Books : reviews

W. Michael Gear.
The Artifact.
DAW. 1990

rating : 3 : worth reading

In a galaxy on the brink of civil war the Brotherhood seeks to keep the peace through diplomacy, subterfuge, and control of both technological advances and the carefully gathered knowledge of countless worlds. But now Speaker Archon, formerly a privateer and currently head of the world of Star’s Rest, has brought news of a discovery which may prove a great boon to humankind or a catalyst for its destruction.

So the Brotherhood ship Boaz, carrying diplomats representing all the human planets, stations, and colonies is launched on a journey to distant Star’s Rest. Only Archon and his daughter know what awaits them there. And neither they nor Captain Carrasco can anticipate the treacherous games of intrigue and betrayal about to be played out aboard Boaz. Yet the greatest danger is that they will actually survive to reach Star’s Rest and the alien Artifact. For this creation of a long-vanished civilization has been waiting patiently for millennia to lure humans to extinction…

High-tech disposal of a high-tech problem.

W. Michael Gear, Kathleen O'Neal Gear.
Dark Inheritance.
Warner Books. 2001

A secret genetic experiment

Dr Jim Button and his daughter, Brett, are raising Umber, a bonobo chimp bred by pharmaceutical giant SAC. But Jim is slowly realizing that Umber, who reads, types, and even contemplates theology, is too intelligent to be a “normal” ape—and more closely resembles one of humanity’s as ancient ancestors. When SAC abruptly demands Umber’s return, Jim and Brett are compelled to discover why.

A chilling legacy

Their quest leads to a SAC facility in Africa, where they discover a covert genetics lab, crude buildings decorated with skulls…and human corpses, savagely hacked to pieces. A project to genetically “augment” apes has worked too well—and gone hideously wrong. Now Jim, Brett, and Umber are trapped in the jungle, hunted by beings who are brutally aggressive, brilliantly inventive, and far stronger than any human. And like humans they can be utterly, and murderously, psychotic…

W. Michael Gear.
Daw. 2018

Donovan is a world of remarkable wealth, a habitable paradise of a planet. It sounds like a dream come true. But Donovan’s wealth comes at a price.

When the ship Turalon arrives in orbit, Supervisor Kalico Aguila discovers a failing colony, its government overthrown and the few remaining colonists now gone wild. Donovan offers the chance of a lifetime, one that could leave her the most powerful woman in the solar system. 0r dead.

Planetside, Talina Perez is one of three rulers of the Port Authority colony—the only law left in the one remaining town on Donovan. With the Corporate ship demanding answers about the things she’s done in the name of survival, Perez could lose everything, including her life.

For Dan Wirth, Donovan is a last chance. A psychopath with a death sentence looming over his head, he can’t wait to set foot on Port Authority. He will make one desperate play to grab a piece of the action—no matter who he has to corrupt, murder, or destroy.

Captain Max Taggart has been The Corporation’s “go-to” guy when it comes to cold-blooded military enforcement. As the situation in Port Authority deteriorates, he’ll be faced with tough choices to control the wild Donovanians. Only Talina Perez stands in his way.

lust as matters spiral out of control, a ghost ship, the Freelandar, appears in orbit. Missing for two years, she arrives with a crew dead of old age, and reeks of a bizarre death-cult ritual that deters any ship from attempting a return journey. And in the meantime, a brutal killer is stalking all of them, for Donovan plays its own complex and deadly game—the secrets of which are hidden in Talina Perez’s very blood.