A reader asked me recently, "So what is Ghost about?"
I answered, "An assassin in the Star Runners Universe."
A pause. "So how does he know Austin?"
Silence. "I thought it was a Star Runners book."
"It's set in the same universe."
Pause. "Oh, that's cool."
This exchange got me thinking. After all, C.G. Adams and I have been building the Star Runners Universe since 1992. It started as a roleplaying game and evolved into writing books (even though we still ponder relaunching our RPG efforts). We still have all the notes, images and maps from way back then all the way to now. But until four years ago when the first book in the Star Runners Universe released, we had never unleashed our ideas into the world. They remained on our computers, in our notebooks, and our imaginations.
So we come back to the original question; What is Ghost: A Star Runners Universe Novel?
Ghost is just a slang term or legend given by those who fear him to an intergalactic assassin with numerous identities operating within the Star Runners Universe. The novel is about those who encounter or cross paths with the Ghost and those who are hunting him.
If you have read Star Runners: Dark Space, you know that novel opened up the Star Runners Universe in a big way, transporting you far beyond the world of Austin and the other Star Runners in the Galactic Legion. Well, Ghost takes that idea and catapults it forward.
There will be familiar locations and planets as well as numerous new places. There will be familiar terms (curvature drives?). You will see glimpses of the inner workings of the Zahl Empire. In fact, most of the book takes place within the Zahl territory.
Here is a sample of additional characters you will meet in Ghost:
You will get inside the head of the commanding officer of a Zahlian All-purpose Response Cruiser that has made appearances in several of the Star Runners books.
You will see what it's like to drive a tug for the Zahlian Merchant Marines and what happens when this simple man crosses paths with destiny.
You will encounter members of an elite squad of special forces determined to serve the Zahl at all cost.
You will hear whispers of an organization operating in the shadows and searching for lost spacecraft.
You will walk alongside a Zahlian Marshal from a bygone era as he tracks his prey.
So while Ghost is the primary character in the novel, the story is as much about those he encounters as it is about him. It is an entirely different experience than the existing books in the Star Runners Universe--and that's what makes it unique. It was a chance for us to pull back the curtain and reveal a bit more of these worlds we've spent nearly three decades creating.
And we're never going to stop.