Copyright 1989.

Lt. Scott Gaines loses his men to a VC ambush. The ambush was a success because of the tunnel system in the area. He is recruited by Captain Carter to lead a four man team to neutralize the tunnel threat. The three men are chosen for their size and recklessness. Sgt. Frank Deluca is a streetfighter from Boston who was given the choice of the Army or jail. Pfc. Johnny Hidalgo is from East L.A. They are trained by the fourth member Bok Van Tu a former VC who became a Kit Carson and now works for the South Vietnamese. He has experience with the tunnels and has to train the group known as Tunnel Rats. There short lived training becomes real when Carter gets intelligence that General Vihn is planning an offensive. The mission to kidnap General Vihn which the team successfully accomplishes. Then to go back and destroy the tunnels so the enemy can’t retreat back to them.

So every Christmas a tradition has developed where a I read something to do with the Vietnam war. This year is this short lived series. It was written by Stephen Mertz who is a respected writer in the field of action/adventure. This book was a well written action story with fleshed out characters and interesting plot. The VC opponents also have their own stories, personalities and backstories. Mertz does a good job of describing life in the tunnels in a believable way. He packs the book with plenty of action. This was an enjoyable book and I recommend for anyone interested in the Vietnam war or action books.



Copyright 1975.

It is 2012 and civilization has collapsed. A combination of plague, famine, pollution and war has reduced humanity to small enclaves. One enclave in New York called the Barony is ruled by the Baron. The Baron manages to recruit a new champion in Carson. The Barony has successful farming thanks to a genius who has developed seeds resistant to disease. Yet the Barony is slowly dying and the Baron has plans for Carson to take his granddaughter who is pregnant out of the city to a safe island off the coast of North Carolina. An attack by a vicious warlord named Carrot forces the Baron’s plan to be moved up. So now Carson with the seeds to guarantee the future must guide a pregnant woman about to give birth through the subway tunnels. Hot on his heels is Carrot and his murderous gang.

This is a novelization of the Yul Brynner movie. I first saw this movie as a kid late at Saturday night. It was a creepy movie that did a good job of depicting a bleak and hopeless future. The book was a good adaptation to the movie. It really excelled in the fight scenes which were a bit flat in the movie. The writer and director of the movie Robert Clause is known for mostly kung-fu movies most notably Enter the Dragon. Now Yul Brynner looked real badass shirtless but lets face it, her was no Bruce Lee. One difference from the movie is at the end Carson and Melinda meet up with a group of friendly survivors recruiting for a new commune in New Jersey. This must have been in the original screenplay and dropped. It was a good idea to drop this. It felt contrived and awkward. Better to have the two continue on to the island as the movie did.

Here is the trailer for the movie.




A number of story articles including the possibility of an animated series. An article by David Kemper on the season final. Also some reviews of Farscape Season Four Companion and Sci Fi president’s take on why the show was cancelled.


An interview with Gigi Edgley who plays Chiana on the show. What her thoughts on the show and her character. What her plans are after the series.


An interview with Rockne O’Bannon the series creator and how the show got started. What went right and didn’t with the series.

HORIZONS by Rockne S. O’Bannon

It is three hundred years in the future and Crichton is still alive. The translator microbes have kept him alive. He is reunited with the surviving crewmembers to attend Rygel’s funeral.


An article on Dave Elsey of The Creature Shop and how he created the many aliens that appeared on the show.

THE COMPLETE EPISODE GUIDE TO FARSCAPE by Martin Eden, Paul Simpson and Joe Nazzaro

An episode guide to all four seasons on Farscape. As a brief discussion for each season with Rockne O’Bannon, David Kemper, Ricky Manning, David Prowse and Brian Henson.

ARTSCAPE by Paul Simpson

An article that talks with the head of the art department Tim Ferrier. How his department came up with all the fantastic concepts for the series.


An article on the just released Farscape role-playing game.


Letters from the readers.


Poll of readers for a number of questions.
Favorite Moya Crewmember: Crichton
Favorite season one episode: A Human Reaction
Favorite female and male character: Aeryn and Crichton
Favorite season two episode: The Way We Weren’t
Sexiest Character and Favorite Villain: Crichton and Scorpius.
Favorite season three episode: Green Eyed Monster
Favorite Alien race: Nebari
Favorite season four episode: John Quixote
Best Farscape Moment: Infinite Possibilities, Part II Icarus Abides- John Crichton’s death.
Favorite Season: Three


David Kemper answers questions from fans.

AND FINALLY… by Ben Browder

A final farewell from Ben Browder who played John Crichton.

I bought the final issue of the magazine because I heard that there was a short story that showed the fates of the crew. After the cliffhanger ending I wanted to read it. It was quite good. Some interesting things were Crichton had three kids. Two sons and a daughter. His first son was named DK instead of D’argo. D’argo is still alive and commands a Skellon ship. Chiana has two husbands, one real small and another that is a race very well endowed and doesn’t wear pants. Scorpius is the advisor to Rygel and his successor who is the first female Dominar. It is hinted that the crew actually went the the other side of Death which was an episode I would have loved to see.

This did nothing to lessen my disappointment in the show’s cancellation. Thankfully The Peacekeeper War mini-series gave the show the closure it needed. Also there were a series of comics that carried on after that shows what the plan was for the future. This was a good issue. It gave a good overview to the entire show. It reminds me of how much I truly loved that show and still am disappointed it was cancelled too early.



Copyright 2001.

Moya makes a starburst to escape Crais and the Peacekeepers. The ship is in a part of the galaxy and soon is captured by a large living ship. The ship is an exploring vessel of the Nokmadi. They have explored the universe for millennia and mapped all the galaxies. They can provide a way home for the crewmembers of Moya. The Nokmadi have transformed themselves into ethereal beings. They need a physical being to gain access to where their genetic material is stored to return to physical beings. Crichton who has equal parts longing for home and exploring fits the mental pattern of the Nokmadi and can access this place. Only the Nokmadi are split in two factions. One that want their bodies back so they can return home. The other that want to remain ghosts and continue exploring. Crichton and the crew of Moya are caught between the two factions as a Peacekeeper vessel is hot on their trail.

This was an interesting book. It had a lot of weird things like talking food and a huge mouth appearing and swallowing Crichton. Also had dragons and stuff. This actually fit in since Farscape was known for some pretty weird and off the wall stuff. The story takes place very early in the show. Chiana is not part of the crew yet. It was written by David Bischoff who is responsible for the greatest book series in the history of human civilization Mutants Amok. He also did the novelizations to the TV series Space Precinct. I enjoy this guy’s writing and his take of Farscape was enjoyable. This was a truly excellent series and reading these books reminds me of how much I loved the show. They sure don’t make them like they used to.



Copyright 2000.

Moya is dying of an infectious disease caused by Crichton disposing of his infected dentics in the recycler. Unless they find a cure then Moya will die. They come on the trading fleet of Lord Jansz. The crew of Moya successfully trade for a cure. Only Rygel finds his first love is captive of Jansz. He frees her and now the crew of Moya has to battle Jansz. Aeryn and Crichton are captured while Moya crashes into an ocean planet in a system about to go supernova. A sentient creature saves Moya and they manage to defeat Jansz.

Andrew Dymond is a pen name for Jim Mortimer. Mortimer wrote my least favorite Babylon 5 book. Sadly this would be my least favorite Farscape book. The story starts out with an interesting premise. The backstory that goes into Rygel’s past gives a very believable look at his father. The story of his first love was also believable. The trader Jansz a strange gesalt type being also had great potential.

Unfortunately the story just falls apart after the first few chapters. Chiana is completely out of character. The weird subplot with Re some sentient being on a doomed ocean world that saves Moya makes little sense. Oh and Rygel’s love was not a prisoner but in love with Jansz and in on some scheme. It is very clear that the writer is not a fan of the show. He was given some info and threw together a book. A book that was a big disappointment.



Copyright 2000.

The crew of Moya meet a Luxan trading ship with a passenger that wants to hire them to get him home. His home is the planet Liantac a Las Vegas type gambling planet. The job looks like easy money and allow them to get much needed supplies. The planet has a problem with particles in the atmosphere that only biological ships can enter. Something Moya could easily handle. Only Rygel decides to partake of the gambling and manages to gamble Moya away. Now the crew has to complete a number of challenging assignments to pay off Rygel’s debt. They soon find out that one of the leaders of the planet deliberately cheated Rygel and also plans to turn them over to the Peacekeepers. John Crichton and friends must find a way to free their ship and escape.

I really loved Farscape. It has to be in the top five of my all time favorite TV series. This book really reminded me of why I loved that show. DeCandido is obviously a fan. He lists a whole bunch of websites, books and people he consulted to get the technical aspects correct. I knew that after this he co-wrote the comic book series with the creator O’Bannon so he definitely knows his stuff. All the characters and situations just feel like the TV series. If you are a fan of the series than I highly recommend it.



Copyright 2012.

Franco ‘Big Frank’ Scarvetti has a problem. His psycho son has killed a made man from another family. Now he has to get his son out of Las Vegas to hide out. So he manages to acquire a radio station in Yuba City. Louis who is nicknamed Cry Baby and his crew go off to a small town to manage this station. Cry Baby runs the station as any type of Mafia operation. A combination of shaking down local businesses for ad revenue to stealing and sabotaging the competitor’s transmitters. Val one of the crew falls in love with the secretary of the station. It all comes to a violent end as the mob enforcer The Iceman comes and pretty much kills everyone.

I love David Robbins Endworld series and it’s spinoffs. So I figured I would try some of his other genres that he has done. This sounded interesting and I loved it. Cry Baby is a complete over the top nutcase psycho. His management style is somewhere along the lines of Genghis Khan. Every character has a distinct personality. His crew all have their own little nicknames based on their character. Pretty Boy because he loves to look at himself in the mirror. Switch because of an affinity for switchblades. Dill because he loves dill pickles. Wolfman because he is real hairy. Finally Val the real hero of this story. Nicknamed after Valentino because he is so popular with the ladies. We get a real nice little romance with him and Misty. All ends with a wild killing spree by the Iceman. A cold killer who will once a month break the neck of a puppy or kitten to keep his killing edge. Naturally Val and Misty are the only survivors and go on to live happily ever after.

If there is one complaint is that the author mentions at the beginning this takes place in 1985. Yet he has these anachronisms such as DVDs. The movies Men in Black, Schindler’s List and Seinfeld. Movies and shows made well past 1985. In fact there is nothing in the book that clearly dates this taking place in 1985. Not a big deal but if you want to set something in a historical time you should make it feel like that time period. Otherwise this was an enjoyable book with a unique and fast paced story.



Copyright 2005 storied written between 1935-36.


Conan is in the kingdom of Keshia and plots to steal the Jewels of Ghwahlar from the ancient palace at Alkmeenon. An abandoned palace set in the crater of a mountain. He finds that another rogue, a Stygian named Thutmekri is also trying to scam the king out of the jewels. Thutmekri plans to use a Corinthian slave girl to impersonate a goddess as the king visits the palace. Conan manages to get to her first and use her to tell the king to give Conan the jewels. Meanwhile some of the cannibalistic servants of Bit-Yakin are still inhabiting the palace.


Conan is a scout for the Aquilonians in the province of Conajohara a recently settled province in the Pict Wilderness. Zogar Sag a witch doctor has united the various Pict clans to retake the province. With a young ranger named Balthus, Conan attempts to assassinate the wizard. The endeavor ends in failure and now Conan and Balthus must alert the settlers to evacuate the province. Conan also has to fight the beasts of Jhebbal Sag and a demon.


Conan was captured by the Picts and escapes. He goes west to the coast and finds an abandoned cave. The cave contains the treasure of Tranicos and a demon. Farther on the coast a Zingaran Valenso has built a fortress. He is in mortal terror of a Black Stranger that is a wizard he betrayed. One day a Barachan pirate comes and demands a treasure. He attacks the fort but has to flee with the arrival of Black Zarono a Zingaran privateer. Eventually the three band together and Conan enters the mix with knowledge of the treasure’s location. Only now they have to battle the Picts, the mysterious Black Stranger and each other.


In the desert city of Zamboula Conan stays the night at an inn. This innkeeper has a deal with the local cannibal slaves to sell travelers for their feast. Only Conan kills the cannibal and wanders around the streets at night. He rescues a girl from them. The girl named Zabibi tells a story of how the priest of Hanuman drove her lover mad and she needs a potion to restore him. Conan helps her by battling the strangler Baal-Pteor. At the end he finds out the girl was the mistress of the satrap but Conan already knew that and managed to steal the Star of Khorala. He also gets revenge on the innkeeper.


Valeria a pirate in the Red Brotherhood is forced to flee mercenary service in Stygia. She comes to an abandoned city in the middle of the plains. Conan has followed her and together they have to fight a dragon. After killing it they explore the city and find two factions in a blood feud. They join one side that puts a red nail into a post for every rival they slay.


Civil war is being fought in Aquilonia. Gault Hagar is a ranger along the border with the Picts. He finds a plot by a renegade Aquilonian to join forces with the Picts to attack loyalists to Conan.


A letter to some men from Howard in response to their probably outline of Conan’s career. He elaborates on what is right and fills in the blanks.


An essay on the origins of Howard’s stories in this volume and background of Howard’s life.

The final volume of the collected works of Conan by Howard. This has his latter stories and they are probably the best. You can see Howard as he experiments with new ideas. My personal favorite is Beyond the Black River. This is the first I was exposed to in the comics. Red Nails is considered is finest. These collections from Ballantine are probably the finest to get the unedited Conan that Howard envisioned.