Hard Duty is the first book of an epic military science fiction series called The Merkiaari Wars Series. Our last encounter with an alien space fleet saw sixteen-point-two billion people killed when the Merkiaari's galactic empire declared war, and sparked an alien invasion of humanity's colony worlds the scale of which could never have been foreseen. Thousands of ships, millions of our finest soldier s and space marine assets, sacrificed themselves in battles that spanned decades in an effort to throw the aliens back.
Two hundred years later, the Human Alliance of Worlds is carefully exploring beyond its borders again, but Survey Corps is considered a mere gesture by some. General Burgton of the 501st Infantry Regiment believes a lack of expansion is leading the Alliance into stagnation. So when one small survey ship, ASN Canada, discovers a new alien race and makes first contact, he's cautiously optimistic that things are about to change for the better, but what if the aliens are like the Merkiaari?
Captain Jeff Colgan joined the navy as many before him had, looking for action and adventure among the stars, and found it in a life of space exploration and discovery. His passion for his mission is rivaled only by his sense of responsibility to the Alliance and his crew, but despite the danger of encountering a Merkiaari warship in unexplored space, his duty to investigate the transmission from an unknown source was clear. He became the tip of the navy's spear at that moment. His tiny under-gunned ship made the discovery, his crew's lives are on the line, and his decisions will decide the outcome. Will the Alliance make new friends or will he be responsible for another sixteen billion deaths? When the aliens discover his ship and begin hunting him through their system, his mission changes from one of study to one of survival.
Mark E. Cooper lives alone in a small town in the south of England, where he writes most mornings and evenings. His background is in mechanical engineering where he spent over thirty years working for Ford. He loves reading about strong female characters and can often be found laughing to himself as he listens to a book on his iPod.
His hobbies include driving his cobra - a V12 monster he built with his best friend - reading fantasy and sci-fi, and maintaining his blog at http://www.impulsebooks.co.uk/markcooper.html
He is now the author of more than eight titles in the genres he loves to read.