A Military Sci-Fi with a Twist
The Shadow Man was there when Milune was destroyed, wielding a power that ordinary folk should not behold. But frightened children are rarely believed.
With Abraham’s mother dead, his father tries desperately to build his sons a new life on a new world. There are friends, enemies, romances, and the usual embarrassments of teenage years. But Abraham dreams only of revenge – against the vile riskar, destroyers of Milune.
Enamored by tales of the great campaign against the riskar, Abraham signs up, the realities of war and the dynamics of camaraderie molding a simple farmboy into a deadly and intuitive soldier.
But there are truths still to emerge, and The Shadow Man is no longer the distant memory of a frightened child. Nor does he hover at the edges of Abraham’s dark dreams.
In fact, he is much closer than Abraham could have imagined.
Tyler writes with an awareness of the human psyche, the surface humility of his work at the same time belying and complementing the sophistication of its emotional undercurrent.
Redshift is a tale of loss and the need for vengeance, but it is also a coming-of-age drama of a young man finding himself adrift in an uncaring universe while he lives, loves, and fights for what he believes to be right.
JaN 15 '22
The obsidian spire loomed ahead of their car as they glided down the boulevard. It lanced the sky like a black dagger, so high Abraham felt dizzy when he craned his neck to see the top. Large glass panes tinted maroon in the soft glow of sunset. His father’s latest building stood proudly on the Viridian City skyline, the apex of his career as a locally renowned architect.
Cramped sidewalks between the tower and Terran Ford Spaceport were filled with crowds of stargazers and tourists from far-flung star systems all come together to see The Passing. The wet blacktop smell of recent rainfall was concealed by concession booths stocked with rows of confectionary treats, made fresh on the spot. Most potent were steaming layers of fresh bread doused in butter and crusted with brown sugar, a favorite local dessert called Earth Bread.
A hissing air vent like a constant whisper above his head. Steady vibrations under him. He was in a starship. He didn’t want to be in a starship.
He refused to open his eyes.
He wanted to be back on Milune with his mother. Her scream tore through his mind. Inhale sadness. Exhale grief.
Don’t forget her face, he told himself. She can’t be gone. She can’t be…
In the moment, Abraham couldn’t believe that his father would give in so easily. But then, this was the man who had let his own wife die. Maybe he shouldn’t be surprised that he’d let his son go so easily, too.
Abraham reached the front door. He yanked it open with a rusty creak and stepped out onto the porch. The yellow sun was high in the sky. No clouds. It was going to be a hot one for David and Obadiah. Abraham shrugged off these thoughts. The only thing he cared about was getting the hell out and never coming back. The screen door slammed shut behind him, porch floorboards creaking under his feet.
David was crying, louder now. “Father! You’re just gonna let him go?”
David burst through the screen door, shouting, “Abraham, you can’t just walk out. We’re a family!”
He shouted back, “You and Dad are. I don’t belong here.” Abraham turned his back on his family. His old life. He started walking toward his future. One that he would make for himself. As the sun beat down on him and he started sweating, a light breeze picked up. a chill crawled down his spine. He shivered, a mixture of nausea and anger.
“I never did.”
Abraham was reaching breaking point. On every level. If it wasn’t torturous physical activities, or the mental assaults of large marines screaming in his face, it was Amory or Digger – people who were supposed to be on his team! – kicking him when he was down. Up until this point, the memory of losing a half dozen fistfights to Digger had been enough for Abraham to realize his situation was futile. The fatigue added to it, and he could do nothing but shrug it off.
A pause. An eternal moment of measuring passed between them. Abraham struggled to maintain a flat effect while searching for any sign of intent on the Ensign’s part. He could feel the electrical tension between them, like he was standing in a sparking gap between power lines. Her smooth face betrayed no emotions, now. There was no raising of a brow, not even a twitch at the corner of her lip, just…nothing.
He reached for his CLR, fingers fumbling in the darkness. He brushed across a face, an armpit, a few other places he regretted, but he found his weapon. Hoisting it, Abraham slammed a heat sink onto it, slid it across the receiver until it clicked, yanked the charging handle. It was instinct. Fatigued as all hell, he didn’t know up from down right now, but none of that mattered. When a Marine, even a simple recruit, heard the wavering tone of the siren call, he immediately prepared to defend the base and his fellow recruits with his own life.
It meant enemy attack was imminent.
TyLER E. C. BURnwORTH
Tyler grew up in the Ohio village of Oak Harbor with three baby sisters, a military father and a supportive mother. At age 17, he wrangled his father into signing the early release form to join the Air Force, and his life has never been the same.
For Tyler, writing has always been there, and he completed five novels prior to the inception of Redshift. With a Master of Arts in Fiction Writing, his perspective on the craft has evolved since the halcyon days of many an abandoned tale.
Countless stories and characters have steered Tyler through the best and worst times of his life, and it is now his goal to convey such inspiration to the world. He lives with his lovely wife and 'Irish' twins (14 months apart!) in the Nevada desert, just beyond the shadow of the most secure - and obscure - military base in the world: Area 51.
We assure you, however, that Tyler most certainly exists.
Our Master of The Future, The Structuralist, accepted the challenge of interpreting the central scenes and themes from Tyler Burnworth's Redshift, the first of a trilogy entitled By Blood Or By Star.
No spoilers here, but the landscape behind our soldier is considerably quieter than the scene to which it alludes. And the destruction of Milune, Abraham's home planet, hangs in the sky as a reminder of the horrors at play.
Also, check out the insignia on the uniform, reminiscent of The Collision, the cataclysmic event that sets Abraham Zeeben upon his fateful path.
Check out the development process here.