Fast-paced, irreverent, and sometimes heart-wrenching, the Defense Command series by Kenneth Tam made its debut in 2006 at Toronto Trek –– then Canada’s largest fan-run science fiction convention. In 2016, this adventurous military science fiction series officially turns ten, and Iceberg Publishing will mark this milestone in a number of exciting ways.
The anniversary celebration started on the very first day of the year, when all 20 ebooks in the series were updated with brand new cover art by graphic artist and writer, Wes Prewer. As the artist responsible for all of Defense Command’s past covers, Wes developed and refined a unique style over the past decade –– but circumstances had never allowed his Defense Command art to be used to its full potential. That changes in the anniversary year.
“Defense Command’s look and feel was set in the pre-ebook days, and when the ebook format came along in 2011, it didn’t make sense to change everything,” Kenneth Tam recalls. “Fortunately, this anniversary gives us a chance to make good use of all the lessons we learned over the years, so now these new anniversary covers are easily on par with our newer series –– His Majesty’s New World and Champions especially.”
“Trailers, downloads, and other sharable media are all possible,” Kenneth says. “Remember, when The Rogue Commodore launched in 2006, Twitter was barely four months old. I barely understood Facebook. Now we have access to amazing social media platforms, and we can use them to show people what the Defense Command universe really looks like.”
Readers have been hungry for that sort of view into the Defense Command universe since the very beginning.
In 2006, the books were promoted primarily in Canada. The move to ebooks in 2011 led to the series being featured in Apple’s iBookstore, welcoming in a wave of new international readers, all of whom keenly followed the ramblings of the self-depreciating, charismatic narrator, Ken Barron.
Thanks to strong real-world connections –– books from the series have been donated to the at-sea libraries of all ships in the Royal Canadian Navy, and support continues for HMCS Sackville –– Defense Command has enjoyed a very active retirement since its conclusion in 2012. Its diverse characters, ships, and unique storytelling style have ensured it remains one of Iceberg’s leading series.
And in 2016, there’s more to come.
The second major offering of the tenth anniversary year will be a brand-new Defense Command novel, Sins of Mars, which is scheduled for release in February 2016 and will be available exclusively in ebook format –– for free.
“Last year we released The Count, a novella in the His Majesty’s New World universe, available at no cost. We wanted to create a similar opportunity for Defense Command readers, and give them one last adventure in this universe, on us,” explains Jacqui Tam, Iceberg’s Senior Partner and Editor-in-Chief.
Set in 2240, five years after the end of the original 20 novels, Sins of Mars details Ken Barron’s involvement in the Epsilon Incident, and also features DCNS Sackville –– the veteran corvette making her final active-service cruise before being turned into a living museum. As a spoiler-free standalone story, the book may provide a fresh point of entry for new readers, but most importantly, it gives loyalists one last chance to revisit the Defense Command universe, while setting the table for the follow-on series, Black Sun.
“It’s been a lot of fun for us to visit Ken Barron’s world one last time,” Jacqui Tam concludes. “Defense Command has played a key role in Iceberg’s success over the past decade, and we know the legacy of the series will be even more great stories. We’re excited to spend 2016 celebrating these adventures, and getting ready for the next chapter.”
The ebook editions of the original 20 Defense Command novels are now available at a specially-reduced price of $5.99 (£3.49 in the UK). Most existing readers who want to upgrade their ebooks with these new covers will be able to do so at no charge, using the update method specific to their ereader or app.
For more information on this anniversary, stay tuned to this website, and to www.defensecommand.net.