Blade, Hickok and Yama the three warriors who went to Bangkok using the time machine they appropriated from Thanatos have come down with an illness. It is a reaction to using the machine according to Alvis the robot they also appropriated from there last visit to Thanato’s tower. He does suggest that a cure is also there. The warriors are already undermanned from their last encounter with the shapeshifter that penetrated their home. So it is decided that Rikki-Tikki-Tavi will take three warrior trainees with him to the tower. The three are Eleanor who favors herself a medieval swordwoman. Crom who favors himself a barbarian and Kanto who has an admiration for Italian medieval assassins. A fourth Sherlock manages to get on the trip also. He is a genius who has taken the name of his hero the greatest detective in literature. So this group along with Alvis head out to the Dark Lords tower. Along the way they battle mutant panthers, mutant giants with two heads, flesh-eating mist, and a strange metal cube that turns into a robot. At the tower they find out Thanatos is still alive and able to transfer his consciousness and be near immortal. He gives the warriors the cure because he wants an alliance. The Lords of Kismet are after him too and he needs all the allies he can get.
The newest installment to the Endworld series is another winner. Robbins has really managed to keep the revived series from over twenty years ago going strong. The current one doesn’t feel dated at all. We get introduced to a new batch of warriors who have their own eccentricities and flaws. He also set up for what promises to be a big fight with the Lords of Kismet. Thanatos is an interesting character and I was surprised to see him still around. He will make a good ally but also one that can’t be trusted. As Rikki says he believes that he is maneuvering to get them wiped out in the battle to rid himself of two enemies. Should prove for some interesting drama in future books.
Nat King is a mountain man living in Colorado in 1840. A former accountant he left New York so he could live free. Now he lives with his Shoshone wife Winona and their son and daughter. One day a strange portal opens up and out comes a snake-man. Followed by a seven foot man in a leather vest. The man wears twin Bowie knives and has a strange gun. The snake-man runs off and he takes the unconscious stranger back to his home. The stranger is Blade the leader of The Alpha Triad. Three warriors who guard The Home hundreds of years in the future. Blade along with Hickok and Geronimo were attempting to kill Thanatos. Thanatos was a genius mutant who with his army of mutants and zombies attempted to take over the Freedom Federation. He was defeated and now Alpha Triad was caught in his time machine as he escaped into the past. His friends were deposited hundreds of miles away. Geronimo to battle his ancestor Blackfeet and Hickok stuck in old Saint Louis. Now they must somehow unite in the past and stop Thanato’s plan to turn the native tribes into zombies and conquer the country.
When the newest Endworld book came out there was stuff about Thanatos and his time machine. Sounded like a story never told but actually it was in this book. About five years after Endworld was cancelled David Robbins put the characters in his popular Wilderness series. A series about the adventures of a mountain man in the 1840’s.Written under the name Thompson I never knew this existed until recently. A bold move to include such science fiction stuff like mutants, zombies , time travel and automatic weapons in a western series. It could alienate the hard core western fans. Still it fit nicely in the story and his main characters exposure to the future element stuff was at a minimum.
I’m glad I found this book since it fills in some gaps from the last Endworld book and came in handy for the just released new book that I will do next week. It also gave me a chance to check out his western books and this is his most popular series. Now at over a hundred written I found the western elements just as entertaining as the futuristic stuff. Robbins has a great feel for this time and has done some research. I can see myself checking out more of these books in the future.
Three astronauts are launched into space to go to a distant star system. Only the Liberty 1 develops a malfunction and turns the ship around. It crashes in a dead sea and three astronauts Taylor, Landon and Dodge survive. They trek across a wasteland and find a lush valley filled with mute humans. Suddenly gorillas riding horseback and carrying rifles attack. Landon is wounded and taken captive. What he doesn’t know is that the mutants have implanted themselves in his mind. They are using him to spy on the apes. So he is not allowed to talk.
A chimpanzee doctor Galen takes him to his laboratory where he conducts experiments on organ transplants. Landon is trapped and has flashbacks of his past. Milo the engineer is the cousin-in-law to Galen and designs tools for him. One day while playing a music box recovered in the Forbidden Zone this breaks the hold the mutants have on Landon. Milo finds out about the marvelous spacecraft and mounts an expedition to retrieve it. Eventually Landon is discovered and given a lobotomy to hide his secret.
So in the original movie we know that Landon one of the astronauts fate is a lobotomy. This book tells his story. A fascinating idea to have the mutants use him as their mole in Ape City. This also gives us the story on how Milo found out about the spaceship and how he raised it. A fascinating look at the behind the scenes of Ape City that the movie didn’t show us. Ape society is somewhat a totalitarian one with its own secret police. Apparently ape can’t kill ape but they can disappear ape into the night. Plus there is some light stuff like the fact that Marcus the head of the gorilla secret police’s father was a notorious philanderer named Digby who sired a whole bunch of illegitimate offspring and he is always reminded of this by running into gorillas that look like him. One of these sons is a half-breed gorilla chimpanzee named Murgwart who is the garbage ape and having an affair with Galen’s wife.
The only thing I didn’t care for were some of the flashbacks that Landon had about an earlier mission to Jupiter. It was confusing and did nothing to move the plot along. This was an enjoyable and interesting book that shows us more of Ape society. Supplemented with beautiful illustrations from a wide variety of artists. Of course if you watched the movie you know how it ends for Landon. The fun part is getting there. Gaska is scheduled to release Death of the Planet of the Apes this November. It is about Taylor’s time with the mutants and what happened in Ape city between the first two movies. Sounds like an interesting idea and looking forward to it.
Oh and I have been doing a lot of Planet of the Apes comics on my other blog. You can check it out here.
Rock and his team are assaulting Killov’s renegade KGB forces in Arizona. He defeats them but finds out Killov was not among them. Instead he and his forces have set up base at Machu Pichu in Peru. Things are happening that require Rock’s immediate attention. Astronomers have detected an asteroid on a collision course with Earth. Unless its diverted it will crash into the Earth and end all life. The answer is detonating a nuclear bomb to deflect it. So first Rock has to battle the democratic council of Century City which doesn’t want to break the new peace treaty with the Soviets. So Rock and his team must sneak out a bomb and head toward the only possible site where an old NASA ship is located.
They get there and find the rocket is guarded by the Millies. An amazon tribe that has mutated with some cat DNA. To use the ship Rock and his men must sleep with five of the women each. Well naturally it is something they manage to do but unfortunately the rocket is not in working shape. But luckily the Glowers have a flying saucer that they give to Rock. So they go into space and meet up with the Astro Frenchies and Rock hangs around for some more sex and gets the saucer outfitted with an old cannon. This comes in handy because Killov is also coming in his own rocket. He wants the advanced weapons that are supposed to be stored on the asteroid Karrak by an ancient race now long dead.
There is a fight and Killov crashes but survives. He finds an ancient alien artifact which give him godlike power. He turns himself into Mu-Temm a big warrior but Rockson manages to defeat him. At the end as Killov is about to destroy the Earth Rockson strangles him and saves the planet. So the team leaves after saving Earth. It ends with some weird epilogue that makes no sense whatsoever. It is about the asteroid Karrak which is now inhabited and some weird woman and man.
So the series comes to an end. A very weird and psychedelic ending that I would have never guessed at when the series started. I think it was obvious the series was on it’s deathbed. When it came out in July of 1991 the Soviet Union was in it’s last year. Soon many of these series would die out to the changing times. I am happy that the series was able to go out with some closure. America was a free nation and Killov was finally killed. While the quality drastically declined in the later books this was on the whole a fun series I enjoyed growing up with. I believe it is fondly remembered by those who loved the post-apocalypse series from the eighties. It survived and when on after the hypothetical date of the nuclear attack of September 11, 1989 and almost made it to the Soviet Union’s demise.
So throughout that whole time we were treated to invading Soviets, KGB deathshirts, cannibal mutants, giant spiders, giant octopus, sex-crazed amazon tribes of French-Canadians, cat mutant women and green-skinned women. Rock fought Soviet Nazis (I never got that), Space Nazis (That I got),Egyptian death cults, Arab terrorists, fascists, cannibal Sasquatch, kooky survivalist communities, giant crystals, space lasers and vampyres. His sex life made Hugh Hefner look like a trappist monk. I know those viagra commercials warn to seek help after an erection over four hours but Rockson must have had some special mutant powers. I remember once that his mutant eyes could look directly at the sun without burning out so I suppose a never ending erection is probably OK. I miss this kooky series. Sadly both authors Jan Stacy and Ryder Syvertsen are no longer with us. May they rest in piece knowing the joy they brought to many young teen men.
The Soviets have signed a peace treaty with America and have withdrawn their troops. So the Rock team has gone on to other pursuits. Archer decided to go back to the wilderness. Recently Rockson received a fax? from him in an isolated place in Utah that he needs help. So Rockson takes an old Soviet fighter and flies out to help. The old plane crashes into a valley inhabited by giant mutant spiders. Rock manages to escape and make it to Archer’s position. He finds his old chum living in an abandoned bowling alley drinking hundred year old Blatz beer. He was attacked by a group of twenty bandits but let them get into his supply of old scotch and get drunk. Then he easily took them out when they were drunk. So he’s no longer in danger but happy his friend has come to visit.
Archer does have a visitor. Zydeco Realness is a member of the Techno-survivors. They were a mutant group of former missile technicians who live in Cavetown. Zydeco has a gift for the famous Doomsday Warrior. It is called the Dream Machine and can put people into a virtual reality simulation. Rock isn’t all that interested but to refuse the gift would diss the Techno-survivors and they might retaliate by launching a nuke on Century City. So Rock agrees to get the gift but first they must have sex with some visiting green-skinned amazons from the Barbarah tribe that stop in.
So they go to Cavetown riding mutant giant Guam rail birds. There he gets to try out the dream machine. He finds himself as Niles Rockson a rich playboy in New York who is with the lovely Kimetta. While in the machine Zhabnov the ex-Russian president of the USSA attacks Cavetown with his renegade soldiers. He takes the survivors as slaves and is elated that his sworn enemy Rockson is trapped in the machine. He forces the technicians to change the program to something unpleasant then leaves. Now Rockson finds himself in a swamp on Venus. His girlfriend Kimetta has turned him in for being a playboy which was a law just passed. It is a retroactive law so Rock is sent off to the penal colony on the asteroid Esmeralda.
So Rock is sentenced to fight the dreaded Zrano in an arena. Luckily Kimetta is also along and the daughter of the warden. She smuggles him a locket with a picture of the Zrano’s mother. This causes the beast to not attack Rock and he wins. So he claims his freedom but has to stay until the shuttle arrives. Until then he must work which Rock has no interest in. They show him all the fun jobs which he refuses. So they are going to execute him because he isn’t working. So he comes up with the one thing he can do. While on Esmeralda he has been frequenting the prostitutes and is so good they are paying him. So he convinces the warden he should make instructional videos on giving good sex so everyone will be more productive. Well along the way there is a revolution and Rock escapes the asteroid and awakens in Cavetown. Archer and Zydeco with the other Techno-survivors escaped Zhabnovtown and rescued Rock. He is in serious bad shape so Rock sends out a telepathic call to this friend Turquoise Spectrum the leader of the Glowers. They come and bring him back to their village and heal him.
Wow is this book a trainwreck. Now a trainwreck can be interesting if not always pleasant to look at. So now the Soviets are out and America is free although there are still renegade Soviet soldiers still handing about notably those who follow ex-president Zhabnov and KGB Colonel Killov. The Techno-survivors are an offshoot of the Technicians from the first book. The Barbarah’s were also in the second book but were cannibals and here they are green skinned. Archer seems to be a bit different. He uses a shotgun instead of his crossbow. He also can not speak in complete sentences and use a fax machine. He was so dense that he would have trouble figuring out a doorknob.And where the hell do you find a working fax machine in the middle of post-apocalypse Utah. I doubt you could have found one in 1990 Utah.
I wonder if Ryder was on drugs when he wrote this. It has a very surreal quality to this goofy sci-fi space opera type story. It was obvious that the series was running out of steam with this entry. He was trying something new but it is just one wacko story.
Century City is hit by an earthquake. Rockson finds himself buried in his apartment. Giant mutant rats come out and he has to defend himself. Fortunately his friends arrive with mutant cats that take care of the rats. Now the city has serious earthquake damage. There is heavy equipment in Pattonville that could help so Rock and his team lead an expedition to the free city. Along the way they come upon a tropical jungle filled with monkeys and snakes. They are captured by a tribe that controls the snakes. The Ringling tribe is descended from the circus of Ringling Brothers and their king Bailey decides to feed them to a giant snake. Luckily Rock manages to defeat the snake and escape but not before feeding King Bailey to the crocodiles.
So they continue on and get lost in a sandstorm. They come upon a giant arena that is inhabited by the Caucus. They were descended from the Republam party caucus that was occurring when the war took place. So they have lived there over one hundred years living off the vast stores of food stored underground. They also hooked up their generator to an underground volcano to generate electricity. They developed a strange cult that worships Nixon and continues to devote their lives to studying and carrying out the rules and regulations of the Caucus. Oh and they also apparently pump mind control gas and drug the food to keep everybody in line.
So it is not too long before Rock and company are mindless drones wearing the straw hats and happily studying and implementing the convention rules. One day Rock trips and falls rolling under the bed. Miraculously he falls against and air duct that exposes him to fresh air. He gets out of the mind control hold and then rescues his friends and takes down the Caucus.
This was a weird one. Now all were weird ones but this seems to be an aimless weird one. The Ringling tribe was the creepiest tribe they ever run into. They use snakes for fishing by dunking them into the water so they can fang the fish. Now who would want to eat a fish after that? The real dud was the Caucus. I suppose the author was trying for some sly political satire but it just falls flat. They mindlessly have been doing bureaucratic paperwork for a century. Not really an awe inspiring threat. In fact the whole book consists of them just aimlessly wandering and didn’t seem to have any purpose. The convenient way that Rock managed to break free of the mind control gas. Actually the author uses mind control gas in the last book. A lot of lazy writing going on. The author clearly was just quickly plunking out stuff for a paycheck and the series is in rapid decline. The most forgettable book in the series.
Pattonville an American free city has had a military coup. General Hanover has seized power and has a megalomaniacal plan to take over the whole country. He has used a gas that turns people into mindless zombies. This is how he maintains control over the populace. He starts to use the gas on other free cities. He also has managed to take prisoner the President of the U.S. and his daughter Kim. When Rockson hears this he sets out with his team to stop him. Along the way an earthquake traps the team in an underground world with lava people. The king Sulphur of the lava people wants to kill the intruders but luckily the lava woman has other plans. Seems the lava men are descended from miners trapped after the nuclear war. The second generation was mutated into stone lava people. The men are sterile and Shisa the beautiful lava woman wants a child. So naturally its up to Rockson to be the baby daddy. They then escape and Rockson finds out his men don’t remember a thing and maybe it was all a dream.
So they reach Pattonville and find it under the iron grip of General Hanover. They link up with the underground and manage to pump a gas that counters the effect of the zombie gas. Rock and his men break in on the forced wedding between Hanover and Kim. The newly freed citizens defeat the general’s soldiers and Hanover falls into a vat of gas. They leave with the city once again free.
So this series reached a milestone. Coming out in August 1989 it had reached the set date of 9/11/89 which was the date the war started. So it was no longer speculative but alternate fiction. Probably were surprised the series lasted so long to go on beyond their set date. Unfortunately one of the authors Jan Stacy was not so lucky to witness this date. He died that year from AIDS and left his writing partner Ryder Syvertsen to soldier on alone. This book has him listed in the copyright but they still continued to use the pen name established.
So how was his first solo book. It pretty much kept up the standard of goofyness that was established for this series. An OK book but it was obvious the series was past its prime and in decline. He wisely decided not to use Killov for every book. Just like using Moriarty or the Master can be overdone. You want to use your main villain infrequently to not overdue it. Hanover seems a fairly incompetent leader. His gas is mislabeled and half the free cities he attacks dies because they used the lethal gas and not the knockout gas. He seems too full of himself to care. Also this city was founded from some underground army machine shops yet it has a real Van Gogh the Potato Eaters, a Vergun Grandfather clock and Ming vase in the museum. You have to wonder how this out of the way place could get such objects. Further books would descend progressively into incoherence as we will see in future reviews.