Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Machineries of Mars -- Charles Gramlich

Another book (novella, actually) that I read on my Bouchercon flight was The Machineries of Mars.  It's a sure-footed homage to Edgar Rice Burroughs that works well both as homage and as a humdinger of a story, which begins in medias res when the narrator wakes up on a flyer that's about to crash.  He doesn't know who he is, but he knows how to fix the flyer, and he knows how to use the sword he's wearing.  He looks at the sword, worn from use, and sees letters that seem to be IOHN.  So maybe his name is Iohn.

Almost immediately, Iohn sees a battle and has little hesitation in choosing sides, as on one side a woman and child are involved.  After the fighting, in which Iohn acquits himself quite well, Iohn learns that a society of clones is fighting the inhabitants of Mars, on whose side Iohn now finds himself.  There are move battles, chases, and pursuits before the final twist, which is a good one.

Whether you're a fan of Burroughs or whether you just like fast-moving pulp-style adventure, this one deserves a look.  Check it out.

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