a rock operatic science fantasy saga by Matthew Graybosch


Starbreaker started out as a doorstopper novel that I started writing in 1996 and finished in 2009...


This is the work of the twenty-something edgelord I used to be, and I will probably regret sharing it.

Every author has a "trunk novel", usually their first novel. It’s a novel that they keep well away from the light of day because it’s mostly crap. Even if it’s reasonably well-written and isn’t riddled with bad grammar and typos, it’s probably got a lame plot, janky pacing, wooden dialogue, characters made mainly of cardboard, or is just full of weapons-grade cringe.

Starbreaker is all of that and more. There’s a lot of material in there that I wouldn’t write today, knowing what I know now. If it were proper fanfic, a story that used an existing setting and characters, the closest to praise most readers might offer is, "At least it isn’t My Immortal."

Yes, it’s that bad. I’m going to share it anyway because I used it as the basis of better novels: Without Bloodshed and Silent Clarion and it might be worth reading for a glimpse of where I hoped to go with the story.

I’m also sharing it because I hope it might help young writers find the confidence to share their own stories, or help them write a better first novel than I managed. Seriously: learn from my mistakes. I made enough of them.

Most of all, I’m sharing it because—as cringeworthy as it might be—I had a metric shitload of fun writing it and it’s the novel that brought me and my wife Catherine together.

And if it bores or offends you, at least I warned you up front.