Richard began his writing journey as a freelance writer in 1984 and gained his first fiction credit serving as the lead writer for the first two issues of the Elite Comics sci-fi/fantasy series, Seadragon. In 2010, Richard retired as a sportswriter and returned to his fiction writing roots. Since then he has written several award-winning novels, two non-fiction sports books, and has appeared in over 20 anthologies including five Sherlock Holmes collections.

He has begun writing the Starquest 4th Age series, beginning with Galen's Way and Galen's Blade, space operas set in award-winning author John C. Wright's Starquest Universe.

Galen's Way by Richard Paolinelli

Millions of years in the future, humanity has been driven out of the Milky Way and now calls the Andromeda Galaxy home. Lost in their murky past are the tales of great knights that held the line against the invasion of a dark force until the rest of humanity could escape their doom. The last and greatest of these knights was Galen Underwood.

Long after that heroic stand, a mercenary by the name of Galen Dwyn has been hired to rescue a kidnapped princess. Enticed by a healthy down payment and a chance to settle an old score, Galen accepts the job, only to find out it's a lot more than he bargained for. Soon Galen finds himself weaving and dodging through a web of political intrigue as the very forces that chase him have set in motion plans that will throw the galactic alliance into civil war. To his surprise, he also finds that the rescued princess might not be quite the spoiled brat he rescued from the clutches of her keeper. Accompanied by the princess, his former mentor, and a snarky AI, Galen sets out to find a way to outsmart entire kingdoms, keep the princess alive, and avert the deaths of millions.

Of course, he'll also learn the reasons behind his namesake's chosen path, as he realizes that the only way to win is Galen's way.



  • "Wow! Heroic Fiction is not dead! Characters with beginnings both humble and great, that develop in believable ways and actually move the plot forward rather than simply being cardboard cutouts witnessing events. Ideas and ideals honorable and grand, a bold sweeping ride that is hard to put down and will leave you hungry for more. We will mention him among the greats like Heinlein, Asimov, Tolkien and Correia, if this grand vision of the future is completed as well as it has started."

    – Reader review




Let it be known to you that it is the Fourth Age of the recorded history of the Andromeda galaxy. Millions of years have come and gone since the last light in the old Milky Way galaxy winked out. There was a time long ago when the astronomers of the old races, the Ceti, the Amaurot, the Iss and the Hibagons in the Andromeda galaxy gazed at that distant spiral web of stars and dust in their telescopes. They looked and wondered if any intelligent life similar to their own lived there.

Now, they can do so no longer.

Tucked away in a far corner of the Andromeda galaxy, undiscovered yet by any other race, the Hominids live and die as all creatures do. As the centuries pass, the collective memory of the Hominids fade away.

Some recall the old legends of an original home world in that now dead galaxy. Depending on the storyteller that imaginary world was called Earth while others call it Eden. No matter the name, they do agree on one vital point: It was a paradise. It had been peopled by a race that had ascended to such glorious heights that they made perfection seem like a tarnished pot discarded into the refuse dump by comparison.

Then came the Dark Evil, they lament, as their story takes an ominous turn. This dark force that roamed the universe, an ever-dying force that devoured every star, every planet that it came into contact with. Wherever this force passed, it left no life behind to tell its story, or to raise an alarm to warn the next victim.

In the chaotic final years, so the story goes, two forces arose to oppose the darkness. One, its name still unknown to this day, gathered up the inhabitants of the surviving worlds and bore them here to safety in Andromeda. The second formed a line in the space between the stars and held the darkness at bay just long enough for the migration to be completed.

These were the Rangers, the Galactic Knights of the Milky Way. They were sworn to uphold justice and to battle evil wherever they may encounter it. "Might for Right", a way of life born uncountable centuries before any of them had first drawn breath, was their holy credo.

By the hundreds of thousands, these brave men and women held that line. Led by the greatest Ranger of them all, Galen Underwood , who stood bravest and tallest of them all at the forefront of that line and refused to yield even one inch of space to the dark force.

Wave after wave of Rangers fell. Wave after wave of Rangers rising to take their place just as quickly until only one Ranger remained. Galen Underwood died spitting challenge as he charged alone at the darkness.

The precious time the Rangers had bought was enough. By the time the evil force had reached the furthest outposts of humanity in the Milky Way, its planets no longer held any form of life upon their respective surfaces. Every man, women, child and living creature had all been carried away to safety.

Now, in this Fourth Age, many believe these stories of the Dark Force, the Rangers and their heroic stand and the great migration to Andromeda are nothing more than a myth. They look into the night sky where this Murky Way, as it is now called, is supposed to be and see nothing but the cold black of space. That galaxy, and the supposed lost birth world of the Hominids are nothing more to them than bedtime stories told to frighten recalcitrant children.

"Behave," they are told. "Or the Dark Force will eat you like it did the Murky Way!"

But a few actually remember, and they believe the stories. They believe them and they pass them on to those who are willing to listen.

Because, they say, should that darkness ever again find the descendants of the Murky Way, there should be those ready to stand against it once more. The Andromeda galaxy will need sons and daughters willing to become a new breed of Rangers. To be the Knights of the Andromeda Galaxy, ready to battle the darkness that lay beyond the stars. And, until that day, be ready to battle the darkness that lay within the hearts of any given Hominid male or female.

And to do so in the old way.

Galen's Way.