Tag Archives: Landfall Campaign

Ships of the Fleet – K Class Courier


At present the best human Faster Than Light transmitters are limited to no more one point five pulses per second. With such low bandwidth, the role of the courier has always been essential for maintaining contact between Earth and its colony worlds. The K Class began to enter service in 2057, replacing the I class by the beginning of 2060. Currently the fleet’s primary courier, the K Class is a modified version of the highly successful Boeing 235 family; it continues the fleet policy of buying in and militarizing commercial courier designs as opposed to developing an in-house design.  The K Class is the most numerous jump capable vessel in service and expected to serve to the end of the 2060’s.

K Class Courier K7

K Class Courier K7

Design Details

As with all courier designs, the K Class is very spartan. A light weight hull wrapped around the very minimum systems required to make high speed runs from Earth to Landfall and Dryad. With the reactor and engines housed in the bulbous rear mount and the jump drive in the prominent ‘chin’ which has given rise to the class’s nickname of Desperate Dan. The most significant difference between the K Class and their civilian counterparts is to be found in the machinery spaces, with the original three vent sub light engines replaced with a five vent system. This gives the K’s a twelve percent acceleration advantage over the civilian models, making them currently the fastest human vessels (excluding dedicated racers). However the structural strength of the hull has not been increased to compensate and at full power there is a danger of full structural failure. This is a matter Fleet policy that couriers should be as fast as possible, with speed being their principal defence. However in peacetime the class is subject to restrictions limiting maximum thrust to seventy five percent of maximum.

Going full burn

Going full burn


With no centrifuge and minimum the K’s are not considered to be standalone starships. A minimum of two crews are assigned to each ship, flying alternate missions. In addition to courier duties, the K’s are used to make high priority personnel transfers, with space for up to four individuals in addition to the crew.

On approach to Landfall

On approach to Landfall

In addition to its peacetime role a conversion pack has been developed to allow the K’s to serve as deep space scouts, thereby freeing up larger vessels for combat roles. The K Class has also been the basis of the A Class Escort Boat and B Class Strike boats, although these have only been produced in small numbers to date.

Personnel transfer to River Class Cruiser

Personnel transfer to River Class Cruiser


Length: 38 Metres

Beam: 8 Metres

Height: 10 Metres

Crew: 6 + 4 passengers

Armour: None

Armament: None

Endurance: 20 days

Number Built: 28 + 4 under construction.+

The Nameless war now available on Amazon, Kobo and Smashwords.

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Createspace Print on Demand – Pitfalls and Pratfalls PART II

A long break between postings and for that I apologize, I’ve been waiting for the proof copy of book two to turn up.

We left off at the final major hurdle – the cover art. While I’m not much an artist, I do have some talent so I already had an idea of what I wanted (basically a variant of the Kindle image file) and was hoping that a template type arrangement would allow me to drop the various components. No such luck. Oh such there is a template arrangement, but the results were going to be so blatantly amateur I never seriously considered them. There is the option to do it yourself and Createspace does provide a downloadable file to offer a guide on size for you see the cover has to be created as a single piece. Meaning front, back, spine and wriggle room all around the edges. Createspace does provide a file to help with this but due to the software I have access, to I couldn’t use this and had to instead had to measure very carefully. Once I had the file I then had to convert the file into a PDF, one that was both high resolution and relatively low file size and that was tricky. In fact so tricky I had to come up with a trick to do it. Basically Adobe have a facility to change image and information files in PDF’s, this is done for a fee. They also offer a free sample. I used the sample to turn my JPEG cover into a PDF that was the same megabit count as the original file.  So happy days.

Finally you send your draft files to be checked by Createspace. I hasten to add this does not mean they are looking for grammar errors or editing issues, this purely to see if the file will actually print. As long as you were careful and didn’t ignore any error messages, this shouldn’t be a problem. Certainly both of mine went through without any problems. You are offered at this point the chance to purchase a proof copy or you can just proof it online. Personally I think unless you are a publishing professional it is an act of insanity Not to get a paper proof. Sure it’s annoying to have to wait for it to turn up in the post but better to find out at this stage if something has gone wrong and you can bet your bottom dollar, that as soon as you have a paper copy in your grubby little fist you’ll find at least one typo that has slipped through. If alterations are made, then the file has to go through the proof process again.

Finally we come to the sordid topic of money. Namely how much am I going to ask for my work and where am I going to sell? Since I have a background in accountancy I take an unsentimental view of selling price. Yes, to me my work is priceless but to anyone else, it is worth what the market is prepared to pay for it, maybe less but never more (I’ve come across people who witter on about devaluing literature and generally I find myself struggle to control the urge to beat them round the head with an economic text book). So since I am an unknown self published author my pricing policy can be loosely summed up by the phrase ‘as little as possible’. The basic Createspace package means selling through their own site plus Amazon and affiliates. This is free. But there is also the option to go for what they call expanded distribution which gives for the princely sum of $25 the opportunity to sell through other sites like B&N. Well more exposure can’t be a bad thing? Unfortunately yes it can. Effectively it forces up the price of the book (in the US and those areas covered by Amazon.com). Given that POD already means higher per unit costs cost than traditional printing, anything pushing the unit cost higher still is unwelcome, so in short the expanded distribution means paying to make the book less competitive. It also puts a crimp on me making any changes to the file (such as another cover)  So for book two I won’t be making use of this.

There is also an option to make the work available to for Kindle. Personally I prefer to go directly through the Amazon system, which I am familiar with but does oblige me to contact Amazon to link the paperback and kindle additions together.

So there we have my guide to the Createspace experience. If anyone has any questions I will answer to the best of my abilities. In the mean time I will be taking a month off from writing to pursue other interests – or possibly huddle in a darkened room whimpering.

Book Two: The Landfall Campaign will be released in early October.

Cover of The Landfall Campaign

Cover of The Landfall Campaign

My next blog will be returning to Ships of the Fleet – The River Class Cruisers, until then regards.

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