Book Review: Her Brother’s Keeper

Family in trouble, ancient mysteries, warlords, and rocket ships that take off and land vertically, as God and Robert Heinlein intended.  These is a short list of some of the awesome stuff to be found in Mike Kupari’s first solo novel, Her Brother’s Keeper.

It is hundreds of years in the future, on the far side of the Great Interregnum, a dark age where human interstellar civilization effectively ceased to be.  Humanity is starting to build a spacefaring civilization again, rediscovering many of the lost artifacts and worlds of the Second Federation, many of which are far beyond their technical knowledge. Continue reading “Book Review: Her Brother’s Keeper”

Book Review: The Sovereigns

Imagine Die Hard, if John McClane had been a retired Special Operations soldier instead of an off-duty cop.  That’s pretty much the scenario that Steven Hildreth presents in The Sovereigns, albeit with a bit more going on behind the scenes.

It is an alternate 2005.  An anarchist/sovereign citizen terrorist group calling itself The Liberty Brigade, made up of a few true believers and a few more violent sociopaths who find the idea of revolution fits right in with their particular idea of fun, has seized the Saguaro Towers, a Carlton Hotel, in Tucson.  They have struck fast and hard.  Security is dead, the hotel’s guests are held hostage, and they have the situation under control.  Their demands hit all the high points of the isolationist and conspiracy theorist narrative.  They are also calculated so that the government can never agree to them. Continue reading “Book Review: The Sovereigns”

The Walker on the Hills Chapter 5

With the first draft finished, and the pre-order out, here’s the final sample chapter:

Chapter 5

I almost bowled Tall Bear over as I slammed out the door, my .45 already in my hand. I didn’t see any of the crowd carrying guns, but I was almost certain that somebody in there would be packing heat. There were certainly enough pipes, chains, and baseball bats in evidence.

I didn’t stop at the door, either. I kept moving toward the truck; my rifle was in there. Sure, I had the 1911, but a pistol is what you use to fight your way to the long gun that you should have had the whole time. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Tall Bear and Craig, Craig’s quarrel with us apparently momentarily forgotten, rushing to the cruiser, where they must have had shotguns or patrol rifles. Continue reading “The Walker on the Hills Chapter 5”

The Walker on The Hills Release Date and Pre-Order

So, figuring out a release date for The Walker on the Hills has been difficult, largely thanks to real life slowing down my productivity, but since I’ve been able to adjust and get back in the swing of things, I can now announce that it will be out on December 15th.  Not only that, but in the last 24 hours, we’ve gotten the cover design nailed down, and so I’ve been able to get the pre-order set up.  You can find the Kindle pre-order here.

And here’s the cover:

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00017]

The Walker on the Hills Chapter 4

They didn’t lead us to the sheriff’s department, as I’d halfway been expecting. Instead, we headed back toward the interstate, and pulled off in the truck stop at the exit. Craig parked the cruiser back by the semis, then got out and waited. I looked over at Eryn, shrugged, and got out to go join him.
He was leaning against the hood of the cruiser, his arms crossed in front of him. “What do you know about Chrystal Meek?” he asked as I walked up to him.
I shook my head. “Bupkis,” I told him. “She’s a name that Blake gave us to find if we couldn’t meet up with him. That’s all we know.”
Craig frowned, looking down at the asphalt as if to gather his thoughts. “Chrystal’s…well, she’s been through a lot. I’d almost say she’s the one decent person in that blight of a town. A lot of people have tried to get her to leave, but she’s always been the type to say that it’s her home, that she can’t leave, you know? She’s stayed for her mom. Lord knows why. Her mom’s an abusive addict, nobody knows who her dad was, and she’s had a string of abusive boyfriends, a couple of whom I’ve had the pleasure of putting in jail.” He spat on the ground. “She kind of latched onto your friend when he came through town; I can kind of see why. He seemed like a decent guy. At least, until he left her here.” He squinted at me. “Now, I’m not sure it’d be a good idea for you to go barging in and telling her that your friends with this dude. Pretty sure it wouldn’t be good for her.”
I grimaced. Great. Drama. As much as I’ve had to deal with hair-raising, sanity-shredding things from beyond human ken, I still really hate a lot of human drama. I’m not a cold-hearted individual, at least not most of the time, but Chrystal was our only link to Blake and whatever was going on that had scared him enough to write a panicky, cryptic note to come out here and see him. And I suspected that whatever it was had to do with the sudden increase in psycho belligerence that the sheriff’s deputies had noted in Coldwell. I couldn’t leave this alone. Continue reading “The Walker on the Hills Chapter 4”

The Walker on the Hills, Chapter 3

It was a long drive to Coldwell, and we didn’t get started until late, so it was getting dark as we drove into town. Perhaps not the most auspicious beginning.

The town itself was set well back from the interstate, a good five miles down a winding county road. It had apparently been on the old highway, before the interstate, and was still hanging on, even though there wasn’t much to keep it alive. There weren’t even many farms in the vicinity, though a sign just as we turned off the interstate, lit up by our headlights, announced the presence of the Bar-13 ranch, about ten miles in the other direction.

Mostly it was five miles of rolling hills, sagebrush, bunchgrass, and the occasional stand of trees in the low ground where there was more water. The trees were already clumps of darkness against the grasslands that were already going gray in the growing twilight.

There weren’t a lot of lights on in Coldwell. There was a gas station on the edge of town. As I got a good look at it, I thought Ray had been rather overly charitable in calling it a “truck stop.” The pumps were ancient and rusty, and the building behind them was dingy, the paint peeling where it wasn’t dirty enough to turn from white to gray. It looked like the windows hadn’t been cleaned in a quarter century at least. At least the lights over the pumps were on, though the building itself was dark.

Only about three streetlights were lit down the main drag. They didn’t help. All they seemed to do was show the decay. Sidewalks were overgrown with weeds, and more were growing out of cracks in the street. Several of the old storefronts were boarded up, and one was visibly sagging toward the street. Another was burned out, black sweeps of soot staining the dingy paint as well as the buildings closest to it.

It wasn’t that late, so there were still a few people out and about, but most towns I’d been in still showed more activity. The place almost looked like a ghost town, with a few scavengers still going through the detritus. But it was still, as far as we knew, a living town, albeit for certain values of “living.”

Continue reading “The Walker on the Hills, Chapter 3”