Jack Silkstone

I won't lie, I'm just like every other guy on the planet. I love action movies, first person shooters, fast cars, technology, guns, cool kit and of course beautiful women. I grew up with Dirk Pitt, Jack Ryan, Jason Bourne, Doom, Wolfenstein, Commando Comics, James Bond, Rambo, The Predator and more. As a young man I have embraced Counter Strike, Half-life, The Bourne Series, Top Gear, Call of Duty the list goes on and on. Coupled with my military experience this seething mass of adrenalin-fueled testosterone has evolved into PRIMAL. The PRIMAL concept was born in Kandahar, Afghanistan where I had the pleasure of working with some of the world's finest Special Forces. UK SBS, US Green Berets, SEALs, Delta as well as Canadian JTF2 and Australian SAS and Commandos. Immersed in a world of targeting Taliban Commanders and other High Value Targets I constantly found myself imagining what these guys could achieve without the caveats of Government control. If they could wage unconstrained warfare against the world's worst. So as I interacted with these amazing warriors I started to build a concept, a concept that would evolve into PRIMAL.

Sep 012013
 
Bishop

BISHOP – Small Brown and Lethal (to food)

So I’ve got  a dog. Not some savage fanged attack beast but a small brown cross who’s good company when I’m writing. I live in apartment so he’s about as rugged as I’m allowed to have. Oh and his name’s Bishop, that’s another story. Anyway my girlfriend, lets call her Supreme Dictator Home Front (SDHF), tells me that it’s Bishop’s birthday when we’re in New York. ‘Cool,’ I respond. ‘Yes it’s his 21st,’ she continues. ‘It’s an important day we need to have a party.’  At this point I stop what I am doing and look at her with a raised eyebrow, ‘Babe (I don’t call her SDHF to her face) he’s a dog!’ There is a pause as my comment is processed, considered and subsequently discarded. ‘I’ve written you a list.’

So here I am stuffing dog treats in to brown paper bags for all of Bishop’s buddies and preparing to bake cupcakes for his human friends… How the hell did I go from being a soldier to this? What the f@ck has happened to my manhood?

11cd_tactical_bbq_apron_callouts_flat

Does this apron make cupcake cooking manly?

I’ve come to the realisation that the real world ‘the one the SDHF lives in’ is nothing like the world I’ve come from. In this crazy world dogs have birthday parties and men – well we do as we’re told. Why? Because we’re building collateral. Because by cooking these cupcakes and prepping these party bags I’m far more likely to get approval for a crazy arse adventure (West Virginia Rapids) or a new toy (Mountain Bike). This line of operation is one hundred percent focused on diplomacy. Oh and if it means Bishop, my writing buddy, has a great time then I guess it’s worth it.

Anyway I’ve got to finish these cupcakes, hang up my apron and get stuck in to writing the next PRIMAL adventure.

Aug 022013
 

PRIMAZONSo it’s finally happened. I’ve sold my soul to the devil and signed PRIMAL up to a publishing house. I might add that the publishing house is Amazon Publishing and not some antiquated team of literatertards who don’t get what I write or why.

Why did I do it and what does it mean? Well for starters it means I can now write full time, f@ck yeah! That means more PRIMAL more often. It also means that there will be hard copies and audiobooks available, lots of fans have been asking for both. In the short term it has delayed the release of PRIMAL Fury but in the long term it’s going to be HUGE.

Does this mean that I will compromise when it comes to keeping PRIMAL grittier than one of Chuck Norris’ turds? Hell no! The guys at Amazon Publishing are on team with letting me run things as I always have. What they bring to the party is distribution and the skills to turn out an even better final product. The entire PRIMAL series will be relaunched in December including a new ‘extended’ PRIMAL Origin that includes PRIMAL’s first mission. The relaunch will be closely followed by PRIMAL Fury which will be the first book launched by Amazon Publishing.

Until that time you can still buy all three of the current ‘limited edition’ indie versions here.

I want to finish this entry by passing on my heartfelt thanks to all the PRIMAL fans that have made this ‘huge’ move possible. You took a chance on an unknown author and it’s you guys who have made PRIMAL what it is. I write because you guys read! I also want to thank Amazon for the opportunity to work with a forward thinking and flexible organisation, they truly are the SOF of the publishing world. Lastly I want to thank my agent Scott Miller for hooking it all up, much appreciated bro.

Now I’ve got to get back to mapping out PRIMAL Mirza.

JS

 

 

Mar 152013
 

In Africa there’s a war being waged. It’s not a part of the War on Terror, it’s not even a counter insurgency or police action. Nope, nothing that sexy. It is however a day to day struggle to save something that’s on the cusp of total annihilation. I’m talking about the war to save the last of Africa’s Black Rhinos.

Last year over six hundred of these majestic animals were killed by poachers and their horns sold as ground up powder in Asia. The big question is how do we stop this? How do we protect the rhinos from extinction?

Rhino Wars, a TV documentary on Animal Planet, thinks they have the answer. Insert a team of four veteran SOF operators into Africa, deck them out in multi-cams, gun them up with an arsenal of small arms, give them an armored vehicle and turn them loose on the unsuspecting poachers. Interesting idea, but is it going to work?

Former SOF guys helping protect rhinos is not a new phenomena. Last year I was lucky enough to chat with Damien Mander, a former Aussie SF operator, who’s been working to save the rhinos since 2009. Unlike the guys in Rhino Wars Damien isn’t so much about hunting poachers. He’s training and equipping park rangers, educating locals and spreading awareness. You can check out Damien’s work here. I particularly like the fact he’s looking in to using drones (UAVs) to keep watch over our lumbering friends.

Anyway this Rhino Wars show got me thinking. If I had the finance to wage a war to protect rhinos how would I go about it and what role would SOF play? Here’s what I’d do:

1. Deploy a team of operators experienced in Foreign Internal Defense (FID) to train and equip local park rangers. I’d probably run with South African Recce Commandos for this. Not because they’re any better than US SOF, more that they know the lingo and the terrain.

2. Get the FID team to develop a Human Intelligence (HUMINT) network to gather intel on the poachers. They’d have to cover off on the counter-intelligence piece as some of the poachers would have ties with the rangers.

3. Support the whole operation with logistics and intelligence. I’d like to see some UAVs up top monitoring poacher movements. Civilian technology already exists for the UAVs to download imagery from remote cameras and provide an integrated surveillance network.

4. Target the demand for rhino horn with a PSYOPS campaign. Using a comprehensive online and television media campaign convince Asian men that rhino horn products will make their dicks flaccid and their balls shrink. Maybe pay a platoon of Chinese hackers to spread the word on forums and email.

5. Lobby governments to lift the ban of rhino horn and create a legalized market. Most people don’t know it but rhino horn can be harvested. Legalize it and suddenly farmers have a valuable commodity that they need to protect and manage.

So is Rhino Wars just pseudo-documentary entertainment or do former SOF operators have a role to play in the war to protect rhinos?

JS

Jan 262013
 

For those of you keeping track on Twitter you’ll know I was lucky enough to venture over to Vegas last week to attend SHOT Show. In between titty clubs, time on the range, casinos, nightclubs and driving the porcelain bus I was able to get out and about and find some cool gear amongst the veritable jungle of tactical nylon, AR15s, promo-chicks and free pens. Here’s my take on the coolest swag at SHOT Show 2013.

Saneh's body armor

I’m all about asset protection and if it’s one thing the PRIMAL team definitely needs to protect it’s Saneh’s assets. This female-specific soft armor is available in a range of sizes and part of the proceeds of each sale go to support research into breast cancer, protecting puppies in more ways than one.

SIG Sauer MPX

I saw more AR15 variants than any other weapon at the show.  The fuckers jumped out at me from every direction, by the time I was done I never wanted to see another black gun. But then this little bad boy caught my eye. The Sig Sauer MPX is a new SMG that rocks an AR15 style lower receiver for less training time. Chambered in pretty much anything you want it can even be tooled out with an integrally suppressed barrel…sweet.

MAGPUL Van

Zombies were soooo 2012. All except for this that is. Where I’m from these things are known for shagging and surfing. Trust MAGPUL to throw a mini gun on it and turn an icon of sixties flower power into a death wielding zombie-slaying death bus.

 

Spypoint remote cameras

As far as tech goes I was really impressed by the gadgets at the Spypoint booth. Their latest remote cameras feature full-motion video, audio capture, night capability, and connectivity via wifi and 3G networks. These little bad boys are designed to monitor game trails and the like but imagine what Mitch could do with them; monitor infiltration routes, provide early warning, etc. Rig ‘em up to some elec dets and you could lay a sophisticated ambush with just an iPad and a handful of claymores. Boom!

 

OPSCORE Chariot at the Crye Precision Party

Probably the coolest thing at shotshow 2013 was the Crye Precision party. A whole bunch of tactical companies harnessed their chariots up to minibikes and raced around the track whilst a hundred or so lunatics (including myself) threw rotten fruit at them. Now that’s some serious fun. Jack Murphy put up a bit of video footage here.

 

Jan 222013
 

So recently I’ve been copping a bit of heat regarding PRIMAL Fury. Fans have been messaging, emailing, tweeting, Facebooking… I’m surprised I haven’t had a damn carrier pigeon arrive at my house. The crux of it is this, you guys want PRIMAL Fury and you want it now. I’ve got some sad news for you team, it ain’t ready. It will be ready soon but clearly that’s no good to those of you wanting to read now. So in the meantime you can check out a few of my buddies who have new books out that are ready to go. These guys are independent, ex-military and pumping out some hard core action.

Jack Murphy’s latest is Target Deck. It’s high speed low drag violence. I recently caught up with Jack in Vegas and spent some time swapping stories over beers. This guy’s got his finger on the pulse.

New to the pack is Peter Nealen with Task Force Desperate. Pete was also in Vegas and he’s cut from the same mold as Jack, a great guy with a knack for story telling. TFD is the most realistic of the three and a must for military buffs.

Hank Brown’s latest Tier Zero is old school pulp fiction. Good guys killing bad guys with a tonne of gunfire and smattering of sexy ladies. What’s not to like?

So PRIMAL fans, quit your bitchen and get reading. If you’re not sure which one to read remember you can download a free sample from Amazon first.

I’m going back to PRIMAL Fury.

JS

 

 

Nov 242012
 

I’ve come to the realization that owning pants or shorts with heaps of pockets is no longer cool! Why? Because it’s turned me into a walking talking hand bag. Without knowing how it happened I’ve become a place for my girlfriend to keep her purse, phone, lip balm and a range of other crap that she ‘allegedly’ can’t do without.

Cargos or skinny jeans?

When you’re in the military you need all those pockets. You need somewhere to put a map, a compass, a notebook, a spare mag, a flashlight, a roll of tape, a multi tool, a combat tourniquet or even a packet of beef jerky and an energy drink. The pockets are endlessly useful and so is the stuff you carry. That ends when you’re back on the street.

A wallet, keys and a phone. That’s what I carry on civvy street. So why do I need all those pockets? The reality is I don’t. But given the opportunity my girlfriend will sure as shit use them. “Babe, can you carry my phone, my lip balm, my wallet, my keys, my sunglasses, my tampons, a comb, spare makeup…” the list goes on…and on. Before I know it I’m walking down the street with shorts that look like I’m trying to smuggle a Mexican family across the border.

Maybe there’s something to be said for skinny leg jeans after all.

 

Oct 042012
 

Ok so this story starts with my GF telling me she has a spare ticket to see Sleeping Beauty the ballet. At the time I was fully entrenched in a multiplayer session of Black Ops and two kills of a Huey minigun run. I looked up from the screen, gave her my most charming smile and said “Sure honey I’d love to do that.” The truth – I had no idea WTF she had just said. I was completely consumed by my hatred of wheelspinner44 who’d just ended my kill streak – mother f#cker.

Ballet? Sure babe sounds awesome! Said no man ever.

So two months later I’m dressed in a shirt and jacket and perched in something called the ‘stalls’. I looked around and noticed the joint was filled with old couples and chicks; it was then I realised I’d been sucker punched. The ballet started and at first I was pleasantly surprised. The stage was filled with women sporting legs that’d turn Liberachi straight. I was enthralled; they had power, poise, skill and most importantly, they were smoking hot. I must have had a grin on my face like the Joker because when I turned to face my girl she was giving me that one raised eyebrow look that immediately lets me know my reaction is taking me down a road of pain. “Such skill,” I mumbled as I adjusted my facial expression. Needless to say my joy was about to be thwarted!

Enter the Prince, AKA Mr Skintight. I’ve previously voiced my opinion regarding men who wear tights to train, no one wants to see your junk jiggling around, douche bags. Ballet is where the frog in a sock originated, it is the home of tight wearing junk jiggling. Don’t get me wrong the Prince was an impressive athlete. He bounced around like a Kangaroo on LSD. However, his jiggling junk significantly detracted from the performance, or so I thought. I looked across at my girlfriend and guess who was now wearing a grin like a Cheshire cat?

Ten minutes in I lean across to my girl and ask, “So when do they start talking?” She gives me one of those looks, the kind reserved for my extra special moments, “Darling, it’s a ballet there is no dialogue!” WTF? I’m at a complete loss for words, just like the production it would seem. Watching a performance without dialogue is like watching a Predator feed in Afghanistan, boring as shit! So just like in the Ghan I started to let my imagination run wild. Before I knew it the Prince had taken on the honey badger voice, particularly relevant when he was battling the witch who for some reason in my head sounded just like Oprah. Every character developed it’s own voice, the entire cohort of the Princess’s suiters became the Expendables as they pranced their way around the stage like a gaggle of homosexual conquistadors. Without gunfire, explosions and hand to hand combat, the fight sequence between the Witch’s minions and the Prince was lamer than Samsung’s defence in the Apple copyright case.

So for one night I was exposed to some classical culture, but most importantly I took away some important lessons:

1. Never agree to anything when playing Black Ops, MW3, Battlefield 3 or any other multiplayer game.

2. Ballet has no dialogue and should be watched slightly inebriated.

3. No matter how physically impressive you are, tights make you look like a douche.

JS

Aug 242012
 

Take that skinny legged douche bag!

I haven’t blogged for a little while because I’ve been working on the new PRIMAL novel, I am calling it 4 until I come up with a cool name. Today I was forced to withdraw from the PRIMAL world of action, tech, fast cars, hot women and gargantuan explosions because of one thing… skinny leg jeans. What the fuck is the go with men’s fashion today? I went to a shop looking for a pair of jeans and the retail assistant asked me if I wanted a skinny leg variant. “Pardon me,” I responded with a puzzled look on my face. “Skinny leg jeans,” she replied giving me a look like I was some sort of window licking fucktard.  “Like these.” The clothing she held up had more hope of gracing the bridge of the Death Star than getting over my thighs. “Ah, no thanks,” I responded politely. I would have preferred to punch myself in the face with a fist full of gravel than wear that heinous item. “Fair enough,” she quipped.

Seriously though, since when was ‘skinny leg jeans’ acceptable attire for a man? When did we stop wearing stock standard jeans and start wearing skinny leg? Have I missed something? Because it seems to me that the generation of young men that are following in our foot steps checked their manhood at the door and signed up to the dress like a chick club? Hell don’t get me wrong, there’s a time and a place for dressing in female attire. Ask any Royal Marine officer, every chance they get a chance they don women’s clothes get drunk and set fire to shit. But there is no room in my day to day attire for skinny leg fucking jeans.

Dudes look like ladies!

Our forefathers would take one look at skinny leg jeans and punch the wearer in the face. “How the hell are you supposed to ride a horse in that getup?” they’d ask as the accosted metrosexual updated his Facebook status with “Oh my god totes just met a cowboy lol” or some such piss. Men’s clothing used to be all about practicality, we wore jeans because they protected our legs from branches and stuff. We wore a suit because it made us look less like a meat head and more like a gentleman. There is no room in this equation for an item of clothing that makes us look like a woman.

What sort of real man could even fit into skinny leg jeans? You seriously need ankles like five year olds wrists. Nope when it comes to men’s fashion, in particular skinny leg jeans, Aerosmith said it best….. dude looks like a lady!

JS

 

Jun 292012
 

Awesome graphics in the Indie game RESET!

I wear the badge of an Indie author with pride, why? Because it shows that despite numerous set backs, disappointments, and rejections I backed myself. But I’m not the only one out there trying to forge their way in a world usually dominated by the big corporates. Plenty of other Indie artists are doing it way tougher than I am. Yeah I put a lot of time into the PRIMAL books but I haven’t had to mortgage a house to buy equipment or pay for other people’s skills. Musicians, game developers and film makers are the real heroes of Indie. They have a vision, a dream, an idea and they put it all on the line to share it with the world. That takes a set of balls that most of the big production firms simply don’t have.

Whilst perusing one of my favourite sites, Gizmag, I stumbled on a clip for some of the work that a small, two man, gaming outfit is doing. I was blown away by the graphics in the ‘RESET‘ trailer and the overall quality of their work. If you get a chance to check it out you will be seriously impressed. With this sort of talent backing their own products we are in for some serious Indie awesomeness in the next few years.

A buddy of mine has recently finished working on his own Indie action film, Contract Killers. Filmed on a shoe string budget in New Zealand, better known for Hobbits, Orcs and the All Blacks, Michael and his team have put together a pretty cool product. Gotta remember that these guys are working with a tiny fraction of Hollywood’s budget so it’s not quite a James Cameron blockbuster. I’m looking forward to working with him in the future to put together another PRIMAL short film. You can check out their work here, and there is the opportunity to help them out with a bit of cash to finish the film.

Indie film - Contract Killers

I think the most important component of the Indie community are the people willing to give Indie artists a chance. Without support and an engaged audience Indie productions are destined to fail. By virtue of the fact that you’re reading this blog I know you’re an Indie supporter. PRIMAL’s all about the little man and that’s what being Indie is all about, the little man standing up from the crowd and chasing a dream. 

This may well be my first profanity free post….. that can’t last.

JS

 

Jun 202012
 

For those not in the know the SOF community calls the recovery of personnel from hostile territory Special Recovery Operations or SRO. SRO jobs are usually conducted by a nation’s most highly trained personnel. Why? Because they involve a lot of complex parts: long range comms, isolated recon teams, sophisticated intel gathering, high-end aviation assets and highly trained door kickers. Millions of dollars of assets and the nation’s finest are all focused on this one type of very ‘special’ operation.

One of the hostages recovered by UK and US SOF.

One of the hostages recovered by UK and US SOF.

The recent recovery in Afghanistan of a bunch of UK NGO workers by UK  and US SOF has got me thinking. Do stupid fuckers really deserve to be rescued? I mean, dumb arses that venture -with no security- into areas that allow them to be captured by bad guys. The prime candidates are usually journos but NGO’s and battlefield tourists are also serial offenders. Yeah I get executing a SRO for a downed pilot, or even a kidnapped government worker, but what about the people who really don’t need to be in harms way? Are the lives of SOF operators worth risking just to keep one more self-righteous idiot in the gene pool? I know what Charles Darwin would say…

Toy figurines that are probably not suitable for conducting 'actual' SRO.

Operators will follow orders, they’ll put their lives on the line time and time again without question. They’ll argue that everyone needs to be rescued, that the kidnappers need to be found, fixed and finished. It’s a moral dilemma; put soldiers in harms way to recover some self-absorbed dick head gallivanting around in a high risk area or let him have his head hacked off on the internet. The default response is usually to bring it back to the bad guys, bang in, shoot the fuckers in the face and send a message to all potential hostage takers – you will be slotted if you try this shit! But we also need to think about the risk associated with sending men deep into hostile territory to pull someone out who’s own stupidity resulted in their capture.

Maybe it's better to let special kids hang out together?

Hopefully a few journos, NGOs and the like read this little diatribe and pause in thought. You may think you’re a bit of a hero for chasing the story or visiting the war zone but also spare a thought for the families of the men sent in to recover the retards. Don’t take risks that might end up claiming the lives of our nation’s finest.

Jack