The Achilles Battle Fleet: Book One: Mei-Ling Lee

About the Book

In what is sure to be a new classic in the genre of weaponized space epics, Brendan Wilson gives us a glimpse into a future teeming with impossible technologies, international intrigue and a power struggle to send your imagination reeling. Alliance officers Lieutenant Mei Ling Lee and Admiral Jay Chambers are navigating their starship flotilla back to the blue planet from the Achilles Nine frontier, only to meet with a dark destiny. The enemy looms as a triumphant cast of characters emerges to combat on multiple fronts both the juggernaut of terror inspired by neigh-unconquerable volatile quantum hybrid clone technology spawned from an internal spy network and the hierarchy of brutal galactic martial law, which threatens to tear the Alliance asunder. With clean battle-ready authority, Wilson extracts a forceful and challenging stand-alone story to explore honour and valour high above a far-future Earth.

About the Author

Following 25 years of military service as a US Army Ranger and paratrooper, Brendan Wilson retired as a lieutenant colonel and then joined NATO where he served as a defence planner and diplomat for the next 15 years. During the course of his 40 years of work as a soldier and diplomat, he saw service in war-torn Libya, Ukraine, Kosovo, Bosnia, and Iraq. A former coach and team captain for a military martial arts competition team, he holds master ranking (8th Dan) in three different martial arts and won the silver medal in the 2009 US Open for Taekwondo.

In retirement, Wilson turned his efforts to filmmaking. He wrote and produced two award-winning short films (Doug’s Christmas, A Child Lies Here) and served as executive producer for ten episodes of the award-winning web series, Greetings! From Prison starring SNL’s Chris Redd. Moved by seeing human lives upended in war-torn areas, Wilson is earning his law degree and, once qualified as an attorney, plans to volunteer to help refugees. A former assistant professor who taught military history and the Univerity of Colorado, Wilson holds a PhD in international relations and has about a dozen publications on defense-related topics. He is the father of two adult children.

Wilson lives a quiet life in Sycamore, Illinois. He spends his days writing, hiking, studying law and practising his martial arts.

Can you tell us more about your book What is it about?

Naval Academy and martial arts champion, Lieutenant Mei-Ling Lee serves in a backwater assignment as an aide to the inspector general of a rag-tag group of starships thrown together as a convoy evacuating civilians from a contested area of the galaxy. When the convoy is attacked, she finds herself thrust into the centre of a galactic struggle as the chief of staff for the newly formed Achilles Battle Fleet. As the conflict continues, Lee is forced to draw upon her martial arts skill and her inner strength as she fights alongside the Fleet’s marine commando unit. Struggling with a budding romance, new friendships and startling betrayals, Lee becomes the warrior she was meant to be.

Who do you think would be interested in this book, is it directed at any particular market?

First of all, I think it is an interesting read and would be something accessible to any reader. It’s exciting and fast-paced, yet it doesn’t have any hard language or sexual content. It would be good reading for young people as well as a more mature audience.

There are a number of thematic elements that I think would be of interest to specific audiences.

Sci-Fi: There is, of course, the sci-fi angle. The novel addresses the potential use of quantum field theory in faster than light travel. This would be of interest to the general sci-fi audience.

Military and Veteran: There is a military angle, since much of the novel deals with both military tactics as well as leadership and team building. Characters are forced to make difficult decisions on the spot and under pressure. And as in real life, no decision is without negative consequences. The leader has to decide between mission success and the risk of harm to his or her unit. Finally, the novel takes the reader into the internal workings of an elite special operations unit. For this, I drew on my experience in training and qualifying as an Army Ranger.

Military History and tactics: There is a military history angle. Many of the battles are modelled on historic battles ranging from the forays of Alexander the Great at Gaugamela to Horatio Nelson at the Nile.

Martial Arts: There is also a martial arts aspect. Mei Ling Lee is a martial arts master who is forced to use her skills to defend her unit as well as take the fight to the enemy on the final battle of the novel. In that process, she is forced to come to terms with her own propensity for violence and dealing with her remorse, or lack of it, after the fighting stops.

Out of all the books in the world, and all the authors, which are your favourite and why?

To be fair, I don’t have one favourite book or even a favourite genre. I went through a time some years ago of reading literature, I read Harold Bloom’s, The Western Canon, which led me to Nietzsche, Cervantes, Tolstoy, and Shakespeare. That was a phase and it helped shape me as a writer, but I really love a good story. I’ve read or listened to many of the Jack Reacher and Harry Bosch novels. Right now I’m listening to The Pendergast series by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Childs. I can see the Mei Ling Lee series taking readers through a series of related adventures.

What guidance would you offer to someone new, or trying to enhance their writing?

I’m too new to writing to give advice to others with any authority. I am, however, inspired by Epictetus’ advice, which I believe goes something like, If you want to be a writer, write. Epictetus was a Greek slave who became a stoic philosopher. I wrote The Achilles Battle Fleet over about seven years while I was working a very demanding job as a defence planner for NATO. Some of that was written on my iPhone while travelling, some were written from a bunker in Baghdad. If I could hazard any advice, it would be to never give up, and don’t let anyone discourage you when you are working toward your goals.

Where can our readers find out more about you, do you have a website, or a way to be contacted?

You can visit my website at or follow my Instagram @brendanwilsonwrites

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