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When a world is about to fall, can a criminal be mankind’s only hope?

James is a master thief in the gang-dominated Galis City, crime-ridden capital of the frontier world of Zona Nox. Warfare and poverty have made all Zonians hard, but are they prepared for what is to come?

Under siege, the iron will of humanity has stood strong, but even iron eventually bends.

Forced to join the Troopers, a galactic alliance of human soldiers, James is thrust into defending Zona Nox. But as the conflict continues, James realises that this war is not as simple as it may seem.

With everything at stake, can James save his world?

Details:

Fall of Zona Nox is the first novel in the Warpmancer Series, an epic science fiction universe set in the 36th century. Humanity has colonised the stars, but is by no means secure. Aliens, criminals, disunity and all manner of dangers threaten the human diaspora.

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The Trooper Order, an alliance of human soldiers, tries to defend as many human worlds as they can, but the ever expanding power of alien empires like the Xank or Imperial Council, threatens more than just the frontier worlds.

Alongside the few alien races which humanity has managed to befriend, can we continue to survive this universe?

What makes your world special or different?

The Warpmancer Universe is a far future speculation of our world. On the web and within the books, readers can learn of humanities’ history from the not so distant future to our far future among the stars.

Opposed to other speculative fiction, the Warpmancer Universe is highly realist. There is no glitz and post-scarcity, like Star Trek, or no peace like in Warhammer 40k. Rather, the more things changed, the more they stayed the same. Humans have conquered most diseases, but corruption and poverty are still rife. We have almost mastered cybernetic technology and robotics, yet we still utilize the good old fashioned weapons of war to achieve domination and survival.

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Humans aren’t the only players in this universe, however. There are many detailed alien races, all with their own backgrounds, biology, culture and history. One of the main characters of Fall of Zona Nox is a Zangorian, an avian warrior race enslaved to the Empire of Xank. In the planned prequel, Devil Child, the main character is an Edal, a race of the sworn enemies of humanity.

What I feel truly makes the Warpmancer Universe stand out is its probability. It isn’t so real as to be boring, but is realistic enough to garner believability. It doesn’t portray utopia or dystopia. It’s just life, among the stars.

How does your main character fit into this world?

There are three main characters in Fall of Zona Nox. James is a master thief in the employ of one of the top gangs in Galis City, capital of the frontier world of Zona Nox. He’s an exceptionally skilled, pragmatic but internally torn young man. Above that, you’ll need to read the book to learn more.

The second is James’ boss, Danny Marzio. He’s a witty, sarcastic and ruthless mob boss. His part of the story is much lighter than the other arcs, due to his levity, but he is just as violent, if not more so, than his employee.

Leri is the third main character. He is a Zangorian, an avian species. He works for a special task force in the Empire of Xank and is one of the aliens invading Zona Nox. His storyline provides much needed contrast with that of the human characters.

Tell us about the technology of your world.

There is a form of what some people could call magic, however, but that is a spoiler that will be tagged below this paragraph.

Technology-wise, the books go into detail on the types of technology experienced in this era. The first thing that James steals in front of the reader is a special type of battery, capable of storing power that we could not accomplish at all today. Fictitious alloys and chemicals are also speculated throughout the book, alongside advanced weaponry and innovations on existing weapon technologies. This is all topped by great strides in medical technology and the ability to travel through space at faster than light speeds.

*Spoilers*

Warpmancy is an innate ability in some people to be able to harness a type of energy called Warp and use it to manipulate the world around them.

They can use it to create magnetic fields, manipulate gasses, lift objects etc. While not possible and akin to the fantastical, the book explains the phenomenon as best it can to make it seem realistic.

What are the people who inhabit your world like?

Zona Nox is inhabited by a variety of ethnic groups and cultures. The North is split between the Red Sanders and the Galisians. Red Sanders are based heavily on the old Wild West. They’re a free folk and will fight for their independence through the barrel of a gun. The Galisians are born criminals. Their entire city is divided into gang territories. Attempts by the Troopers to instill order have all failed, as the gangs’ power proves too pervasive.

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In the South, there are the Tribals, the descendants of the original crash landers. They’re a hard, tundra-living people. They are primarily nomadic, as they travel to avoid the freezing of their drinking water. In the South East is Titan City, filled to the brim with conniving businessmen, entrepreneurs, criminals and those just wanting to survive. Titan City is split between the Upper City, which is run by a Board of Directors among the leading corporations, and the Underbelly, which is split between gangs which run the city as a form of confederacy.

The Warpmancer Universe has an extreme myriad of complex cultures, races, civilizations and government systems. The sequels promise to reveal even more of the latter, as it depicts the nature of revolution and post-war governments.

Are there any non-human characters?

Too many to count. Zona Nox is home to a large range of fauna and flora. Mozar are giant, blind, six-legged cows. Vowl are reptilian hyenas. Zots are plague bearing vermin. Above this, there are many sentient alien species – the Exanoid, Edal, Ulyx, Gleran, Zangorian, Krugar…just to name a few. There are also robots, but not many of these appear in the first book.

Is there anything special, precious, or unique about your world’s geography or its place in the universe?

There are many worlds in the Warpmancer Universe. Zona Nox, specifically, is home to a phenomenon called the Teeth of Storms. It is a mountain range cutting off much of the planet. It emits an electromagnetic pulse, which disallows many forms of technology, such as wireless phones and internet. It also makes travel on the planet precarious.

Zona Nox also holds political value as the main mineral mining planet on the frontier. Its metals are crucial to supplying the other planets in the system and beyond.

What are the two most interesting facts or features of your world?
  • It is our world set in the far future (36th century) and there are resources to learn about what happened up to that point.
  • I have used the term Epic Science Fiction to describe its genre, as it ties together the style of epic high fantasy with the setting of futuristic science fiction.
How does the landscape or geography of your world affect the plot or theme of the story?

Space travel is integral to much of the conflict and events in the universe. Specific to Fall of Zona Nox, the Teeth of Storms prevent easy travel, necessitating the use of low flying, slow freighters. This makes the character’s lives very difficult as they attempt to retreat from territory conquered by the alien menace.

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Is there a religious system in place?

Religion is a big theme in the book. Many humans now worship a personification of Earth called Terra. This is a crucial belief system to many of the characters and one of the causes of the conflicts. There are also many cults and contending religions – including the Imperial Council, a worship of the alien empire itself.

Purchase Woode-Smith’s Novel on Amazon:

Connect with Nicholas Woode-Smith:

Website: http://nicholaswoodesmith.com/books/fall-of-zona-nox

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31823236-fall-of-zona-nox

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Zaggeta

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/zonanox