What Rough Beast
by Michael R. Johnston
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Pub Date 21 Jun 2022 | Archive Date 6 Jun 2022
The sequel to The Widening Gyre and Blood-Dimmed Tide praised by Locus, ScienceFiction.com, Booklist, Library Journal and more!
As the Zhen Empire descends into civil war, Tajen, Liam, and Katherine each have their own part to play in the final conflict between the human race and the Zhen Empire. As Tajen searches the outer regions in an attempt to find and recruit Zhen deserters to his side, Katherine heads for Marauder space to seek out technology their Tabran allies need. Liam, believing his two best friends dead, must keep the human fleet alive as it is pursued across the Empire by Zhen forces. As the final battle approaches, each of them will be tested to their limits.
FLAME TREE PRESS is the imprint of long-standing Independent Flame Tree Publishing, dedicated to full-length original fiction in the horror and suspense, science fiction & fantasy, and crime / mystery / thriller categories. The list brings together fantastic new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices. Learn more about Flame Tree Press at www.flametreepress.com and connect on social media @FlameTreePress
A Note From the Publisher
Born in the Bay Area but raised in Napa, California, Michael R. Johnston discovered science fiction and fantasy at a young age, and never looked back.
After graduating from high school, he took ‘a year’ off college. In the decade that followed, he worked as a sandwich maker, a process server, a data entry clerk and then IT Manager. Then he decided to go back to school, earning his degree from CSUS. In 2006 he became a high school English teacher. After a few years on the job, he took up writing again.
They say you should write the books you want to see on the shelves, and as an openly bisexual man, Michael wants more stories where gay and bi men get to be the dashing heroes, so his books tend to focus on gay and bisexual protagonists.
In 2019, his debut novel The Widening Gyre was heralded by Publishers Weekly as a ‘promising debut.’ The second part of the trilogy, The Blood-Dimmed Tide, was released in 2020; Don Sakers of Analog called the two books ‘fine thrillers with many resonances for today’s world.’ He currently lives in Sacramento, California, with his wife, daughter, three cats, and a hellkitten. When he’s not writing or teaching, he spends time with his family, plays video games, and daydreams of other times and places. Follow him on Twitter @MREJohnston or find out more at mjohnstonbooks.com.
He currently lives in Sacramento, California, with his wife, daughter, three cats, and a hellkitten. When he’s not writing or teaching, he spends time with his family, plays video games, and daydreams of other times and places. Follow him on Twitter @MREJohnston or find out more at mjohnstonbooks.com.
Praise for The Widening Gyre and Blood-Dimmed Tide (Books #1 and #2 in the Remembrance War series)
“The Widening Gyre is the best Space Opera I’ve read in years.” -- Cemetery Dance Online
“Johnston's debut will keep readers on the edge of their seats as the heroes get themselves into one scrape after another. It has a hint of Battlestar Galactica, but with giant reptilian aliens. Johnston, with skillful plotting and impeccable world building, takes the tale of Tajen and his crew searching for home and shapes it into an unforgettable journey." - ALA Booklist
“Readers will feel invested in Tajen’s team of affable human rebels and their futures” -- Publishers Weekly
"Tajen Hunt [and] the rest of the crew from the first book of The Remembrance War series are back and determined to protect and maintain control of their ancestral home, Earth, [in] a narrative that will resonate with readers." -- Booklist
“Fans of David Weber or Elizabeth Moon will enjoy this debut, and experienced sf readers will catch some winks at other series.” -- Library Journal
"Fine thrillers with many resonances for today’s world, both The Blood-Dimmed Tide and its precursor are rewarding reads." -- Analog SF
“Johnston proves that he has a deft hand at world building and is giving us a new take on Earth’s future [...] A thrilling ride full of mystery and mayhem.” -- ScienceFiction.com
“What makes the book work is the characters. They all have interesting flaws, strengths, short-sightedness, and wisdom: they’re well rounded enough that I really came away liking them, even some of the villains.” -- Locus Magazine
“Johnston has taken the best elements from the old masters of space opera and created a fresh and fun story.” -- scintilla.info
“The energetic second space opera in Johnston’s Remembrance War series (after the Widening Gyre) offers big, bombastic set pieces [...] Curious differences between the various alien races, futuristic tech that’s flashy without being overbearing, and the complexities of interstellar politics all entertain while rounding out the worldbuilding as Johnston pushes his characters toward an inevitable interspecies war.” -- Publishers Weekly
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