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Literature / Black Sun

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Black Sun is a series of Space Opera science fiction novels written by Daniel Crux, otherwise known by the screen name Wing Zero Alpha. The series is published through Inkwell Books, LLC and is available in both Kindle e-book and physical print.

It is somewhere around a couple thousand years in the future, during the Third Age of Terra. Due to a previous interstellar war that desolated Earthnote , humanity would end up reforming into the prosperous but extremely xenophobic Terran Empire, which for the last nine hundred plus years has enjoyed a veritable golden age of advancement and expansion. As a result of that expansion however, as well as continuous rediscovery of humanity's past knowledge and culture, piracy would become rampant throughout space, eventually culminating in the development and formation of the Pirate Clans. One of these, the Gold Dragon Clan, would come to be founded and led by a Terran woman named Morganna Flint, who had long established herself as the most successful pirate of all time. And with that success, the Gold Dragon would also become considered the foremost of the clans.


However, that success would not last long. During a lone, and ultimately secretive voyage to the world of Ephesus, Morganna's flagship, the Morgan Le Fay, would be ambushed by an Imperial fleet. Though the events of this ambush are only marginally depicted, the battle would end with a terminally wounded Morganna fighting her way to her ship's hangar deck, just barely manage to get her two children, Jonathan and Alexander, onto a shuttle and then send them out before at last detonating the Morgan. After that, the Gold Dragon would fragment and dissolve, leaving the Flint children effectively orphaned and alone in a hostile galaxy.

Fifteen years later, Jonathan and Alexander have grown into relatively successful pirates (actually mercenaries) in their own right, managing to etch out an existence for themselves. Unfortunately, this would be an empty existence at best; though they have garnered a fair amount of wealth and prosperity, they are forced to take jobs from the most unsavory of clients while constantly being on the run due to their surname and their late mother's long list of enemies (in other words, simply surviving and nothing else). This is best depicted with their latest assignment. Despite their accomplishing it, their client, an Imperial Senator, would attempt to assassinate the brothers upon their return - not because he can't afford their rate either, but to illustrate what the brothers may expect of him should they enter his service on a permanent basis (long story).


Then, all at once, everything would change for the Flints. Through a chance encounter, Jonathan would end up coming to the defense of a mysterious woman against a squad of Imperial Marines - an act that all who knew Jon would agree was highly uncharacteristic. As a result, the woman, known only by the name Lorelei, would take a special interest in the Flints and so hire them for an assignment of her own. An assignment that would begin with the hijacking of a prototype Imperial warship from one of the most secure and heavily defended installations in the galaxy...

The series is laid out as so:

  • Rise of the Flint Pirates
  • Quest of the Siren
  • Legacy of the Predecessors
  • Call of the Moon
  • Curse of the Nebula
  • Fury of the Phoenix (Coming Soon)

This series provides examples of:

  • Big Badass Battle Sequence: As outlined in the prelude, the Second Battle of Ephesus pulls out all the stops, from a one ship vs. all space engagement to a Warhammer-meets-StarCraft style ground assault around a ruined city to a Duel of the Fates-esque Devilblade fight between Jon and Drake within an ancient Predecessor temple. Needless to say, the battle takes up most of the third book.
  • The Casanova: Howell Davis, Up to Eleven. He literally has a girlfriend or two in every corner of the galaxy.
  • Casting a Shadow: Astaroth's unique Devilblade power. Think Blackbeard's Dark Dark Fruit condensed into sword form.
  • Cultured Badass: For a pirate, Jon is very refined in his tastes. He enjoys a good glass of wine as he does rum, can quote ancient literature (up to and including the King James Bible) from memory, holds a collection of valuable artworks (which he later uses to decorate his spaces aboard the Black Sun) and retains a preference to classical media (basically anything from the First Age of Terra). The latter especially applies to his choice of music; when he isn't out captaining the Black Sun or slaughtering mooks wholesale with Astaroth, he can be found in his quarters listening to songs from certain long lost and "forgotten" artists.
  • Demonic Possession: What happens to a Devilblade Wielder who is either untrained or sacrifices their will to his or her Devilblade for a power boost and/or Healing Factor. This almost happens to Alex during his battle with Drake.
  • The Empire: Besides the aforementioned Terran Empire, we have the Leo Caliphate and eleven other Galactic Powers that effectively rule the galaxy.
  • Energy Weapon: Devilblades in general, being Pure Energy and all. That being said, they take a unique twist on the concept, effectively functioning under the Law of Energy Conservationnote  so that they can be utilized in a multitude of ways, from unleashing standard Sword Beam and Beam Spam attacks to altering the outward appearance of the Wielder (as in anything from changing their clothes to their outright physical appearances around; one male Wielder even managed to pass himself off as a woman through this technique) to creating full-on hammerspaces for Wielders to store items and/or absorb and redirect attacks to even teleporting rapidly and over great distances. In fact, the reason they form into swords (and solid blades no less) at all is to grant the Wielder a control mechanism, not unlike a magic wand or a conductor's baton, to direct the Devilblade's seemingly limitless energy.
  • Everythings Better With Ninjas: Kaguya.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Leads to Drake's defeat at the hands of Jon during their second battle.
  • Expy:
  • Final Battle: Averted. One would think this would be the Second Battle of Ephesus, but as Lorelei explains afterward, Arcadia isn't that easy to unseal.
  • Fragile Speedster: Kaguya, even in her tactical armor. Because the latter is designed namely for stealth and flexibility, it lacks the dense armor plating and energy shield that most others take for granted. That being said however, good luck actually hitting Kaguya before she slashes you apart with her ninjato or sends a kunai into your skull, armor and personal shielding be damned.
  • Hell Is That Noise: The very last thing heard from the Daedalus distress signal. Whatever the actual noise is is left up to the reader's imagination, but it's more than enough to invoke pure terror upon all who hear it (up to and including Jon and Kaguya). According to Gran - who hails from an acoustically enthused race - it's nothing short of the most horrifying, most evil sound you will ever hear.
  • Insane Admiral: Notably averted with Drake. For all of his eccentricity and mania, he's quite sane (which makes him all the more dangerous).
  • Invisibility Cloak: The umbra's defining feature. Unlike most other science fiction, the titular cloak isn't generated by a modular device, but an entire ship-wide mechanism; it takes a multitude of systems operating at once to produce a cloak, and the ship in question has to be specifically designed to accommodate it. In short, you can't simply jury rig a funky looking contraption into an otherwise "regular" starship for automatic invisibility, any more than adding ballast tanks to an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer will turn it into a submarine. Due to this and other factors, active cloaking is quite difficult to achieve in the Black Sun universe, such that umbras (which are manufactured from the ground up for this precise function) are the only starships capable of doing so.
  • Lovable Coward: Ironically one of Davis' most endearing character traits (at least to readers) is his admittance that he isn't the swashbuckling hero he cosplays as. It helps that he's rather philosophical about it.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The Devilblades. On one hand, they seem to be powerful weapons capable of energy manipulation. On the other hand, they seem to host a malevolent entity that takes control of the user when given the chance.
    • Predecessor technology as a whole falls under this trope.
  • Meaningful Names: Much like One Piece, many of Black Sun's cast are named after real life (or fictional) pirates. And that's just one Running Theme out of many.
    • Jon, Alex and their mother are obviously named after Captain J. Flint of Treasure Island fame. Morganna herself also takes her name from the witch Morgan le Fay, as does her flagship.
    • Barbarossa is named after the famous Ottoman privateer Hayreddin Barbarossa.
    • Howell Davis takes his name from a renowned Welsh pirate. Could be intentional, much like Flynn Rider before him.
    • Anna Reed's name is a combination of famous women pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Read.
    • Granuaile is named after the legendary Irish pirate queen Grace O'Malley.
    • Kaiser is not as obvious, but his name borrows from African pirate Black Caesar.
    • Braun is a little more obvious, being named after an all too certain rocket scientist.
    • Rather than a specific individual, Apache is named after an entire Native American tribe.
    • Kaguya's name (much like Anna's) stems from two sources: Princess Kaguya from The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, and master ninja (and occasional pirate) Fuma Kotaro. Her father and brother are also named after the latter.
    • Boss is named after famous fighter ace Gregory "Pappy" Boyington.
    • Lorelei, as referenced in the book, takes her name from the legendary siren.
    • Drake is clearly named after Sir Francis Drake, who had also served as a Vice Admiral within the Royal Navy.
    • On that note, Robert Maynard is named after the Royal Navy Lieutenant that famously killed Blackbeard.
    • Thomas is named after the explorer/privateer Thomas Cavendish. Possibly an alias.
    • Ephesus is named after an ancient Greek city, which was also one of the Seven Churches referenced in the Book of Revelation. In that regard, it's fairly certain that the remaining Babels are named after the other six.
    • Penzance takes its own after the Gilbert and Sullivan opera.
    • Rochelle is easily based on the French seaport La Rochelle, which had served as a major U-boat basin during World War II.
    • Ryugu is named after the undersea palace of the dragon god Ryujin in Japanese mythology.
    • Given that it's a jungle planet (set in a star system named Zaire no less), Kurzis sounds like it's named after Kurtz from Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness.
    • It's pretty certain that Bonham IV is named after the British auction house Bonhams. The latter is especially known for dealing with antiquities.
  • Mugging the Monster: Lorelei darkly hints that this would have been invoked at Neverland had Jon not involved himself.
  • Playing with Fire: Forneus' Devilblade power, which goes perfectly with Alex's pyromania.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Barbarossa all the way. Kaiser could also count, though his race is not as well described.
  • Science Hero: When in person, Alex fights more or less the same way as his brother. When in command of the Black Sun however, he easily falls into this trope, utilizing his multiple doctorate level knowledge of science with the Sun's advanced technology to make life absolute hell for the Imps.
  • Space Pirates: Both Type 1 and Type 2. The latter is justified thanks to Alexandria, an ancient database that contains the entirety of Terran history and culture throughout the First Age. This naturally includes the Golden Age of Piracy, which modern day buccaneers love to emulate.
  • Submarine Pirates: IN SPACE! Well, okay, the Black Sun isn't really a submarine, but it's obviously modeled after a U-boat in the manner that the Galactica is modeled after an aircraft carrier (it even has a periscope!). Likewise, the general attitude of the crew, many of them being former Imperial umbramen, is like that of real life submariners.
  • Teleport Spam: Drake's primary method of attack is to overwhelm his opponents by teleporting rapidly around them and executing attacks throughout. This in itself is an indication of Drake's overall skill with Berith, as neither Jon or Alex are able to teleport even once with their own blades.
  • The War of Earthly Aggression: Par for course for the resident Terran Empire. In fact, the first thing humanity did when it discovered the Arc Engine was set out to conquer the galaxy at large.
  • Wicked Cultured: Among other things, Drake is a keen opera lover and is especially fond of the singer Undinenote . As he commented to Jon, he never missed any of her performances (and subsequent thefts).
  • Wretched Hive: Penzance. It's basically a space colony version of Tortuga.

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