Read Lights Out in The Expanding Universe #SpaceOpera by @KayelleAllen

Three Things About Nathan Mutch

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It seems like forever ago that I decided I was going to write a novel. It also seems like it was only yesterday. That's how life works sometimes.

I was willing to give it a shot. I'd write on Tuesdays and Thursdays to begin with. I didn't know what I was doing—I'd written short pieces before, but never a full-length novel. The project gathered steam with every writing session, and before I knew it, I had a book. The Unity was published, and I immediately began work on the second book. I built the universe for my characters while I was also building a family.


It wasn't until I wrote The Spike that I truly appreciated universe building in fiction.

A character is born.

The universe is born.

The universe is broken down and reordered to suit the character.

Few things survive the reordering of the universe, so the character is reborn.

Repeat as needed.

It seems like only yesterday that I decided to write books and, in doing so, reordered my own universe.

I'm glad I survived.


The Spike is a story about the human mind. It's about the lengths a person will go to uncover the truth, but more so, it's about the addictive quality of that search.

Ultimately, we can never know why we decide against one thing in favor of another.

Is it desire or attraction?

Is it a chemically predetermined path in our synapses?

The truth beckons to us. It invigorates like the thrill of mortal danger.

The truth is a drug.

The Spike by Nathan Mutch

Here's an excerpt from The Spike:

"This part of the country seems to have all hell for a basement, and the only trap door appears to be Medicine Hat."

–Rudyard Kipling

"We were born to die."

John McCormack knew a thing or two about death. He also knew a thing or two about when to keep his mouth shut. We were born to die—those were the words he spoke aloud just after closing the door to his last session with the military-appointed psychologist.

John recalled what the psychologist had said during their first session—that survivor's guilt was a natural consequence, especially since he alone had survived. No one could have foreseen that their brief exposure to the crashed alien ship would be fatal—that their hazmat suits would offer no protection.

"We were born to live our lives," the shrink had said. "The other Marines lived to serve. They died performing their duty."

John shambled away from the stuffy, claustrophobic office and stayed close to the corridor wall as if he might suddenly need it to steady himself. The faces of the fallen haunted him.

John spoke the words again. He spoke as if talking to his ghosts would somehow make them sympathetic.

"We were all born to die."

A strange but familiar voice rose up from his chaotic thoughts. It was so clear that it drowned out the memories, yet the voice itself was like a memory. As odd as it seemed to have a voice in his head that John felt didn't belong to him, what happened next was stranger still. His mind made the words his own.

"You are wrong, John. You were born for a specific purpose."

John nearly turned around and marched back into the psychologist's office. He was sure he had cracked, but the thought of dealing with a headshrinker again was a great weight pressing on his chest. He kept walking and took his ghosts with him.


Soon after John was granted separation from the Marine Corps, he found work at an off-world mining operation with the same company that had shot down the alien spaceship—an irony few of his fellow miners failed to point out. But John didn't require reminders. He remembered perfectly.

The alien ship had entered Earth's orbit undetected by every space observation network on the planet. GISEC, the Goryeo Inter-Korean Space Exploration Conglomerate, detected the ship with an automated orbital salvage and reclamation platform and mistook it for space junk. The AI on the platform decided the ship was a danger to nearby satellites and attempted to disintegrate it. If it wasn't for GISEC, the ship might have come and gone unnoticed.

Of all the places in the world, the falling ship's trajectory sent it hurtling toward downtown Medicine Hat. In the blink of an eye, the city was leveled. The city that was built on a giant gas field—the city with hell for a basement—was destroyed by a fireball from the heavens.

Science Fiction by Nathan Mutch

When John McCormack emerges from the alien wreckage, only he knows what he leaves behind—and what he has brought with him.

The Spike
part of the Science Fiction/Space Opera anthology
The Expanding Universe Vol 4

Edited by Craig Martelle
Exclusively on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited

Nathan Mutch Social Media

Nathan Mutch's first novel, The Unity, is the first book of a planned three-part Science Fiction series. The second book in The Unity Empire Series, A Song for the Dead, was released June 2017.
His current projects include: A prequel to the Unity series about the origins of the Ash Stone character; two co-authored books; a stand-alone fantasy novel tentatively titled, Between Realms; and of course, the third installment of The Unity Empire Series.
The first of the two co-authored books is an experimental science fiction mind-bender written (so far) entirely by correspondence. The second co-authored book delves into the Fantasy genre.
Nathan Mutch currently lives in Northern Canada with his family.
Amazon Author Page