THE SCORPION SQUAD #3 CHOPPER COMMAND BY ERIC HELM

Standard

tarzan

Copyright 1985.

There is a VC propaganda squad operating in the area. They slip across the border from Cambodia and terrorize the local villages. Guarded by a company of NVA they are acting with impunity. Mack Gerber wants to put a stop to them. For that he will need helicopters to insert his men quickly before the Cong can slip across the border.

The third book in the series is another exciting entry. This explores the beginnings of using helicopters in the war to move men quickly in an inhospitable country. This was a crucial component in fighting the war in Vietnam. Also we are shown the casual brutality of the VC. They massacre a village after the Green Berets successfully ambush them during one of their propaganda speeches. The VC didn’t want word of the humiliating defeat to get around so they destroyed the village. They would do this several times throughout the series. They also show the presses total lack of any interest in such incidents because they are so common. A very cynical and callous policy the VC waged.

Advertisements

THE SCORPION SQUAD #2 THE NHU KY STING BY ERIC HELM

Standard

tarzan

Copyright 1984.

Mack Gerber and the men of camp A-555 get a well deserved leave after successfully defending the camp against a VC regiment. But no sooner then they land in Australia when they are called back. A U-2 spy plane on a mission in China was flying over North Vietnam when it goes down. The pilot is held captive at a NVA base at Nhu Ky. Now Gerber and his green berets must parachute into North Vietnam and rescue the pilot. After a successful breakout they then have to track down the U-2 to retrieve the photos it took before the NVA get it. Luckily they make friends with the ethnic Nung Tai people who help them.

The second book in the series is a much stronger one than the first. The covert operation in the north was an exciting mission. Shifts the action to a whole new area of the war. Some things established are a growing romantic relationship between Gerber and an Air Force nurse. A mysterious Chinese advisor who was briefly present in this book and the first. He will become a somewhat regular nemesis in this series. It also had an interesting tie in with real life events. We find out at the end that their escape to the destroyer Maddox resulted in the Gulf of Tonkin incident. This incident was North Vietnamese patrol boats firing on the destroyer. It was used by President Johnson to escalate the war. Very clever idea.

THE SCORPION SQUAD #1 BODY COUNT BY ERIC HELM

Standard

tarzan

Copyright 1984

A lonely hill near the Cambodian border is transformed overnight. Three hundred men are working to construct special forces camp A-555 nicknamed the Triple-nickel. Captain Mack Gerber and his A-team of green berets are advising several hundred Vietnamese popular forces, ARVN special forces and Tai mercenaries. The mission is to establish a presence in territory that has long been ruled by the Viet Cong. The Cong know that once the camp is finished it will be nearly impossible to dislodge the Americans presence in the region. So a regiment of VC are assembling across the border in Cambodian to strike while the camp is still vulnerable. Gerber has to not only fight the VC but the incompetence of the South Vietnamese allies and his own general.

The first book in a new series. There is no Scorpion Squad. Its never mentioned in the book. I guess it was some marketer who came up with the title. Figured it sounded cool. I suppose it does but a very inaccurate title for this series. I will say that it is still one of the finest Vietnamese action series ever written. It takes place in 1964 before any large scale American commitment and the US forces were still mainly in an advisory capacity. It shows the myriad problems with the conflict. The impunity that the enemy was allowed to operate in Cambodia without fear of reprisal. The incompetence of the South Vietnamese. The commander of the ARVN would rather lay around in a hammock and drink cocktails. And then there is the general who constantly calls Gerber back to Saigon so he can berate him for fighting the enemy because according to intelligence there is no enemy in the area.

A very good start to a long running series about the Vietnam war. In addition to plenty of action it was very educational about the conflict. Eric Helm was a pen name for two veterans and it had an authenticity about it and also always includes a glossary at the back for all the military terms.

THE X-FILES SECRET AGENDAS EDITED BY JONATHAN MABERRY

Standard

tarzan

Copyright 2016

SEEK AND YOU WILL FIND by John Gilstrap

Manassas, Virginia 2000 Mulder and Scully investigate a murder were the alleged perpetrator claims the victim disappeared. It leads Mulder to an opening to an alternate dimension.

PERITHECIA By Andy Mangels

A body of a man is discovered inside a grain silo in Oklahoma. The man’s head exploded. The investigation leads to a secret government facility conducting experiments on prisoners to perfect a fungus that controls the mind.

GIVE UP THE GHOST By Jade Shames

A murder investigation leads to a man who was able to develop a program that transplants his personality into the minds of others.

TRANSMISSIONS By Marsheila Rockwell & Jeffrey Mariotte

An investigation of a rash of men killing their families then committing suicide. The trail leads to alien transmissions.

DESPERATELY SEEKING MOTHMAN By Jim Beard

Mulder is stuck in a small town in Virginia. He gets involved with a woman seeking help from the mothman. She turns out to be a demon that skins people.

LOVE LOST By Yvonne Navarro

While investigating an incident at the Baltimore airport Scully runs into her old boyfriend that disappeared when she was a teenager. The man has not aged in thirty years and was a victim of an alien abduction, and the aliens are trying to get him back.

THANKS AND PRAISE By Joe Harris

The chess prodigy Gibson Praise from a TV episode is now grown up. He has mentally recreated the members of the syndicate and cigarette smoking man. They try to find Mulder and Scully who have gone in hiding.

BORDER TIME By Bryan Thomas Schmidt & Kate Corcino

A series of abductions and a murder occur around El Paso. Mulder suspects alien abductions and the two agents find out a cult working with the shadow government.

A SCANDAL IN MOREAUVIA, OR THE ADVENTURE OF THE EMPTY HEART By Nancy Holder

Mulder gets a message from an old flame in London. This leads the two agents to England and secret base run by the Syndicate.

STRYZGA By Lauren A. Forry

A series of murders at a summer camp in Pennsylvania lead the agents to a mutant monster and some strange kids that were victims of the Three Mile Island disaster.

AN EYE FOR AN EYE By George Ivanoff

A series of people in New Jersey have their left eyes taken from them. The trail leads to an optometrist and a possessed rag doll.

KANASHIBARI By Ryan Cady

Japanese-Americans in southern California are dying under mysterious circumstances. Mulder suspects a Kanashibari an old hag spirit that can suffocate people.

ALL CHOKED UP By Lois H. Grash

A homeless man is murdered. His body is crushed to death without any other marks on him. Later a maid to the CIA director is strangled. The trail leads to the Cigarette Smoking Man and use of smart clothing.

ALONG THE SCENIC ROUTE By Lucy A. Snyder

Mulder and Scully are coming back from an case and taking the scenic route. In a small town in North Carolina people are seeing images of angels and giant horned snakes. The cause may be from tainted ham at the local farm.

GRANDMOTHER BLACK HANDS By Weston Ochre

On an Apache Indian reservation the agents uncover an old curse of Grandmother Black Hands. A massacre that occurred a century ago has a curse where once a year the kids are taken over and kill.

So this is the third anthology series. I liked all the stories and hope to read more.

TALES OF THE CHI-TOWN ‘BURBS EDITED BY ALEX MARCINISZYN KEVIN SIEMBIEDA AND WAYNE SMITH

Standard

tarzan

Copyright 2008.

PERSPECTIVE by Kevin Siembieda

A group of travels stop for the night. The mercenary leader wants to stop at the Chi-town ‘burbs where he claims is the best place on Earth. The leader wants nothing to do with the ‘burbs. For he has heard that they are crime ridden and unsafe. Erin Tarn a writer tells that the truth is somewhere in between.

A WHILE LONGER by Braden Campbell and Kevin Siembieda

A young man comes with his brother to gain citizenship in Chi-town. No one ever told them that it can take years. While waiting his brother is robbed and killed. He takes a job at a local tavern. Eventually the owner retires and leaves him in charge. He makes friends with the local Coalition officer and names the place A While Longer. Seven years later he is still waiting.

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR by Jason Marker

A man gets cybernetic eyes from a local chop shop. The eyes were taken off a murdered person and resold. Now the man has visions of the murder. He goes insane and claws his eyes out before he dies.

LOVE AND REMEMBRANCE by Kevin Siembieda and Josh Hilden

The story of Ian Polovich. As a young man he joined the Coalition to defend Chi-town from the invading Federation of Magic. In those days the city was a democracy and had mages in its army. He falls in love with one who later dies. He then sees the rise of Emperor Prosek and the xenophobia against D-bees and magic. Disgusted with the changes he chooses to live in the ‘burbs and write his story.

PEDDLER’S END by Jeffrey Scott Hansen and Kevin Siembieda

Peddler is a merchant who deals on the side in the black market. One day he gets a magical device called the Orb of Teleportation that can teleport anywhere. When a mysterious vigilante stops a corrupt Coalition officer from stealing from him. He finds the man and confides a plan to assassinate Emperor Prosek. The vigilante is actually a Coalition officer in disguise and kills Peddler and confiscates the Orb.

THE BROTHERS PEREZ by John C. Philpott

Two D-bees those non-humans that came through the rifts get together and form a comedy act. They go to Tolkeen and after the war head on to Lazlo. They eventually wind up in the ‘burbs and do subversive acts against the Coalition and manage to form an underground railroad to help escaping D-bees.

TRUTH AND CONSEQUENCES by Jason Richards

Ryall Seitz is a corporal in the Coalition army. He is involved in stopping terrorists from Tolkeen. One of the captured terrorists is his brother. This exposes him to the Coalition that Seitz is from another dimension and not born a human on Earth. Even though he is human and loyal the Coalition is paranoid about anything that comes from the Rifts. We are left that his fate is not good.

CASULATIES OF WAR by Mark Oberle

A man joins the Coalition army to fast track citizenship for his family. He goes off to the war with Tolkeen. Later the wife hooks up with an abusive man. The son plans to kill this man. It is revealed that the man is actually his father who came back changed by the war.

ME AND MR. CHOKE by Taylor White

A bureaucrat who works at the medical records gets a message from someone in the ‘burbs. His grandfather has died and left him something. He goes and finds that he was murdered for the object. Only his voice can open the box. It is a magical spirit that can incinerate anybody. He forms a bound with it because they both share a life of misery. The man then uses it to take out his boss at work, thugs that have been stealing from him and his cheating wife.

GOING HOME by Josh Sinsapaugh

A bear like D-bee frequents a bar. He is liked by everyone and talks about baseball and this home down south. It is revealed that it was destroyed by the Coalition.

STRANGERS IN PARADISE by Kevin Siembieda

A young girl hides a fugitive from the Coalition.

A JUICER’S TALE by Carl Gleba

A man who became a Juicer an augmented individual who is pumped with adrenalin and other chemicals to heighten his senses and response times. A jealous colleague sabotages his chemical unit and now he must work for a doctor in getting back the man’s stolen bag. He also has to stop this man from kidnapping his family and selling him to a mage.

DEATH, FRIEND & LIFE by Braden Campbell and Kevin Siembieda

The owner of A While Longer receives news that his old friend the Coalition officer has committed suicide. He also finally gets his citizenship papers after nine years. He decides to stay in the ‘burbs rather than abandon his family and friends.

This was an anthology of short stories about the ‘burbs. Those collection of shanty towns and villages that have grown up around the fortress city of Chi-town the capital of the Coalition States. For the most part these were very interesting stories. Only Going Home was the dud. War and Remembrance was an excellent brief history of the Coalition. A Juicer’s tale was also one of my favorites. I also have a soft spot for Me and Mr. Choke. I can sympathize with a poor guy stuck in a horrible job.

On the whole this was a great collection of short stories. I hope that more books will be written about the Rifts universe.