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The Last Plane of Existence

Braxton Cosby Author Interview

Braxton Cosby Author Interview

Steel Reign follows a super-soldier turned bounty hunter who must rescue his sister from pirates before a deadly virus consumes him. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling novel?

Steel Reign represents a segue novel that will connect the two worlds of my Scifi Universe of THE RED GEMINI CHRONICLES. It takes place in a nearby galaxy called Proxima Centauri, where two twin Red Dwarf stars have gone Supernova and merged with one another. This happened in the previous series called THE STAR-CROSSED SAGA, which won multiple awards for science fiction, including Readers’ Favorite, CLS International Book Awards, and Literary Titan Book of the month. This was a trilogy that spanned both Proxima Centauri and our galaxy, The Milky Way. Once it was completed, the main characters of the story, William and Sydney, relocated back to Proxima Centauri on William’s homeworld of Fabricius. That’s where William now reigns as the king and faces challenges from the neighboring five Houses and mercenary factions spread across ten Inner and Outer Colony planets. They would all love to conquer Fabricius since it has the most optimal living conditions and, therefore, prime resources.

I was inspired to write Steel Reign’s story because once I finished with THE STAR-CROSSED SAGAS TRILOGY of books, PROTOSTAR, SUPERNOVA, and SOLSTICE, I wanted to build out this fabricated universe of mine and I needed to have a fulcrum on which to work from. Steel’s character was so impressive that I chose to build an exposition narrative through him to smoothly transition readers into the next phase of my storytelling. Steel Reign is a Bounty Hunter that was introduced in THE STAR-CROSSED SAGA and had a growing character story arc in book three SOLSTICE. The story, in particular, STEEL REIGN: FLIGHT OF THE STARSHIP CONCORD, builds on his character development and provide more history of Proxima Centauri and sets up the more extensive series that I am working on called THE RED GEMINI CHRONICLES, which I compare to a Game of Thrones in Space.

Steel Reign is a character that was fun to follow. Where did the idea for his character come from and how did that change as you wrote?

Who doesn’t love a bad guy, turned good, right? It’s the original prose of writing where you try to force the reader into believing the unthinkable and fall in love with either the character or the story. Reign gave me a chance to do both since I had already built out THE STAR-CROSSED SAGA and was looking to glue things together in a separate transition novel. Reign had been introduced as a badass character, hat you weren’t sure you could trust when he is introduced in SOLSTICE, but then you soon realize he’s the real deal and you quickly cling to him. A lot of readers of THE STAR-CROSSED SAGA expressed that they wanted to know more about him, so it seemed very obvious of the direction in which I would go to fuse more of the story of Proxima Centauri along.

I love science fiction adventure stories like this. What draws you to this genre?

Science fiction to me is the last plane of existence (in a fictional world) where race, creed, and color really don’t matter. Because you’re dealing with alines, right? So who cares if you’re different. All that ever really matters is the journey of the characters and the story at hand. What’s important to them? What makes them tick? The challenge in scripting Steel Reign’s story was finding the right amount of conflict to continually move the story along while trusting that the readers love both the Sci-Fi world I was building out and remaining attached to Reign and not getting lost in the details. But since I, fell in love with the world on my own, the transition began to develop with increased ease over time. The duality between Reign and the galaxy of Proxima Centauri – a complex world, ever-changing, while containing equal parts volatility and predictability – was quite remarkable in the end.

Will there be more stories to come following Steel Reign?

Well, that is absolutely a truth! but not just Reign himself, but the entire cast of THE STARCROSSED SAGA. Once THE RED GEMINI CHRONICLES is created, you will read about all of them coming together in an epic, long story that will have a lot to offer readers of all genres.

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A Thief turned Spy, turned Bounty Hunter, turned Hero!After surviving an all-out implosion of catastrophic proportions following the failed fusion of twin stars Mira A and B in a class B Supernova, the people of galaxy Proxima Centauri have pressed forward with dreams and hopes of finally living in peace. But for Bounty Hunter Steel Reign, the clock of destiny is speeding ahead at a steadfast pace as he desires to hunt down a group of rogue super-soldiers before they can plot against King William Derry and his kingdom on planet Fabricius. Consistent work as a Hunter in Proxima Centauri has always been a feast or famine occupation, and when the flow of credits slow to a snail’s pace, Reign must find a secondary means of funding to finance his seek and destroy assignment by way of scalping a precious artifact on the open Black Market. That is, until his supplier comes up short, forcing him to pump the brakes and fall back to Plan B: finding his long lost sister Olia who was captured by the space pirate Forge, and forced to compete in a deadly game of chance aboard the Eclipse. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the stakes have just been raised when he discovers that she is the only source of an antibody that can offer a cure for the deadly, venomous DX virus lurking in his blood, just waiting to consume him. To survive, Reign will have to test not only his skills as a legendary assassin, but also his patience, as he takes on a rogue band of misfits to steal and crew the prototype starship Concord to thwart Forge’s plans once and for all.

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Steel Reign: Flight of The Starship Concord

Steel Reign: Flight of The Starship Concord by [Cosby, Braxton A.]

Steel Reign: Flight of The Starship Concord by Braxton Cosby begins with an intriguing and haunting scene. The protagonist, Steel Reign is expressing his regret over a massive mistake that he has made. Just from this singular scene, it is clear that he will go to any means to bring back his lost sister, Olia. She is aboard the ship Eclipse and involved in a treacherous game under the space pirate, Forge. Reign does not have the means or credits to find her. His sole plan to acquire an artifact and exchange it for credits has fallen through. He keeps having to devise Plan Bs to reach his sister. Along the way he manages to acquire a ragtag bunch of friends and colleagues: nerdy Gifford, the novice Stink, and Sereas. On top of these struggles, he is also combatting the deadly virus DX that has practically taken his eyes.

Steel Reign: Flight of The Starship Concord manages to hold a quick-paced, thrilling tone, as Reign is thrown from one dangerous situation to another. The prologue also returns in a more meaningful way later in the story as Forge’s sick game becomes clearer.

Throughout the story, a lot of different species and creatures kept cropping up. At first it was a bit jarring and difficult to keep up with, but the descriptions were so fun that I couldn’t resist being drawn in anyway. Take for example the Donthras that are described as being “multi-sexual” and “open to trying anyone and anything” Although there was an underlying intense tone to the story, the moments of levity were perfectly captured and made me laugh out loud.

Reign himself isn’t infallible though- which I personally love in an action/adventure protagonist. So often they seem to fall prey to being all around superhumans (see: Jack Reacher, Stephanie Plum)  but Reign knows his strengths and weaknesses. He even manages to acknowledge that he was the brawns in the sibling relationship and Olia the brains. The pair has had a difficult upbringing but share a very sweet and strong relationship. I felt immediately sympathetic and connected to Reign whenever he reminisced about his sister.

Steel Reign was a solidly entertaining novel- a strangely perfect amalgamation of science-fiction, revenge drama, and ensemble comedy. It hit all the right spots for me and was a great weekend read.

Pages: 337 | ASIN: B082S82S8P

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