Jak Phoenix – Chapter 1 Intro Excerpt

Since I’ve been quiet for a fairly long time, I thought I would start at the beginning and share this excerpt of my space adventure novel, Jak Phoenix. This is very beginning of the novel, with Jak and Baxter about to face danger on the planet Scoparia.

Sand. It’s amazing how many planets are covered in it. Gray sand, black sand, red sand, brown sand, white sand. The universe seemed to have arranged the odd coincidence to make most planets either too hot or too cold. The cold ones had snow—basically cold sand. It must have been a life-shattering disappointment to the ancient people who first mastered space travel. They lived their lives working on it, spent their money funding it and sometimes died trying it, only to find more of the same dirty rocks and sand they had just left behind.

Captain Jak Phoenix went over these random thoughts in his head as he lay burning in the sun, in the vast deserts of Scoparia, just behind the peak of a tightly packed sand dune. He peered over the edge and into the canyon below, eyeing his goal: a small space freighter that sat crashed, abandoned, and had apparently been left untouched for decades.

It was also a quirk of fate that Jak’s involvement in various ridiculous schemes would inevitably lead him to some moon, asteroid or planet that would surely be covered in some type of sand. Despite the dull appearance and apparent lack of appeal of these desolate sand-balls, action always seemed to involve them. Locations like this were essentially a child’s sandbox for adults. Somewhere to hide, (or lose), expensive and valuable objects or build fruitless sand castle colonies destined to fail due to the lack of resources and the inverse abundance of hunger and thirst. They were also a common place to hide yourself, (or get lost), if you weren’t already in the process of being killed and disposed of in an easily excavated hole.

“So where is this ship anyway?” asked Baxter.

“Quiet,” Jak shot back, snapping out of his mindful wanderings.

Baxter, Jak’s long-time shipmate, was just now coming up to the foot of the sand dune. He watched Baxter stumble through the sand like an infant who had just learned to walk.

Jak realized he should have come alone.

Turning his focus back to his target, Jak pulled out his worn and beaten pistol. It was an old fashioned Z8 model with a handle that curved right around into the barrel, ending with a slightly flared muzzle. It was a gem to Jak, but archaic to nearly every other gun-requiring space pirate. It would only hold enough charge for eight shots, making accuracy rather important.

Why in God’s name did he bring the Z8? He should have brought the Z16. Then Jak remembered his frugal thoughts about not wanting to lose the expensive sixteen shot rifle in the sand and made a mental note to possibly re-evaluate his priorities on future missions.

The first novel from the Jak Phoenix series, by Matt D. Williams, is available free at Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo,iBooks/iTunes and in the USA/Canada Kindle Store.

Jak Phoenix vs. the Scoparian Dragon in the sands of Scoparia - a Scene from the first Jak Phoenix novel.1

Like Marvel’s Guardians? You’ll love Jak.

If you have checked out the new trailer for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy film and like what you see, I can pretty much guarantee you are going to love the Jak Phoenix adventures.

Jak Phoenix (2010) & Jak Phoenix 2: The Markazian Deception (2012), by Canadian author Matt D. Williams, are written in the same vein as the Guardians film, featuring action and adventure kept light with a heavy dose of comedy. They were written to be a space adventure everyone could enjoy, which looks like what Marvel is going for with their new film.

The Jak Phoenix novels are available at a great low price wherever ebooks are sold. Load up your eReader, tablet, phone or iPad and join the adventures!

Take a look at the trailer here:

Jak Phoenix Update

Jak Phoenix of the Jak Phoenix space adventure novel by Matt D. Williams – art by Jeff Thomason

So it has been quite a while since I touched base with the kind souls who might be paying attention to Jak Phoenix-related info. It has been an extremely busy year for me with major changes and a lot of hard work. Unfortunately, the writing of the next Jak Phoenix novel was something that had be slid (temporarily) onto the back-burner.

I was heavily into the writing of Jak Phoenix 3 when some pretty big changes in the way I make a living took place. I left my job of 14 years to work full time on my business. It has consumed every waking moment of my life (in a good way) and so JP3 just had to wait.

The crappy thing was that I was totally consumed with writing this book. I know every author says their latest installment ‘will be my best work’ but I really do feel like this will be the strongest, funniest, most dramatic, and longest Jak Phoenix novel yet.

So I wanted to touch base to make sure anyone who checks knows it isn’t dead in the water. As I gain back a few minutes per day I will be picking right back up where I left off with JP3’s creation.

Thank you to everyone who has supported this book series. Have a great 2014!

Matt D. Williams

Author of the Jak Phoenix Space Adventure Series

Jak Phoenix Update – November 6th, 2010

Jak Phoenix ebook available at smashwords, ibooks, itunes, sony reader store. epub, pdf, mobi, ipadThe Jak Phoenix Free eBook promotion will be ending on November 12th, so grab yourself a copy as soon as you can.  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/9293  Downloads were pretty strong during the promotion, so I hope people out there are enjoying the story.

On another note, the transition over to this site is now complete and so you are looking at the new official www.jakphoenix.com. There are some really cool posts on the way too – character sketches, a new review and some story snippets. Check back soon!

Matt Williams

Author of Jak Phoenix, a space opera adventure novel.

Musical Accompaniment

Jak phoenix ebook paperback independent space opera sci fi book cover

Jak Phoenix now has an instrumental theme song.  I know, I know, the bandwidth used when everyone flocks to hear it could quite possibly disable the Internet, but I’m selfishly willing to take that risk. 

This was recorded at home with my own instruments.  Even though I tried to mellow the guitar tracks into the mix as much as possible, I’m quite proud of the awesome growly tone on the rhythm guitar track from my Fender Texas Special pickups. This sound has absolutely nothing at all to do with a Space Opera tale, but I think it works.  Even if it doesn’t, it has to for now.

The song is on YouTube below this article. I don’t really have anything for a video yet, but YouTube is the best way to get any sort of multimedia out. You’ll just see a few still images while the song snippet plays.

If you have a second, I’d really appreciate if you could go to YouTube and “Like” this or throw down a comment.

Thanks again for reading!

Matt Williams
Author of the Jak Phoenix Space Adventures at www.jakphoenix.com

Read Jak Phoenix:

iTunes (For iPad and iPhone)

First Post of the New Jak Phoenix Blog!

Jak Phoenix Paperback and Ebook Cover Art

The following is a blog entry entitled, ‘Jak Phoenix: Doing Something About it,’ from Matt Williams, author of the novel, Jak Phoenix.

I started writing Jak Phoenix in September 2008, after beers with friends led to the inevitable conversations nerds have about movies, comics, space and how we always had ‘better ideas’ than the churned-out supply of Hollywood remakes and reboots.

‘Better ideas’ is a pretty subjective term, but after the 50th conversation about being able to do something better without having any experience doing said task, I decided to put my money where my mouth was. Write a book. Pretty easy right?

Wrong. Writing, while rewarding, is difficult. Decent original ideas are hard to come by. The line between something marketable and garbage is pretty blurred. I am convinced the key to being a successful author lies more in self-discipline and an intense work ethic. Putting words down is tiring, stressful, boring and exhilarating all at the same time. At the very least, my efforts over the 15 months dedicated to putting the book together has given me the utmost respect for writers of anything; be it books, news articles, scripts, plays, or commercials.

I am no Hemingway. I am several large steps below a guy who has read a Hemingway. My goal was never to write a life changing magnum opus of epic proportions, but to have fun with the archetypes we all grew up admiring. From a literary standpoint, I’d have to say my biggest influence came from Ian Fleming. Not from a story perspective, but in action, suspense and pacing. What you read won’t be boring. I can promise you that much. My short attention span wouldn’t allow for boredom.

I set out to write a story that made me feel like I did the first time I saw the original Star Wars. Jak Phoenix morphed into something different when my focus swayed a little into the comedic field, but the simplicity, strong characterizations and appeal to mainstream readers remained intact. I wanted something everyone could have fun reading, with relatable flawed characters and a light tone. I’d had enough of the doom and gloom so prevalent in media these days. I’m not ashamed to admit I wanted a slam bang space opera.

My novel is far from perfect and I am the first to admit it. But, I went out on a limb and ‘did something about it,’ and for that I am proud. My fiancée’s understanding to my dedication toward sitting at the computer for multi-hour stretched will also never be forgotten. Her support is part of the reason she is my fiancée.

If you have read Jak Phoenix, I sincerely hope you enjoy it, as I certainly did while I was writing it. I picked the book up off the shelf the other day and started reading it. With my best attempt to separate myself as the author, I can honestly say it still put a smile on my face. Goal accomplished.

Matt Williams


Author of the Jak Phoenix Space Adventures at www.jakphoenix.com

Jak Phoenix is available at:
Amazon.com Paperbacks
Barnes and Noble Paperbacks
Barnes and Noble ebooks
Smashwords ebooks