Author: John Picha
Edited by: Matthew Davies and Suellen Picha
Rating: Five out of five stars
Chip is an idealistic young man who tends to get lost in daydreams from time to time. He and his fellow Skyracos are armored super-cops, thinly scattered on many worlds, in an imperfect future.
Destiny City is a remote colony owned by the Arkon Mining Company. Chip is a junior part of the Skyracos wing brought in to assist the company security forces in quelling a riot.
It doesn’t take long to discover there is much more to the story than the mining company would have them believe. Sheer greed quickly overcomes compassion and common sense as the Skyracos are ordered to betray their ideals.
A saucer-shaped blimp hovers over Destiny City. The Painwell Pharmacare laboratory team within this floating research facility scrambles to find a plague cure while the Arkon Mining security teams battle the terrified colonists below.
The reader is given a peek into the minds of each of the major characters as the situation reels out of control. Chip’s idealism is put to the ultimate test as John Picha weaves an exciting tale.
I must admit I expected a lightweight space opera. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Skyracos unfolds in a manner reminiscent of Kurt Vonnegut at his best. I found myself relating to Chip’s pain as he is tested under fire and learns some hard lessons. Skyracos is a dark story, well told.
You can find out more about this multi-talented author by visiting his website at: http://www.takejohn.com/
Pick up your own copy of Skyracos: The Mining Mess on Amazon.

Foreword by Tome Wilson

Tome is the founder of the web’s largest and most active dieselpunk community. The dieselpunks website provides a home for most anyone with an artistic bent that enjoy working the era between the world wars.

Tales of the Aether Age

by Grant Gardner

This is an all-too-short ride through an alternate history where the Great Depression triggered a rather nasty breakup of the United States. Rather than the simplicity of the civil war, a new series of alliances and power brokers established a half-dozen industrial city-states.
The tale is told from the viewpoint of a pair of minor gangster who run in a film noir Chicago of prohibition and flappers. It’s a fun ride and I’m looking forward to more from Mr. Gardner’s keyboard.

Pandora Driver: Who are the People in Your Neighborhood

Created by John Picha

A beautiful woman hiding behind a mask and driving an indestructable car. A midwestern city in nineteen forty provides the backdrop and John Picha’s knack of filling his tales with the speech and mannerisms of a forgotten time.
The world of Pandora Driver gets better with each new read.
Me? I love the cars.

The Troubleshooter: What the Wise Man Says

Created by Bard Constantine

“After the Cataclysm nearly wiped out humanity, the remnants of mankind survived in Havens: city-sized constructs built to reboot society and usher in a new age of mankind.”
That is how the Bard starts this tale. As the story unfolds, the reader comes to understand this isn’t so much a pre-WWII world as the current day, complete with computers and modern radios. The difference is the corruption and dark under belly of the Haven. Mick Trubble is a man who has lost his memory and becomes The Troubleshooter.
The World of Mañana: A Friend of Spirits

by Jack Philpott

Mr. Philpott has taken notes from various native American tribes as well as current political intrigue to weave a masterful tale of dedication and betrayal. This glimpse of the world of Mañana promises other dark tales. It is well worth the read.

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