From the Four Horsemen Universe
I'm one of the six core authors of the 4HU, a shared universe created by Mark Wandrey and Chris Kennedy. If you're not already familiar, congrats! Your to-be-read pile is about to get a whole lot of awesome. From the Amazon page, "It’s the Twenty-Second Century. Humanity has taken its first steps into the galaxy, and we’ve found ourselves in a vast playground of alien races, environments, and cultures. As the newest players on the universal stage, though, our position is readily apparent—we’re at the bottom of the food chain. Only a willingness to fight and die for money separates Humans from the majority of the other races."
The Good, the Bad, and the Merc
Welcome back to the Four Horsemen universe, where only a willingness to fight and die for money separates Humans from the majority of the other races. While some of the stories inside deal with mercenaries, others introduce readers to the other guilds, organizations, and races that make up the landscape of the Four Horsemen universe, as well as providing additional insight into the characters of the mainline novels. What’s it like to be a medic on the beach or to learn how to kill from a mother not your own? Come find out!
Edited by bestselling authors and universe creators Mark Wandrey and Chris Kennedy, “The Good, the Bad, and the Merc” includes sixteen all-new stories in the Four Horsemen universe by a variety of bestselling authors—and some you may not have heard of…yet. In a galaxy this big, you’ll find that some of the races are good and others are bad, but only the best are mercs!
Depik. The race of cat-like assassins is feared galaxy-wide. Few living people have seen them, as the sight of one is usually the last thing its victim sees. Clan politics on the Depik home world of Khatash are complicated, with clans jockeying for contracts and the prestige and wealth they bring. There’s only one rule—Depik do not kill other Depik. Ever.
When Reow is implicated in killing the Depik Governor, though, her clan is declared anathema. Her four offspring are placed under interdict—they are to be killed on sight—and Del, Flame, Blade, and Death must flee with their molly, Susa.
With Reow dead, and Hunters tracking them across the galaxy, will they live long enough to find the real killer, or will they find themselves assassinated by their own kind?
Absolute power has the tendency to corrupt absolutely, and this is becoming increasingly apparent as the Mercenary Guild’s members pursue their hidden agendas. Leeto, the Merc Guild’s Speaker, and the Veetanho General Peepo are no different than the rank and file. With the invasion of Earth already complete, a single compliant Hunter could be the Guild’s perfect weapon to finally accomplish their goals.
Except that Hunters aren’t known for their compliance.
The Mercenary Guild takes on the Depik Hunters, and only one will emerge victorious. Who will survive to kill another day?
The Depik are feared across the galaxy as the ultimate assassins, but when an attack on their home world devastates their society, the survivors are scattered across the galaxy. As humanity helps bring their civilization back together, though, how do the remaining Depik adults put their society back together and teach the young kits and kitas about what was lost?
Stories. Not only are stories told to educate, but also to help the young Depik make sense of their place in a galaxy that is so much bigger than they are. Enter now the world of the assassin, as these peerless killers decide how to make their way forward, and thirteen amazing authors imagine the paths these Hunters will take.
"It's better to die free than to live a slave."
When the Mercenary Guild tried to bend the galaxy's deadliest assassins to their will, the Depik shocked the galaxy by choosing mass suicide to enslavement. Only those Depik not present on their home planet of Khatash survived to retreat to the shadows, to plan, to form alliances, to rebuild and look forward to the day when they could retake their home from the Veetanho invaders and exact revenge.
That day has finally come. And this time, the Depik do not stand alone.
Tales From The Lyon's Den
From the outside, The Lyon’s Den doesn’t look like much; there isn’t even a sign. But mercs of all species know that if you head to southwest Houston, near the Starport, there’s a particular run-down strip mall that looks like it’s been abandoned for years. The glass door second from the south end of the strip is plastered over on the inside with blue paper, and the faint golden outline of a rampant lion is the only clue.
Welcome back to the Four Horsemen universe, where only a willingness to fight and die for money separates Humans from the majority of the other races. Edited by bestselling authors and universe creators Mark Wandrey and Chris Kennedy, “Tales from the Lyon’s Den” includes eighteen all-new stories in the Four Horsemen universe by a variety of bestselling authors—and some you may not have heard of…yet. Want to know what it’s like to do search and rescue while a battle is going on or what to do with that new factory you just won in a card game? Better learn the rules to the Lyon’s Den…and then step inside!
Set the Terms
Peacemakers. The Galactic Union’s most capable enforcers and resolute negotiators, their name alone elicits fear and awe among the Union’s citizenry.
Being a Peacemaker isn’t easy. They’re charged with setting the terms and doing anything which needs to be done—even if it personally costs them everything. They must learn to honor the threat to all life, and, in the end, they must stand or fall, based on their own convictions.
From pigs flying to cats landing on their feet, “Set the Terms” shows Peacemakers at work from the origin of the guild to present day. Journey with a Lumar Peacemaker as he tries to complete his first mission and watch as a Phidae Peacemaker tries to complete his final one. They will have to use their wits as well as their weapons if they hope to remain standing at the end of the day.
Fourteen years ago, Alan Porter returned from a contract with a hefty payday for his company and a surprise: five orphaned Zuul pups. Although Humans and Zuul have faced off on many battlefields, little was known of the ancient mercenary race, and Alan and his wife, Dana, raised them the best they could. The five pups, Rex, Ripley, Drake, Sonya, and Shadow grew to maturity in Australia, happy with their lives.
In the aftermath of the Omega War, Silent Night is barely holding on. Most of the company’s mercs and its only starship didn’t return from a contract before the war, and they’re on the edge of collapse when a Zuul cruiser arrives. They, too, are missing personnel, and their leader offers to help find all the missing troops, Human as well as Zuul. Despite Alan’s worry for his family, it’s an offer he can’t refuse.
For the pups, it’s a voyage of learning what it means to be Zuul. What they find, though, is much more than they bargained for as the Guild War catches them in its growing conflict. For it to all end, Night Song must be whole once more.
IN THE WINGS
It’s the Twenty-Second Century. The galaxy has opened up to humanity as a hyperactive beehive of stargates and new technologies, and we suddenly find ourselves in a vast playground of different races, environments, and cultures. There’s just one catch: we are pretty much at the bottom of the food chain.
Enter the Four Horsemen universe, where only a willingness to fight and die for money separates Humans from the majority of the other races. Enter a galaxy not only of mercenaries, but also of aliens, hired assassins, and accountants. Accountants?
Edited by bestselling authors and universe creators Mark Wandrey and Chris Kennedy, “In the Wings” brings you a variety of all-new stories in the Four Horsemen universe showcasing characters that—until now—have always been one step out of the lime light. The fifteen authors bring you looks at some of the universe’s minor characters, giving you additional insight into what truly makes the universe tick…and some additional information you won’t get anyplace else!
The Lyons' Pride
(The Phoenix Initiative Book 1)
No other Human is more enigmatic than the Lyon.
On the African savanna, the male lion is the lord who watches over his family, while the females of the clan do the real work.
Joel, “The Lyon” Lyons thought that owning a mercenary company would be similar—he could sit back and allow the Lyoness to run the Pride. Everything would go well, money from successfully completed contracts would flow like water into his bank accounts, and everything would be as easy as it had been for him when he’d owned a chain of highly-successful restaurants.
It’s easy to be full of pride when everything is going your way.
But when he runs afoul of Peepo, the Veetanho who is arguably the most successful mercenary general in galactic history, he finally meets his match—someone who is every bit the master of logistics he is—and he is brought low.
The true measure of a man isn’t in never being knocked down, though—it’s in what you do when you are. When Peepo leaves him for dead on the battlefield, will the Lyon slink away from the galactic spotlight, or will he get back up again and let the galaxy hear him roar?