Raymund Eich

Take the Shilling (large print)

Large Print Paperback

The Confederated Worlds implanted in his brain the skills to make him a soldier.

He had to learn for himself how to survive interstellar war.

Large print edition



“Military science fiction [concentrating] on the psychology and politics of societies in conflict.”

Analog, on The Confederated Worlds series

Large print edition


The Confederated Worlds implanted in his brain the skills to make him a soldier.

He had to learn for himself how to survive interstellar war.


Tomas Neumann seeks escape from his backwater planet and overbearing mother, and a mentor to replace his long-dead father.

“Taking the shilling”—enlisting in the Confederated Worlds military—promises both.

But the soldier’s skills implanted in his brain can’t prepare him for combat against fellow humans. Especially ones supposed to welcome him and his fellow soldiers as liberators. The war on New Liberty threatens to destroy him. Not just in body. Also in spirit.

Grieving for lost comrades, demoralized by harrowing combat, Tomas must learn what he needs to survive. 

Because soon, with the fates of thousands of his fellow soldiers in the balance, he will face his war’s ultimate challenge.

Take the Shilling is the first book in The Confederated Worlds series.


Want to learn more about science fiction author Raymund Eich? Here’s a Q&A to tell you more about this distinctive voice in new science fiction.


First off: Raymund Eich. Am I spelling it correctly? And how do you

pronounce it?


That’s the correct spelling. My immigrant parents split the difference

between the Anglo-French Raymond and the German Raimund.


My last name is pronounced with a long-i vowel sound, like both

syllables in Einstein. The preferred consonant sound is a sh. Overall,

one syllable, eye-sh.


Tough to pronounce, and also tough to spell. I’ve seen Elch, Einch,

Etch, Eitch, Iech, Eric, and Erich. The misspellings used to bother me,

but I’ve grown philosophical about them.


What are some of your publishing credits?


I’ve had short stories published in Analog science fiction and fact

magazine and the sci fi anthology Surviving Tomorrow. And over a dozen

novels and six short story collections are available as ebooks and

paperback books, and some also as audiobooks.


Why did you write a military science fiction series?


Writers are always looking for settings full of conflict, because

conflict makes good stories. Wartime has many conflicts. Not just the

obvious between armies or space fleets. There are interservice

rivalries. Personality clashes. Officers versus enlisted. Soldiers

versus civilians. Military necessity versus political considerations.


Above all, conflicts in human minds and human hearts. Self preservation

versus self sacrifice. The moral paradox of killing for a higher

purpose. That last conflict has scarred many ex-soldiers back in their

civilian lives. No matter how just your cause, it’s tough to fight a

war and keep your honor intact.


Another motivation I had to write this series was that a lot of

prominent sci fi writers wrote war stories. Heinlein, Haldeman, Drake,

Weber, Scalzi, and dozens more. I wanted to see if I could measure up.


Military SF is a crowded subgenre. What makes the Confederated World

Series stand out?


One obvious way is the Confederated Worlds universe has no aliens.

There’s no easy “humans good, aliens bad” moral framework. The

conflicts in the books are between human interstellar republics fighting

each other.


The biggest point of uniqueness is something Analog book reviewer Don

Saker noticed. The series gives a lot of attention to the politics and

psychology of wartime. Tomas becomes a psychological casualty in book 1,

and how he heals from that changes the end of book 1 and sets him on his

path through the rest of the trilogy.


Final question. Science fiction, sci fi, SF, speculative fiction, or

spec fic?


Is it an adventure on future Earth, an exploration of a distant planet,

a discovery beyond the limits of human knowledge, or a journey across

deep space? Then I’ll read it. The genre fiction label doesn’t matter.

Additional information

Weight 0.756 lbs
Dimensions 22.9 × 15.2 × 1.4 in


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