Robert Collins

Biography

I'm the author of three published SF novels: Expert Assistance, Lisa's Way, and Monitor. I'm also the author of the coming of age novel True Friends, and the fantasy novel Cassia. I have several short story collections available.. I've written several books on Kansas history.

In addition to books, I've sold stories to periodicals such as Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine; Tales of the Talisman; Golden Visions; and Sorcerous Signals.

Smashwords Interview

When did you first start writing?
The eighth grade.

I'd always been an imaginative kid. I saw "Star Wars" and got into science fiction and fantasy. I wanted to see and read everything I could. One of the books I read was "Asimov on Science Fiction." That book showed me that there was a way to take my imagination and put it to use: I could be a writer.

I started writing in junior high. I wrote mostly fan fiction through and after high school, then in the late 1980s I began writing only in my own worlds. I sold my first short story in 1990, and I've been published (or publishing) ever since.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yep. A "Star Trek" fan fiction short story. It wasn't good. I doubt it was even so-so. Thankfully, the only copy was lost in the 1991 Andover tornado.

I hope I've gotten better since then.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Robert Collins online


Where to buy in print


Books

Bear at the Door
Series: Frigate Victory, Book 4. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 56,040. Language: English. Published: May 29, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General, Fiction » Science fiction » Military
Captain Jason Ayers returns in this novel-length adventure. The Grazhochi, the elder race in the galaxy, have invited the younger races to come to their world to learn about each other and to build peace. This comes as the militaristic Felith are cracking down on members of their race who protest their dictatorial rule. Captain Ayers has to use all his skills to cope with the BEAR AT THE DOOR.
The Defender: The Staff of the Throne
Series: The Defender, Book 7. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 27,860. Language: English. Published: May 1, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
“The Defender” has been summoned to meet the King. Allan’s wife Nancy, “The Moon Spirit,” follows him to Crown’s Hold. Allan not only meets the King, but his daughter, Princess Elspeth. Elspeth, concerned about her brother, gives them a mission: find the long-lost "Staff of the Throne," so it can be used to determine if her brother should become King.
The War Scam
Series: The Jake Bonner 'verse, Book 5. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 34,590. Language: English. Published: March 31, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera
Jake Bonner, the hero of Expert Assistance, is back! The richest men in known space are gathering together, just as several colony worlds are creating an interstellar alliance. Something’s up, and Jake’s asked to find out what that is. He calls in favors from his friends from past adventures to get to the bottom of the scheme.
The Defender: The Curse of Ironwood
Series: The Defender, Book 6. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 14,200. Language: English. Published: March 1, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
Allan and Nancy, the "Defender" and the "Moon Spirit," go to the dukedoms of Stonebridge and Ironwood, which are suffering under a few years of poor harvests. Allan’s knowledge of magic leads him to discover dark magic at work in the ground around Ironwood. Can they uncover the truth about this dark magic?
Lisa's Discoveries
Series: Lisa Herbert, Book 5. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 47,750. Language: English. Published: February 1, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General
Another year brings another handful of planets for Lisa to visit, as her struggle to rebuild society generations after the “Savage Rain” continues. These journeys won’t be like any other Lisa and her friends have taken. One world was devastated by a mysterious disaster in the past. On another world, an ancient machine is still running. Past that second world? Earth...
The Defender: Red Raymond
Series: The Defender, Book 5. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 16,020. Language: English. Published: January 2, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
News from elsewhere has caught the attention of Allan and Nancy, “The Defender” and “The Moon Spirit,” not long after their adventure in Green Hills. A mysterious outlaw known as “Red Raymond” is robbing travelers on the road. Rumors hint that Red Raymond knows magic. Can they stop Red Raymond? Should they?
Lisa's Truths
Series: Lisa Herbert, Book 4. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 47,490. Language: English. Published: November 30, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General
A new year sees Lisa Herbert visiting new worlds as part of her effort to rebuild what was lost during the “Savage Rain.” This time around Lisa has to deal with old grudges and new concerns. How will Lisa and her friends overcome these new obstacles? What are the truths that Lisa lives by, and how will those truths help her cause?
The Defender: Green Hills
Series: The Defender, Book 4. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 15,330. Language: English. Published: November 1, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
An announcement has caught the attention of Allan and Nancy, “The Defender” and “The Moon Spirit.” Folk have been warned against venturing out after dark in the dukedom of Green Hills. Rumor is that gangs of criminals are fighting each other. Can the Defender and the Moon Spirit restore order to Green Hills?
Lisa's Adventures
Series: Lisa Herbert, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 40,510. Language: English. Published: September 30, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Science fiction » General
This collection assembles 6 short stories featuring Lisa Herbert, the title character of the novels Lisa’s Way and Lisa’s War. The first 4 stories take place between the novels; the other 2 take place after the events of Lisa’s War. These stories see Lisa going to new worlds and taking on new responsibilities as she helps rebuild interstellar society.
The Defender: Oak Falls
Series: The Defender, Book 3. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 22,920. Language: English. Published: August 31, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
It’s a new year, and Allan must continue his work as the masked mage known as “The Defender.” A man in the city of Oak Falls has been killed. The guards dashed to the home of the victim, and saw a man run from them. They chased him for a short distance, then he stopped, pulled up the hood of his cloak, and vanished. Could it be another mage?
Heroes
Series: The Blue Pistol, Book 6. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 50,130. Language: English. Published: July 31, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
The Blue Pistol has been fighting to end slavery in the Settled Domains for years now. When the brother of an ally falls ill, the Blue Pistol sees that slavery isn’t the only problem he faces. “Ignorance is the problem.” It’s time for the Blue Pistol’s allies to show their superior minds, instead of their superior weapons. Can they rise to the challenge?
The Defender: Stoneford
Series: The Defender, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 24,290. Language: English. Published: July 3, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
Allan has moved to the dukedom of Stoneford to continue his work as the masked mage known as “The Defender.” He learns that a man named Malloria has become an advisor to Lord Jason by claiming he can see the future. One of this Malloria’s predications was that doom would befall Lord Jason’s youngest son Kenneth. A few weeks later, Kenneth died of sickness. Who is this mysterious Malloria?
Above Average Jake
Series: The Jake Bonner 'verse, Book 4. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 52,980. Language: English. Published: May 30, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera
This collection contains nine short stories featuring Jake Bonner, the hero of Expert Assistance, Haven, and Janitorial Assistance. Jake has to use his wits, his cool ship, and his knowledge of pop culture to solve the problems in these stories. Can he survive such a mad galaxy?
The Defender: Elderwood
Series: The Defender, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 30,780. Language: English. Published: May 2, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General, Fiction » Adventure » Action
Allan flees Elderwood City because he killed the rich man who murdered his sister. He hides in the ruins of an ancient castle. He discovers the castle was the stronghold of one the legendary mages of yore. Allan learns that the magic never went away, only diminished due to overuse. He has the gift of using magic to cast spells. But what should he do with his new-found skill?
The Convention
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 22,250. Language: English. Published: March 28, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Coming of age, Fiction » Science fiction » General
David Chalmers is attending Mo-Kan 2, a science fiction convention in Kansas City. He’s there because a national Doctor Who group has big plans for the future. During the con he meets fellow fan Lila Woodson and the members of another fan group, the Space Rats. Will this convention alter David’s future? Will Lila win the costume contest? Should we be afraid of Doctor Who: The Wrath of Kroll?
Spies
Series: The Blue Pistol, Book 5. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 54,900. Language: English. Published: March 3, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
The Blue Pistol is certain that the Slavers Guild will expect more attacks in his effort to end slavery in the Settled Domains. To that end, he decides to catch the Guild off-guard. “We’ll give them a year of calm, then hit them hard.” How hard will the Blue Pistol’s blows be? When will his war against slavery end?
The Frigate Victory Collection, Volume 3: Seven Under Dispute
Series: Frigate Victory, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 30,290. Language: English. Published: February 1, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Science fiction » Military
Captain Jason Ayers and his crew return in this new “Frigate Victory” collection. Ayers’ crew has to deal with new problems, including settling a dispute between two alien races. Both races claim seven planets lying on their border. The question Ayers and his friends have to answer is this: what’s in the best interests of those living on the “Seven Under Dispute?”
Lisa's War
Series: Lisa Herbert, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 62,540. Language: English. Published: January 16, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
It’s been two years since Lisa first left her home planet to help reconnect people generations after the Savage Rain. A new year finds her visiting a world where no humans are living, and another where women rule due to their fear of raiders from a planet known only as “Barbaree.” Will Lisa be able to defeat these raiders, while showing that brains are better than brawn?
Change Magic
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 28,840. Language: English. Published: December 16, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
What happens when a young wizard decides that his society can no longer endure the cruel commands of petty noblemen? Can he and his friends use magic, and their wits, to improve life in their realm? This collection tells of the extraordinary path taken by Oliver of Plimoth and his three friends as they attempt to overturn centuries of corruption and indifference.
Trent Tinker, Magic Man
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 39,140. Language: English. Published: November 12, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban
Trent is a young man in search of a path. He’s learned to cast spells, but hasn’t enough coins to start his own shop. One day his father asks him to help light the city’s streets to find a criminal. That work starts Trent on the journey of a lifetime. The short stories in this collection take Trent from a minor dukedom to the edge of space. How can you do that with magic? Read and find out...
Monitor
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 72,910. Language: English. Published: October 15, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
A woman scientist travels back in time. A TV preacher warns of the “mutant danger.” A teenager’s training to be a mutant hero. A mutant villain with ambition. How are these four people connected to a mysterious hero known as the Monitor? Can the future be changed? Can a person be changed trying to do so?
Bombs
Series: The Blue Pistol, Book 4. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 44,780. Language: English. Published: September 17, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
Bart Cochran wants to shift the war of the Blue Pistol against the Slavers Guild in the new year. One scheme will involve convincing a Guild Master that the rivalry between the Dukedoms of Hilltown and Low Falls is on the verge of erupting into war. The other is to have bombs, disguised as letter boxes, sent to every Duke in the Settled Domains. What happens when these schemes explode?
Haven
Series: The Jake Bonner 'verse, Book 3. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 14,520. Language: English. Published: August 9, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
Jake Bonner’s been hired by one of the richest men in the galaxy. This real-estate mogul wants to acquire Haven, a once-famed recreational planet. Haven was abandoned when the robots that served the visitors rebelled. Are the robots still there? Jake’s job is to find out, and smooth the way for this grand acquisition. Of course, no job is that easy. Will Haven be safe, or a Hell of a job?
No Easy Futures
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 25,640. Language: English. Published: June 16, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
This is a collection of stories that will make you think about yourself and the choices you make. There are few simple solutions to the problems raised in these pieces. Still, the characters try to overcome the best they can.
Rebels
Series: The Blue Pistol, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 54,950. Language: English. Published: May 29, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
The Blue Pistol and his allies have freed a few dukedoms in the Settled Domains from the power of the Slavers Guild. Those gains must be protected, and more slaves must be freed. Two new dukedoms will be targeted: one will see an attempt at rebellion; the other, an attack by lies and hard truths.
The Magical Cases of Gwen Conner
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 28,820. Language: English. Published: April 5, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
Gwen Conner solves mysteries in a land where magic is used to create telephones, dictation machines, and streetcars. In this collection she has to deal with sleazy journalists, corrupt politicians, and a scheme to rob a payroll delivery.
The Frigate Victory Collection, Volume 2: Pirates & Diplomats
Series: Frigate Victory, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 34,900. Language: English. Published: March 14, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera
Major Anita Duncan learns too late of the assassination of the President of Extra-Solar Alliance. She has to turn to Captain Jason Ayers of the Terran Federal Republic for help. Duncan and Ayers forge an alliance of humans and aliens to deal with the threat posed by the coup in the ESA. What will this struggle mean for the future of the galaxy?
Nobles
Series: The Blue Pistol, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 44,970. Language: English. Published: February 26, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
“We must have allies in the Domains,” Cassia says to Bart. That means convincing members of the nobility that the Slavers Guild cannot be trusted, and the notorious Blue Pistol is no threat to their rule. That means kidnapping the daughter of one Duke, but sending a merchant and a wizard to help another Duke. Will these nobles heed the Blue Pistol's message of freedom?
Heroes Eat Well
Series: The Jake Bonner 'verse, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 11,260. Language: English. Published: February 3, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera
Jake Bonner returns! After the events of EXPERT ASSISTANCE, Jake is comfortable at last. He’s also bored, but that comes to a quick end when he stumble across a damaged starship, a woman hiding out from those who attacked the ship, and her mysterious red box. What is she hiding in the box? What does food have to do with her plight?
The Opposite of Absolute
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 56,050. Language: English. Published: December 3, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
John Ewert is one of a handful of survivors of a mysterious plague that leaves those survivors with magical powers. One group gathers around a man named Gabe, believing The End Times are at hand. Others follow a woman named Lucy, who tells them they’re going to win the final battle of the haves against the have-nots. John wonders, “Is the apocalypse, or just an incredible simulation?”
The Trail to Better Days
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 9,360. Language: English. Published: November 26, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
One day Will Beck says to his patron, “I’m under siege on two fronts. My trading business has to pay duties to bring goods here, and I have pay more for plows for my estate.” Beck has an idea: go west over the plains, and establish a direct trade route to the dwarves and their prized metal goods. Will that solve Beck's problems? Will it do more?
Cassia
Series: The Blue Pistol, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 62,120. Language: English. Published: November 1, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
A young woman named Cassia, journeyman in the Slavers’ Guild of the Settled Domains, is tasked to capture a mysterious outlaw named The Blue Pistol. Her encounter with him will shatter her life and subject her to physical and emotional agony. But in understanding his battle and her past, Cassia will seek to overcome her pain and prove that she can be of value to those who are willing accept her.
A Somber Tale
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 15,680. Language: English. Published: November 1, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
Four old friends, former officers in the army of their kingdom, gather one night. One them, looking haunted by his past, tells them of his meeting with a legendary warrior on the vast plains, his encounters with the Lizard Men, and what he knows of the powerstones that fuel magic.
The Fantastic Cases of Gwen Conner
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 44,210. Language: English. Published: September 2, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
Gwen Conner’s world isn’t your typical fantasy setting. She solves mysteries in a land where magic is used to create telephones, dictation machines, and streetcars. It’s also a world of scheming criminals, cheating spouses, and charming con artists. This collection contains nine Gwen Conner stories, plus three more set in her world.
The Valley Springs Resort
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 18,090. Language: English. Published: July 10, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General
The Valley Springs Resort is a place on a distant world where visitors can relax and have a good time. You might not think such a place has much of a story. You’d be wrong, which is why you need to go there. From its founding by a lovable eccentric to its sad-yet-funny end, this novella tells the tale of the Valley Springs Resort.
Better Tomorrows: A Speculative Fiction Collection
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 34,080. Language: English. Published: June 26, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
Here’s a collection of ten science fiction and fantasy stories with an optimistic streak. These stories, all by author Robert Collins, have appeared in The Fifth Di and Hadrosaur Tales, among others, and have appeared as short-story ebooks
The Frigate Victory Collection, Volume 1
Series: Frigate Victory, Book 1. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 40,540. Language: English. Published: April 7, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
This collection contains 13 Frigate Victory science fiction short stories. Captain Jason Ayers and his crew deal with aliens, politicians, colonists, and pirates. There are action stories, mysteries, and dramas. The stories are in chronological order, and are together for the first time.
Lisa's Way
Series: Lisa Herbert, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 75,790. Language: English. Published: November 22, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy, Fiction » Science fiction » General
(5.00)
Lisa Herbert lives in on the planet Fairfield. The “Savage Rain” decades earlier isolated her world. A remark from her sister gets Lisa to ask, “If life was better before the ‘Savage Rain,’ why couldn’t it be better again?” Lisa travels to three planets, using wits, compassion, and a little sneakiness to rebuild civilization.
Hope For The Future: Three Science Fiction Stories
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,820. Language: English. Published: November 1, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General, Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
Here are three science fiction short stories about positive change, from personal change to improving a society. They are: "The Black Flowers," "The Choice," and "A Good Reason to Drink." All three stories appeared in small-press magazines.
Dark Futures: Two Science Fiction Short Stories
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,980. Language: English. Published: October 4, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
(5.00)
"Dark Futures" contains two somber SF stories. One involves a vacation gone terribly wrong. The other is about a man hiding his past in a post-apocalyptic world. Both stories have been published previously.
The Last Medal Winner: Four Science Fiction War Stories
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,890. Language: English. Published: September 20, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Science fiction » Military
(5.00)
In this short collection are four science fiction stories about war, from an effort to get a hero his due to the use of a new technology to keep a planet free. All four stories have been previously published.
True Friends
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 47,770. Language: English. Published: August 30, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Coming of age
It’s fall, 1983. David Chalmers hangs with a group of science-fiction fans. Alison Hughes runs with the popular crowd. Events cause David and Alison to consider the meaning of friendship and how strong their bonds to their "friends" will be after high school.
The Camlan Gift
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,750. Language: English. Published: August 9, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
The Camlan Gift (short story): Young Queen Mary has been ousted from her throne by an usurper. While fleeing to safety she meets up with a strange man named Trent Wade. Wade is armed with guns the like no one has ever seen. He offers to teach her allies how to make more such guns. But will there be a price for such advances? First published in “Hadrosaur Tales,” Volume 2, 1997
Fun Tales of Fantasy and the Future
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 32,260. Language: English. Published: March 6, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
Inside this collection are tales of a spooky mansion eager to be bought; a clever antiques dealer; disappointed model railroad denizens; and a doorknob that greets your hand, literally. Thrown in at no extra charge are con-men, cranks, and college-age aliens.
Expert Assistance
Series: The Jake Bonner 'verse, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 61,960. Language: English. Published: January 29, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera
(3.50)
To get out of debt, spacer Jake Bonner takes on two odd jobs. The first, chauffeur pop star Evvie Martini on her tour; the second, helping Daniel and Clarissa Rosen overthrow their planet’s tyrannical ruler. Unfortunately for Jake, Evvie finds out about his second assignment and, hoping to advance her career, invites herself to the revolution.
Kansas 1874: Triumphs, Tragedies, and Transitions
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 66,480. Language: English. Published: January 5, 2011. Categories: Nonfiction » History » American
1874 in the Sunflower State was a time of the Wild West and of Indian attacks, but also of a rising poet and debates on temperance. It was the year the Mennonites first arrived, and when Abilene’s T. C. Henry began to promote winter wheat as a good crop for Kansas farmers. Few other years in state history show Kansas in its transition from part of the frontier to its own identity so clearly.
The Sagas of Surgard the Traveler
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 32,750. Language: English. Published: September 21, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
(5.00)
Gather ‘round, one and all, and thrill to the rediscovery of the sagas of Surgard the Northerner as he collected tales from across the known lands of man. Stand alongside the heroic and witty Surgard as he faces down foolish giants, singing dwarves, duplicitous wizards, suspicious savages, and worst of all, a monster with an attorney!

Robert Collins’s tag cloud

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