Malhela is an imaginary star system 40 light-years from Earth, which consists of two black holes, a brown dwarf, a white dwarf, various gas and debris fields, and two planets.It is the site of an ancient war between two alien species, whose technological mastery has produced “centrokrist,” a substance capable of blocking inertia. Using spaceship hulls made of this material, the aliens are able to approach very close to the black holes’ event horizons, taking advantage of the extreme relativistic effects there. Thus, their war has stretched out over billions of years.

Unfortunately, Malhela’s human colonists, who mine centrokrist deposits (actually the fragments of destroyed spaceships) as ornamental stones, are unable to approach the black holes, and thus unaware of what lurks there.Until the war itself emerges around them…

This “series” is represented by a single novel, Flies From The Amber, and no sequels are planned. However, considering the ongoing popularity of this novel (my all-time bestseller), it warrants at least a small section unto itself.  

(Cover art by Chris Moore and Tom Weighill, respectively)


Maps and Star Charts


One unique quirk about this book is that it was intended to be funny. In this, it rather spectacularly failed; no reader or reviewer has ever cited humor as one of its virtues, and many are surprised when I bring the subject up. Still, the experience was educational. I didn’t attempt overt humor again until the Queendom of Sol stories, some five years (and several novels) later, but had a clearer idea how to approach it when I did.