I met Russ Linton and his work when part of a group of authors on Google+. A very likeable fellow, I soon poked my nose, with his permission, into his work. My nose got bitten off. My psyche got shattered. This stuff was “REAL”. Yet, it was fantasy …or rather heroic fantasy/science-fiction. It was REALLY well written — professional. But it was TOO REAL — the politics, the motivations, the soldiering, the situations …everything. He wrote the reality of war and of soldiering, of governments and politics, of sacrifice and disillusionment, and he took no prisoners.
Read the rest of D. L. Keur's introduction to author Russ Linton
I told Russ so. His work — its subtext — made my skin go cold and my brain start to seek shelter away from the bitter light of reality that Russ exposed, a reality I, starting at the age of four (4), had been repeatedly exposed to because of a father who was part of the Strategic Air Command in the European theatre during the Cold War and, therefore, an instant target for assassins, even if he was traveling with his wife and little girl. It was the government car, driven by a staffer, that exposed us.
Russ’s stories and their worlds, both the human and the alien, base themselves in the fact of what makes war, what makes warriors, and what drives engagements between forces, be it in the political arena or on the battlefield. Now, I haven’t read all of Russ’s work — not even close — but I have read enough of it to tell you that, yes, these are tales that are for those who have strong hearts and minds, but who, likewise, prefer the realistic coupled closely to the plausible, if fantastic, all of it expertly written. That is what Russ Linton delivers. This is speculative action-adventure at its most potent, tough and, yet, very deep of heart. — D. L. Keur
Russ Linton has done a lot of stuff in his life. Philosopher, stay at home father, graphic designer, cryptocurrency miner, and yes, even government agent. But what he enjoys most is imagining fantastic places and exploring them through unique, and sometimes odd, perspectives.
A bugman acolyte raised by human monks on the edge of an eternal storm? Check. A powerless hacker punching above his weight class in a world of superheroes? Double check.
If you’ve come looking for more of the same, well, that’s one thing he doesn’t do.
Most of all, he likes to invite others along for these journeys. Hop aboard. No telling where he’ll take you next.
Russ creates character-driven fantasy about unlikely heroes. He writes for adults who are young at heart and youngsters who are old souls.
You can find him online at RussLinton.com.
The Crimson Son (Alternate) Universe
Step into our future if you dare! (Newly Released in January of This Year!)
Under the Flickering Light (Crimson Son Universe) Jan 27, 2019 $4.99
The year is 2300. Humanity has survived a devastating war, but will it survive the AI who brought them peace?
The genetic super soldiers are no more – their wars long lost. A singularity rules the planet which knows no equal. Life is perfect. Efficient. Monitored. You can be anything, do anything…in the VR worlds of the Nexus.
For M@ti, that isn’t enough. She wants to tear it all down. She wants revenge.
An experiment from birth, M@ti sees the Manhattan Preserve differently than the tens of millions who inhabit the city. With her eyes to the stars instead of hidden behind VR gear, she uncovers their caretaker’s secret plans for galactic expansion.
But when a deadly hunter finds out she’s hacked the networks, M@ti’s forced to leave her quiet life behind. She must decide if her unique skills are a curse or a blessing and choose sides in a centuries old war which pits hackers against their AI overlords.
Can she cling to her humanity long enough to deliver the world from AI domination? Or will old wounds finally bring humanity to extinction?
Blade Runner meets Ready Player One in this standalone novel which takes place in the far-flung (alternate?) future of the Crimson Son Universe. Join the revolution today!
The Crimson Son Universe
Empty Quiver: Tales from the Crimson Son Universe Jun 1, 2015FREE!
Empty Quiver (n) – A U.S. Military term to identify and report the seizure, theft, or loss of a nuclear weapon.
They were never designed to be heroes.
Hurricane. Ember. Aurora. Danger. State-sponsored superhumans known as Augments. Weapons created to end a war.
With the war over, their creators couldn’t surrender the power and sought to hide it in the shadows. They forged ahead with covert operations and proxy wars despite growing condemnation. But one by one, Augments begin to ignore their handlers or disappear altogether. The quiver emptied.
Empty Quiver takes a dark dive into the Crimson Son universe. Not your typical superhero tales, this short collection pulls no punches as it examines the clandestine program that changed Spencer’s world. If you think you’d like thrilling action and conspiracy set in a gritty superhero world like no other, then this is the book for you.
Click the button to download your free copy and enter the universe of Crimson Son!
Crimson Son (Crimson Son Universe Book 1) Jun 13, 2014$2.99
Being the son of a superhero isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The only time you get to fly is when fleeing from your father’s nemesis.
Games of catch are about as fun as dodging incoming artillery.
And getting your hands on all that power? Turns out, it’s not exactly a hereditary thing.
Unless you want to hand yourself over to Uncle Sam. No, not the World War II era Augment with mind control powers, but the U.S. government – specifically the D.O.D.’s not-so-aptly named Project Peacemaker. Oh, and once they’ve powered you up and tagged you into inventory, you can forget about them paying for college.
Superheroes? Please. They’re all weapons with one mission – wreck my tender teenage years and make my initiation into adulthood a suicidal mission to do what my weaponized father couldn’t: rescue my mother from a psychotic super genius.
But I’m game. Two years trapped in dad’s Fortress of Solitude may not have helped my social skills, but I’d wreck a whole army of killer robots to get a decent cheeseburger.
Look out world, I may not be the hero you want, but I’m all you’ve got. Just me, my l33t hacking skills, and a multitool between you and Armageddon…
Crimson Son isn’t your typical superhero novel. Fast-paced, engaging, with all the action you’d expect but set in a believable world and helmed by a hero with an unmistakable voice. Mr. Robot meets The Winter Soldier in this unique superhero series you’ll love.
Crimson Son 2: Motherland (Crimson Son Univ.) Jun 27, 2017$3.99
Save the world once and somebody will put a cape on you. Like it or not.
All Spencer wanted was a normal life. College. A job. Maybe a research fellowship which culminated in freeing his mother from the psychic snow globe where he last saw her…
Then again, “normal” might be too much for the powerless son of the world’s most dangerous Augment to ask for.
Spencer is soon sucked back into his father’s world of weaponized superhumans. Augments long forgotten have emerged from their former prison with their powers amplified. While Spencer and his team race to contain the threats, a digital cabal weaves a vision of the future as infectious as the computerized plague set to deliver it.
The Avengers meets Mr. Robot in this thrilling superhero universe. Readers have called the plot “scary brilliant and hopefully just fantasy”. But will it become Spencer’s new reality? Buy your copy today and find out!
Crimson Son 3: Ashes (Crimson Son Universe) Mar 14, 2018$3.99
It is a time for heroes…but are there any left?
The Crimson Mask has fallen. Spencer and his allies have been scattered across the globe. In the wake of Aurora’s final expression of grief, the United States has suffered a massive blackout.
Imprisoned in a country under martial law, Spencer accepts help from the wily and ruthless CEO of Nanomech. He makes a bargain to become what he’s always feared and loathed – The Black Beetle.
His father gone, this is not a time for heroes. This is a time for revenge.
Spencer must find a way to deal with the loss and prevent his quest for vengeance from consuming him. New Augments will rise to test his mettle, and one may just save him from himself.
The Stormblade Saga Buy the Series $6.99
On the eve of a cataclysm, two strangers’ fates intertwine. One a slave, the other an outcast, together they will forge a weapon capable of confronting the gods – The Stormblade.
Acolyte Sidge must complete a metamorphosis millennia in the making. Unable to channel the power of his patron deity, he will uncover his true self along the lost pathways of the Pilgrim’s Road. Will his revelations save humanity or make him the instrument of their destruction?
Meanwhile, wily Kaaliya must navigate courtly intrigue before she can wield the arcane secrets of the Jadugar. Their mystic forge now lost to all memory might be the only hope for fending off the gods. But to reach it, she’ll have to face the demons of her past.
Who in the end will shape the new age? Only a lowly acolyte and a courtesan can decide the fate of mankind and they’re running out of time…
Set in a realm described as a conversation between Tolkien and Kafka along the banks of the Ganges, this unique epic fantasy from Russ Linton is sure to engage and challenge you.
Pilgrim of the Storm
(The Stormblade Saga Book 1) Feb 2, 2016
Sidge knows the rituals of the Stormblade Temple in meticulous detail. He has mastered every word and phrase of the twelve thousand mantras. Sworn to protect mankind, he is a model acolyte in every way. Every way except one.
He isn’t human.
Sidge has never known his own people, an insectoid race more often used for menial labor than meditation. Adopted by an eccentric human mentor, the temple is his entire life. Yet for the other acolytes, his presence is an affront to their vigil against an ancient foe who once enslaved mankind.
Dark omens follow Sidge on his first pilgrimage. The Wisdom of the mighty storm dragon, Vasheru, seeks a new vessel to lead the temple and the most likely candidate sees Sidge as an abomination. He and his mentor begin a desperate attempt to compete for the title. But an encounter with a streetwise woman named Kaaliya sets off a chain of events millennia in the making which will reshape Sidge’s destiny – and the course of an entire age.
His first journey outside the temple walls will not only test Sidge’s faith but his sense of identity as he races to ensure his beloved temple does not fall into the wrong hands.
If you like character-driven plots, intricate world building, and want a refreshing spin on the typical epic fantasy, then you’ll love all three books of the Stormblade Saga.
Forge of the Jadugar
(The Stormblade Saga Book 2) Jun 28, 2016
The Jadugar is scheming. Kaaliya knows the look in his eyes. When he proclaims himself Sidge’s sponsor for the pilgrimage, the royal court is in an uproar – a bugman elevated to the ranks of Cloud Born?
Sidge and Izhar continue their pilgrimage. They quickly find that each has their own ideas on how to secure the future of the Stormblade Temple. At Sidge’s insistence, they follow the mysterious Chuman into the lost reaches of creation. Deep in the marshes, Sidge must face the terrifying truth about his true nature and confront a lie buried at the very foundations of the temple he has devoted his life to preserving.
In Stronghold, Kaaliya delves into the Jadugar’s carefully held secrets. But when commoner’s tales and legends grace the sky, she embarks on her own journey only to find the past she is running from has finally caught up to her.
Will they find a way to appease the gods before it is too late?
Forge of the Jadugar is the second book in the Stormblade Saga, a unique epic fantasy told in part from the unconventional perspective of a bugman priest. Poignant yet gritty, this saga provides a thoughtful new entry in the fantasy genre.
Wake of Alshasra’a
(The Stormblade Saga Book 3) Feb 28, 2017
The thrilling conclusion of the unique fantasy trilogy, The Stormblade Saga by Russ Linton.
Betrayed by everything he once considered holy, Sidge struggles to arrange the pieces of his broken life. Addiction, grief, and an identity lost to the machinations of gods, he must find his true purpose or risk being an instrument of destruction.
Trapped where no mortal is meant to tread, Kaaliya begins her training as one of the Jadugar. But what is her mysterious mentor’s purpose? An old friend returned from the abyss, his confidence and swagger are not that of the shy boy she once knew. Or is he even a boy at all…
The warnings are clear: the Age of Man is nearing an end. Battle lines are drawn. Gods roam free. An outcast and a slave are their only hope, but who, in the end, do they serve?
Wake of Alshasra’a is the final book of the Stormblade Saga, an epic fantasy unlike any other.