself were acquired legally from the current rights holders. I have full legal entitlement to all materials contained in the video and it cost less than $9.00 total. There was a great deal of design work done as well, the resulting images are copyright protected.]

I couldn't have done it without your reviews as well as the video and audio I've received from you. The teaser would be half silent if it weren't for Allan, Geoff, J and Ross. My goal while creating the video was to convey enthusiasm, and to get the viewer excited about the books. It's hard to find people who can sound enthusiastic about anything, harder than most people think, and I'm happy I had enough footage to more than fill the 40 or so seconds.

This video is just an example of the kind of thing I'd like to do using the video and audio you send in for the Video Drive and Book Draw will go towards a larger, more complete video. This one is more like a teaser.

I hope you enjoy the video and that the word spreads even further about the series. Oh, and I apologize to the people who posted comments and rated the video while it was still in the test / proofing phase. Your comments may be gone, but they're not forgotten. Okay, well, maybe they'll be forgotten, you might want to post them again.


[Is the teaser / trailer effective? Do you think people will get excited and or curious about the series?]

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Video Drive Book Draw

I'm creating a testimonial style trailer for the Spinward Fringe series and need your help. What I need are video clips of readers talking about the series for 30 seconds or more. What I'd like to see is a measure of enthusiasm about the series, your favourite book, character or feature in the series. Here's what I need in the video:
  • It can be taken with a decent phone cam, web cam, or any other camera I can coax a Youtube worthy video from.
  • The video can be taken anywhere.
  • I have to be able to hear what you're saying.
  • Try to email the video clip here: randylalonde(at)gmail.com. If it doesn't go through we'll arrange something else.
  • Don't add titles or animations please, leave that to me.
  • In your email tell me: your name, if your comfortable with me showing the video individually or if you just want it in the trailer, and where the video was taken.
What exactly will I do with your video? I'll clip it together with parts of other videos I receive and create a testimonial trailer(s) for the series. Some clips may not be used right away. I may show your video on its own unless you tell me you would rather it was only used for the trailer.

When I recieve your video I'll send you a link to the eBook with a code that will make the price of Spiwnard Fringe: Fracture $0.00. If there's another eBook you'd like (that I've written), instead, please let me know. If I receive more than 10 videos I can use I'll conduct a random drawing for 3 free signed and printed books on September 30, 2009 and those three submitters will receive a printed copy of any one books for free! Any usable video submission is eligible. I've received one already and at least one more is on its way. I promise every submitter that I'll cast them in as favourable a light as possible even though I'm sure you don't need the help!

If you're too shy for video but would like to help, you can submit an audio clip. You won't be eligible for the drawing but the first 20 audio clip submitters will receive a free eBook of their choice from my back catalog.

There are a lot of impressive book trailers, but I don't find many of them particularly moving. My manner of thinking is that if I can artfully edit together music, some impressive graphics and some video from my generous readers I might be able to put together a trailer that's as impressive as the reviews you've all been kind enough to write for some of my work. The First Light Chronicles Omnibus at Mobipocket is a great example of this. Seeing that many reviews makes a difference.

Thank you very much for your reading and for your help thus far. I see a future for the Spinward Fringe series and that's why I'm working on the next two books right now. That's why I'm trying to introduce it to more readers. The more the merrier, after all.

There's a lot going on with the Spinward Fringe series right now, so check back for more information soon.


[What do you think of regular book trailers? Do you think a testimonial trailer could be better?]