Monday, October 26, 2015


By Robert F. Dorr
ISBN # 978-0-9863200-0-2
292 pages

The fun of any new pulp adventure is you never know exactly what you are going to get. Oh, sure, you can make a few educated guesses based on your knowledge of the author’s history and the book’s theme, but that’s still pretty much surface data. It doesn’t really delve deep enough to reveal anything of significance until you start reading. That being said, you can imagine my curiosity in picking up something called, “Hitler’s Time Machine.” Some assumptions leapt immediately mind; it being a sci-fi thriller set against the backdrop of World War II.

Robert F. Door is an Air Force vet and one-time diplomat. He has written several military history books. “Hitler’s Time Machine” is his first fiction title and I’m delighted to say he hits a home run his first time at bat. Within just a few chapters, I was hooked. Long before the advent of World War II, a German sniper arrives on Campobello Island. He has traveled from the future to injure the famous inhabitant of that little island off the Canadian coast, Franklin D. Roosevelt. From that opening sequence the narrative takes of like a V-2 rocket, pulling the reader along for a wild, crazy adventure wherein both the U.S. and Germans simultaneously begin experimenting with time travel as another way of fighting the war.

In the states, the program is led by a tenacious, brilliant young woman named Barbara Stafford, while in Germany, her counterpart is Prof. Kimmler, one of the men tasked with creating the Holocaust death camps. While Barbara struggles to deal with the overt sexism of the 40s, Kimmler is caught up in playing political games between the Fuhrer, Adolph Hitler, and one of his most trusted advisors and chief off the SS, Heinrich Himmler. Throughout the story, Dorr brilliantly mixes real history with his fictional narrative weaving them into a seamless tapestry that in the end had this reader wondering if the events in this book didn’t actually happen. That’s how good a writer he is.

In fact, it is this attention to historical detail that makes “Hitler’s Time Machine” so fascinating. Unlike the majority of overly verbose thriller writers today, Dorr’s exposition is sparse and to the point. He doesn’t waste words but creates quick scalpel sharp scenes that built upon each other to reach a suspense filled climax.  Ever wonder what kind of science-fiction Tom Clancy might have written? Look not further than “Hitler’s Time Machine.”

Friday, October 16, 2015


By Davide Mana
Acheron Books
340 pages

Shanghai in 1936 is overrun by foreign agents all vying to align themselves with various political factions they believe will survive the coming global conflict and emerge victorious.  Amidst this cauldron of intrigue and espionage, Italian mercenary pilot Felice Sabatini finds himself caught up in a bizarre expedition that will lead to mysterious peeks of Tibet in search of an ancient artifact that could easily tilt the balance of power to whoever possesses it.

Guiding him along this dangerous quest is a beautiful Asian femme-fatale with the anglicized name of Pat Neal. Their enemy is a blonde German vixen who commands a giant black airship with a Nazi swastika painted on its hull. Along the way, Sabatini and Neal confront both human and magical advisories to include a group of Ninja like monks, Japanese agents, a three-eyed demon and talking green dogs. Author Mana has crammed more fantasy adventure in this one pulp tale than we’d normally find twice as many.

“The Ministry of Thunder,” is a rollicking tongue-in-cheek over-the-top pulp winner that completely won me over within its first few chapters. It’s Indiana Jones meets Bill Barnes with a touch of Kung-Fu thrown in to spice things up.  It is the first Davide Mana book we’ve read and we certainly hope not the last.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

BANARAK - Storming the Gates.

BANARAK – Storming the Gates
By Van Allen Plexico
White Rocket Books and
243 pages

This is as yet another action packed adventure taking place in the fictional sci-fi mythology created by Van Allen Plexico call The Shattering. In this mythos, mankind exists in a universe made up of three distinct level of reality; the Above, where dwell gods with amazing powers, the Middle (or for want of a better term, our own universe) made up of we mere mortals and lastly the Below, home to assorted demons and other monstrous creatures. In his galaxy spanning saga, most of the drama results from unexpected interactions between these three levels which tend to lead to cataclysmic results.

In one of Plexico’s first books, “Lucien – Dark God’s Homecoming,” we were given a glimpse of this universe long after the old god’s from the Above had been vanquished via an act of betrayal amongst one of their owns. Then, in subsequent titles, Plexico opted to move around to other parts of his mythos and chose to weave stories that for the most part happened in his imagined future. Now, with “Banarak – Storming the Gates,” he takes back in time and spins the fantastic story of the actual birth of the Above gods.

The setup is quickly related. In the distant future mankind has launched itself into space hoping to find new worlds to colonize and guarantee the continuation of our species. Almost immediately star-gates are discovered at various points in space which allow us to leap front across the galaxies and soon seven worlds are settled and a burgeoning Empire of Man is about to be established. But just as quickly as the gates were found, they suddenly, without warning, cease functioning and thus seven separate human planets learn they must forge on independent of the others. Thus seven different cultures continue to evolve over the next few decades, each establishing its own unique identity. The only single unifying tradition to remain viable on all seven isolated empires is their common religion; the Church of the Seven Stars.

Then, just as mysteriously as they stopped functioning, the star-gates are reactivated by forces unknown.  On the human world of Majondra, the military commander Constantine Baranak devises a plan to use the gates to invade and conquer the other six empires thus establishing one cohesive galaxy spanning regime. Aiding him in this audacious scheme are his siblings and his son, Gaius, who also serves as Constantine’s military aide. On the eve of this stellar invasion, Constantine is betrayed and assassinated by a high priest of the church at the same time Majondra comes under attack by a rival empire. It is left to Gaius to fathom how his father’s bold scheme was discovered and who amongst the royal family betrayed them.

One of Plexico’s hallmarks is the breakneck speed at which he propels his plot never allowing his reader a moment’s respite as his protagonist is plunged into one amazing adventure after another. He creates unique, alien allies and foes that confront Gaius at every turn until in the end; his family’s very survival depends on his keen insights into both their various natures. Dealing with cosmic forces beyond understanding, Constantine’s son must gamble with the fate of his people to either achieve a bold new future or fail and watch them totally destroyed.  “BANARAK – Storming the Gates,” is a space opera thrill ride that never disappoints.  If you have never a Van Allen Plexico space adventure, this is clearly the place to start.