A wizard on the run. A comedian with a family and his own starship. The galaxy isn’t ready for Mort and Chuck.

When Mordecai The Brown (a.k.a Mort) fled Earth, he thought he was just bumming a ride. But vintage comic Chuck Ramsey and his eccentric family of star nomads grew on him. An ever-moving target, Chuck’s starship, the Radio City, would be the perfect way to stay ahead of the Convocation death squads sent to hunt Mort down. And Chuck, ever the opportunist, finds no shortage of ways to make use of having access to his own personal wizard (just don’t let Mort hear you call him that).

With the stars as their home, the crew of the Radio City roam the galaxy looking to stay one gig’s work ahead of the fuel bills. And when they can’t, well… let’s just say that morals are for suckers. Chuck Ramsey may be a lot of things, but he’s no sucker. That’s one thing he and Mort have in common.

The other is a bright-eyed, quick-witted, sticky-fingered young man named Brad Ramsey—a boy who needs all the father figures in his life that he can get.

Black Ocean: Mirth & Mayhem delves into the origins of two vagabonds making their living among the stars. Mort is a wizard coming to grips with a life on the run and estrangement from the comforts and respect he had on Earth. Brad is an impressionable youth, too clever for his—or anyone’s—good. And Chuck Ramsey is the mold that Brad’s trying to break out of, which is harder than he could ever have dreamed.

Grab the individual missions

Know When to Run: Mission 1

"Let's just say I have pressing business anywhere but Earth."

Chuck Ramsey is a traveling comedian trying to turn a planetside gig on Earth into a cash cow. Of course, the cost of living on Earth is astronomical. He needs to get rich quick—or at least come out ahead—and head for cheaper pastures.

Enter Mordecai The Brown. Once the golden boy of the Convocation, Guardian of the Plundered Tomes, and the Convocation's number one hunter of dark wizards, "Mort" has found himself on the wrong end of an internal investigation. You see, he was supposed to be killing mad wizard, then confiscating and locking up dangerous books—not reading them. Certainly not stealing them and destroying them.

When Mort needs quick passage off world and off the books, he remembers a backstage meet-and-greet with funny-man who lived a nomadic existence with his family. Chuck agrees to take a passenger aboard his family ship, the Radio City, and suddenly a powerful wizard owes a favor he can never repay.

Little did either of them know the trouble that would follow.

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  • Low Flyer: Mission 2

    You wanna go where nobody knows your name.

    Chuck takes the Radio City to a little out-of-the-way planet where the locals leave outsiders alone. The Ramseys meet up with some nomad friends. And while the adults drink and catch up, the younger generation makes their own fun.

    While Brad tries to hustle his friends out of their money, Chuck forgets about interest on an old loan he only sort of repaid. As consequences swirl around both of them, an out-of-his-element wizard scurries to keep the Ramseys safe while also keeping a low profile.

    Because that's what wizards do best: keep a low profile.

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    • The Good Die Young: Mission 3

      No good life goes unpunished.

      It seemed like a safe enough gig. A week aboard a One Church missionary ship. Bland entertainment for respectable money. A place where the family could relax and let their guard down.

      Until the pirates attacked.

      Alone in alien space, the missionaries are sitting ducks. When the hijackers commandeer the vessel, Mort and the Ramseys get split up. Each has to handle their own problems, whether that's telling jokes to keep murderous aliens amused, trying to collect all the kids with at least one parent, or refraining from wrecking an entire starship with magic.

      If you take over a ship with enough people aboard, a few are bound to slip through the cracks. And one of those just might be a teenager with little enough respect for little authority and none for the pirates who've taken his family hostage.

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      • Lyin’ Guys: Mission 4

        It's not the crime, it's the coverup.

        A missionary ship hijacked by pirates. Legion of armed aliens burnt to a crisp. At the Convocation, something doesn't add up, and when the Grand Council gets word, they launch an investigation.

        Now, anyone who was aboard the missionary vessel is a suspect. There was a wizard aboard, and until the Convocation inquisitors are satisfied, any one on that ship might be the most wanted wizard in the galaxy in disguise.

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        Viva, Las Vega IX: Mission 5

        Viva, Las Vega IX cover
        When the stakes are life and death, always bet on Brown.

        Chuck's fortunes are shifting, and he lands a long-term gig performing at a casino on a core world. They're planetside long enough that Brad gets stuck attending a school. Meanwhile, Mort wanders off on his own errands. But nothing is quite what it seems.

        Brad's new school friends turn out to be rich kids, and become suckers in his plot to make cash he can conceal from his parents.

        Chuck's casino gig was a setup.

        And Mort's errands are actually a series of contract killings. He's made a deal to keep the family safe, and he's willing to do whatever it takes to keep up his end.

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        • Ventura Starway: Mission 6

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          You can buy anything you need, but the best stuff isn't for sale.

          Operating in the uninhabited, the unexplored, and the uncharted systems of the Milky Way is a permanent swap meet. An ever-changing fleet of nomads, traders, and criminals follows a central ship that acts as common ground, a place of commerce, and a hub of nomad life.

          Ventura Convoy.

          When Chuck gets bored of shopping for diapers, cereal, and used electronics and Brad stumbles into a mysterious stranger, they each come up with a plan to pull a heist and make the trip worthwhile. It doesn't take long before a simple resupply trip becomes the crime of the century.

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          • Fly Like an Ego: Mission 7

            To the victor go the spoils. Works for racing. Works for piracy.

            Brad scams his own father and gets to go summer camp for starship racing. It starts out as a delightful getaway filled with competition and catching up with an old friend. Along the way, things go haywire. Several of the racers get kidnapped. Brad and his friend have to consider a new career in order to survive.

            Meanwhile, Mort and Chuck ply their respective trades. Chuck works a gig on a retrovert planet that's right up his alley. Mort tries to hunt down a mysterious, wealthy wizard with a penchant for purchasing suspicious goods. When the pair receive a cryptic distress call, both have to decide whether to cut bait and run to the rescue.

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            • Sixteen Tomes: Available May 31

              That's the thing about unfinished business; it doesn't go away if you ignore it.

              Chuck and Mort team up to finish a job Mort had to leave undone. A dark wizard is on the loose with a head start and the entire galaxy in which to hide. Their only lead? A mystical connection that Mort doesn't want to talk about. To make matters worse, their target has an accomplice, and it's someone Mort isn't inclined to get rough with.

              On the homefront, Brad is grounded both literally and figuratively. Stranded on a retrovert planet with nothing to do, he's forced to make his own fun. And what better way to liven up a dull planet than to run a scam on the people responsible: his family.

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              • What’s next?

                Black Ocean: Mirth & Mayhem is just chugging along. Stay tuned for more adventures with Chuck, Mort, and young Brad in the coming months.

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                Looking for swag?

                Convocation hoodie

                Wish you could live in the Black Ocean world? I can't promise you'll win an argument with the universe, but you CAN wear your own wizard hoodie (complete with Convocation medallion), disguise your boring soda or beer with the Earth's Preferred can cooler, or fly the Poet Fleet Jolly Roger.