Saturday, February 24, 2018

Virtual Book Tour: Supremacy's Shadow by T. Eric Bakutis @TEricBakutis @RABTBookTours

Science Fiction / Thriller
Date Published: February 9, 2018
Publisher: SF Productions

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For Hayden Cross, a military investigator in the far future, whether his wife faked her death is the question that is probably going to get him killed. Having lost the only job that kept him sane, he has few resources and fewer leads. Oh, and a sadistic crime lord really wants to kill him.

As he fights through an underworld of fanatical rebels, callous bounty hunters, and corrupt cops, each step takes him closer to the truth about his wife’s fate and the oppressive government he once loyally served. On the way he may even liberate a planet and stop a war ... but only if he betrays everyone he loves.

Interview with T. Eric Bakutis

What inspired you to write Supremacy’s Shadow?
Supremacy’s Shadow is basically Rogue One before Rogue One came out. I always adored Star Wars (and a number of books in the EU) but as I grew older, it bothered me how black and white everything was. You had this galaxy-spanning empire stretching millions of systems, and literally everyone in the Empire down to the janitors was Evil with a capital E (you have to check a box saying “I’m Evil” to join the Empire, I think).
By comparison, the Rebel Alliance was all goody two shoes, filled with people who never had to make a single moral compromise (Lando was an exception, which is why I love him so much – but he wasn’t a rebel at the time!) It seemed unrealistic that a scrappy and vastly outnumbered rebel force could remain so squeaky clean, and I wanted to learn more about the unsung rebels who had to make hard choices and difficult calls. Since Rogue One hadn’t come out then, I had to write that story myself.
Supremacy’s Shadow rose out a desire to read a Star Wars-like story that wasn’t black and white. The Supremacy controls most everything, and the Patriots of Ceto are pushing back against that, but the Supremacy actually has *good* people (Hayden Cross, my main character, among them) and the Patriots of Ceto have some real jerks. Ultimately, it’s about the people on both sides being forced to make horrible choices for the greater good, and the toll those choices take on them. Also, explosions. There’s a really large amount of explosions, and powered armor, and heatswords.
(Side note: I cannot tell you much I adored Rogue One and its characters)

Can you tell us a little bit about the next books in your scifi series, or what you have planned for the future?

Supremacy’s Shadow tells a complete story, so while I’m already working on sequels, they are set in the same universe with new characters. My model is the Marvel cinematic universe (I love how they do storytelling) so you could consider Supremacy’s Shadow my equivalent of Iron Man. It launches a universe and tells a complete story with one character, but my next book will be my Thor, or Captain America, or even The Hulk.
Characters lined up for future books include a badass bounty hunter tangled up in a human-trafficking conspiracy, a bio-engineered assassin fighting an even more bio-engineered assassin (shades of Terminator 2), a mysterious sword-wielding, mask-wearing, cloak-sporting vigilante and his quest to help his mind-wiped fiancé, and several others.

Eventually all these characters will cross over in a big crossover book like The Avengers, where they all stop a planet from exploding or something.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Supremacy’s Shadow?

Hayden Cross is the primary character, and I’d describe him as half Han Solo, half Deadpool. After the Patriots of Ceto (my scrappy rebellion) blew up his home with his wife inside it, he joined the Supremacy (my overbearing government) to hunt them down and stop more bombs from going off, and was pretty good at it.

Of course, right as the book starts, Hayden discovers his wife might not be dead, the Patriots might not have killed her, and he might have been working for some real shady people this whole time. He has to decide how he’s going to deal with that and, ultimately, ends up trying to stop an interplanetary war while relentlessly mocking everyone involved.

You know I think we all have a favorite author. Who is your favorite author and why?
Tough to pick a favorite, but Mike Stackpole was certainly a huge influence on my science fiction. I devoured everything he wrote, from his Battletech books set during the Clan wars to his X-Wing novels to his Dragon Crown Saga. The primary feature of Mike’s books are his heroes are complex, constantly facing difficult moral dilemmas where there is no “right” choice, and almost everyone, protagonist and antagonist alike, had shades of gray. I love that about Mike’s writing, and I think it’s influenced my own.

If you could time-travel would you travel to the future or the past? Where would you like to go and why would you like to visit this particular time period?
Definitely the future, because I don’t think I’d survive in the past. I’d probably drink from a stream and die from dysentery in a week. In the future, however, I’d get to fly around in cool air cars and experience the Matrix for myself. Also, on a less snarky note, I want humanity to succeed. While I write dystopias, I long for utopias. So I’d love to hop into a future and find out yes, humanity made it, and we’re having an awesome time. The future from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure would be perfect.

Do you have any little fuzzy friends? Like a dog or a cat? Or any pets?
I have two pets, a very sensitive and sweet Lab mix (she’s a rescue, so it took her years to open up and get comfortable) and my wife’s cat, who I’ve reluctantly adopted despite the fact that she almost clawed my eye out on a lark. The most amusing thing for me is seeing a 50 pound dog and an 8 pound cat get along when neither of them was raised with the other. After my wife and I got married (bringing our respective pets) the animals had no choice to adapt, and I’m still amazed they did so. They don’t like each other, but they’ll sit in the same room and even beg together.

Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to visit with us today.

Thank you for having me!

About the Author:

T. Eric Bakutis is an author and game designer based in Maryland. He is happily married and shares his house with a vicious, predatory cat and a sad-faced, cowardly dog. He’s been working as a professional videogame developer for over eight years. His first fantasy trilogy, Tales of the Five Provinces, is now complete, and his first science fiction novel, Supremacy’s Shadow, is due in February 2018.

In his spare time, Eric hikes with his lovely wife, little girl, and crazy dog, spends time in VRChat exploring the metaverse, and participates in local events like the Baltimore Science Fiction Society Critique Circle. His first novel, Glyphbinder, was a finalist for the 2014 Compton Crook Award, and his short fiction has appeared in several magazines and anthologies.

You can read his free cyberpunk police procedural, Loose Circuit, at

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Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting

T. Eric Bakutis said...

I loved the interview and really appreciated the chance to visit with you. Thanks!