Writer: Rory Steves
Weird Tales Story: Ganaranok’s Lament (issue #TBA 2008)
Writer Bio: Rory lives in Ohio, and works in a five state area delivering groceries to your finer inner-city stores.
I met the author of Radiation Angels, James Ross, at the ConGlomeration Convention in Louisville KY this past summer, and recognized a kindred spirit, not only in writing, not only in science fiction, but in violent battle scenes.
Don’t get me wrong – this is not a book filled with gratuitous sex and violence – in fact there is not so much as a single kiss in the entire book.
The book does however possess a well thought-out plot, with a surprising plot twist at the end, and a fair amount of violence.
It is about mercenaries after all.
Ross’s premise for this story is not only feasible, but likely in the future era where the story takes place.
That being this; that inter-stellar war and inter-planetary war is far too expensive for individual governments to afford to engage in. The cost of building and maintaining interstellar war ships and the crews and combat teams they carry would rapidly bankrupt any government that tried it.
Face it; stars are very, very far apart.
Therefore to wage war with your neighbors you simply put in a call to the planet Haven and hire as many mercenary teams as you need.
Expensive? Yes, but much cheaper than a standing military of your own.
Future weapons? Sure, and a fair amount of those more easily recognized.
Cyborgs? Affirmative, plus bunches of the old fashioned flesh and blood warriors as well.
Led by Captain Rook, the Radiation Angels are one of the best teams available, if you can handle the price.
Just don’t betray them.
That would be bad.
That would be very bad.
You might get Logan upset. Who’s he you ask, he’s the four meter tall Templar Model cyborg that watches Rook’s back.
Worse, you might cause O’Leery to lose her temper, trust me; that would be bad – for you, she’d probably enjoy it.
Or you might have to deal with the rest of the Radiation Angels, none of whom have ever been accused of being gentle, sympathetic, or forgiving.
They’re mercenaries; you hire them, pay them, and hope they go away.
But never, ever betray them.
Guess no one warned Tomlinson about that.
Because he did.
The story begins with Tomlinson hiring the Radiation Angels to help, along with other Merc units, take out the government of Ashley 9, namely it’s President Kennedy.
Why? Because he was raising taxes like any good politician, and the planet was sliding down into a deep recession.
And because Admiral Tomlinson wanted to be President.
So he hires mercenaries, lots of them, including the Radiation Angels.
Once Kennedy is captured, Tomlinson orders a few Merc teams to kill the rest of the Merc units in an ill conceived cost cutting measure which annoys the Radiation Angels.
Then Tomlinson cheats them out of much of the booty.
Once the Radiation Angels are on their way home, with barely enough payment to cover expenses, Tomlinson puts out a contract on them.
Very bad move.
Now it’s Rook’s turn.
If you don’t like guns and violence you should probably avoid this book.
But if you do enjoy a good shoot’em up, with the good guys not so clean shaven, then buy this book, sit back in your favorite chair, and enjoy.
Just fasten your seat belt first, it’s a wild ride.
Radiation Angels; The Chimerium Gambit
By James Daniel Ross
154 pages, plus 5 page lexicon, 8″x10″.