Brush Up on Ancient Warfare in Myke Cole’s Legion versus Phalanx

From the time of Ancient Sumeria, the heavy infantry phalanx dominated the battlefield. Armed with spears or pikes, standing shoulder to shoulder, and with overlapping shields, they presented an impenetrable wall of wood and metal to the enemy. It was the phalanx that allowed Greece to become the dominant power in the Western world. That is, until the Romans developed the legion and cracked the phalanx.

In Legion versus Phalanx—available October 18th from Osprey Publishing—Cole weighs the two fighting forces against each other. Covering the period in which the legion and phalanx clashed (280—168 BC), he looks at each formation in detail—delving into their tactics, arms, and equipment, organization and the deployment. It then examines six key battles in which legion battled phalanx: Heraclea (280 BC), Asculum (279 BC), Beneventum (275 BC), Cynoscephalae (197 BC), Magnesia (190 BC), and Pydna (168 BC)—battles that determined the fate of the ancient ...

Why Did it Take Me So Long to Read This?

Confession time: I don’t read much.

Some of the reasons I don’t read much will be familiar. For example: I don’t have time. I find the only real time I have to get reading done is the 30-40 minute subway ride from Brooklyn to One Police Plaza and back each day. When you factor in interruptions for spontaneous breakdance shows, or subway-car religious preaching that rips you out of your reverie, it’s even less time than you think.

Some of the reasons will be less familiar, unless you write for a living. My reading time is now a commodity, as publishers and fellow authors want me to look at manuscripts, either with an eye toward giving a jacket quote, or to give needed feedback. This takes some of the fun out of reading, but even more joy-leeching is the need to improve my craft. This has me reading in the ...

The Armored Saint Myke Cole

Five Ancient Histories that Make the Past Fantastical

Look, I know this is supposed to be a series on dynamite fiction books that will pad out your reading list in preparation of the long, dark winter days ahead. I understand that history is not fiction, but I would like to present two reasons why it’s okay for me to violate Tor.com’s prime directive here:

(1) Leslie Hartley’s quote that “the past is a foreign country” is absolutely true, and the further back you go, the more foreign it gets. I’m going to stretch the envelope here and say that, if the past is a foreign country, the ancient past qualifies as a full-blown secondary world—which qualifies it as fantasy. ALSO:

(2) I do what I want.

We’re used to reading history told by our own people, with all of the modern habits, biases and assumptions that seem so natural to people living in 2017 A.D. ...

Go Behind the Scenes of Law Enforcement with Myke Cole and CBS’s Hunted

mykecole-hunted So, I’m going to be on primetime TV on Sunday. Nobody is more surprised by this development than I. Hunted is a successful show in the UK on BBC4. They just aired the second season and are setting up for a third. CBS loved the idea and decided to make their own version here in the US. It couldn’t be more timely—with the idea of the “surveillance-state” becoming more charged with each passing news cycle, a lot of people have a lot of strong opinions. But what a lot of people don’t have is a front row seat for the process, the inside scoop on how law enforcement and intelligence agencies do their jobs, how the mix of personality, passion, technology and training gel to produce the part-art/part-sciences we call “counterterrorism targeting” and “fugitive recovery.” This was my sweet spot for years. Most fans of my writing know that ...

Five Books About the Ancient World

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What history can be considered “ancient” is a matter of some debate, but since I’m pretty much known as “the military guy,” I reckon things by battles. To me, the “ancient world” begins with the scrap between the Egyptians and the Canaanites at Megiddo in the 15th century B.C., and ends with the lopsided victory of the Goths over the Romans at Adrianople in 378 A.D.

I love reading about the ancient world for the same reason I love reading great fantasy. The ancient world is familiar enough to feel real to me, but different enough to fill me with a sense of transportation and wonder. Even more, I feel the ancient world resonate in everything I do today. So much of my military service (everything from my haircut to my unit organization) was born in ancient times, concepts so solid and enduring that they persist ...

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In History and Fantasy, Diversity is the Tradition

Henri-Paul Motte Carthiginian war elephants color

Fantasy wargamers are fascinated by race. From Warhammer to Warcraft to the all the major conflicts in The Lord of the Rings, race, and the racial composition of armies, is almost always the pivot point. In any fantasy wargame, the question, “Who do you play?” is always answered by race. “I play Dwarves,” or “I play Orcs,” or “I play Eldar.” Each race has its own Order-of-Battle, its own advantages and disadvantages. Dwarves are typically known for their ability to “tank,” soaking up and delivering damage in close quarters. They’re slow and plodding, but usually well armored. Elves are fast and agile, great archers, effective at a distance but unable to stick in a stand-up fight. Humans tend to do well all-around, generalists who provide balance to a battlefield.

Perhaps the most famous fantasy battle of all time, Tolkien’s Battle of Five Armies in The Hobbit, ...

The Heavies – African Infantry
The Swarm of Hornets – Numidian Light Cavalry
The Shock Troops
The All-Arounders
Traitors to Rome
Opportunists and Adventurers
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Javelin Rain

Javelin_Rain

< p class="frontmatter">Being a US Navy SEAL was Jim Schweitzer’s life right up until the day he was killed. Now, his escape from the government who raised him from the dead has been coded “Javelin Rain.” Schweitzer and his family are on the run from his former unit, the Gemini Cell, and while he may be immortal, his wife and son are not.

Jim must use all of his strength to keep his family safe, while convincing his wife he’s still the same man she once loved. But what his former allies have planned to bring him down could mean disaster not only for Jim and his family, but for the entire nation…

Myke Cole’s Javelin Rain—the fast-paced, adrenaline-filled sequel to Gemini Cell—is set in the same magical and militaristic world of the acclaimed Shadow Ops series. Available March 29th from Ace Books.

   

Chapter One

James Schweitzer’s ...