Cowboy Cam #1

June 11th, 2019

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Howdy y’all, it’s Cowboy Cam here, bringing you a review of one of my favorite sci-fi franchises, Spinward Fringe. So, before I can properly get into the review, I must explain what Spinward Fringe is.

It is an original sci-fi written by Canadian (I thought he was British forever, oops!) author Randolph Lalonde and is set in the far future of mankind. We are a spacefaring race that has divided into numerous nations, some democracies, others ran by corporations, some with little regard for law and order, and anything in between. Starships can travel via hyperspace, which may take weeks or longer to reach certain places, or if their captains have the credits, some ships also have warp drives that allow them to get places in mere hours.

You can obviously see the Star Wars and Star Trek influences on this man’s work. Ships have laser weaponry, railguns, torpedoes, missiles, clean nukes, and some disreputable ships still use dirty nukes. There’s also antimatter rounds too, but those are a rarity. I’m sure I’m missing a few, too. As for defensive technology to combat this weaponry, ships will have armored hulls, plasma shielding, or a type of metal that grows when in close proximity to suns, which when thick enough can deflect or even absorb beam weaponry, reinforcing itself from the energy.

This story also has prequels, spinoffs with Spinward Fringe still in the title, and now a new spinoff series without it being titled as such. This is one of the rare occurrences where the prequels were actually written first and are needed to fully understand the series itself. The prequels were originally called The First Light Chronicles, although they are now called Spinward Fringe: Broadcast 0 and collected in an omnibus that is free on the Kindle store, and presumably other places where eBooks are sold.

These prequels introduce you to a core cast of characters, many of which will stick around for a while or pop back up when you least expect it. It also sets the tone for the series and the universe and introduces you to the rules of this universe. After that, starting with Broadcast 1, you can see the universe starting to crumble a bit, and it really changes the dynamic of the books.

Since the reading order can be quite confusing, I will leave y’all a nice guide on how they should be read below:

Spinward Fringe: Origins: Broadcast 0
Spinward Fringe: Resurrection and Awakening: Broadcasts 1 and 2
Spinward Fringe: Triton: Broadcast 3
Spinward Fringe: Frontline: Broadcast 4
Spinward Fringe: Fracture: Book 1 of the Rogue Element Trilogy: Broadcast 5
Spinward Fringe: Fragments: Book 2 of the Rogue Element Trilogy: Broadcast 6
The Expendable Few: A Spinward Fringe Novel
Spinward Fringe: Framework: Book 3 of the Rogue Element Trilogy: Broadcast 7
Spinward Fringe: Renegades: Broadcast 8
Spinward Fringe: Warpath: Broadcast 9
Spinward Fringe: Freeground: Broadcast 10
Spinward Fringe: Carnie’s Tale: Broadcast 10.5
Spinward Fringe: Revenge: Broadcast 11
Trapped: Chaos Core Book 1
Cool Pursuit: Chaos Core Book 2
Savage Stars: Chaos Core Book 3
Spinward Fringe: Invasion: Broadcast 12
Spinward Fringe: Warriors: Broadcast 13 (not yet released)

That sounds like a ton of books to read, right? Not so my friends, as I personally cannot get enough of these books.
I’m currently reading Broadcast 8, and I’m around the 72% mark according to my Kindle app. I also know some naysayers will claim they don’t like reading eBooks and will not have any desire to read this. I understand your concern as I am also much happier when reading real, physical novels. However, these books are cheap (just a few bucks a piece) and they are so good that I don’t mind reading them digitally. Plus, the first omnibus, which includes three books, is free in eBook form. You can’t pass that up. I think there are some printed copies out there, but I don’t think they were ever made in large quantities as this is just a self-published author, not some big wig like Timothy Zahn, who is writing books all the time for companies.

If people seem interested in this series, or my ramblings on it, then I will for sure get more in depth with it in future writings. But I think it’s time for me to make like a horse turd and hit the trail.

So long, partner!

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