We’re getting good at this…

What are we getting good at, you may ask? Scoring trips to ultra-decent places on someone else’s dime, that’s what. This time it was down to Clearwater, Florida for a mixture of business and pleasure.

The business part was mercifully brief, allowing us to appreciate the location and amenities.

Sunsets on the Gulf of Mexico were spectacular.

The pool/lagoon was pretty fantastic, too.

Ok, so instead of bragging about our trip,
(did we mention it was T&E all-inclusive?)

we give you, dear readers, an update on the months-overdue book from our notoriously inert author. An ending is in sight.

Those who have journeyed from Cadre One to this dark place have been through a savage and unrelenting hell. Confrontation with boundless cruelty, with morbid curiosity, with an absence of remorse has changed them deeply inside. Of those who come through, not all can be considered survivors.

Believe us, we’d love to share it with you. Ahem. If someone would hurry up and finish it…

We know the book is very late, and you’ve been so patient with us. We have to be careful about rushing, however. Quality really suffers. And we won’t print something we can’t be 100% proud of. Please know this is an absolute priority. We’ll keep Farnham chained to his MacBook until the manuscript is finished and ready.

Before we go, there’s one more part of the trip we have to share. This was the absolute pinnacle moment:

From the smile on Farnham’s face, you can clearly see he thinks a fan has recognized him and is taking a snap shot. In reality, this guy simply couldn’t believe anyone would be so daft as to lay in the sun, by the pool, wearing all-black.

Naturally, we had to preserve this moment for posterity, had to share it with the world. Should’ve seen Farnham’s face when we told him.

Farnham: Hey! You can’t see it but he’s wearing an Empire Strikes Back shirt! Frickin’ Millenium Falcon right on it! Definite Sci-Fi guy. I mean, come on! Totally fair assumption.

C.O.P: Except that it wasn’t. And you’re a dork.

Farnham: Keep it up. See if you get any pages this month.

C.O.P.: (recovers from painful laughing fit) Oh my, that would be different.

Farnham: (closes laptop) Fine. I’ll be in the bar. (leaves)

C.O.P: (snags passing employee) Hi, excuse me, do you you work here? You do? Good. Do you see that person in black over there? Yes, he keeps following us around, but he isn’t with us. I think he’s checked in under our name as well. Could you check to be sure we’re not billed for his expenses? And here’s a little something for your trouble. Thank you ever so much.

We live for these moments…



First Twelve chapters posted at Authonomy

Angry Ghosts comprised parts one and two. Black Hawks From a Blue Sun comprised part three. Now, part four can be seen in its entirety at Authonomy.com. Just click the box below.
Click here to see The Exhausted Dead

For anyone keeping up, you know that the title for our conclusion to the series has been, ah, problematic.

(To say the least.)

We’re proceeding with one of our alternate titles, The Exhausted Dead, because it simply fits better with the overall theme. And because we really want distance from that whole Sarah Palin thing. Here’s an early version of the back cover copy:

For a Cadre Operator, there is no retirement but death.

Savagely wounded, and barely alive, Thompson, Argo, and Beckert return from Earth. With them, they bring shocking news: the colony company Soshiba Varicorp provoked the attack which wiped humanity from Earth and her colonies. And their principle agent was Captain Braemar Keller.

Imminently practical, the Cadre is only interested in tangible facts, data which gives them an advantage in combatting their ancient reptilian enemy. The Colonists, feeling intense rage and betrayal, howl for Keller’s blood. When the two groups most need to cooperate, the issue polarizes them.

Thompson, forever changed by his experiences of breathing free air on Earth, is torn between his duty to the Cadre and his longing for a better life. But in the end, he must choose for them all whether they will live in peace or end their days as the Exhausted Dead.

What, really? A Title?

Here at C.O.P., we were sure of only a few things: buying “cheap” is always a false economy, dogs are better than cats, and China would spontaneously forgive the US debt before we saw a title for “Book 3”.

It’s good to be wrong sometimes.

If you’ve been to the home site, you’ve seen the working title has been Blood Libel for a while now. Imagine our joy now that the ultimate metaphor for murder is indelibly associated with a politically popular moron.


On a more positive note, our famously under-producing author finally delivered some viable alternatives. Guess the new office chairs worked. Or was it the singing? No matter.

Lex Talionis / Law of Retribution
The Exhausted Dead / Lord of the Exhausted Dead
Daimonioi / Those Driven by Demons
Morituri / We Who Are About to Die

While we haven’t decided for sure which will be selected, you can be sure there will be no more references to “Book 3”. If media attention to “Blood Libel” fades (and we realize by posting this, we are keeping it alive), we may also keep that title in consideration. Your input is highly valued and welcome.

Artwork for the new cover is still in the initial stages, yet the basic idea is in place. It will be an homage to one of the most powerful images we’ve ever seen: John Heartfield’s Peace and Fascism
Anti-Nazi, Anti-war
The image is severe. Moving. Terrifying. And it conveys the central truth in the story’s theme.

Ruthless militarism is incompatible with long term survival.

This book will be the culmination of events–journey’s end for Argo, Maiella, and Thompson. Action and emotion de Profundis. We’re excited to see this one finished. Many of you have said the same. So feel free to drop Mr. Farnham a note and let him know it’s rude to keep people waiting.

Ever forward.