Brad C. Anderson lives with his wife and puppy in Vancouver, Canada. He teaches undergraduate business courses at a local university and researches organizational wisdom in blithe defiance of the fact most people do not think you can put those two words in the same sentence without irony. Previously, he worked in the biotech sector where he made drugs for a living (legally!).

His stories have appeared in a variety of publications. His short story, Naïve Gods, was longlisted for a 2017 Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic. It was published in the anthology Lazarus Risen, which was itself nominated for an Aurora Award. You can find him at

Duatero by Brad C. Anderson

Majstro Falchilo Kredo has devoted his life to protecting the abandoned earth colony of Duatero from Malamiko, the indigenous ecosystem that makes their crops fail and whose contamination turns humans into mindless monsters. But Malimiko is changing, becoming more dangerous, more aware, even as the ancient technology they use to combat it fails piece by precious piece. Kredo and his fellow soldiers must risk everything or see all they hold precious wiped away and forgotten. Kredo is prepared to sacrifice himself—and anyone around him—to do his duty. But what if the price demanded is even higher?



  • "Combines power armoured soldiers from the pages of sci-fi pulps, a world as intriguing yet bleak as Mid-World from Stephen King's Dark Tower, and an evil as terrifying and paranoia inducing as John Carpenter's The Thing. A descent into the darkness of a failing world and the brutal zealotry of its defenders."

    – Matt Moore, Aurora-winning author of It’s Not the End and Other Lies
  • "Brad C. Anderson delivers a darkly compelling tale of the battle between reason and tradition in a meticulously evoked alien world where abandoned human inhabitants battle for survival on a planet that does not want them."

    – Liz Westbrook-Trenholm, Aurora Award winning writer
  • "An intense and realistic envisioning of generational survival on an alien planet, complete with cultural strife, high stakes, engaging characters, and fight-for-your-life action. Highly recommended!"

    – Adria Laycraft, author of Jumpship Hope
  • "Seven Samarai meets Heart of Darkness in Duatero. A well crafted action/survival tale that also offers an insightful exploration of humanity and honour in the face of apocalyptic ecological challenges. Although I rarely read science fiction, this page-turner grabbed me on page one and never let go."

    – Goodreads 5 star review



Talia grew up in the Founder city of Xuanhe, and her birthright was the ability to cuss with the intense depravity of a drunken longshoreman. But she and I are falchilo, scythes of the Founders, and our words should be worthy of our ancestors, or so I believed. It took years, but I had rid her of the blue streak that could fire from her mouth like a sling bullet.


Kind of. Leaning in close to her as we walked, I said, "We have future falchilo to mold." Behind us, the squad of young men and women still wearing the white armband of initiates marched in formation. "Mind your language."

"Sorry, Kredo," she said. "But ..." She pointed down a field of stubble on our left under the gray sky.

Narrowing my eyes, I came to a stop, bringing the entire company behind me to a halt, the squelching of their feet in mud falling silent and giving way to the patter of rain. Far off, a dark figure surrounded by a hazy black cloud walked through the field. Talia had good eyes. Even when I was her age, I don't think I had eyes as good as hers.

The falchilo initiates following me had that look of youthful enthusiasm. Maybe some kid stuck on the farm with a head full of dreams of adventure might be awestruck at their appearance. They held falchilo weapons, their rods belted at the waist, shield packs attached to the left forearm, and they walked in tight, crisp formation. Each of them wore a kiraso, the black, mechanized body armor of the falchilo, each suit brought to Duatero by the Founders over two millennia ago and painstakingly maintained generation after generation. In this muddy, gray morning, they stood, a portrait of dark, avenging spirits. To some kid stuck on the farm, that is.

But they weren't falchilo, not yet. Their only challenges to date had been drills by day and studying by night, their only enemy the judging glare of instructors and their exacting examinations. This was their final test, their first live field experience, and somehow I had offended the Founders' spirits enough to be saddled with the job of leading them. I had only met them this morning, didn't know one of them by name. They arrived with a message that they were the only support the Tero Kreinto in Aaronsburg could supply to help Talia and me in our hunt.

Tiel estu, as they say. So be it.

Looking at the band of initiates, I asked, "Is there any one of you who can tell me why my second seems to think this is an occasion worth fouling the language the Founders gave us?" They avoided my gaze in awkward silence. Typical.

One of them, a young woman, green eyes, short brown hair plastered to her face by rain, raised her hand. "You," I said, nodding at her. "Tell me."

"That," she said, pointing to the figure still walking far away across the field, "is a dark wanderer, Majstro Falchilo." Tension washed across the initiates as they strained to see through the rain into the distance, confirming her assessment, and a couple more swears burbled forth that I glared into silence. "This morning you told us we were hunting a stage three nest," she said. "A dark wanderer means it's advanced to stage four."

She had eyes as sharp as Talia's. "What's your name?" I asked.

"Esperanta Sagido."

My head bobbed back as the name struck me. It was familiar. Where had I heard it? "Esperanta. The name means hope in the tongue of the Classic Kronoj." No, that wasn't it.

"And Kredo means belief," she said, lowering her head.

Talia and I exchanged a glance, and she moved in close to speak privately with me. "Dead languages aside, the girl's right, Kredo. The nest's gone stage four. I'd maybe—maybe—trust these kids to change their diapers, but burning a stage four nest?"

"The floods'll be swamping the roads any day now. It'll be weeks before reinforcements arrive. If we don't cleanse it now, we'll lose this entire township, maybe more."

I remembered my first battle with a dark wanderer. I was terrified, though I'd never whisper a hint of that to Talia. But the terror of seeing every childhood horror story I'd ever heard made flesh and running wildly towards me was undeniable. I remembered Mihaelo yelling us into formation, and his second, Aprila, beside me. "Shield up, young buck," she'd said. "Do what you're told, when you're told, and you'll get through." She had been right. Frightful as they are, dark wanderers are mindless beasts that crash and thrash through their prey, spreading contamination with each scratch, and with every thorn fired from between its scales that even grazes the flesh of its target. Stay calm, think, keep your shield up, and look for your opening to hit them with the rod—that's how you beat them.