cover image Androne


Dwain Worrell. 47North, $16.99 trade paper (334p) ISBN 978-1-66251-197-4

Humanity wages war against an unseen opponent in Worrell’s fascinating near-future sci-fi debut. In precise yet lyrical prose, Worrell introduces newly enlisted Sgt. Paxton Ares, who leaves his grandfather and pregnant girlfriend to pilot an Androne, a remotely operated war machine. These machines are humanity’s response to an event where all major military bases around the world were wiped out by an unknown enemy in a coordinated strike. Paxton soon finds that his part in this war is less than thrilling, as he spends uneventful days patrolling the patch of desert assigned to him, battling homesickness, and finding his place among the other pilots. Worrell steadily builds intrigue as suspicion mounts that one of the Androne pilots is collaborating with the enemy and Paxton becomes wrapped up in the conspiracy theories circulating around the base. After he gets his hands on a signal-jamming device, he finally has the means to leave his patrol quadrant and search out the enemy in the unnamed desert. What he finds there turns everything he thought he knew about the war inside out. Taut intrigue reels readers into a thrilling yet thoughtful narrative about the futility of war and the cost of doing the right thing, and a clever, quantum twist will please sci-fi fans. Worrell should make a splash with this. Agent: Dorian Maffei, Kimberley Cameron & Assoc. (Sept.)