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…