The Andromeda Evolution: Crichton’s Andromeda Strain Sequel

The Andromeda Evolution: Crichton’s Andromeda Strain Sequel

The Andromeda Evolution: Crichton’s Andromeda Strain sequel, terrifying sequel, has arrived as Daniel H. Wilson finished the late author’s manuscript with the support of the Michael Crichton’s family.

And this begs the question: just how many more Michael Crichton unfinished manuscripts are waiting to be finished in future collaborations?

Wilson, a robotics engineer, is best known for his use of literary wit and technology and is most famous for his ridiculous thriller “Robopcalypse,” so he was an apt choice for collaborating on the late author Chrighton’s sequel to his pandemic-driven novel.

The following review will contain **SPOILERS** for both The Andromeda Strain and The Andromeda Evolution.

The Andromeda Strain, as millions of fans know, describes the panicked efforts to stop the spread of an alien microparticle that first instantly coagulates human blood or induces the harrowing suicide of dozens to only then mutate to dissolve plastics in the upper atmosphere.

Here is the story synopsis, and the review continues below it.


From Goodreads.com:

Hardcover, 384 pages
Published November 12th 2019 by Harper

In 1967, an extraterrestrial microbe came crashing down to Earth and nearly ended the human race. Accidental exposure to the particle—designated The Andromeda Strain—killed every resident of the town of Piedmont, Arizona, save for an elderly man and an infant boy. Over the next five days, a team of top scientists assigned to Project Wildfire worked valiantly to save the world from an epidemic of unimaginable proportions. In the moments before a catastrophic nuclear detonation, they succeeded.

In the ensuing decades, research on the microparticle continued. And the world thought it was safe…

Deep inside Fairchild Air Force Base, Project Eternal Vigilance has continued to watch and wait for the Andromeda Strain to reappear. On the verge of being shut down, the project has registered no activity—until now. A Brazilian terrain-mapping drone has detected a bizarre anomaly of otherworldly matter in the middle of the jungle, and, worse yet, the tell-tale chemical signature of the deadly microparticle.

Project Wildfire is activated, and a diverse team of experts hailing from all over the world is dispatched to investigate the potentially apocalyptic threat. If the Wildfire team can’t reach the quarantine zone, enter the anomaly, and figure out how to stop it, this new Andromeda Evolution will annihilate all life as we know it.


Fifty years later, a mutated strain has dropped in Earth’s atmosphere while a special team of observers maintain Project Eternal Vigilance.

When The Andromeda Evolution opens, a drone spots a metallic-looking shape growing up out of the Amazon jungle, “the whole of it gleaming like a beetle’s waxy shell in the rising midday sun.”

Situated along the equator, this giant structure is located far from any development, deep in an area inhabited only by tribes who have never made contact with modern civilization.

Mass spectrometry data taken by military satellites indicates that the quickly swelling mutation is “an almost exact match to the Andromeda strain.”

A nuclear strike is debated but considered too problematic to be enacted as a “solution.”

A nuclear explosion would feed the anomaly that lives off energy…provoking the declaration:

“We are facing an unknown enemy who is staging an attack over the gulf of a hundred-thousand years and across our solar system and likely the cosmos.

“This is war.”

Humanity’s hope falls on Project Wildfire’s shoulders.

Consisting of a few scientists, the elite Wildfire team tries to keep the planet from being infected while persisting through the perilous jungle landscape that they find they are dangerously ill-equipped to face.

The jungle proves to be an ominous setting with death and misery lurking around every suspenseful corner. Wilson’s background in robotics is illustrated throughout the novel as technological gizmos play a crucial role in the plot.

Crichton would be proud of the culminated novel. His typical style of literary pacing is amplified in this suspenseful rollercoaster – an exponential increase of suspense carries through until the novel’s conclusion.

Near future technology and innovation are present and most appreciating to read.

The Andromeda Evolution is a must-read sequel for The Andromeda Strain fans and the science fiction community.

The Forgotten Fiction Grade: YEA (read it!)


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“IThe Andromeda Evolution: Crichton’s Andromeda Strain Sequel” was written by Peter Maisano.

Suntup Editions Immortalize I AM LEGEND By Richard Matheson

Suntup Editions Immortalize I AM LEGEND By Richard Matheson

Suntup Editions immortalize I AM LEGEND by Richard Matheson with three incredible limited editions and an I AM LEGEND Fine Art Print featuring the same Stanley Meltzoff cover art that was on the Gold Medal Books first edition of the book in 1954.

Oh, the horror! To be the sole survivor of a world-wide vampire and zombie-vampire creating pandemic!

Each of the three Suntup editions are incredible to behold, and we will be reviewing the Suntup Editions Artist Gift Edition of I AM LEGEND by Richard Matheson and the accompanying Limited Edition giclee print.

The Suntup editions are as timeless as the book I AM LEGEND itself.

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I AM LEGEND by Richard Matheson was a first on many levels, as it crafted a post-apocalyptic world where living vampires emerge alongside undead zombie-vampires.

The last man on earth, Robert Neville, is besieged with an incessant danger and terror.

Here is the story synopsis from Suntup Editions, and the review continues below it.


“This may be the most terrifying novel you will ever read.”

This quote from mystery writer William Campbell Gault graced the first edition cover of what would become one of the most influential and adapted works of the 20th century. Originally published in 1954, Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend ushered in a different kind of novel, defying and transcending genre to combine elements of horror and science fiction within a post-apocalyptic frame.

I Am Legend is the story of Robert Neville, who appears to be the sole survivor of a pandemic that has turned the human race into a crossbreed of zombies and vampires. Robert must hunt by day, hide by night, and most importantly, survive.

In 2012, the Horror Writers Association gave I Am Legend the special Vampire Novel of the Century Award. The novel and Richard Matheson are often credited for creating the zombie-vampire genre.

The cover art on that edition was painted (1917-2006), and has become one of the most famous book covers of the genre.

IAL Suntup AGE Illustration © 2019 by Allen Williams. Artist Gift edition cover art by Stanley Meltzoff © 2020 Silverfish Press. [Suntup.press]


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PLEASE NOTE: The following book review is *SPOILER FREE* and discussion of the plot is tread upon lightly for the sake of readers that have not yet opened the book.

Though many more are familiar with the name ‘I AM LEGEND’ since the movie of the same name (little else resembled the book), starring Will Smith, came out, than the book, that should be true of the name Richard Matheson, who exploded onto the horror, science-fiction, and post-apocalyptic fiction scene with his short novel I AM LEGEND in 1954.

It was not ten years after its first publication, only in paperback for 25 cents, that it came out in theaters as The Last Man On Earth, starring Vincent Price (this movie resembled the book), in 1964.

Many great novels had begun to spring from Matheson by this time, but I AM LEGEND truly made an indelible mark on horror tales and fiction itself for that matter.

It is not just the brilliant concepts of the story and the last man, Neville, struggling to make stakes, keep fresh garlic on his home’s door, and cope with the menace that lurks at night that make this book special.

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It is the inner workings of the great character, Robert Neville, that moves the reader, again and again.

The man is tortured.

And he continues to torture himself with thoughts of what was and is clearly deeply depressed.

In the beginning he has three passions: killing the vampires, surviving, and drinking away the dread of it all.

Haunted by his family, now years gone, the lack of human contact while undead females taunt his sexual hunger night after night, and his own neighbor repeatedly yelling his name over the sound of the music Robert uses to try and drown out the cries in the night puts him under a cloud of pressure.

The pressure mounts when ideas of the pandemic being curable take hold, but survival becomes no less difficult.

The relationships Neville gets to form will break your heart.

The world-building – the unending menace, impending calamity, and the pits of burning bodies – is so immersive it is scary, the language use is brilliant, the plot is full of gut-strangling twists, and the ending does not disappoint.

Here is Jeff’s infamous unboxing video of this edition:

The AGE Suntup Edition of I AM LEGEND is a Must-Have.

The limited edition of 1000 copies of I AM LEGEND by Paul Suntup and his brilliant team offer a large full cloth smyth-sewn binding with two-hits foil stamping, and printed endsheets featuring the creepy long-nailed arm of one of the undead.

The crimson red emanates the red used on the original first edition Gold Medal Books made and to further that cause the entire front cover of the dust jacket, sans title or verbiage, is the historic painting by Stanley Meltzoff (1917-2006) from that same original 1954 paperback edition.

The depiction of Neville holding a stake aloft as he looks down at the pit of burning bodies in the piece is timeless.

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It adds so much to the gorgeous AGE book that is signed by the illustrator Allen Williams, whose creepy black and white depictions of the IAL world are haunting equally enthralling.

The book, printed offset, is housed in a printed slipcase with the creepiest vampire hand you will ever see and there is cloth on the upper and lower sections.

The look and feel of the cloth and the gold foil is something truly special in the hand.

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And going back to the cover art: Suntup Editions created an I AM LEGEND Fine Art Print of the Stanley Meltzoff painted cover art, and I had to have it as well.

Limited to just 50 copies, the I AM LEGEND Fine Art Print by Suntup is STILL AVAILABLE here (how or why I do not know)!

Be sure to check out the wild numbered and lettered editions of this book from Suntup too!

Between the art, the care for every aspect of the book, and the impactful work put into all of the Suntup Editions of I AM LEGEND, the publisher has helped to further immortalize a grandfather of dark fiction and one of his most prominent works.

The Forgotten Fiction Grade: YEA (read ’em and buy ’em)!


Want To Buy The I AM LEGEND Fine Art Print by Suntup Editions (or their last numbered book that is NOT SOLD OUT, somehow, Brother by Ania Ahlborn)? Click away!

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“Suntup Editions Immortalize I AM LEGEND By Richard Matheson” was written by R.J. Huneke.

P.S. If You Like The Hand-made Wooden Case For I AM LEGEND…

Check Out Out My Pet Projects, Igor, here.

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P.P.S. If You Want To Know A Little More About How The Forgotten Fiction Is Different & Our Mission . . .

We are really trying to achieve two main goals here:

  1. To bolster every author who puts out a work of fiction long after the initial buzz that accompanied its release and to bolster small press and fine press publishers that make works of art out of the books we love. This includes limited edition and small press publications, like Suntup Editions, that are also reviewed for their physical beauty, as well as the work’s literary art and often illustrations, so long as the initial work has been out 60 days.
  2. We love books of fiction! And as readers we have too little time to read ALL of the books that fall onto our tentative To-Read List. The Forgotten Fiction hopes that with our Yea or Nay stamp, we can definitively give our unbiased opinion to you as a recommendation that may or may not move a book from the stack to your Must-Read List.

To Read More Details On Our Process Go To The About Page Here.

The Long Walk By Richard Bachman (Stephen King) Book Review

The Long Walk By Richard Bachman (Stephen King) Book Review

The Long Walk by Richard Bachman (Stephen King) Book Review takes a look at the first novel Stephen King is said to have ever written, while in college, and was not published until 1979 under the penname of Richard Bachman.

Walking the edge of The Long Walk, as a reader, balances the dichotomies of humanity’s actions toward itself: torturous psychological and physical pain foiled by expectant friendship and self-sacrifice.

And the thematic thumping of the drum of feet on the road!

The Long Walk

The language is sharp and there is certainly a darker, glass-half-full aspect that emanates dystopian tropes in King’s book.

And yet, despite the terrific pacing, the immersive world of The Walk that grips the Constant Reader, King still harnesses such great characters, major and minor, that they make their journey yours, and their life-like aspects are so real they are uncanny.

This is a gift King seems to have had from the first, and this hard hitting tale is a great example.

The seemingly unending walk, the pounding of the pavement, goes on and on as though the reader’s suspense and the characters’ own fears will never end.

After the book review, I will also take a look at the two elusive first edition copies of The Long Walk that came out via paperback editions, in the US under Signet in July 1979 and then in the UK under NEL in September 1980.

Suntup Editions, Gerry Grace, The Long Walk, NEL, Signet, Richard Bachman, Stephen King

PLEASE NOTE: The following book review is *SPOILER FREE* and discussion of the plot is tread upon lightly for the sake of readers that have not yet opened the book.


Here is the story synopsis from Stephen King, and the review continues below it.

From StephenKing.com:

The Long Walk

Formats: softcover, audiobook

First Edition Release Date: by Signet in 1979 (first US edition) and NEL in 1980 (first UK edition)

Synopsis:

In the near future, where America has become a police state, one hundred boys are selected to enter an annual contest where the winner will be awarded whatever he wants for the rest of his life. The game is simple – maintain a steady walking pace of four miles per hour without stopping. Three warnings, and you’re out – permanently. First Edition Release Date: September, 2019


For those looking for an introduction into King’s works, The Long Walk serves up both an insightful glimpse into the human condition, under bleak circumstances, and adds some grimly powerful statements about society as a whole, some of which can certainly be echoed in today’s world.

While many are familiar with The Running Man because of the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie of the same name in the 1980’s (there are few other similarities between the flick and book, one could argue, besides entertainment), few realize that the late Richard Bachman, who, sad to say, succumbed to cancer some years back, spawned some of Stephen King’s finest works, including The Long Walk, Rage, Roadwork, Thinner, and Blaze.

There would have been no Hunger Games without The Long Walk.

In days eerily reflective of our own in America, a police state’s great annual entertainment centers around The Walk, or The Long Walk, contest where 100 teenagers walk from the Maine/Canadian border as far south as it takes to leave one standing.

This is not typical Stephen King horror, though Constant Readers will be quick to point out that “The King of Horror” has written in just about every genre, trope, form of writing, and cross-genre imaginable.

The Long Walk is a near-future dystopian masterpiece of suspense and horror.

The horror here is all in the horrible face of humanity that is shown again and again.

The Walk’s prize is whatever the winner wants . . . for life.

But the price is to take whatever you choose to carry with you and wear on your feet, and then accepting only water and food from the soldiers guarding the foot race, with rifles at the ready.

You have to stay above four miles per hour for the entire time, usually days.

You can change your family’s lives forever by winning it all or by being one of the 99 who run out of warnings, slip below the speed, and get shot by a military rifle.

Young men face life, death, and dig deep into themselves to find the mental toughness many long-distance runners require to accomplish their goals, though the stakes are far far less.

For the main character Raymond Davis Garraty, seeing those he loves waiting for him far down The Walk, his mom and his girlfriend Jan, becomes the most important motivation to continue on day and night, night and day as the miles go bye taking their toll and splattering many young mens’ brains in the unending road before them.

It is the relationships these guys form during The Walk that make the story so moving.

There are some wise-cracking clowns, a mysterious loner, and new friendships made that could cause the lives of their own competition to survive, despite that making the contest that much harder for a friendly Walker to outlive everyone else.

At one point, as a storm nears, Garraty looks on dismayed as a loud mouth, named Barkovitch, taunts another Walker in an attempt to get him to throw a punch and break the rules.

Breaking rules have dark black and white consequences from the “emotionless” soldiers watching incessantly.

Inner strife amongst the young men spurns some, as others form teams, some form shaky alliances, and some swear oaths to one another.

As unlikely events follow seemingly every possible behavior and action, positive and negative, you could imagine during such a trial, The Walk almost seems a test for what an enduring human can be.

Meanwhile, the weather, from heat to rain that threatens to wash out bridges, to lightning and hail storms all play as battle after battle, skirmish after skirmish in the constant war that is the Walk.

There has never been such a gripping tale of camaraderie and humanity like this set amidst a society-induced hell on the road, complete with its own military overseers and Lord Of The Flies-like scenarios.

The only complaint or critique of The Long Walk that I have is that there could have been many more of these tales from previous or future Walk events.

***

Looking at these books, though they are not small press issue, they are certainly rare collectible books worth examining. Though publication numbers of the two first editions of The Long Walk are unknown, TheDarkTower.org believes the print run to be close to the 75,000 first editions of Rage; the rarity in them is that paperbacks are fragile and not many Very Good and Fine copies survive.

This copy of the UK The Long Walk is a personal favorite of mine.

Suntup Editions, Gerry Grace, The Long Walk, NEL, Signet, Richard Bachman, Stephen King

I prefer the cover art by Gerry Grace in the NEL copy and this book is Very Fine with square corners and white pages – almost As New, except for a slight wrinkle and a tiny white chip near the spine on the front of the cover.

Finding clean, bright covers is difficult in and of itself, but finding spines that are not cracked with one of no lines and pages not yellowed is not easy, and, at times, expensive.

Both the Signet and NEL first editions are starkly ominous and quite spectacular books visually.

The cover art on the American version of The Long Walk (not sure of the artist) highlights the menacing military man overlooking the contestants, as one is about to die.

The Red cover and black, bold font of the title, make it stand out in a “RED ALERT” type of way.

Suntup Editions, Gerry Grace, The Long Walk, NEL, Signet, Richard Bachman, Stephen King

But the NEL UK first edition of The Long Walk is truly a work of beauty.

The cover art by Gerry Grace covers the entire cover, not just a panel, and shows the Walk in full progress, complete with another menacing military man, but this one bearing the rifle that has spilled the blood of one fallen in the road.

The other Walkers amble on, like zombies, exhausted.

One is stumbling, and all are under the armored tank and possible media tank following behind them and shining spotlights to capture the ‘entertainment’ of the Walk at night.

The Beams of light seem to emanate a prison tower, or the Panopticon. And all things serve the Beam.

Suntup Editions, Gerry Grace, The Long Walk, NEL, Signet, Richard Bachman, Stephen King

The Grace UK cover is a fantastic work of art, the title emblazoned in deep crimson, and is even highlighted by a limited Suntup Editions fine art print too (sans red title).

The Forgotten Fiction Grade: YEA (read it and buy ’em if you collect)!


Want To Buy The Book from a local bookseller? Click Away!

Rune Works Rare Book Case, Custom Book Case, custom slipcase, hand-made, Dolso, stephen king, suntup, clamshell book case, archival safe

“The Long Walk By Richard Bachman (Stephen King) Book Review” was written by R.J. Huneke

.Rune Works Rare Book Case, Custom Book Case, custom slipcase, hand-made, Dolso, stephen king, suntup, clamshell book case, archival safe

P.S. If You Like The Hand-made Wooden Case For The Long Walk

Check Out The Rune Works Rare Book Case Page here.

Though designs can be made for others, with a Roman Numeral limited edition of 19 maximum, each one is a unique and truly one-of-a-kind collectible due to the customization of the wood used and the design nuances brought in as each one is hand-crafted.

These wooden cases are archival safe, using methods studied from the Library of Congress and other sources to provide the most protection for the book in each aspect of the Rune Works cases from the use of low acidity woods, like the poplar shown above, to the use of specific clear-coating with protective epoxy to eliminate book aging and paper degradation via off-gassing found in traditional wood stain polyurethane clear coats, to the acid-free padding, satin, rust-resistant hardware, and then the use of UV protective Plexiglass on the front of the case to display the book and its cover art in a setting that is nearly as creative and artistic as the book design itself.

Rune Works Rare Book Case, Custom Book Case, custom slipcase, hand-made, Dolso, stephen king, suntup, clamshell book case, archival safe

Wooden book cases, for example, are not used in most libraries and The Library of Congress and the Vatican’s archival safe library, because of the breakdown of the wood with off-gassing damaging and aging the paper and other book materials over time – the closest we can get to a powder-coated steel book case is a sealed and

Detailed engravings and personalizations can be added to the side, or spine, of the Rune Works Case too – just as Mr. Bachman’s signature (may he rest in peace) was added to the front of the case above – to save shelf space if one wants to put it in between other books the narrow way, versus book cover side out.

P.P.S. If You Want To Know A Little More About How The Forgotten Fiction Is Different & Our Mission . . .

We are really trying to achieve two main goals here:

  1. To bolster every author who puts out a work of fiction long after the initial buzz that accompanied its release. This is something that is usually left to an expensive public relations manager or company and even with all of their powers of marketing / PR are limited in where they can place the book months after its launch. This includes limited edition and small press publications, like Suntup Editions, that are also reviewed for their physical beauty, as well as the work’s literary art and often illustrations, so long as the initial work has been out 60 days.
  2. We love books of fiction! And as readers we have too little time to read ALL of the books that fall onto our tentative To-Read List. The Forgotten Fiction hopes that with our Yea or Nay stamp, we can definitively give our unbiased opinion to you as a recommendation that may or may not move a book from the stack to your Must-Read List.

To Read More Details On Our Process Go To The About Page Here.

I, ROBOT By Isaac Asimov: Book Review Of Science Fiction Classic

I, ROBOT By Isaac Asimov: Book Review Of Science Fiction Classic

I, ROBOT by Isaac Asimov: book review of science fiction classic highlights the prose, storytelling, and stark differences in views regarding this premiere work about robots and AI, aka artificial intelligence.

In Asimov’s I, Robot, Dr. Susan Calvin (robo-pyschologist for U.S. Robots and Mechanical Men Inc.) describes the development of robots, through nine short stories, to a reporter in the 21st century.

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The Following book review of I, Robot by Isaac Asimov is a Spoiler-ful WARNING Level YELLOW: it contains mild spoilers for the novel, but not detailed plot.

When read from beginning to end I, Robot can be seen as an evolution of Asimov’s Robots. Each story shares an interaction between humans and robots and often hints upon the unease of a growing artificial intelligence.

Here is the story synopsis, and the review continues below it.


From penguinrandomhouse.com:

Paperback
Released April 29, 2008 | ISBN 9780553382563

Each story in the book shares an interaction between humans and robots and often hints upon the unease of a growing artificial intelligence.

Asimov’s future (actually our past as his first short story is set in 2015) includes mining stations on asteroids and Mercury, spaceships with hyperdrive, and super computers along with robots taking over simple jobs like farming, while also running for office and even secretly running the world.

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Although nine stories follow Asimov Three Laws of Robotics, many stories describe robots having difficulty with these laws (either by manufacturing defect or meta-cognitive awareness) leading to their eventual interpretation of them – even a so called religion. His infamous laws governing robotic behavior have changed our perception of robots forever.

The three laws of Robotics:
1) A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2) A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Despite the name Hollywood gave the film, I, Robot, starring Will Smith, the book is far from the film in terms of actual story elements, though the film is fun and captures some of the spirit, as well as a couple specific uses of the book.

Spoiler Alert: If you were a fan of the 2004 science fiction action film I, Robot directed by Alex Proyas do not expect many similarities with Isaac Asimov’s 1940-1950 short story collection of the same name. The 2004 film is much more closely based on Jeff Vintar’s original screenplay Hardwired. That film adopts Asimov’s creation of “the three laws of robotics,” shares two similar characters, and borrows one scene from his works.

Overall I, Robot is a thought provoking read, blended well with science-fact and science fiction.

If you have not read the novel, expect a vastly different story than the film with the exception of the chapter titled “Little Lost Rabbit.”

The Forgotten Fiction Grade: YEA (read it!)


About The Author From Goodreads.com:

Isaac Asimov was a Russian-born, American author, a professor of biochemistry, and a highly successful writer, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books.

Professor Asimov is generally considered one of the most prolific writers of all time, having written or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards. He has works published in nine of the ten major categories of the Dewey Decimal System (lacking only an entry in the 100s category of Philosophy).

Asimov is widely considered a master of the science-fiction genre and, along with Robert A. Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke, was considered one of the “Big Three” science-fiction writers during his lifetime.

[https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16667.Isaac_Asimov]


P.S. If You Want To Know A Little More About How The Forgotten Fiction Is Different & Our Mission . . .

We are really trying to achieve two main goals here:

  1. To bolster every author who puts out a work of fiction long after the initial buzz that accompanied its release. This is something that is usually left to an expensive public relations manager or company and even with all of their powers of marketing / PR are limited in where they can place the book months after its launch. This includes limited edition and small press publications, like Suntup Editions, that are also reviewed for their physical beauty, as well as the work’s literary art and often illustrations, so long as the initial work has been out 60 days.
  2. We love books of fiction! And as readers we have too little time to read ALL of the books that fall onto our tentative To-Read List. The Forgotten Fiction hopes that with our Yea or Nay stamp, we can definitively give our unbiased opinion to you as a recommendation that may or may not move a book from the stack to your Must-Read List.

To Read More Details On Our Process Go To The About Page Here.

Want To Buy The Book from a local bookseller? Click Away!

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“I, ROBOT By Isaac Asimov: Book Review Of Science Fiction Classic” was written by Peter Maisano.

Hard Case Crime’s QUARRY By Max Allan Collins Hits Hard

Hard Case Crime’s QUARRY By Max Allan Collins Hits Hard

Hard Case Crime’s QUARRY by Max Allan Collins hits hard, and that is whether you use the large paperback to ‘interrogate,’ or merely to read the first brilliant tale of the assassin Quarry.

Max Allan Collins is the author of The Road To Perdition, and has many brilliant series, including two of my personal favorites: the Nathan Heller series of hard boiled historical fiction and the Quarry series.

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In Quarry, the writing is truly inspired in both the visceral characters, the phenomenal pacing, and the sharp-edged language.

The flat-out villainous protagonist might have a little of the ‘hero’ in anti-hero in him . . . or he might not.

The innovative character and story make for something special, which is why Hard Case Crime decided to republish the series, after 30 years, in a gorgeous large paperback small press edition with a painted cover by legendary artist Robert McGinnis.

The following book review will feature both an in-depth look at the book, Quarry, and then an examination of the Hard Case Crime treatment of Collins’ tale.

Quarry: the following book review will be *Spoiler-free, as the plot reveals are vital to the story, so we omitted them.

Hard Case Crime, charles ardai, pulp fiction, noir, QUARRY, Max Allan Collins, robert McGinnis

Here is the story synopsis, and the review continues below it.


From Hardcasecrime.com:

Paperback
Published in October 2015 by Hard Case Crime

THIS IS IT—WHERE QUARRY’S STORY ALL BEGAN.
AND ANOTHER LIFE ENDED.


The assignment was simple: stake out the man’s home and kill him. Easy work for a professional like Quarry. But when things go horribly wrong, Quarry finds himself with a new mission: learn who hired him, and make the bastard pay.

NOW A CINEMAX TELEVISION SERIES!

 

The longest-running series from Max Allan Collins, author of Road to Perdition, and the first ever to feature a hitman as the main character, the Quarry novels tell the story of a paid assassin with a rebellious streak and an unlikely taste for justice. Once a Marine sniper, Quarry found a new home stateside with a group of contract killers. But some men aren’t made for taking orders—and when Quarry strikes off on his own, god help the man on the other side of his nine-millimeter…

  • QUARRY comes to Cinemax in Fall 2015
  • The original Quarry novels return to bookstores for the first time in 30 years
  • Featuring cover paintings by the legendary Robert McGinnis

Quarry’s tale is truly ground-breaking.

To Quarry, his work with contract killers, and especially dealing with a man called the Broker who he has relied on for finding him work and payment is all just part of a “pain-in-the-ass job.”

Quarry was a sniper in the Vietnam War who has become a hit-man for hire as he continues to try to acclimate to the country he has returned home to.

What this does is make for someone with possible PTSD who does not like to play with others, unless she is lonely for a night, and his inability to interact with others has limited his scope of work.

He sees the killing, lying, and all that comes with it, and acting without the least bit of empathy, as part of his journey.

He wants to go on living, to go on making money killing, and to not be screwed over, because someone is always trying to screw him over, jeopardizing his money or his life.

The pace is furiously frantic at the start of the book and in a few pages there is the heinous threatening to murder a priest at an airport, or is he really a priest, and it makes its mark on the reader immediately.

The pacing will vary as the present situation of betrayal slows things down, and Quarry thinks out his next moves.

So as a reader you get to catch your breath and become a part of the observations and thoughts of Quarry.

The only gripe I have with the novel, if you can call it a gripe, is that the characters are so interesting I wish there were a few more of them.

Quarry, his too often sauced part-time partner in crime, the Broker, and of course, the dames, are all written so well … I want more.

But I guess that is why there are sequels!

Hard Case Crime, charles ardai, pulp fiction, noir, QUARRY, Max Allan Collins, robert McGinnis

Quarry’s boss the Broker’s webs of crime, and a change in protocol for Quarry’s job make for an interesting bit of mystery.

The world is utterly real and grimy, as is the rough speech of the man known only as Quarry, and even the women he tries to consume for a night’s pleasure do not get much sympathy from him.

The psychopath in Quarry and the morals that jump out when you least expect them are just as mysterious and engrossing as the story itself.

It is easy to get lost in Quarry’s world and the pages leap bye as your stomach does somersaults.

All of the hard-boiled noir in Quarry cuts the reader deep, as Quarry the man is tortured by his brain and throes of violence throughout the book.

This kicks off a truly remarkable series brilliantly.

Hard Case Crime brings back Quarry in a big badass paperback.

The dime paperbacks of pulp fiction, hard-boiled detective fiction, great sci-fi and fantasy and horror spawned so many incredible tales and all for an affordable price and in a format that was easily taken anywhere.

Hard Case Crime was created by Charles Ardai and Max Phillips, and their vision was to relaunch another golden paperback era with great tales, but in a slightly bigger format to make great use of the cover art that has been fantastic for at least eighty years of mass market books.

So, the small press Hard Case Crime was founded and for the Quarry series, for example, the great Robert McGinnis of James Bond art infamy was brought in to make stunning cover portraits that grace the 5+ inches x 8+ inches books.

Sometimes Hard Case Crime creates hardcovers and limited editions as well.

At their core, they have a unique vision, and I will let them tell it:

From World War II through the 1960s, paperback crime novels were one of the fastest-selling categories in book publishing. Millions of readers snapped up hundreds of millions of books by well-known authors like Erle Stanley Gardner and Mickey Spillane, as well as by promising young newcomers like Lawrence Block and Donald Westlake. These inexpensive, pocket-sized novels captured the public’s imagination with jaw-dropping cover paintings and bare-knuckled prose that grabbed you by the collar with the first sentence and held you until the last page. No one had published books like that in years.

Until we came along. [HardCaseCrime.com]

Unlike the often a quarter inch of thick paperbacks of yesteryear, Quarry has 271 pages and weight to it – not a phonebook’s heft, but it feels good in the hand.

The old-fashioned design of HCC’s Quarry is truly perfect!

The alluring bombshell on the bed looks through you from the cover.

Max Allan Collins’ weather-beaten killer of killers, Quarry is even added to the cover in black and white adding the right feel to the embodied noir.

From the font, the blurb on the back cover, and the feel of the paper, the quality of the Hard Case Crime publication of Quarry is enough to make one fall in love . . . with pain.

The Forgotten Fiction Grade: YEA (read it!)


About The Author From MaxAllanCollins.com:

MAX ALLAN COLLINS was hailed in 2004 by Publisher’s Weekly as “a new breed of writer.” A frequent Mystery Writers of America “Edgar” nominee in both fiction and non-fiction categories, he has earned an unprecedented eighteen Private Eye Writers of America “Shamus” nominations, winning for his Nathan Heller novels, True Detective (1983) and Stolen Away (1991), receiving the PWA life achievement award, the Eye, in 2007. The first Heller in almost a decade, the Marilyn Monroe-oriented Bye Bye, Baby (2011), will be followed in 2012 by Target Lancer, the long-promised JFK Heller novel.

His graphic novel Road to Perdition (1998) is the basis of the Academy Award-winning 2002 film starring Tom Hanks, Paul Newman and Daniel Craig, directed by Sam Mendes. It was followed by two acclaimed prose sequels, Road to Purgatory (2004) and Road to Paradise (2005), and a graphic novel sequel, Return to Perdition (2011). He has written a number of innovative suspense series, including Nolan (the author’s first series, about a professional thief), Quarry (the first series about a hired killer), and Eliot Ness (four novels about the famous real-life Untouchable’s Cleveland years). He is completing a number of “Mike Hammer” novels begun by the late Mickey Spillane, with whom Collins did many projects; the fourth of these, Lady Go, Die!, was published in 2012.

[http://www.maxallancollins.com/max/]


P.S. If You Want To Know A Little More About How The Forgotten Fiction Is Different & Our Mission . . .

We are really trying to achieve two main goals here:

  1. To bolster every author who puts out a work of fiction long after the initial buzz that accompanied its release. This is something that is usually left to an expensive public relations manager or company and even with all of their powers of marketing / PR are limited in where they can place the book months after its launch. This includes limited edition and small press publications, like Suntup Editions, that are also reviewed for their physical beauty, as well as the work’s literary art and often illustrations, so long as the initial work has been out 60 days.
  2. We love books of fiction! And as readers we have too little time to read ALL of the books that fall onto our tentative To-Read List. The Forgotten Fiction hopes that with our Yea or Nay stamp, we can definitively give our unbiased opinion to you as a recommendation that may or may not move a book from the stack to your Must-Read List.

To Read More Details On Our Process Go To The About Page Here.

Want To Buy The Book from a local bookseller? Click Away!

Hard Case Crime, charles ardai, pulp fiction, noir, QUARRY, Max Allan Collins, robert McGinnis

“Hard Case Crime’s QUARRY By Max Allan Collins Hits Hard” was written by R.J. Huneke.

Book Review: MICRO By Michael Crichton & Richard Preston WOWs

Book Review: MICRO By Michael Crichton & Richard Preston WOWs

Book Review: Micro By Michael Crichton & Richard Preston WOWs, as young upcoming grad students find themselves heading to Hawaii in pursuit of cutting-edge careers in microbiology a whole new world is opened up to them on the wake of a murder investigation.

The Crichton manuscript and notes for Micro were posthumously delivered to Preston who continued the stunning, thrilling, science-based adventure story Crichton is so well known for.

Preston deserves exceptional credit for delivering the novel with Crichton’s pacing and tone – a work that he would truly be proud of.

Micro, Michael Crichton, Richard Preston, book review

Here is the story synopsis, and the review continues below it.


From michaelcrichton.com:

Hardcover
Published in 2011 by HarperCollins

Paperback
Published in 2012 by HarperCollins

First Edition Release Date: March, 2019

In a locked Honolulu office building, three men are found dead with no sign of struggle except for the ultrafine, razor-sharp cuts covering their bodies. The only clue left behind is a tiny bladed robot, nearly invisible to the human eye.

In the lush forests of Oahu, groundbreaking technology has ushered in a revolutionary era of biological prospecting. Trillions of microorganisms, tens of thousands of bacteria species, are being discovered; they are feeding a search for priceless drugs and applications on a scale beyond anything previously imagined.

In Cambridge, Massachusetts, seven graduate students at the forefront of their fields are recruited by a pioneering microbiology start-up. Nanigen MicroTechnologies dispatches the group to a mysterious lab in Hawaii, where they are promised access to tools that will open a whole new scientific frontier.

But once in the Oahu rain forest, the scientists are thrust into a hostile wilderness that reveals profound and surprising dangers at every turn. Armed only with their knowledge of the natural world, they find themselves prey to a technology of radical and unbridled power. To survive, they must harness the inherent forces of nature itself.


This is a *SPOILER-FUL Review WARNING*

Micro starts with a murder mystery and captivates the reader with gripping action scenes that only get more compelling until the novel ends.

As a Hawaiian tech company’s malicious owner – a crook and a killer – uses his new technology to shrink a group of grad students down to half an inch, they find themselves stranded in the rainforest, in an unknown environment, running from giant insects and other gruesome creatures.

Micro, Michael Crichton, Richard Preston, book review

Michael Crichton doing research for Micro in Hawaii | Photo credit: Sherri Crichton

Charles Darwin’s Survival of the Fittest is law and it takes all of their intellect to survive.

Crichton and Preston take us to a whole new world – delightful imagery, chilling predators, and a new ecosystem.

They show their love for the natural world, but remind the readers of its explicit cruelty. The authors adopt a shocking realism. Characters are picked off right and left, sometimes without warning, and in the cruelest of ways.

An argument can be made for one dimensional characters; but heroic rescues always make up for character flaws.

Micro, Michael Crichton, Richard Preston, book review

A page of Michael Crichton’s handwritten Micro notes

Crichton died in 2008 at the age of 66. He was writing thrillers in medical school under the pen name John Lange.

His novels often blend medical and technological elements with adventure and violence. Upon his death, he left this unfinished manuscript, including detailed plot outlines and notes, with Richard Preston, himself a respected author of science-related novels such as The Hot Zone.

All in all, Micro ensures all readers will reflect upon the beauty and horror of the natural world. Especially if/when a villain has the technology to create micro-drones that could kill any leader on Earth.

 

The Forgotten Fiction Grade: YEA (read it!)

 

Click to Shop your local indie bookstore for MICRO

P.S. If You Want To Know A Little More About How The Forgotten Fiction Is Different & Our Mission . . .

We are really trying to achieve two main goals here:

  1. To bolster every author who puts out a work of fiction long after the initial buzz that accompanied its release. This is something that is usually left to an expensive public relations manager or company and even with all of their powers of marketing / PR are limited in where they can place the book months after its launch. This includes limited edition and small press publications, like Suntup Editions, that are also reviewed for their physical beauty, as well as the work’s literary art and often illustrations, so long as the initial work has been out 60 days.
  2. We love books of fiction! And as readers we have too little time to read ALL of the books that fall onto our tentative To-Read List. The Forgotten Fiction hopes that with our Yea or Nay stamp, we can definitively give our unbiased opinion to you as a recommendation that may or may not move a book from the stack to your Must-Read List.

To Read More Details On Our Process Go To The About Page Here.

“Book Review: MICRO By Michael Crichton & Richard Preston WOWs” was written by Peter Maisano for The Forgotten Fiction.