cover image The Helios Syndrome

The Helios Syndrome

Vivian Shaw. Lethe, $13 trade paper (142p) ISBN 978-1-59021-537-1

The occult features heavily in this cool little adventure from Shaw (Strange Practice). “Freelance necromancer” Devin Stacy works with the National Transportation Safety Board, and more specifically hard-boiled Chief Investigator Wayne Dooley, to find aircraft crash sites and uncover the causes of the aircraft failures by interviewing the dead. Things become more complex when the ghost of Captain Warner, who recently died in a horrific crash, starts to haunt Sandy as he investigates an aircraft that has disappeared. Shaw has a tremendous gift for taking subject material that is both niche and, in this case, involving a not-insubstantial amount of physics, and making it fun and fascinating enough to captivate readers, whether or not they have any background in aviation or the occult. The story circles in on questions of what good or evil lurks in the cosmos, but softens the intensity with talking airplanes and magical hijinks. Fast paced, complex, and brilliant, this entirely original novella is sure to win fans. Agent: Stephen Barbara, InkWell Management. (Apr.)