So, a little ways back, I kicked off another contest to help promote FORTRESS FRONTIER. I give books away all the time, but for this contest, I offered a particularly kickass grand prize: The dogtags worn by the protagonist of FORTRESS FRONTIER, Alan Bookbinder.
The SHADOW OPS universe gives a good picture of the SOC, the US’ magic using arm of the military. For this contest, I asked folks to send me in their ideas of how other nations approached magic, both in military and non-military applications.
As with every other contest I’ve held on this blog, I was overwhelmed with kickass entries. I say this so much that even I start to get tired of hearing it, but seeing your own art inspiring the art of others remains the most affirming experience I’ve ever had. So, so psyched at all the great entries.
Here are our winners!
In first place, it’s Mia’s idea for a clandestine magic-using corps inside Vatican City. Here’s what Mia wrote: I’m assuming that a certain percentage of priests would also come up latent. The Catholic Church would definitely have a clandestine society of magic practitioners. I see it as a special group directly under the aegis of the Pope. I’ve designed their special insignias which would likely be used on jewelry, pins or even tattoos. Display of the insignia would be required for entry to secret meetings or for members to identify themselves to each other.
Mia nailed it. In the SHADOW OPS universe, the Catholic Church publicly condemns magic (as does the Islamic Ummah), but organizations under both faiths use magic in secret, unable to turn their backs on such an incredible source of power.
Congratulations, Mia! You win a signed copy of FORTRESS FRONTIER (your choice of the US or UK edition) *and* Alan Bookbinder’s dogtags.
Our next winner is Shecky, who came up with a magic-using version of the French Foreign Legion. Shecky was thinking about the isolation of magic users in Europe, and figured that nationalists/patriots/exiles/etc. of those countries might not be taking that with much pleasure, and that groups like the French Foreign Legion might be reconstituted as an underground (like the Houston Street gang) or as a semi-ironic reversal of the Legion’s original design (i.e., as a legion of French soldiers formed up outside of France with the intent of retaking their country). The name (Legion Etrangere) is literally “Foreign Legion on foreign soil.”
Congratulations, Shecky! You win your choice of a signed US or UK edition copy of FORTRESS FRONTIER!
Last (but certainly not least) is Bob’s idea for Australia’s non-military approach to magic. Here’s his description:
While a signatory of the Geneva Convention, and its recent amendments, Australia publicly rejects the prohibition of Terramantic Animal Control within its own borders, territorial waters, and anywhere it considers to be “open ocean.”
After hundreds of successful legal challenges to mandatory military service, the Australian government created mandatory Civil Service positions in order to maintain some level of control over The Awakened.
There are three options for The Awakened who manifest as Whisperers:
– military service
– civil service
The TAC designator is used for military assigned Whisperers, while the WSG (Whisper Support Group) is used for those who opt for Civil Service due to moral or ethical objections to serving in a combat unit.
WSG members are often assigned to State Emergency Services (SES) units or are attached to Surf Lifesaver Clubs for aerial overwatch.
When a shark is sighted in a surfing or swimming area, it can be gently coaxed out to sea.
If there’s a bush fire, SES tasked Whisperers can be used to quickly and efficiently remove wildlife and livestock from the affected area. The WSG is credited with restoring both the Koala and Tasmanian Devil to healthy, sustainable populations because trapping (and the trauma involved) was no longer necessary in order to provide medical care to sick or injured animals.
Two members of the 42nd WSG are permanently assigned to work with the Sea Shepherd anti-whaling organization because it was discovered that the Japanese were using a Whisperer on their whale “research” ship.
Such a cool idea. I love the fact that Bob is thinking about the role of conscientious objectors in the militarized world of magic. Here’s the patch that members of the 42nd WSG wear:
Congratulations, Rob! You win your choice of a signed US or UK edition of FORTRESS FRONTIER!
Such cool entries. It was really tough to pick winners out of all the amazing energy folks obviously put into this. Don’t forget to check out all the entries on the COMBINED FORCE page!
Congratulations to the winners, and I’ll be thinking of some other cool ways to give away free stuff in the near future.