NC Literary Hall of Fame



Free Bird Rising by Ian J. Malone

Seventh Seal Press
14.99, paperback / 4.99, e-book
ISBN: 1-948-485915
January, 2019
Fiction: Science Fiction
Available from

“A noted explorer once asked, ‘Who knows if there are secrets lurking in the unseen corners of hyperspace?’ The answer is simple. There are!”
—Colonel Terrance Van Zant, Commanding Officer, Swamp Eagle Security

Taylor Van Zant has a lot on his mind.

Like everyone in Jacksonville, North Florida, the early-twenties bartender from Riverside saw his world upended when his brother, Terry, an interstellar mercenary and local hero, died suddenly in a freak starship accident. Five years later, having been stonewalled for answers, Taylor faced a choice: Honor his mother’s wish that he never go merc or defy it to save her life by resurrecting Terry’s company.

That was thirteen months ago. Now the newly reformed Eagles stand on the verge of a major milestone: owning their own flagship. There’s just one problem. Terry left behind a ship that no one knew about, a rare breed of cruiser with a most peculiar secret.

Free Bird Rising is the story of a young man’s quest for justice and to escape his brother’s shadow. The shocking revelations he finds, though, will likely rock the Galactic Union to its core and get him killed.

As a graduate of Florida State University, sci-fi author Ian J. Malone has written in a variety of arenas ranging from public health to news and sports. When it comes to his fictional work, however, he's a firm believer that nothing shapes an author's writing like experience. That's why he credits his tenures in radio, law enforcement, and military contracting for much of his inspiration, plus the legion of family and friends who've stood with him along the way.

Beyond writing, Malone is an avid fan of audiobooks (he's legally blind) and the outdoors. It's also not uncommon to find him at a ballgame, a concert, or somewhere out by a grill.

Malone is an active member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America and a resident of Durham, North Carolina—but he'll always be a "Florida boy" at heart.

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