Monday, January 24, 2022

What is White Ops?


White Ops is my first book, and therefore, it is a very long story just to detail how it became a novel that long.

If you’ve followed my ravings online, the story of my writing career—and the story of my life— can be summed up in one phrase.

“And then it spiraled.”

White Ops started as fan fiction. It was going to be a short story to get something out of my brain.

Fifteen months and six novels later, you could say that it spiraled.

Much of the book as is came about in the last few years. I’ve been rewriting this space opera epic for the past two decades, and so it looks very little like what I started it as.

For right now, the overall effect is looking at it like Lord of the Rings. Because when I steal, I steal from everyone.

And I do mean

In the beginning, we have a massive war. A relatively backwards race called the Pharmakoi have had a massive technological spike. For years, they had been harassing the Renar race, but the Renar put them down and moved on with their lives.

Then, seemingly overnight, the Pharmakoi became the technological equals to the Renar, and all Hell broke loose.


But, like Lord of the Rings, we have an emerging evil getting ready to rock and roll across the galaxy. No, they’re not some ancient threat like Sauron, and they’re not some alien enemy from a thousand years ago, like Babylon 5. They’re not even from a different part of the galaxy, like Deep Space 9. No, these guys are from a different galaxy.

But like Lord of the Rings, these monsters have the ability to reach into the blackest part of the human heart, and bring forth the darkness within.

While he doesn’t realize the full scope of the coming threat, one man sees it coming. His name is Sean Patrick Ryan. The Pharmakoi’s sudden technology spike make Sean think that the Pharmakoi either found the technology, or was given the technology.

If the Pharmakoi found the technology… how and where did it come from? Who left it? And how likely is that?

If the Pharmakoi were given the technology… whoever is behind the Pharmakoi wouldn’t have handed over their best weapons. They would give out the equivalent of muskets while owning nuclear weapons.

When the Pharmakoi go down, it’s only a matter of time before whoever’s behind them comes out of the woodwork. While everyone prepares, someone has to keep watch, and counter any moves this new race makes.

These people will be White Ops, and Sean Ryan will lead them.

Toten’tanzers / Rangers

This is the point where we have to explain what the Hell Sean Patrick Ryan is.

And this is where the background on the book gets complicated.

While White Ops is the first book I wrote, it didn’t even have that title. The original title was Tales of the Rangers.

Then I realized that “Rangers” is a term so overused, it might be the most generic thing in the SFF genre. The books became Tales of White Ops. Then, simply, White Ops.

Then I went off and wrote a dozen novels. Half of them ended up with Sean A.P. Ryan, because the Ryan family won’t leave me alone. More on that here. Later on in life, the 21st century Ryan wanted to be a pirate.

Okay, he would be a privateer. He would kill terrorists, steal their loot, then use that to finance killing more terrorists—repeat.

While I haven’t written those books yet, they’re in my head. They’re can(n)on in my universe. They are a thing.

Then I went back to perform a massive rewrite on the world of White Ops.

And Sean AP Ryan had screwed up my ENTIRE UNIVERSE. How?

Somehow, and I don’t know why, but the Renar had made first contact on a covert level sometime in the late 21st century. They reached out based on their own cultural assumptions. The Renar culture is big on robes, and the colors in the robes explain a lot about your position in society—well, robe color and weapons.

When the Renar observed Earth to see who to reach out to, they made a decision that this one place near the equator —the center of the planet — must be the place where the leader of Humans lived. And there was one guy who wore pure white robes, with constant international communications. Even the name, Pontiff, implied he was a great leader.

So, the Renar visited the Pope.

The Vatican said, “Please hold, we want to talk with someone.” In comes Sean AP Ryan’s privateer company to consult on the matter.

The Renar hear what Ryan does for a living, and thinks it’s a great idea. The merchant caste thinks it’s a great way to make money. The religious caste thinks it’s a way to do good. The soldiers think it’s a great idea to get into fights, and for good causes. The peasant caste … doesn’t really get a vote, but it seems like a good way to get out of blue collar work.

Take the idea back to Renar, filter it through an alien culture, and shake well for 300 years. Privateers became Toten’tanzers.

In the Renar language, a Toten’tanzer is “one who dances with death.” In context, it reads as “a sentinel against death.” You can translate it as a Ranger, if you want to.

If you’re reading the word and wondering “Is Declan using German and passing it off as an alien language?”

You might say that, I couldn’t possibly comment.

You’re also reading a guy who stole Gaelic out of a Dublin phone book for an alien language. I just throw the kitchen sink in and see what works.

White Ops...

Sean Ryan’s White Ops team is a subsection of the toten’tanz. They’re going to seek out new threats and new conspiracies, and they’re going to send them all straight to Hell.

Why why Ops? Black Ops are usually the sort of thing you don’t want people to hear about, because they may be morally iffy.

White Ops are fighting the good fight, but right now, we don’t want the enemy to know that we’re onto them.

You might be able to tell, but I had fun here. I’ve got a small cast of characters, only six or seven. It shouldn’t be too cluttered or confuse too many people.

So, White Ops comes out tomorrow, and this link should have most of the available vendors.

The second one comes out in a month.

The third one the month after that.

The complete books.

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