A Season of Honor  


The Third Novel in the Series:

The Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox

A Season of Honor

Secret Information Page



A Season of Honor

Available now from OakTara



ISBN: 1602901082
ISBN-13: 9781602901087
Format: Paperback, 200pp
Publisher: OakTara
Pub. Date: November 2008

   Paperback     Kindle ebook

Visit my Amazon Bookstore to see all my books




A Season of Hope for the Universe
First Novel

If you read my writing secrets or you keep up with my writing progress, you can figure out that A Season of Honor was the first novel I completed.  I started with the idea of what would make a man compromise his honor and built a universe, a man, a woman, and a situation that would allow me to answer this question.  You can see my attempts to build realistic worlds and societies.  I have been influenced by Jack Vance in this.  My worlds and universe are humancentric and the culture here is singular.  Although you might think you see pieces of Star Wars and Dune in the novel, there was no attempt to borrow in any way.  I was influenced more by the game Traveler in the development of weapons, environments, and ships.  The idea of escape pods suffused SiFi literature for a long time before Star Wars.  The concept of using them to escape an attack may be unique to Star Wars.  After all, it only makes sense.  Arid planets and we reasons for their human colonization are always a question in SiFi--it makes for a wonderful paradox.  As we see in Dune, the benefits in power outweigh the problems of the environment.

The follow-on books in the series (The Fox's Honor and The End of Honor) came about to flesh out and explain the reason for the events around A Season of Honor.  Obviously, Shawn was banished and lost his honor for a reason.  The reason becomes epic with the other books as the basis.  The discoveries of Elina become more poignant.  The pain of The Dragon is seen in its full power.  The reasons for his reactions to Elina become more evident.  The hope that is offered in The Fox's Honor gives a final push to the denouncement of A Season of Honor and lets the reader guess the final outcome.  By the way, the final outcome is revealed in The Ghost Ship Chronicles--hope it gets published.

Although A Season of Honor was the first novel I completed, it went through a significant number of revisions and rewrites.  Each improved the novel, and because I was writing other novels, I was improving as an author.  Much of what I learned about writing went in to improve Season.  The benefit to the reader is that it isn't simply a raw first novel--it is a first novel tempered and enhanced by time, maturity, experience, lots of great readers, and criticism.  Of note, in the original, I took Shawn and Elina's honor to the bottom--their relationship was more physical.  There are a few remnants of that in the novel, but I took it out because it was unnecessary, and I felt it detracted from the characters.  Plus one of my readers didn't like it.

If I could rewrite the novel, the only change I would make is that I would add a foreshadowing to the "hostage marriage."  I could do this through a holovid or show that Elina watched with her maid or Pembray.  I thought about this during revision, but didn't put it in.  I would have liked to foreshadow the "hostage wedding" in one of the other books as well.      

Baron Shawn du Locke

Baron Shawn du Locke was the Dragon.  Ten years ago, he was the celebrated Prince John-Mark Haupenberg.  He was a man of action.  He was the commander of the Emperor's Huscarls, the Emperor's elite and only military fighting force.  John-Mark was compassionate and passionate.  He had a tendency to let his heart overrule his reason.  He was man most men love to follow and that most were willing to give up their lives for.

How much did the Baron Shawn du Locke loose when he lost his name and heritage?  What mark did ten years of exile place on his soul?  Is he the same man that fanned the Empire to flames and with his own honor extinguished them? 

Lady Elina Acier

The Lady Elina Acier was untrained in the ways of the Empire.  She had not attended Lady Pembrooks.  She was naive and unaccustomed to the matters of the court.  However, she was well trained in intelligence.  She understood the power of that force in the modern Empire. 

The Lady Elina looks nearly exactly like the Lady Lyral Neuterra, her cousin.  That is the factor that initially drew Baron du Locke's interest and agony.  

Count Ian Acier

The Count of the Planet of Acier, he commands the greatest intelligence and ground forces in the Human Galactic Empire.  He holds the greatest wealth of any count and greater than some Dukes.  Count Acier is cunning and reasoned.  He is a great man to have as a friend and a very dangerous enemy. He is tall and dark with a strong Acierian brogue. His features are square. 


You might conclude that pure science fiction requires no research--this is an absolutely wrong idea.  Good science fiction requires a basis of the real world with a projection of authentic science overlaying it.  If the world does not match the proper sense of the reader, the story is ruined.  If the science is not convincing and logical, the unique feel of the future is gone--the novelty of the science part of the fiction has been lost.  For me, writing science fiction is like developing a new idea in engineering.  I can see it in my mind, and I try to describe both its effects and its design.  The research is through constant immersion in engineering and in fiction.  This way, the imagined worlds are real and the science comes alive. 

The world of the Dragon and the Fox is a projection based on the idea that genetic manipulation was required for humankind to conquer the worlds they discovered when they traveled into space.  The genetic manipulation was used to create great doctors, technicians, scientists, and leaders.  Eventually the society became moribund and turned into something akin to feudalism--the Human Galactic Empire.  Against this backdrop, the Dragon and the Fox fight for honor while their world and civilization is falling around them.

The technology of the Dragon and the Fox is also a projection.  All of the concepts described are potential technological solutions.  The big idea isn't the technology or the changes to the human species.  The big concept is how little technology and human changes have really affected the fabric of human interaction.  The one specific change that is very evident in the world of the Dragon and the Fox is the differentiation between men and women.  This change in human culture historically reverses itself based on the organization of society and the identification of the differences between men and women.  The world of the Dragon and the Fox highlights this differentiation based on the feudal and genetic leadership base of their society.  I don't advocate these roles or this type of society--the ideas come out of the question that brought about the world of the Dragon and the Fox.       

The Question: 

A Season of Honor asks a unique question:  what would motivate a man of honor to compromise everything? 

The Characters: 

Shawn du Locke lost everything to his honor.  It was either taken from him by force or he gave it willingly to bring peace to the war torn Human Galactic Empire.  He must now choose again between that peace and his own happiness.  Unfortunately, the only reasonable solutions will require him to compromise his honor.  The Lady Elina Acier is the cause of his problems.  She is young and vulnerable and untutored in the intrigues of the Human Galactic Empire.  

The Theme: 

A Season of Honor places an impossible choice before a man of honor--peace in the universe and happiness for himself or his honor.  The question is how Shawn du Locke will solve his dilemma and can he do it honorably?   


Would you give up your true honor if it resulted in peace and your own happiness?  Even if to achieve peace and happiness you traded your friends, defenders, and protectors?

Original Cover Concept




  Novels by this Author
       The Second Mission (Available now)
       Centurion   (Available now published by OakTara)
       Aegypt            (Available now published by OakTara)


The Dragon and the Fox


                     (Available now published by OakTara)



The End of Honor       The Fox’s Honor        A Season of Honor 




  L.D. Alford is the author of 41 technical papers published in international journals on flight test, military policy, flight safety, space, and cyberwar.  Technical Writing
  L.D. Alford has been a professional aviator for over 30 years.  Aviation Writing

L.D. Alford Aviation Writing Technical Writing Unpublished Novels Writing Links Engineer




Hit Counter