What do you get when you throw Chuck Wendig, Anne McCaffrey, and John Scalzi into the blender and turn it up to frappé? You get The Fifth Circle, a 117,000 word adult science fantasy yarn full of dragons, spaceships, and political intrigue as told by a befuddled, unreliable Earthan narrator.
Ambien can make you do weird shit. For architect Jeff Miller, the dose he takes on an airliner home turns out to be a doozy.
As with many hallucinations, everything starts almost imperceptibly. He’s flattered into a screen test for a fantasy blockbuster, but strangeness kicks up a gear when he gets the lead role of Titus Dragonmaster. Paranoia ensues when he learns the producers are an alien black ops extraction team that’s hell-bent to get Jeff—who they incontrovertibly believe is the self-exiled Titus Dragonmaster—home to save their city-state, The Fifth Circle. At that point, shape-shifting into a dragon to protect the cast and crew from ancient enemies seems perfectly normal. Right?
When he wakes up on his home world, Jeff has a massive hangover because he has no recollection of being Titus. In the meantime, he has to fend off insidious politics and deadly rivals the only way he knows how: with expressive profanity, pop-culture references, and caustic Pink Floyd quotes, all while renewing an uncomfortable relationship with his spectral mate.
But those pesky ancient enemies find they rather like the idea of invading Earth, so, because the whole shebang is Jeff’s fault, he is sent back to stop them—and retrieve his unusual Earthan family. In an Ingmar Bergman fever dream, Jeff’s loyalties are tested: fight to protect the home world’s fleet, or save Earth from total annihilation. At last he’s reminded that duty means doing what you must do, even though it sucks. Especially if it sucks.
Sneak Preview of The Fifth Circle, Vol. II
The adventure continues as Titus fights his duplicitous past, a death sentence placed on him by political rivals, a race of beings from another Multiverse intent on draining ours of its energy--and the price he must pay to keep the Domains from annihilation. All the while, his extraordinary family takes their place at his side while the cosmos' plan for him is revealed--a plan that may cost him more than he can give.