An anthology of me, two books by friends.
Edited by James Palmer and Jim Beard, BETRAYAL ON MONSTER EARTH (cover by Eric Johns, rights to current holder) is the sequel to Monster Earth in which Everything Changes due to a)science discovering the gene which creates monsters and b)an apocalyptic cult using the gene to create new, more terrifying monsters in the hopes of plunging the world into chaos before a monstrous god-thing arrives from the stars. In addition to my story, we have one about a gigantic parakeet, an introduction to Israel’s monster and a corporation realizing that with the “Unagi” gene, businesses can own monsters as well as governments. I look forward to seeing where the next volume goes (I’m presuming it’s the Earth kaijin vs. the terror from beyond).
PATRIOTS AND TYRANTS: Grandchildren of Liberty Book One by D.G. Bagwell (a member of my writing group) is easiest for me to review by splitting in two. On the one hand, we have the straight, rather Heinleinesque adventure plot: a mix of scientists and military men fleeing a dystopian US govenrment have founded a New America on the parallel world of Segundus, from which they’re now beginning to take the fight to the government. This part works well (though I admit it’s the kind of SF I don’t usually read) but it’s also a platform for David to talk politics (which is never a plus with me), and his politics consists of right-wing cliches. The UN is destroying American sovereignty. The EPA is destroying America’s economy. Failing to enforce our borders has made us vulnerable to terrorists and drug cartels. The corrupt American president has abandoned Israel, which stands alone against the onrushing Islamic hordes of the Caliphate. If you can get past the politics or agree with them, this could be a good read; if not, you’ve been warned (cover by Jason Lee, all rights with current holder)
Last but definitely not least, we have TAGGED FOR DEATH by my friend Sherry Harris, which came out late last year and just snagged an Agatha Award nomination for Best First Novel (the award goes to traditional mysteries in the Christie mold—no explicit sex, no graphic violence). The protagonist, Sarah Winston, is living in a New England town, recovering from a divorce (to the town police chief, which has caused its own problems) when she discovers a bundle of clothes she picked up at a garage sale (“tag sale” in New England parlance) includes bloodstained clothes belonging to her husband and his lover … While I’m not much of a fan of modern cozies (amateur detective stories) I did enjoy this. It’s also interesting as a specfic writer to watch the worldbuilding as Sherry fleshes out the details of town life (mercifully not too many colorful characters), military life (the Winstons are ex-military and there’s a big base near the town) and garage sales. She does it well too, without excess infodumping. Congrats, Sherry and good luck with the award.
(Cover art uncredited, all rights to current holder)