Adam Connell, Author . Phobos $14.95 (382p) ISBN 978-0-9720026-4-6

Rich in detail and surprising incident, Connell's SF debut takes a grim look at the twisted machinery of collective government and the individual spirit often at odds with ruling political systems. When an assassination attempt on a mining colony in a distant universe forces retired bodyguard Horrocks on a search for the colony's leader (aka "the king") and his Ringers (mechanical look-alikes), he begins to question the system of life that he's fighting to protect. People take precedence over mechanical marvels in this intense drama. Married and expecting a child, Horrocks is the perfect character through which to explore the ambiguous moral issues involved in leadership and big-business exploitation. Struggle for identity and self-sacrifice are just a few of the powerful stories beneath an action-packed surface plot that provokes as it dazzles. Featuring shattered characters whose souls are as dirtied as their deteriorated surroundings, Connell's novel boldly challenges the rigid moral conservatism so often found in traditional space opera, and is sure to both please and anger readers of this particular subgenre. (May 18)

Reviewed on: 05/10/2004
Release date: 05/01/2004
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