My name is Marshall S. Thomas and I am the author of the six-part Soldier of the Legion science fiction series, set in the far future. I love writing and write for the sheer joy of it. I was turned on to science fiction in the late '50's as a teenager and wanted to write SF from that moment. I didn't have the skills to do it until my early 40's when I began the current series. I had almost completed the series when it dawned on me that I had put so much work into it that I really should try to have it published. An astonishing number of rejection letters followed but as I improved my writing and did plenty of re-writing I finally found my first publisher in Timberwolf Press.
I spent 35 years overseas with the U.S. Government in East Asia. I studied at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, the University of New Mexico and the University of Miami (Government/International Affairs and History). I am currently retired and live in Willliamburg, VA with my wife Kim Lien. We have two children. The first is a graduate of Radford University and the second is at university studying biotech.
My first publisher, Timberwolf, also produced a spectacular unabridged, full-cast audio of the first book. It still appears regularly on XM-Sirius Radio, That's the only current national publicity I have and that's one reason why I'm here, trying to connect with new readers. Timberwolf closed down in 2007 and I had to find a new publisher. The next three books were published by Booklocker and they did a super job.
Books 5 and 6 were published by a new small press, Ridan. They've done a great job and then re-released all books in the series with attractive new covers and formats. All six books and the audio are available on my website.
The last book in the series, Curse of the Legion, recently came in as a Finalist for the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award for 2010 in the science fiction category. Two of my other books in this series (Book One Soldier of the Legion and Book Five Cross of the Legion) were also finalists in previous years for this national contest.
Book 1, Soldier of the Legion
Soldier of the Legion was a Finalist for the 2003 Benjamin Franklin Award in the "Popular Fiction" category. Soldier of the Legion was a Finalist for the 2002 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award in two categories: Science Fiction and Audio Fiction. The unabridged full-cast audio version of Soldier of the Legion was broadcast and re-broadcast nationally on XM Radio during 2005 and 2006.
"This is a great first novel, with a well-thought-out background and neat technological war toys. I look forward to their next battle." -- Henry L Lazarus, sciencefiction.com, Philadelphia Weekly
"...exciting read... Heart pounding action. Mind blowing battles... Adrenalin pumping encounters with alien life... futuristic sci fi masterpiece... Marshall Thomas should soon be a major name in futuristic sci fi. I enthusiastically recommend this book." -- Laurel Johnson, Midwest Book Review
"...a deep, rich story that captures the heart of Sci-fi... a perfect story... captivating... moving. I highly recommend SOLDIER OF THE LEGION, one the best books I've read this year!" -- Nancy Mehl, MyShelf.com
"[the audio is]...superbly written, presented and performed science fiction action/adventure audiobook thriller. ...enthusiastically recommended.” -- Midwest Book Review
Book 2, The Black March
It's been a long wait for the second in this exciting series of sci-fi books. I must admit that the attraction for me is Marshall Thomas's writing style and story telling ability. This book picks up where the last left off, with the Legion facing a scourge that threatens all life forms throughout the universe – the Omnis. Once again, the action is heart pounding, the characters believable and well developed. This time, adding interest to the plot, the Legion juggles political intrigue and betrayal along with fighting the Omnis... Arch enemy, the United System Alliance, is willing to make a truce with the Confederation to defeat the Omnis. Will Thinker and his Unit survive betrayal and defeat the Omnis? Readers experience breath taking action and frightening battles on alien worlds before learning the outcome. Sci-fi fans or readers who enjoy good writing should love this book. This series is highly recommended. - Laurel Johnson, MidWest Book Review
Marshall Thomas returns with the second installment in his military science fiction series detailing the adventures of the soldiers of the Legion, in particular those of Beta Squad, as told by Thinker, a young man who embraces his fate to live or die for the Legion.... The galaxy is divided between the System - an empire that has enslaved the worlds of the inner systems, and the Confederation of Free Worlds, or ConFree. The ConFree is defended by the Legion - male and female soldiers clad in A-suits ... who live only to fight and die together...and who are tasked with saving human civilization. Thomas' prose is a return to the breathless, adjective-heavy style of the classic pulps, with non-stop descriptions, deep-dyed evil alien monstrosities, and rousing battle sequences... The book moves along at a breakneck pace, with plenty of suspense. Thomas has created an intense view of the future, designed and populated over twenty years worth of work. If you like military science fiction in the style of the classic pulps, chances are you'll enjoy this series. Caroline Miniscule, The Thunder Child Science Fiction & Fantasy Web Magazine
Book 3, Slave of the Legion
In book three of this exceptional series, the Beta warriors are harder and colder, stunned by the ongoing war with the Omnis. Thinker, Snow Leopard, Psycho, Priestess, and Dragon have survived. Half their team is dead, and new replacements can't compare with seasoned comrades of the Omni wars. The Beta team feels doomed, resigned to dying as they take the battle deep into Omni-held territory to penetrate a frightening place called The Mound. Deep inside The Mound, Beta will find the answer to defeating the Omnis. One new addition to the Beta team is Tara, a psychic slaver atoning for past sins. Tara and Thinker have a history, back in their youth before the Legion when life held promise for them both. Now they both know there are very few safe havens left in a hostile universe. The Omnis come from an alternate universe and see humankind as vermin, fit only for elimination. They are a superior fighting force with the ability to control minds and actions. Only the Beta team stands between the Omnis and a universal holocaust. Marshall S. Thomas excels at creating memorable characters and horrifying, realistic battles in dark territories far from home. He skillfully shows readers the physical and psychological toll taken on the warriors who sacrifice everything to keep humanity safe. Each battle fought for humanity's cause, whether won or lost, brings Beta closer to a strange salvation. These futuristic warriors, like those of their past, face horrifying violence so others can sleep peacefully in their beds at night without fear. Thomas makes it clear that war is not all guts and glory, and that's why I say his Legion series is exceptional.
- Laurel Johnson, MidWest Book Review
Book 4, Secret of the Legion
Review of Secret of the Legion by Laurel Johnson of Midwest Book Review.
Secret of the Legion
Book 4 of the Soldier of the Legion Series
By Marshall S. Thomas
528 pages at 28.95 paperback
Book Four of this exceptional series has one of the best first chapters I've ever read in a book of any genre. Thomas takes us into the grim life of a man without a past. This is a broken man who has been psyched and rehabbed, a scarred man who is slow and dull-witted, living in a bug infested cube, washing dishes in a filthy futuristic dive. The man knows he has a bio-engineered arm. He knows horrific nightmares hold a secret to his past but can't think straight enough to translate the messages. The mirror reveals the face of a dark angel with the hard body of a warrior. Until the day his past kicks in the door of his wretched cube, the reader doesn't realize that this lost shell of a man is Beta Three, aka Wester, aka Thinker, once an immortal soldier of the Legion. Why Thinker has been spared elimination by his captors is a mystery.
The remaining members of his Beta Unit have tracked down and rescued Thinker for a reason. They need him whole and functional again to lead a mission that will impact the entire known universe. Painstakingly, over time, Thinker's memories are retrieved, but his warrior spirit is gone. He has no thirst for war or vengeance and hopes to leave the Legion and resume life with his wife Moontouch and son Stormdawn. But a peaceful, idyllic life is not in Thinker's future. The Omnis threaten Moontouch's planet and the galaxy and, as always, only the Legion stands between them and annihilation.
Tara has a plan to save their universe and destroy the Omnis once and for all. Her devoted companion, Gildron, is in possession of an ancient icon – known as "the star" – that provides endless streams of knowledge. With the star's knowledge as her guide, a prototypical starship capable of starlaunching into alternative universes is built. The ship launches Tara and the remaining members of the Beta Unit into a fossil universe where stars and planets are either dead or dying. She promises Thinker that if he leads the Legion on this mission through Omni territory, and if they survive, they will take the starship back in time to rescue members of the Unit who died in the Mound, during their last battle with the Omnis. And if that second leg of their mission is successful, Tara promises that Thinker can retire from the Legion.
As in every book of this series, the battles are so realistic my heart pounded. I feared for every character in each battle. I feared this would be the last of Thinker and the Beta Unit. These characters have become like old friends to me. The writing style is exciting. Thomas brings his futuristic world to life, believably. I'm relieved to report that this is NOT the end to Thinker. In many ways, this is my favorite book in the series so far. Highly recommended.
-- Review by Laurel Johnson for Midwest Book Review
Happy reading! MST.