cover image Steel Victory

Steel Victory

J.L. Gribble. Raw Dog Screaming/Dog Star (, $14.95 trade paper (215p) ISBN 978-1-935738-73-2

Gribble’s debut, a blend of apocalyptic SF, alternate history, and the paranormal, shows promise despite a few flaws. In this time line, Rome never fell, and by the year 2094 C.E., America is primarily a nuclear wasteland. The independent city-state of Limani, home to the (mostly) retired vampire mercenary Victory, is caught between two warring international powers. One nation’s expansion plans threaten all Victory holds dear. The innovative combination of genres is appealing, and Gribble’s multiple story lines—invasion, anti-creature bias, and intercity politics—mesh very well together. Some too-polished narrative asides attempt to address every question a reader might have. The language is generally strong, but it gets a bit tin-eared when Gribble alludes to current events by having “humanists” refuse service to magic-users and creatures. This is a solid first effort that sets the stage for more installments in an intriguing world with complex characters. (July)