Marius A Smith


The Course of Time saga

    (Synopses of subsequent books contain spoilers relating to the earlier ones)

Book One - From Time to Time

William Herschel is a vampire living in the 26th century.  He works on the time station Epoch for an organisation called Temporal Security, which has the responsibility of monitoring the timeline for any unauthorised activity.  When he discovers someone making an attempt to smuggle narcotics across time he finds himself framed for it, and is consequently exiled into Earth's distant past.  Such lenient due to his record of exemplary service, as it would normally warrant capital punishment.  In the time shuttle that he was exiled in, which is due to be collected by Temporal Security within three days of his arrival there, he attempts to make his way forward in time where he intends to somehow clear his name, but the shuttle only has enough power remaining to get him as far as Egypt in 1438 BC.  Meanwhile, in the 26th century, his best friend Luke is also going to great lengths to exonerate William, with assistance from their closest friends.  But when William stumbles across his adversary from the future in other eras of history, such as ancient Egypt and Mexico, he finds that he's far from safe.  Luke realises the same thing, when their unknown enemy begins to target him as well.  And to make matters worse, William finds himself in an alternate timeline that he inadvertently created.

Book Two - The Fate of Humanity

The threat that followed William across history is much greater than any of them thought, and they soon discover that the existence of humanity is at stake.  Their adversary is willing to go to such lengths as to wipe out the human race in the past, attack with an invasion fleet, or even destroy the solar system to accomplish their grand design.  When he's given command of a time ship, William and his crew try to prevent humanity's destruction.  But there's only so much that can be done with one ship, especially against attacks by Gultorians, a warrior-like race that maraud the sector.  In the course of events, William discovers that there's more to Larissa's past than he was aware of when he meets her younger self at a space port.  And when Luke has the same enigmatic dream as a reoccurring one that William's been having through the eyes of a boy in the early 21st century, it leads to a revelation that neither of them suspected, and their powerful adversary has the answers.

Book Three - Time and Time Again

The human race has been reduced to a single colony on the desert world Copernicus, and Muteki has made it back from beyond the grave.  When Muteki and his few remaining followers discover an underground terraforming station and bring it online, Copernicus is encompassed in a planet-wide storm, giving them the opportunity to leave and make their way back to Earth's past, where Muteki still intends to rewrite human history as he sees fit.  Part of his plan involves a mysterious ancient artefact, the Sapphirus Tempus, or Sapphire of Time, which he coerces William and Luke into obtaining for him by abducting their wives and leaving them in imminent danger.  Following the discovery of a dead Zyarya in the Egyptian desert, the vampires come to realise that Earth isn't the only planet suffering because of Muteki's return.  But preventing Muteki from carrying out his plan isn't as simple as just killing him outright, as it would still be possible for him to return.  In order to find a more permanent solution, sacrifices will need to be made.  But with the help of new friends and old acquaintances, it might just be possible to save the human race from obliteration.

Book Four - Subjugated to Sacrifice

Melhandur is a planet where technology cannot function because of alien satellites in orbit, and where the human population taken from different races and eras of human history are regularly forced to sacrifice dozens of their people to be collected by alien slave traders.  If they fail to do so they will be destroyed, with many of their number being taken from their midst anyway.  When William and Larissa find themselves stranded in a medieval region with no apparent way to leave Melhandur they can't avoid being caught up in events between the local factions, some of which are friendly while others are hostile.  Local warlocks have begun making preparations for the next alien collection, and their magic is very real.  Along the way, William and Larissa hear about a legend of a portal leading to other worlds, which seems to be their only possibility of leaving Melhandur, but they're unwilling to just leave the locals to their fate.  The legend also speaks of an enchanted device that can be used as both a weapon and a defence, but one of the wizards from the old legend took most of the segments through the portal when he disappeared.

Book Five - The Culmination of Time

An act of moral instinct, that of saving a man's life in a split second decision, can have disastrous consequences when that man is a prominent historical figure.  By preventing the death of an ancient Roman emperor, all of history beyond that point is changed.  When the vampires are captured and taken into the future they discover that the version of history that they've set in place isn't just an alternate timeline; they've unwittingly restored what turns out to be the original course of human history, where the Roman Empire didn't fall in ancient times.  In the year 2148, the Roman Empire now spans a whole sector of the galaxy, but there's a threat coming that even the empire isn't prepared for, and there are those in the government who have been working towards this time for centuries.  And the appearance of mysterious wraiths across the empire has many people unsettled, even though they never move or speak, but only observe.

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