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Chasing Hell: the (short) story behind the story

“Chasing Hell” goes live today. This book is my contribution to the PEACEMAKER series within the hugely popular Four Horsemen Universe.

Some fun facts about the book at the bottom of this post.

You’ll notice by the cover that many of the intelligent species in this universe resemble Earth animals — a point that’s often milked for both conflict and humour because humans refer to Zuul (pictured) as dogs, and Zuparti (pictured) as weasels. To learn more about the universe and the series, you can check out GalNet, the publishers’ online wiki.

In 2019, author of many 4HU novels, Kevin Ikenberry, invited me to help him write a short story for a Peacemaker anthology (Peacemakers are the galaxy’s law enforcers). The anthology was Set the Terms. I wrote the half of the story where the contract-holder for two Zuul mercenary companies (Elder Razzik) tricks his companies into fighting and decimating each other. This is to cover his own crimes. Hahnu and Marrek were the respective company leaders … and I fell in love with them so deeply that I soon pitched Seventh Seal Press a fullblown novel featuring the two. From there, I was asked to add two other story threads (one for the pictured Peacemaker Candidate Zetchek, and another that spun off from Kevin Ikenberry ‘s original Peacemaker novel).

The result is a fun (and I hope funny at times) collision of storylines as our four main characters are caught in the battle against an evil and powerful corporation. I’ve also told this in a risky style: each character getting first person perspective (ie., “I punched him” not “She punched him”). Takes a couple of chapters to get used to but early readers are telling me and the publisher that they found it a great read.

I hope you’ll consider downloading a sample. And if you’ve never delved into the 4HU before, have that wiki open to flesh out some visuals for yourself.


  • Because the space marines in my Envoys series are called PeaceKEEPERs, I kept submitting drafts of Chasing Hell where I’d written that instead of PeaceMAKERs. The deal was I owed one of the editors a beer for every time I did that. I’m now too afraid to visit the US again because the liquor bill will be higher than the airfare, haha.
  • The book title comes from the name of Hahnu’s merc unit, the Hellchasers.
  • You can’t see it in the cover art, but Marrek (Hahnu’s rival and enemy) is missing an eye and has a damaged ear due to the altercation between their companies one year previous. Coincidentally, our little dog at home has recently gone deaf and has lost sight in one of her eyes… (not that Zuul are dogs! They’re not).
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