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Letters from Selva Part Six

Episode 6

Bury Me Deep

I don’t know the date anymore.

Every time one of these things walks within 50 meters of our habitat, the ground shakes. The floor thrums against our feet, and our weary backs are jolted.

It hurts.

Not as much as my empty belly, but it hurts.

Sarah died from her wounds two days ago. Her body is in the airlock where we can’t smell her rotting. Two of the others opened the airlock door yesterday and bolted out into the night. They wanted food and water more than safety. I don’t think they made it twenty meters before one of the spitters got them.

Their screams stopped when the change hit their brains. Then they went silent, and became obedient little monsters with too many teeth, too many arms, and no sense of who they were, like all the others outside.

If the last of us are silent, I can hear them fighting over scraps.

How long until they remember how to open a door?

I got a good look at the one who came close to the airlock. I’ll draw it. Here’s my nightmare;

I won’t be coming home. I don’t see how. I’ll never survive until the fleet returns and there aren’t enough marines remaining or bullets for them to turn the tide.

No mansion, no Sarah, no mom and dad, and no little sister Charlotte. Just hunger, and thirst for something other than our own piss, and this metal coffin we’ve locked ourselves inside.

If anyone finds these letters and drawings, I hope they find me too.

If I’m not alive, please bury me deep enough that the monsters won’t find me. I don’t want to be a meal like everyone else.

Love and miss you all,



COLONY LOST releases in print and ebook format tomorrow, July 10th, 2017.

Letters From Selva, Part Five

Locked In, Blood Everywhere

5 October 163 GA 

I am, I was, covered in blood. I don’t…

The rock bugs. There are many of them. There must have been a colony in the peninsula, and we disturbed it. They’ve been coming out of the jungle up the hill towards the colony for what seems like weeks. The marine snipers were killing them off, and as they grew bolder the major in charge of the marines moved the one tank we have over towards the peninsula. They started shooting the big tank gun when more than one beast came out of the tree line. The sound of the heavy rail gun going off… like a hole being ripped in the sky. It vibrates your chest and….

But a couple days ago…

These things charged through the grasses with the rock bugs;

But some of them were different. Bigger, stronger… mutated. The marines had formed a defensive line. Sandbags, the tank, plus the armored vehicles they used for transport. The little ones… they’re faster. And savage. Jumping and stabbing. They moved so fast…
I don’t know how many marines died. Most of them. Maybe all. I think some of the first expeds might’ve gotten away. I think I saw some of them crawling in their black armor, but I can’t be sure. So much happened so fast.

The grasshoppers in the plains? I don’t know how, or why, but some of them joined in. Big as city buildings they used their legs to pick up the real boulders and throw them. Just like catapults from the old-Earth history books. More accurate though. Much more destructive too.

Behind them all were another species. Something… something in charge. Larger than a man, and smart. And… I don’t know how to describe it.

They could… excrete something. Spit it. And whatever they spit on… it changed. Mutated. I watched it happen to the bugs they led, and when they broke the marine lines and got inside the colony, I watched it happen to the marines.

This is what their spit did to the little ones:

I watched it happen to us.

But faster. So much faster.

The change in the alien flesh came slow, like a log burning in a fire. But human bodies changed like kindling coated in petrol. Immediate, and horrible.
Carapaces grew, arms spouted claws and faces grew eyes. In seconds friends became mindless savages and… I can’t draw what they look like. I just can’t.
Sarah and I happened to be near each other when it happened. I won’t lie, I searched her out. She had a broken leg from a giant rock thrown by the grasshopper monsters. I had to carry her. We’re locked inside the botany lab with everything powered down. There are seven of us. I don’t know how long we’ll be in here. I don’t know who will rescue us. I can hear screaming outside.

The fleet won’t return for months and the marines are all dead.

Tell Charlotte…

None of you are never going to get this letter, are you?


Letters from Selva, Part Four

Episode 4

First Blood
25 August 163 GA

Hi Mom & Dad,

It occurs to me that you aren’t going to get my letters until the fleet returns to the colonies. And the fleet only transits every six months, and it’ll be another week or two before the ships head back. So, you’ll be getting my letters from Selva a bit later than my normal letters, though I think I’ll try to write more. Somehow there are fewer distractions here, and I feel the need to talk with my family greater here.

We lost a marine a few days ago. He was killed by an indigenous creature the size of a bear. It got him in the middle of the night and dragged his body almost a kilometer into the jungle. At dawn the First Expeditionary Marines went into the jungle, following the trail of blood. The monster attacked them, and it took all five of the marines shooting to take the monster down. It’s covered in a hide that’s almost as tough as stone. In fact, when the insect-thing drops down to the ground, it’s indistinguishable from a mundane boulder, and guess what…? Boulders are everywhere around here.

The picture above I drew a picture of one based off what I saw in Balashov’s lab. I don’t know if I got its legs right (it’s dead on a table), but it’s close. Size of a bear. Think about that. I guess the good news is that they don’t appear to be intelligent or organized. Just wild animals.

They’re calling them ‘rock bugs.’ Clever.

Now no one wants to go outside without armed marines nearby. My fellow scientists feel quite exposed and in jeopardy, but… the marines are protecting us, and no one has been hurt since. The expeditionary marines are now carrying their rifles and pistols all the time, and I think the other marines will be issued their weapons soon. I hope so. I know a lot of us will feel safer.

I’ve dived into research. I haven’t left the lab here in… too long. Margaret told me earlier I should get out and get some sun, and she’s right. I should. But I’ve got a few ferns to look at in depth, and the results on some soil samples are just a few hours away. I’ll go out after all that’s done.

Feeling a little depressed, but I suppose that’s normal. Talking with Sarah helps. Mom, you’ll be glad to know she and I kissed the other night. I guess you could say it’s going well.

Stahl. The kid who was killed. His name was Stahl. Hopefully we don’t see anything else bizarre.

Tell Charlotte I’m debating the idea of a mansion here…. I think any world where there are bugs the size of sofas might not be the ideal place to retire. Although we’re getting a massive land grant bonus if we settle here. Double normal. Tell her I miss her, and to take care of herself.

I’ll watch out for massive insects covered in stones.

Love and miss you all,


Letters from Selva, Part Three

Episode 3

Sure is Pretty Here

18 August 163 GA

Hi Mom & Dad,

Can you read this? Because I’m sending this from SELVA!

Yes, you read that right. Your son is sending you a letter not from Pacifica, or Ares, or Sota, or even Phoenix. Selva. Not a moon, but a whole planet.

I can’t describe the feeling. It’s transcendent.

We’ve only just landed.

The planet itself is warmer than Pacifica but a little drier. It doesn’t rain in the afternoon here as it does at home. The sun is scorching, and the grasses in the endless fields inland are bleached yellow. On the peninsula we landed near there is a jungle denser than anything you can imagine. The expeditionary marines will be going into it daily to collect samples for us. We would do it ourselves, but it’s still too unknown and thus too dangerous. Not to mention sealed exosuits are limited in supply, and if we ruin any it’s a big loss.

Makes me think about the terrorists, and how they said there aren’t enough supplies to go around. I mean, if we don’t have enough spare suits… should we even be here?

Don’t worry though. I know that sounds frightening, but I’m safe. The air is breathable here. The suits are to protect us from microbes and bacterias, and all the little microorganisms here. We don’t know how they’ll affect us. We have scientists working around the clock in habitats that were dropped to the surface trying to rule out deadly infectious agents, and I’m confident we’ll be okay. We took what felt like a thousand inoculations on Ares before leaving, and that should’ve provided us with a safety barrier against almost anything.

Provided there isn’t anything TOO alien and strange here.

There are massive insects that roam the inland fields. They are the size of freight cars, and are reminiscent of grasshoppers. I guess that’s the most alien thing we have here. So far.

I have been given a tremendous gift, being here. To be among the first people to set foot on a new world, and brave its unknowns? To explore it, and define it, and make it safe for the future? Truly blessed.

Of course I need to get back to work. Right now my habitat is being set up so I’m providing labor with the marines. We’re unloading the two freighters and getting everything triaged, so to speak. There’ll be a town here, with a landing field, and phone service, and solar power eventually. Could be years, but it’ll come.

Once we figure out how to manage the strange magnetic interference here, and how to transport things long distances without flying. (magnetic field messes with aviation electronics, I’m told) Nothing flies here. No bugs, no birds, nothing.

Trains could do it maybe. Or cars. We’ll be able to build more cars.

The world is open for us to explore, and the more we explore, the better it will be. We’ll dig mines for metals we haven’t had since Earth, we’ll build farms that grow food enough for all four moons, we’ll harvest, and we’ll have families, and build homes, and keep living the human dream.

And I get to be a part of the very beginning of it, just like the first explorers who set foot on Phoenix, 163 years ago.

Of course, you’re likely to be more excited about the fact that I’ve been talking with one of my colleagues. Her name is Sarah, and we get along very well. She reminds me of you, mother, and in the best ways. I don’t know if she can make borscht, but I’m willing to make sacrifices.

Well, I gotta go. The marine lieutenant I’m working under for the afternoon will probably kill me if I don’t get my suit back on and get outside to help. Or worse yet, he’ll draft me into his unit permanently.

Tell Charlotte I love her, and that one day, I’ll invite her to visit me at my mansion here on Selva.

Love and miss you all,


Letters from Selva, Part Two

Good News Before Dark

16 April 163 GA

Hi Mom & Dad,

Sorry it’s taken me so long to write. I’ve been busier than you can imagine. You’re never going to believe it but…

I GOT SELECTED! I’m going to SELVA! A whole new planet! Not just another moon of Ghara, but a whole new exoplanet! Same one we’ve been looking at for almost 200 years.

I’m in shock. I wish I could’ve come back home to Pacifica to tell you, but the training regimen and expedition preparation is already overwhelming, and a trip home would be too much to ask. I hope you understand!

But we’re leaving soon! They’re saying July or August. Obviously security is tight, so they’re not saying the date exactly, but that’s not far away at all.

I met Margaret (she’s amazing, just like I’d hoped) as well as Dr. Rasima, Dr. Eckstein, Dr. Maine and even Dr. Balashov! They’re all great. Balashov still maintains a Russian accent which makes me long for home cooking. I’d flap my wings and try to fly all the way to Pacifica for a fresh bowl of borscht. I’m drooling. Not professional at all, especially for an official…. SELVAN EXPEDITION SCIENTIST!!

I hope you’re proud of me.

As you can imagine the Marine base here has exploded with activity. Materials, supplies, food, water, more housing has been built, you name it. Not to mention two units of Special Operations marines arrived, and they’re hot to trot. Rumor has it they’re the same two units of marines that were attacked at White Bay, and hit the bomb making factory on Pacifica.
The regular marines give them the widest birth. You should see it. Normally the rank and file marines act like they’re the toughest thing on a moon in the colonies but when one of the six First Expeditionary Marines comes through… You can see the respect, let’s just say that.

I guess the brightest thing about the six guys is that they are all very nice, despite having every reason to act like arrogant asses. I got a cup of coffee in the cafeteria beside one of them, a man named Dustin, and we chatted. I kept it very plain, and he seemed excited, and a little scared, which made him seem human.

Anyway, we’re going dark here very soon. In fact, this letter might be returned to me unsent if I don’t skip out to the post immediately. I hope the shuttle that carries it home to you flies fast and true, and I hope you are all well.

Give Charlotte a hug, and tell her that her big brother loves her very much.

Love and miss you all,


Letters from Selva, Part One


Opportunity Knocks

14 July 162 GA

Hi Mom & Dad,

Just had a few seconds free so I’m writing you a letter. I’ve got to get back to work at the Marine base in a couple hours but I wanted to write you and let you know that Scoville really is as hot as the news vids claim. It hasn’t dropped below 35 Celsius here in nearly three weeks and you can cook an egg on the pavement at noon. Over easy isn’t on the menu either. It’s over hard or nothing at all.

The good news, is they have good air conditioning here, and plenty of fresh water to drink. I do miss the oceans from home, but here’s where the research is happening, so he’s where I am.

In other good news, the Colonial Senate is selecting staff for the new expedition very soon, and my boss said I’ve been shortlisted for the botany team, and boy… won’t that be exciting. The head of the botany team is Dr. Margaret Ford, and you know I’ve said her name a thousand times. She’s a legend in our field, and if I get this job to travel to Selva and help map the plant life there… My career is secured.

All the homework, all the schooling, all the long hours… all worth it.

But I gotta get the job first. We all know how split the colonies are about further growth. I don’t know if you heard, but a bunch of marines got into a firefight at White Bay on Sota a month or so ago over it. The terrorists there tried to kill a team of First Expeditionary Marines headed here. All the marines won’t stop talking about it. Luckily, the marines survived, and the terrorists were killed, but there will be more attacks, I’m sure.

The anti-expansionists are willing to die to stop the colonial government from expanding us beyond the moons of Ghara.

Strange that they think they’ll stop deaths by giving up their lives pointlessly. Maybe they’re right. Maybe we should allocate more resources to shoring up the economies of the poorer moons. Make them safer? Get the folks in the backwaters off of their horses, and into electric cars like God intended. Maybe get pocket-sized phones again?

But mom and Dad… the rumor mill says Selva has all the heavy minerals the moons are lacking, and if that’s the case, we’ll experience a technological renaissance not seen since Pioneer 3 left Earth all those centuries ago.


Still not dating anyone, so don’t bother asking in your next letter. If I have any luck getting selected to the Selvan Expedition might mean I’ll find a nice girl I can talk plants with, and then maybe get married, and make babies, and get a land grant to raise them on.

Wish me luck on all of that, and tell little Charlotte I said hello, and to study hard so she can be smart like me.

Love you and miss you all,



Part 1 of 6

Support a good cause, and come say hi this weekend in Philadelphia

This coming weekend, May 19th-21st, Leah, Willow and I will be in Media (#Philadelphia) Pennsylvania for Operation First Response’s Walk for the Wounded 5k.

The last year I attended, I sold books at the walk, met a ton of fans who made the trip, made a bunch more, and donated all of my proceeds straight to the charity to benefit veterans and their families.

If you can make it to Philly for this, please do so. If you can’t, please share the news of the event so others might, or consider sending #OFR a few bucks to help out someone who deserves it.

As far as my stuff goes, I’ll have a tent near the stage/starting area, and I’ll have all of my #books, shirts, and stickers there, including a few of the ultra limited edition OFR signed numbered promo books, plus Leah and Willow will be frolicking about in the park nearby.

Come meet my family, and I mean the vets who are friends of mine too.

We’re still ironing out a meet and greet, so if you’re planning on making it, please let me know ASAP so I get a place big enough.



Me and Mark Tufo in the same place, at the same time?

Drumroll please…

Do you like my books?

Do you like Mark Tufo’s books?

Would you like to meet us, and maybe get some of those books?

At the same time…?

Here’s your chance; Mark Tufo (Zombie Fallout, Lycan Fallout, Indian Hill and more, plus he runs Devil Dog Press) and I will be sharing a booth at the 2017 GraniteCon in Manchester New Hampshire this September!

We’ll both have a metric buttload of merchandise on hand, as well as smart assed humor, more than one episode of flatulence, and a good time.

I’m currently looking into tricking him into doing a panel or two with me, and if I can slip him some booze he and I might do a meet and greet one night on that weekend.

If you have any questions about the show, ask them right here, or you can head over to the convention’s main website or Facebook page.

Featured on the ACX blog today

So as many of you know, Adrian has been a pretty popular character in the realm of audiobooks for me. The entire AUD series has been released via the ACX audio platform to pretty stellar success, and ACX reached out to see if I’d be willing to be interviewed about the process.

Today they featured my interview. If you’d like to read that interview, here’s a link;




Cincinnati Ohio HorrorHound Weekend signing

Do you live in Ohio? Or Kentucky? Or Indiana?

Would you like to attend a wonderful convention in scenic Cincinnati, and perhaps get some fresh books/discs/shirts/merch from yours truly?

because from March 17th through the 19th, I’ll be at HorrorHound Weekend, signing and selling, shooting the poo.

In attendance with me will be Jeffrey Clare of All Things Zombie, as well as Shannon Walters, my wife, and our little spud Willow (periodically, she’s 11 months old, she has an agenda of her own).

We’ll have like, everything we’ve ever put out, and you are welcome to bring your existing stuff in so we can sign it for you.

The guest list looks fun. A bunch of The Walking Dead cast will be there, as well as a Monster Squad reunion, and Jason (Kane Hodder) plus a ton more.

Here’s a link to the event:

And if you want tickets:


As usual, I cannot bring unlimited quantities of product with me. As it turns out, books are heavy and big, and I’ve got a large backlog. I am only bringing 4 complete sets of AUD, so if you want one, speak up and I’ll set one aside for you.

I’m excited to hang out with folks next week!