Friday, April 11, 2014


Here is the deleted afterword to Scout's Honor. I thought about including it in the book but reconsidered at the last minute. It gives a little insight into the creation of the planet Sidoria and its characters.


Scout's Honor is the first book in a planned pentalogy that includes The Creature of the Baradoons, The Shepherd of Evil, Marauders’ Glory, and The Havoc Bringers. Each story is self-contained, though characters and events will cross over from book to book, linking the series together as a whole. We will also delve deeper into Sidoria’s history as we move along, exploring its regions, species, civilizations, and so forth.

I began work on the Deadlands Saga in 1999, though Sidoria’s origins can be traced back to a camcorder movie I shot with my friends in the summer of 1994. I was big into westerns in those days and decided to tell a story about gunfighters battling over two halves of a treasure map. Original, I know, but cut me some slack; I was still green behind the ears at the time.

The movie quickly descended into the usual amateurish, poorly shot, horribly acted claptrap that kids with too much imagination and not enough experience or technical know-how produce. It became clear from the first shot that this would not be a western in the traditional sense. We tried to film in isolated locations but still managed to get the occasional car or modern building in the background.

I wasn‘t sure how I was going to fix the problem. A friend suggested that it could be a western with electricity like in the old Roy Rogers films, or maybe even a post-apocalyptic world. I wasn’t big on either suggestion, deciding instead to set the story on another planet; perhaps somewhere in the Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy. Let’s call the planet ‘Sidoria’. Yes, that has a nice ring to it. But why are there humans on this alien world? Well, obviously Sidoria was terraformed and colonized during the dying days of earth and then forgotten as the space race continued to adapt terrestrial life forms on other planets.

Those left behind were forced to adapt to their surroundings or die. Eons passed and mankind endured. The old ways were forgotten. New races were born, and with them new languages, new gods, and new ways of waging war on one another.

A rather complex explanation because you could see a BMW in the background of my little camcorder movie, but it planted the seeds of an epic story in my young mind that I would revisit often in the years to come. First I attempted to turn it into a screenplay, but I found this to be too limited a medium to tell my tale. I wanted to explore the geography of my planet, visit its indigenous species, and uncover its history. The best way to achieve this would be to create a series of adventures following a group of characters across Sidoria’s rugged and dangerous terrain.

You hold in your hands the end result of all those years of labor and love. Scout’s Honor takes place roughly thirty years before the other books. It introduces characters that will return in subsequent stories and sets the tone of the books as a whole. Each story is told from a character’s point of view, be it a journal entry, a transcribed confession, or, as here, a memoir. The idea behind this is that at some point the planet was rediscovered and all of these first-hand accounts of life in Sidoria’s Deadlands were collected into a series of books.

I hope you had fun reading Scout’s Honor, and that you will return to further explore the Deadlands and its colorful and morally ambiguous characters. We’ll be waiting for you.

Jeremy Lee Riley
Indianapolis, IN

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