Friday, August 16, 2019

Guest Post with Christopher Ruocchio - Howling Dark

Photo Content from Christopher Ruocchio

Christopher Ruocchio is the author of The Sun Eater, a space opera fantasy series from DAW Books, as well as the Assistant Editor at Baen Books, where he co-edited the military SF anthology Star Destroyers, as well as the upcoming Space Pioneers, a collection of Golden Age reprints showcasing tales of human exploration. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University, where a penchant for self-destructive decision making caused him to pursue a bachelor’s in English Rhetoric with a minor in Classics. An avid student of history, philosophy, and religion, Christopher has been writing since he was eight-years-old and sold his first book —Empire of Silence— at twenty-two. The Sun Eater series in available from Gollancz in the UK, and has been translated into French and German.

Christopher lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he spends most of his time hunched over a keyboard writing. When not writing, he splits his time between his family, procrastinating with video games, and his friend’s boxing gym. He may be found on both Facebook and Twitter at @TheRuocchio.


You know how J.K. Rowling talks about seeing Harry Potter one day on the train? Or how Robert E. Howard says Conan strode into his mind one day fully formed?

Hadrian was nothing like that. The truth is, some version of the character’s been with me since I was about 8-years-old. Kids will often make up characters and drawn pictures, tell stories, annoy their parents with them—I just kept mine. So I don’t really remember where he came from. I loved Batman, and Luke Skywalker. But Hadrian’s gone through so many changes now that he’s nothing like he used to be. A good deal of him, I think, is Lord Byron. “Mad, bad, and dangerous to know,” as one woman said, a poet with the soul of a knight.

The first book sees Hadrian as a very young man. He’s unsure of himself and makes mistakes, but simultaneously convinced he’s the smartest person in the room, which of course gets him into trouble. This next book shows a man more confident and a hair wiser, someone who’s earned a bit of that “smartest guy in the room” mentality. To me, Hadrian’s greatest asset—and his curse, sometimes—is his moral center. The galaxy is a harsh place, and Hadrian is someone who wants very much to do the right thing, even when he’s not sure what that is. And so he’s someone who gets pulled in both ways, which I think is part of the pain of growing up. I’m only 26, but I remember being 18 and thinking that all the adults I’d met were fools—because I was 18! I think most of us feel that way at some point—and Hadrian certainly does. That’s part of why Peter Pan doesn’t want to grow up in his story...because the only example of adulthood he has to look forward to is Captain Hook, and who the hell wants to be Captain Hook? Hadrian had his father, who was/is a stone-cold tyrant. I think a lot of young people reject the entire concept of competent authority (except themselves) because all they see are examples of bad authorities like that.

But though I’ve gotten only a little older, I’ve noticed that the adults I thought were stupid as a kid are actually just doing the best they can in a tight spot or a hard world, and a lot of Hadrian’s development in book 2 isn’t just to question assumptions—but to question his assumptions about assumptions. Because part of developing as a person is realizing that maybe you can be wrong, too.

Sometimes about everything.

For those people who read Empire of Silence and have been scratching their heads as to how a nice kid like Hadrian could do some of the terrifying things he described in the beginning of the book, Howling Dark has a few of those answers.

The second novel of the galaxy-spanning Sun Eater series merges the best of space opera and epic fantasy, as Hadrian Marlowe continues down a path that can only end in fire.

Hadrian Marlowe is lost.

For half a century, he has searched the farther suns for the lost planet of Vorgossos, hoping to find a way to contact the elusive alien Cielcin. He has not succeeded, and for years has wandered among the barbarian Normans as captain of a band of mercenaries.

Determined to make peace and bring an end to nearly four hundred years of war, Hadrian must venture beyond the security of the Sollan Empire and among the Extrasolarians who dwell between the stars. There, he will face not only the aliens he has come to offer peace, but contend with creatures that once were human, with traitors in his midst, and with a meeting that will bring him face to face with no less than the oldest enemy of mankind.

If he succeeds, he will usher in a peace unlike any in recorded history. If he fails...the galaxy will burn.

You can purchase Howling Dark (Sun Eater #2) at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you CHRISTOPHER RUOCCHIO for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Howling Dark (Sun Eater #2) by Christopher Ruocchio.


  1. "Do you believe in extraterrestrials or life on other planets?" A higher life form like ours is too rare in the universe and too distant from us to be anything but a theoretical abstraction, and we'll certainly never "contact" or "be contacted" by any such thing.

  2. I do not believe in extraterrestrials or life on other planets?

  3. I really do not know, perhaps, anything is possible. Maybe there are other universes.

  4. yes I do