Category Archives: 1970s

TWELVE BEST FRANCHISE NOVELS—PART ONE: A SHARK, A WORM, AND A LIZARD

20565010335_a4fd33fb4f_k-e1559271020858.jpgSo here’s the Thing… no seriously, here’s the Thing. Image is from the cover of Alan Dean Foster’s adaptation of John Carpenter’s the Thing. Don’t look at me like that.

I was contacted by Steven Shinder on Facebook and asked to participate in a one-a-day top ten favorite books challenge. While I won’t be posting every single day (work and all), I will reveal twelve of my favorite books instead of ten (basically because I couldn’t narrow it down enough). I’ve decided to post them here split over two entries and link back to Facebook. The plan is to nominate a new person each time who will then post their top books on their page. The books are posted in no particular order, they are just twelve of the best genre books I’ve read. Each has had a profound effect on me and helped shape me as a writer.

Disclaimer. The purpose of this list is to encourage readers to, well, read books they might have otherwise passed on–specifically franchise fiction. As such, no favorite literary classics will be covered. Otherwise, the entire list would be full of said classics. In no way is this meant to indicate that something like V: East Coast Crisis is a better novel than, say, Catcher in the Rye or To Kill a Mocking Bird. This list is mostly an exploration of beloved franchise fiction.

10264922_662790273757730_3643788207372427732_n-e1560062898835.jpgThe Visitors are our friends.

BOOK 3. V: EAST COAST CRISIS

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Author(s). Howard Weinstein and A.C. Crispin 

This particular review—as with many others here—is just as much about the book in question as it is about the series of novels it comes from.

Exposure. On a field trip to Philadephia in elementary school during the 1980s, one of the historic stops our teachers decided to have us visit was… a mall. It was actually more to have us catch our breaths and have some downtime after the long day of site seeingnone of which I remember. The lasting impression was that mall, and the book series I found in the little B. Dalton’s thereV.

I had been a huge fan of the Kenneth Johnson created TV series. And not only did I find one V book thereI found NINE. I called my mom from a payphone (’80s, everyone) and she reluctantly gave me permission to use the money I had been given to buy some historical souvenir to instead buy the nine books.

One of my favorite sci-fi TV series of all time, V had a human looking Nazi-like regime of aliens coming to earth in fifty massive motherships and claiming to be mankind’s friend. They offered us cures to terrible diseases and technological enhancements in exchange for the production of an environmentally safe chemical needed for their homeworld. In reality, they were rat-eating lizard people wearing fake skin who had come to steal our water and abduct humans to use as food and troops for a battle with an unseen enemy. It was an allegory for Nazi Germany and a quiet sacrifice of our ideals for the promise of a better life (something a little too relevant to today’s politics). Martial law was imposed. Scientists and their families, the only ones who could expose the Visitors, were persecuted and hunted down. Both suspected guerilla fighters and innocent civilians were rounded up and kept in concentration camps awaiting questioningquestioning that they either came back from brainwashed and converted or did not come back from at all. And with the help of a fifth column of visitors that opposed the invasion, a small resistance grew against these alien conquerors. Mike Donovan, Juliet Parrish, Ham Tyler and their alien allies Martin and Willie faced off against the lizard armies of Diana, Lydia, Steven, Charles, and the mysterious Leader.

Good sci-fi stuff.

East Coast Crisis was not the V I was expecting. Rather than a sequel, it was a companion to the original two television miniseriesV and V the Final Battle, taking place during them but showcasing the United State’s east coast struggle rather than the TV series west. Plus, Dan Rather and Isaac Asimov are characters in it, so win-win.

Many of the V novels did not star the TV series cast but instead developed different areas of the struggle to reclaim our world from these alien invaders. I was hooked, eventually hunting down the rest of the books (there were a total of sixteen).

Lesson. Expand your universe. Novels are a fertile playground to explain and enhance a franchise. Several bizarre moments and concepts introduced in the TV series by TV writers who didn’t necessarily understand sci-fi were explained and clarified by talented sci-fi prose authors within these pages. It taught me to think of other stories that take place during the events of an established movie or novel and give the “bigger picture.” My Planet of the Apes “inbetweenquels” follow this philosophy.

Conclusion. This series did an amazing job of expanding a universe and included some top name authors. I prefer Crispin’s style to Weinstein’s, and don’t recall the tale of how they came top be co-writing this book. Independently they both are prolific sci-fi authors and have written several Star Trek novels. I recommend the entire series. You can find out more about them on the long un-updated fan site here.

Show me more: A sixteen novel prose series tie-in with two fantastic TV miniseries, a season-long television series (not the best), an eighteen issue comic series from DC Comics, and a Hardcover novel direct sequel to the novelization of the original miniseries that ignores everything that came after it (huh?). Also, a reimagined reboot TV series that strayed too far from the premise.   

Available? Long out of print. Only available used on Amazon and eBay. On eBay, search for ‘V Series Novels’ or the like. A plain and simple ‘V’ will get you anything with a roman numeral five in it. Good hunting.

Nominated next for this chain letter. Kim Perrone

kapook_world-182947Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…

BOOK 2. JAWS 2

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Yes, this is one of the best novels I have ever read. Much better than Peter Benchley’s original. Don’t judge me. You don’t know.

“He heard the faint subway roar. He did not care. He stopped moving. He was too tired to fight his sleepiness, though the boat was only three strokes away. He would doze like a basking seal, and swim the last few feet later.

Then he was borne aloft.  He sensed his ribs, lungs, spleen, kidneys, bowels, duodendum, were being firmly squeezed together as if in some giant hydralic press.

He felt no pain at all.”

Author. Hank Searls

Exposure. My mom had a bookshelf with “grown-up” novels in my parents’ bedroom. When I was bored and she wasn’t home, I would raid those books, looking to read something I wasn’t allowed to read.  In this manner, I was exposed to the novelizations of Alien, ET, The Shining, Christine, The Amityville Horror, Poltergeist, It, and even the Flowers in the Attic series. It was in the fourth-grade that I stumbled upon mom’s copy of Jaws 2.

I was always tentative with these horror novels. I didn’t want to scare myself, so I would pop a book open to a random page, hope for a dirty scene, read a paragraph out of context, and then decide whether or not I was going to stay away from that one. I flipped through Jaws 2 and read a vignette about an embryonic male shark struggling to survive against his equally unborn but bigger sisters who were trying to eat him in their mother’s womb.

What?

It got better. I realized that I was reading the mother shark’s point of view. She was aware of the conflict in her uterus and was driven to eat to stop her unborn children from eating each other. My nine-year-old mind was blown. This one went in my backpack and made its way to school with me.

Jaws 2 is a classic example of the old adage that the book is better than the film. Thing is, the book was based on the filmbut a version of the film that didn’t make it to the screen. The Jaws 2 movie that almost was was much darker than what we got, and that’s a topic for a future essay.  But even though this novel is based on an unshot script, Searls nonetheless owns this storythe shark’s internal musings and the in utero fight for survival is all him.

I remember pouring over the book under my desk when I was supposed to be reading textbooks in class (I’m a fast reader, so I always finished before the allotted time). The descriptions were vivid, the horror was real, and it made me look at the world in a different way. I’m paraphrasing here, but instead of saying something like, “the sun was setting,” Searls would write something to the effect of, “the sun was a lazy red ball bouncing on the horizon.” I use it to teach creative descriptors in my creative coaching sessions and on my writing panels. It inspired my future writings, and at the time it opened my eyes to new ways of looking at the world.

It also probably helped me down the road towards becoming the continuity freak I am today. In Searl’s Jaws 2, the pregnant mother shark is traveling up the gulf stream as her kind is wont to do, searching for food to satisfy her developing young. She realizes she’s come to a place she’s been before, an area of ocean where two years before a large male shark had wrestled her to the bottom, had his way with her and swam off towards a nearby island. She remembers the pain of the moment, and that her unborn offspring were in fact sired by him. Angrily, she changes course, heading towards the island in search of revenge.

Damn.

A connection between the sharks and an explanation as to why another giant great white comes to Amity. Did Searls have to do that? Nope. he did anyway. On top of that, he must have realized that another Jaws film was likely to come down the road and set up a potential hook for the inevitable sequel (the hook itself I won’t ruin for you, read the bloody book). He filled in continuity gaps in a film franchise, very much like what I now work at doing with franchises like Planet of the Apes and Alien. He made me look for answers to things that didn’t need answering.

Hank Searls ruined my life, and I love it.

Lesson. Perspective in storytelling. Sometimes a cigar is a dirty smoking shark. Or something.

Conclusion. Underrated. The most influential novel I’ve ever read. Deal with it. Then read it.

Show me more. The four movies—although I only recommend the first two. This book is technically a sequel to the original JAWS novel—not the Spielberg flick, and as such contains references that might confuse some readers—such as Hooper’s affair with Ellen Brody. Searls also wrote the novelization of Jaws: The Revengewhich makes that lightyears better than that film, but still can’t save it.

Available? A thousand times, yes. It’s long out of print, but you can get previously owned copies for dirt cheap on Amazon and in plenty of used book stores. I’ve got it in hardcover and paperback. I even wound up with an unedited reviewer’s copy my ex-fiancée found at a convention (see cover below). You look, you will find.

Nominated next for this chain letter. Amy Irene

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 This next book is seminal, and with the new movie franchise about to begin, it’s a good time to brush up on your Herbert…

Thewaytoedenhd0108No, not that kind of Herbert. Trek nerd.

dune-messiah.jpgThe Spice must flow.

BOOK 1. DUNE

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The cover of the edition I read in 1984. It wound up looking worse than this in my backpack.

“Fear is the mindkiller. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me.”

Author. Frank Herbert

Exposure. In the sixth-grade, this sci-fi nerd was given a three-book boxed set for his birthday. It wasn’t Star Wars, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, or even Vit was something I hadn’t been exposed to yet. It was Herbert’s masterpiece, Dune.  I didn’t see the movie out that same year, but I dove into the books. There was something called spice (Kessel?) that opened your mind to a new world of mental abilities, warring houses, strange creatures called Navigators, rebels, an empire, and a desert planet.

Oh, and there were worms. Massive monstrous behemoth worms.

The desert winds of Arrakis swept me away as young Paul Atradies outmaneuvered death and betrayal to find his strength and purpose.

11-year-old me thought Herbert had ripped off Lucas, but later discovered George had been inspired by Frank. Later series I enjoyed that also clearly drew inspiration from Dune were Battletech and Warhammer 40K.

I had only read the first three back then and wasn’t aware there were more. On top of that, I hadn’t reread them until after the SyFy channel miniseries was released in 2000. Watching the miniseries, I found myself spouting dialogue along with the characters on the screen from a book I hadn’t picked up in 16 years.

It stayed with me.

Lesson. Philosophy.

Conclusion. Masterful. If you are a sci-fi fan and haven’t read this, son I am disappoint. Feel shame. Then pick up a copy and know bliss.

Show me more: An endless stream of sequels and prequels set int he same universefirst by Herbery himself and then by the likes of his son and Kevin J. Anderson. There are two TV miniseries, a bizarre 1980s major motion picture with Sting and Captain Picard in it, and a new movie franchise on the way.

Available? Always. Several editions over several years. Hardcover, paperback, digital, too.

Nominated next for this chain letter. Timothy Ellis

—Andrew E. C. Gaska

An author, designer, game-writer, and graphic novelist with twenty years of industry experience, Gaska is the creative force behind BLAM! Ventures and has worked as a freelance consultant to 20th Century Fox and Rockstar Games. In addition to being the Senior Development Editor for Lion Forge comics and animation, he is a contributor to both their game division and their licensing team. 

blamventures.com | Twitter: @andrewecgaska | Facebook: AndrewECGaska

All images are ©2019 their respective owners and are used for the purposes of commentary or review only unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.

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SPACE IS HELL: ALIEN TABLETOP RPG IS COMING

 

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Free League has announced an ALIEN Tabletop Role Playing Game series and I am proud to be integrally involved with this project. Free League explains my role as thus:

FROM THE FACEBOOK ANNOUNCEMENT:

The lead writer of the setting chapters is Andrew E.C. Gaska – author, senior development editor at Lion Forge Comics, and franchise consultant on ALIEN, Predator, and Planet of the Apes for 20th Century Fox.

With total attention to the minute details of the ALIEN lore from decades of movies, games, books, and comics, Drew’s work is to preserve the essence of the expanded material and bring it in line with hardcore canon, filling in gaps where needed. In addition to his setting design, Drew is the lead writer of the introductory scenario Chariot of the Gods.

For more information, sign up for Free League’s free newsletter at alien-rpg.com. The ALIEN universe is dear to my heart and I can not wait to see you clutching this massive book in one hand with your motion tracker in the other. Until then, enjoy some beautiful art from the upcoming game, as well as the official press release below.

—Andrew E. C. Gaska

An author, designer, game-writer, and graphic novelist with twenty years of industry experience, Gaska has worked as a freelance consultant to 20th Century Fox and Rockstar Games. In addition to being the Senior Development Editor for Lion Forge comics and animation, he is a contributor to both their Quillion gaming department and their licensing team. 

blamventures.com | Twitter: @andrewecgaska | Facebook: AndrewECGaska

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All images are ©2019 Martin Grip, Free League Publishing and 20th Century Fox and are used for the purposes of commentary or review only unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.

FROM THE PRESS RELEASE:

LOS ANGELES, CA (April 26, 2019) – Forty years ago, Alien shocked and inspired the world with a horrific sci-fi universe that forever changed the genre. In celebration of its 40th anniversary, Free League Publishing has announced today that fans can soon explore that iconic universe for themselves with an official line of tabletop role-playing games.

The long-term licensing partnership with 20th Century Fox Consumer Products will kick off in late 2019, launching an ongoing tabletop RPG series drawing upon four decades of world-building within this beloved universe. Free League is renowned for its own world-building in science fiction, with their best-selling sci-fi RPG Tales from the Loop sweeping the 2017 ENnie Awards for Best Setting, Best Writing, Best Art, Best Game, and Product of the Year. Tomas Härenstam, Free League co-founder and game director of their sci-fi RPGs Tales from the Loop and Mutant: Year Zero, will oversee game design, with original artwork from esteemed artists Martin Grip, John Mullaney and Axel Torvenius.

Taking place shortly after the events of Aliens, the first RPG will propel players into the vast possibilities of the Outer Rim Frontier. From the pioneering colonists and scientists to the ever-present Company reps and Colonial Marines, the game promises a diverse range of characters and gameplay experiences far beyond the staple cat-and-mouse suspense and survival horror of the franchise.

“The Alien saga isn’t about superheroes with superior firepower,” says game director Härenstam. “It’s about placing ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances and testing the endurance of the human spirit against inhuman atrocities and impossible odds. Such a harsh yet hopeful universe has captured our imagination for 40 years with good reason, and we’re excited to explore new stories and perspectives as players must face their demons (in a true and metaphoric sense) and brave the horrors of the unknown.”

To best capture the Alien experience, the RPG will provide more than the framework for continuous, open-world campaigns. Beyond the sandbox campaign game mode, Free League is also designing a “Cinematic” mode, with pre-generated scenarios that players must complete within a single session. Emulating the dramatic arc of an Alien film, these survival challenges promise escalating stakes and fast (often brutal) gameplay where most players aren’t expected to last the night. Their first cinematic scenario, Chariot of the Gods written by sci-fi novelist Andrew E.C. Gaska (Death of the Planet of the Apes), is included in the core manual. Gaska is also the setting writer and canon consultant for the RPG series. More cinematic modules and game expansions are already in production, with direct tie-ins to Fox’s future plans for the franchise slated for 2020 and beyond.

The Fox-Free League licensing deal was brokered by Joe LeFavi of Genuine Entertainment, who will manage the license on behalf of Free League and serve as an editor on the game series. Alien is the latest in a slew of high-profile tabletop deals by LeFavi, including the master tabletop gaming license for Dune, the tabletop RPG series for Altered Carbon, and multiple brand extensions of World of Darkness.

For more news and previews on the Alien RPG series, visit alien-rpg.com. Then follow Free League Publishing on Twitter and Facebook, where fans can discover art and gameplay development ahead of the game’s release.

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ABOUT 20TH CENTURY FOX CONSUMER PRODUCTS

20th Century Fox Consumer Products licenses and markets properties worldwide on behalf of 20th Century Fox Film, 20th Century Fox Television and FX Networks, as well as third party lines. The division is aligned with 20th Century Fox Television, the flagship studio leading the industry in supplying award-winning and blockbuster primetime television programming and entertainment content and 20th Century Fox Film, one of the world’s largest producers and distributors of motion pictures throughout the world. For more information on all Alien products and activities, go to www.AlienUniverse.com.

ABOUT FREE LEAGUE PUBLISHING

Free League is a critically acclaimed Swedish publisher of speculative fiction, dedicated to publishing award-winning tabletop role-playing games, board games, and art books set in strange and wondrous worlds. Our best-selling RPG Tales from the Loop swept the 2017 ENnie Awards, winning five Gold ENnies for Best Setting, Best Writing, Best Art, Best Game, and Product of the Year. The game is inspired by a series of iconic art books published by Free League – Tales from the Loop, Things from the Flood, and The Electric State – exploring artist Simon Stålenhag’s original sci-fi universe soon to be realized in the upcoming TV series from Amazon Studios. Most recently, our fantasy RPG Forbidden Lands became the 3rd most successful RPG Kickstarter of 2017 and dubbed one of the best RPGs of 2018. Other tabletop work includes the post-apocalyptic RPG Mutant: Year Zero, the sci-fi RPG Coriolis – The Third Horizon, the fantasy RPG Symbaroum, and the Crusader Kings board game. To learn more, visit freeleaguepublishing.com.

ABOUT GENUINE ENTERTAINMENT

Genuine Entertainment is an award-winning producer and paladin in genre entertainment, specializing in strategic licensing for entertainment franchises and fandoms that demand quality and authenticity in equal measure. It’s our mission to build brands by building worlds and fan communities, making meaningful contributions with premium content and consumer products that extend brands into new markets and genuinely connect with fans across multiple categories. Recent collaborations include such genre greats as Alien, Altered Carbon, Avengers: Infinity War, Blade Runner 2049, Dune, Game of Thrones, and World of Darkness. For more, visit: www.genuineent.com.

ABOUT ANDREW E.C. GASKA

With over two decades of experience in the comics and video game industries, author Andrew E.C. Gaska is the Senior Development Editor at Lion Forge Comics and Animation. He is the founder/creative director of the guerrilla integrated-media studio BLAM! Ventures and a freelance franchise consultant to 20TH CENTURY FOX, writing series bibles for the legacy franchises of ALIEN, Predator, and Planet of the Apes. He served as a visual consultant to Rockstar Games on GTA and all other releases. His written works include Space: 1999, HAWKEN, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, and the new novel Death of the Planet of the Apes. For more info visit blamventures.com.

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LV 4.26 ALIEN DAY

Happy Chest Burstday.

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The Big four-oh.

1979-2019

An author, designer, game-writer, and graphic novelist with twenty years of industry experience, Andrew E.C. Gaska is the creative force behind BLAM! Ventures and has worked as a freelance consultant to 20th Century Fox and Rockstar Games. In addition to being the Senior Development Editor for Lion Forge comics and animation, he is a contributor to both their game division and their licensing team. 

blamventures.com | Twitter: @andrewecgaska | Facebook: AndrewECGaska

All images are ©2019 20th Century Fox and are used for the purposes of commentary or review only unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.

 

DEATH OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

After seven years of development, my second Planet of the Apes novel has finally been released:

deathoftheplanetofheapesNew adventures revealing secrets stemming from Beneath the Planet of the Apes.

FROM THE BACK COVER

In Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Col. George Taylor (played by Charlton Heston) disappears into the Forbidden Zone, only to return in the film’s climactic scene. For forty-eight years, the question has remainedwhat happened to Taylor?

Finally, the truth is revealed. Beneath the irradiated wasteland, the astronaut faces the deadly wonders of a gleaming city and its inhuman citizenry. On the surface, the gorillasled by General Ursuslaunch an all-out assault to exterminate the savage animals known as humans.

And out in the desert, the chimpanzee scientist Milo strives to reconstruct the spacecraft that brought the humans from the past. Events spiral at a breakneck pace, with the fate of a world at stake.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR AND PUBLISHER

Andrew E.C. Gaska is the Senior Development Editor at Lion Forge Comics and Animation. He is a freelance franchise consultant to FOX on ALIEN and Predator and founder of the guerrilla integrated media studio BLAM! Ventures. His authored works include Critical Millennium, Space:1999, Buck Rogers, and Planet of the Apes.

Titan Publishing Group is an independently-owned British publishing company, established in 1981. It is based at offices in London’s Bankside area. The books division has two main areas of publishing: film and television tie-ins and cinema reference books; and graphic novels and comics references and art titles.

20th Century Fox Consumer Products licenses and markets properties worldwide on behalf of 20th Century Fox Film, 20th Century Fox Television and FX Networks, as well as third-party lines. The division is aligned with 20th Century Fox Television, the flagship studio leading the industry in supplying award-winning and blockbuster primetime television programming and entertainment content and 20th Century Fox Film, one of the world’s largest producers and distributors of motion pictures throughout the world.

 

By Your Command—So Say We All

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Yesterday was the 40th Anniversary of Battlestar Galactica. 

More than a sci-fi shoot’ em up in any incarnation, Battlestar Galactica has always been about both the struggle to escape overwhelming odds and a people’s right to survive. It’s about those being persecuted for their race—be it human or Cylon.

Frighteningly, there are still a lot of lessons to be learned from that in today’s world. Busy with my new job and reflecting on the loss of the ineffable Richard Hatch (from a year and a half ago), I forwent any formal post until now.

This morning, I feel renewed and inspired—so have chosen to post a piece of Battlestar art that is often overlooked—created by the late great Frank Frazetta as concept art for the show some 40 yahrens ago.

Happy Belated, Battlestar.

May we see you continue to spread your message of hope in television and film form, as well as all other media. Remember, there are always be those who believe. As Richard would no doubt now say, Keep the Faith.

Yours,

Andrew E. C. Gaska

An author, designer, game-writer, and graphic novelist with twenty years of industry experience, Gaska has worked as a freelance consultant to 20th Century Fox and Rockstar Games. In addition to being Lion Forge’s Senior Development Editor, he is a contributor to both Lion Forge’s Quillion gaming department and their licensing team.
blamventures.com | Twitter: @andrewecgaska | Facebook: AndrewECGaska

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BUCK ROGERS NOVELLA 2 TEASER

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Life finds a way—to get in the way. As a novelist, sometimes projects get delayed. Sometimes it’s for good reasons, other times it’s not. As Book 2 from my first Buck Rogers trilogy has been delayed again until the end of the summer, I thought it prudent to share the teaser with an anxious audience.  These three novellas take place between the first and second season of the 1979-1981 television series and mark the transition between the vastly different format of each season.

Please enjoy a taste of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: Draconian Fire Book 2—”Who Mourns for Theopolis?”.

—Andrew E.C. Gaska

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Pulse cannons flared and disappeared in the inky abyss.
_________Seconds later, there was searing light.
_________The long-range blasts had found their mark—the earth starship Aniello. Balls of fire erupted along her peppered metal body.  Her blemished skin ruptured and exploding atmosphere dashed to the stars.
_________The void blared violence.
_________Defiant, the Aniello wailed.
_________Her hull blistered and boiled under the onslaught. Milium burst and vented both men and ambuquad into space. Still, she would not die alone. Her assailants zigged about the starry battlefield, zagging to and fro. The pale green coppery starfighters were fast—too fast to get a lock on. And the Aniello wasn’t their only prey. Double pontooned Thunder fighters also blossomed in fiery death spasms under the aliens’ assault.
_________Inside, things were no better.
_________Cast in crimson hues, the starship’s bridge was in chaos. Alarms blared and klaxons burned. Aniello’s steadfast captain sat at attention in the command chair, helpless as the battle unraveled before him.  Bridge displays birthed sparks and unconscious crew slumped over their consoles. As medical teams pulled the wounded from their stations, the other craft in his caravan blinked off of his tactical screen one by one.
_________The Aniello would be the last.
_________Reserve batteries destroyed and power conduits crippled, there was no way to bring pulsars back online, raise the shields, or do much of anything. Holding thrusters were at his command, but they would do very little under these circumstances. Listing forward, the Aniello began to shudder.
_________The battle was lost.
_________The ship’s captain depressed a button on his command pad. He rose. Pulling at the sides of his indigo tunic, he straightened his military uniform and brushed any debris from his shoulders. Finding himself presentable, Commodore Efram Asimov squared his shoulders, set his jaw, and prepared himself to deliver one final order to his crew. Two decades earlier, he had made a similar decision. He had been but a young lieutenant, in command of his first squadron of light cruisers. An unfortunate accident had forced his hand then. It was an order he had hoped he would never have to give again.
_________Yet here he was.
_________The channel was open, all he had to do was speak the words.
_________Those words. For the second time in his life. He hoped it was the last.
_________“Now hear this,” he began. “All crew make way to the lifeboats.”
_________Efram drew a deep breath.
_________“Abandon ship.”

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From the back cover:

The year is 1987, and NASA launches the last of America’s deep space probes. In a freak mishap, Ranger 3 and its pilot, Captain William ‘Buck’ Rogers, are blown out of their trajectory into an orbit which freezes his life support systems, and returns Buck Rogers to Earth, 500 years later…

The next chapter of the first original Buck Rogers in the 25th Century® adventure in over three decades! Set in the continuity of the original series, Draconian Fire Part 2: ‘Who Mourns for Theopolis?’ is the second of three novellas that fill in the gap between the first and second seasons of the 1979 disco sci-fi TV show Buck Rogers in the 25th Century®. Join Buck, Wilma, Twiki, Princess Ardala and Commander Kane as they face a threat that will either unite the known systems or instigate all-out war.

 Part of the BLAM! Noir’s Dime Novella line, the three-part Draconian Fire saga sets the stage for BLAM! Ventures’ Buck Rogers in the 25th Century® Season 3! 
BLAM! Noir™ and Retrograde™ release of a Dime Novella™ presentation.

A BLAM! Ventures™ Production. Buck Rogers and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century® © and ® 1979-1981 and 2017 Dille Family Trust and are used under license. Published by BLAM! Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Book 1 is available now, and Book 2 and Book 3 are available for pre-order on Amazon.