Unconnected lives intersecting in a bleak setting. Nothing will ever be the same.

Humanity lurches into an uncertain future, dismissive of warning signs. Only the most naïve believe humanity will step back from the brink. Yet, in a place that doesn’t exist, a riddle, puzzle, hope, fear, danger, salvation—all come together.

Zach Marjek has faced death in the far corners of the Earth . . . and survived where others failed. He is about to be thrust into an unimagined situation. Jaded mercenaries, an Inuit wanderer, a murderous Yupik, a young mother, a video game designer, a retired general, a new president, a Chinese marine, mathematics prodigies: these and others whose lives and fates will come together to revolve around a mystery whose consequences could range from disaster to salvation.

As the mystery unravels, a danger unbeknownst to the players lurks and prepares to take what cannot be taken. Lives and the future hang by the thinnest of threads.

Harbinger by Olan Thorensen

An Ancient Enemy

The novella An Ancient Enemy is set in the universe of Olan Thorensen’s Destiny’s Crucible series. When an alien spacecraft accidently destroys United Flight 4382, Twenty-seven passengers and crew were saved, but not to return to their previous lives. Five survivors found themselves on the planet Anyar, including Joseph Colsco, Mark Caldwell, and Heather Chen, but others had different destinations.

Cast away on a planet with bizarre physical features unlike anything on Earth, Dan and Liza Oglethorpe would never again set foot on Earth. They would never again talk with family and friends. They would never again see an ocean. They were thrust into a fantastical fate that eventually led them, six years later, after dangers overcome and a measure of peace achieved, to a morning in a dry valley on an alien planet and the uncertainty of living through a battle to see evening.

A Tangled Road To Justice

Sometimes it’s best to read the fine print. When former soldier Everett Cole signed on to help colony planets prepare for joining the Federation, his employers were disconcertingly vague about their identity and his duties. Yet, the pay was good and it got him off Earth and on the way to a fresh start. More reservations arose when – 11 light-years from Earth – he met his partner, Edgar Millen, an enigmatic man with a penchant for violent solutions and a fetish for the mythology and language of the American Wild West.

It wasn’t until they reached the colony world of Astrild that the mission became somewhat clearer. They were players in multi-faceted efforts to steer colony worlds in preparation for joining the Federation. Unfortunately, not all obstacles were amenable to diplomatic, political, or economic solutions. Cole and Millen were agents, troubleshooters, hired guns – or whatever you wanted to call them – tasked with removing impediments to civilized law and order – the methodology left open-ended.

Millen and Cole’s first mission to test their partnership? The backwater town of Justice was under the control of a strongman and his henchmen. All they had to do was convince the cowed citizens to rise against their tormenter. Formal authority and backup? None. Millen was blasé at the assignment. Everett’s first thought was, “What the—!”

The Pink Flamingo

A call in the middle of the night. A decomposing body found on the county border. Death by violence. For Greta Havorsford, her first murder case.

She had been hired straight out of college as the first patrol deputy sheriff in sparsely populated Tillamook County, Oregon. It was a bold move for the 6-foot, 3-inch, 22-year-old to move from rural Missouri, where she’d lived securely most of her life, to the rainy, foggy Pacific Coast. Now, after a year of experiencing the routine of a rural deputy sheriff, the murder energized Greta even as she remained uncertain on her future direction. Unbeknownst to her, life was about to be changed by the murder and the realization that darkness and mist can hide evil deeds.

Failing to solve the murder quickly and without solid leads, officials put the case on indefinite hold. But Greta can’t let it go. Bedeviled by her own insecurities and without formal sanction, she continues a dogged pursuit of leads. Her investigation carries her down unsuspected avenues, both professional and personal, and she finds that a rainy, foggy coastal climate can hide surprising secrets and dangers.