DOOMSDAY WARRIOR #3 THE LAST AMERICAN BY RYDER STACY

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Copyright 1984.

Ted Rockson is out on a salvage mission. When they decide to check out a cave they find it filled with mutant Blood Spiders. Luckily Rock and his friend Detroit manage to kill them but not before one bits Rock. Taken back in time to Century City he is saved using his mutant mental powers with modern surgery. Good for him since the ReConstitutional Convention is coming up. Delegates from the free cities will go and form a new government and elect a President. Naturally Rock is one of the four with Chen and two civilians. As they travel to Wyoming one gets killed by an earthquake and they are almost eaten by mutant millipedes. Fortunately the rest of the Rock Squad followed and saves them.

So after a brief run in with a tribe of amazon women called the Barbarahs. Rock escapes with a captured member. The tribe apparently captures men and rape them for their ability to procreate. Then when they are drained of sperm they are beheaded, the bodies fed to the sacred flame and the heads mounted on sticks around their church. The captive woman wants Rock to impregnate her and he figures what the hell. He doesn’t want this unique culture to go extinct. So they make it to the convention. Rock gets to hook up with Kim the daughter of the leading candidate for President. The ReConstitutional Convention elects Charles Langford. Unfortunately the convention was infiltrated by a KGB agent posing as the mountain man Charlie Whiskers. Rock and the others flee before the KGB drops a neutron bomb on the location.

Rock survives thanks to being rescued and nursed back to health by Mountain Man Ed. Mt. Ed for short. He helps Rock look for his friends and finds out that the Glowers a mysterious race of mutants on their flying ships took Kim and President Langford. So off the two go. They have to fight only 50 Russian paratroopers which they defeat with ease until they find the Glowers. The Glowers are descendants of American astronauts who were on a space station during the war. The radiation combined with waves in space created the unique mutations. The Glowers have an empathic link to all life. They manage to save Langford and with the help of Rock’s mutant abilities he saves Kim. The four leave with a promise that the Glowers will help in their time of great need.

Well another entry in the saga of the Doomsday Warrior. Here we get the formation of a new government of the ReUnited States of America. Things are looking good but those damn Russkies are still at it. Killov is sinking into further insanity. A failed assassination attempt by President Zhabanov with the support of Premier Vassily has the guy further paranoid. He also now plays with dolls of his hated enemies: Rockson, Vassily, his servant Rahallah and Zhabanov. Plus we also get an introduction to the Glowers who we have only heard rumors about in the previous books.

Rockson is apparently madly in love with Kim Langford and she with him. But he still bangs his old girlfriend Rona back in Century City. A also has sex with the amazon tribeswoman. He feels a little guilty about it but rationalizes it that he is helping a unique culture from going extinct. A culture that captures men, rapes them and kills them. Yup that sound worth saving. I love this guys rationalizations. So I will leave with a passage from that encounter to illustrate the eloquence of this writing.

She rubbed up against him like a cat, moaning and writhing against his hard flesh. She pulled him down to the cool Earth, atop a thick cushion of green moss, and reached for his manhood, guiding it between her open legs. She let out a loud hiss as it entered, biting his shoulder through the skin, and wrapping her long,firm legs around his back. She ground up and down on his staff of living flesh, moving harder and harder until almost out of control-wriggling and slamming against him. Her long nails dug into Rock’s back and ripped razorlike cuts that just penetrated the skin down to his waist. Rock didn’t know if he was fucking or fighting-but he went with it-with this wild creature of the night. She grew more and more frantic and then came to her peak. Her eyes flared like a burst of golden fire and she opened wide for him so he could go into her very core-penetrate her deepest tunnel. The she came with an ear-shattering scream, her body arching and contracting in powerful spasms. Rock felt his own desire reach its culmination and let out an explosion of molten fire that rocketed up into her center. She screamed again and swooned as the staff plunged to its fullest depth. Then her head fell to the side and she was totally silent.

The things you have to do to preserve a people’s culture.

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DOOMSDAY WARRIOR #2 RED AMERICA BY RYDER STACY

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Copyright 1984.

Ted Rockson and his Rock Squad are assigned an important mission. They are to test out the new particle beam weapons they got from the Technicians. So they ambush a Soviet supply convoy. The weapons work better than excepted. The squad completely destroys the convoy. Over ten tanks, two helicopters and dozens of supply trucks. They also capture a few prisoners. They take them back and under the captured Mindbreakers they learn the destination of the supply convoy. Pavlov City is a new fortress build by President Zhabanov for his Plan Lincoln. There American slave workers are taken by the tens of thousands to be converted into zombie soldiers by the Mindbreaker. Rock decides to go alone and infiltrate Pavlov City to put a stop to it.

Colonel Killov has also decided to check out what is going on. With his elite KGB Blackshirts he manages to take over the fortress. He is in a power struggle with President Zhabanov for the premiership. The Grandfather Vassily is on his deathbed. Helped along by Killov’s doctors who are injecting him with cancer. Luckily the premier’s servant the African Rahallah who knows his tribal witchcraft saves him and the doctors conspiracy is broken.

Meanwhile Rockson manages to infiltrate Pavlov City but is captured. Stripped naked and tied up for torture by the sadistic Killov. They also imprison him with a beautiful nineteen year old named Kim Langston. She is the daughter of the man who is trying to unite America under a new government. She is to be raped by the KGB and being a virgin she doesn’t want that to be her first time. Naturally she wants Rockson to he her first which Rock is only more than up to the task both figuratively as well as literally. So while chained up he manages to deflower her and fall madly in love with her.

Rock manages to later escape and rescue Kim. He frees the enslaved American’s and a big battle begins. Just as it looks like the Russians will win, the Rock Squad comes to the rescue. Flying the captured helicopter from the last book and armed with the particle beam weapons they make short work of the Soviets. They then escape Pavlov City before Killov drops two neutron bombs on the place. As they make their way home they meet up with The Crazy Alligators a beatnik talking tribe of Indians who ride motorcycles. They are taken to their underground city to meet the Ginsberg a pompous pretentious dipship who sprouts beatnik wisdom. Unfortunately Perkins the archaeologist runs afoul of their taboos. One of the women in their temple known as contrarians asks for him to make love to her. He is more than willing to oblige and gets castrated for this transgression. Contrarians say the exact opposite of what they mean. Rock and his friends are sentenced to suffer the same fate but Rock manages to beat Crazy Motherfucker a nine foot tall giant in a trial by combat. At the end they ride off to Century City with Kim going a separate way to go help her father.

Well the second book in the series establishes the tone of this series. Mainly one filled with plenty of sex, action, mutant creatures and goofy people who inhabit the post-nuke world of 2089. Killov is now established as the psychotic pill popping crazy out to rule the world. Zhabanov is the debauched rival and his uncle the wise old man with his African servant the only one he can trust. They continue to use the new particle beam weapons but as the series progresses the authors tended to just quietly drop them. They were a bit too powerful and gave an unequal advantage to the protagonists. Rock would just have to rely on his awesomeness going forward which to be honest is more than enough.

This is also the start of the drama of the Rona-Kim rivalry. Rock apparently falls madly in love with Kim and vise versa. But that still doesn’t stop him from banging his old girlfriend Rona any chance he gets. Nor for that matter many other women he meets along the way. So love with a Doomsday Warrior doesn’t mean not having sex with other women because you just can’t expect to contain such a superstud. Yup this was definitely one of by favorite series growing up.

DOOMSDAY WARRIOR BY RYDER STACY

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Copyright 1984.

The year is 2089 and it is one hundred years since the Soviets launched a surprise nuclear attack. Thanks to their space based particle beam satellite they were able to decimate America. They quickly moved in hundreds of thousands of troops and now except for China they rule the People’s World Socialist Republics. America is now a brutalized colony of Russia called the United Soviet States of America. From over forty complexes they control the country. But outside in the wilds have sprung 75 free hidden cities. The largest is Century City the descendants of a five mile long tunnel filled with commuters when the war started. Trapped inside they eventually build a modern underground city. This is home to the legendary Ted Rockson “The Ultimate American.” With his Liberator assault rifle and .12 gauge shotgun pistols he leads the resistance against the Soviet invaders.

The Russians are lead by President Zhabanov of the USSA. Located in the White House in Washington which was neutron bombed and re-named New Lenin. He got the job because he is the nephew of the Soviet premier. A fat hard drinking man who spends his nights with drugged girls that are rounded up for him by the KGB. He has ambitions of being the new premier. His main rival is Colonel Killov the head of the KGB in America. From his eighty story citadel in Denver he oversees 500,000 dreaded Blackshirts. A gaunt skull faced psychopath. Soon the Soviet premier Vassily who is old and on his deathbed will die. A power struggle is forming between these two men.

Rockson with his friends who are the Rock Squad continue to fight the invaders. They ambush convoys. They also have to deal with the dangers of post-nuclear wilds filled with mutant creatures and savage cannibals. Rock has to lead an assault on Stalinville after some of the men are captured. He has to rescue them before the KGB use their new mindbreaker to get the secrets of the location of Century City. Well one day an expedition to the unexplored west returns with a story. A mutant was found with an amazing black beam pistol. This weapon could give the resistance an advantage. So his team heads into the blasted lands of Nevada to the Technicians the survivors of the missile crews to retrieve this knowledge.

I don’t think there is a more iconic book series than the Doomsday Warrior. This post nuclear series of an occupied America was the creation of Ryder Syvertson and Jan Stacy. It is the perfect example of the paranoid of the time. I loved this series with its hand bursting through the ground into a mushroom cloud clutching an object usually a weapon. Yes the writing is bad but its that so bad its good type of writing. This first book seemed to be an attempt to write a serious book or as serious as this series would get. Believe me they give that up in the second book. A foreword that would appear in the first five books gives a good brief background to this world and its players. Basically the Soviets thanks to their star wars weapons manage to successfully attack America and conquer the world. Ted Rockson is the hero to the downtrodden American slave workers. Rockson is there to throw out the Soviet invaders and hunt down the ten men KGB squad that rapped and killed his mother and sisters. He manages to find one in this book but that plot point was kind of dropped as the series continued. Indeed it gets very goofy as we will see in subsequent reviews.

The book establishes what the tone will be. Namely that the Soviets are depraved cartoon type characters. They brutally suppress the Americans in their fortress cities and use neutron bombs on the free cities that they find. The country is filled with dangerous mutants and strange people. We meet the Floorwalker Macy people who live in an old shopping mall. They wait for Mr. Macy to come and take them to the main store in New York. I just loved these books when I was a teen. So here are the members of Rock Squad.

Detroit Green the token black guy. I suppose that Boise or Omaha was not ebonic enough.

Al Chen the token Chinese-America. Can you guess what his specialty was? Yes it was martial arts expert and instructor. He uses nunchucks and exploding star knives.

McCaughlin the token Scotsman. A big guy who is an expert at heavy weapons.

Archer the token big mute hairy mountain man. A man Rock rescues from a quicksand pit. He uses a crossbow that can rapid fire and also shoot special exploding arrows.

Erickson the token Swede. The teams cook. A man who can do miracles with cactus or rat’s feet. Yum.

Perkins the token archaeologist. Comes in handy in dealing with the strange people they come across.

Lang the token young nineteen year old who is tough, brash and a troublemaker. Reminds Rock of himself at that age and is his mentor.

All of them are lead by Ted Rockson “The Ultimate American.” His name just exudes virile masculinity and he is definitely a superstud. Any young good looking woman who comes within a square mile of him will want to sleep with him. In this book he is just with his girlfriend Rona which seemed to be a monogamous relationship. That was quickly dropped since I suppose the publisher recognized the core target audience. Young men and teen boys. Rock becomes quite a player as the series progresses.

An interesting eerie coincidence is the date they chose for the sneak attack. September 11, 1989. Out of all the dates they would choose that one. Very eerie.

MIAMIGRAD BY JERRY AND SHARON AHERN

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Copyright 1987.

One night the Soviet general in Cuba gets a message. Soon after he retrieves plans from the vault codenamed Operation Volga. He and his division of Soviet and Cuban troops will invade Miami and the Florida Keys. Supposedly to use as a bargaining chip as the Soviets close off Berlin. In reality the General has gone insane after hearing of the death of his only son a Spetznas in Afghanistan. He now believes he is fighting WWII. A KGB major is encouraging this to start a war with America. In one swift swoop the Soviet-Cuban forces seize Miami.

It just so happens that the President is secretly visiting his girlfriend in her mansion in the Florida Keys and now finds himself trapped. So he impersonates a servant to hide from the Cuban troops. Meanwhile others are rising to the resistance. The Mafia was having its big meeting in Miami and decides to hit the invaders. So do the FBI who were going to raid the meeting. There is a much bigger concern. The Soviets and Vice President agree to send their best agents KGB Maritza Jurgenova and ex-CIA now successful writer Jonathan Forbes. The two have until six in the morning to convince the general his son is actually alive and start withdrawing his forces. Otherwise the Soviets will launch a nuclear strike. So the two agents must battle their way through occupied Miami and fight off Soviet-Cuban troops, rioters and anti-Castro Cubans to stop WWIII.

Ah the good old eighties. I always loved these old books where the commies invaded. This was a real fun one with the evil commies coming in and Americans rallying to fight back. So you have the FBI and mob join forces. An added twist is the President now trapped while visiting his girlfriend and the VP having to make up a story that the President is trapped in a blizzard in his ranch in Montana. Of course two agents who had some history have to unite and with copies of VHS and Beta tapes of the general’s son must somehow get to the general and convince him to withdraw or there will be a nuclear war.

OK it is a bit goofy and unrealistic. I mean the general going nuts and just so happens the KGB liaison is a die hard Stalinist determined to start a war. The Americans seemed to have a cavalier attitude about the invasion. They have troops stationed across the border in Georgia. If they move into northern Florida or Georgia they might have to push back but hey if they stay in Miami no big deal. I guess they don’t really care about Miami. This is just a pure eighties experience with VHS and Betas tapes, evil commies and patriotic Americans fighting back. Of course he succeeds with just seconds to spare. Where else would you learn that the mob has one day a week called Spaghetti day where they cook the old country recipe while wearing their pistols in a shoulder holster. This was also a book I got just before I graduated high school so it brings back some good memories. Definitely a fun read.

JANISSARIES III STORMS OF VICTORY BY JERRY E. POURNELLE ROLAND GREEN

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Copyright 1987.

Captain Rick Galloway is still on the planet Tran with his mercenary company. He has successfully formed an alliance between the kingdom of Drantos, Tamaratheon and the Roman Empire. Whats more a renegade faction of mercs lead by corporal Arnold Gengrich have come back giving him needed experienced men. He needs them for there is still plenty of enemies to fight. To the south a religious fanatic who opposes the new merged religion of Yatar and Christianity. To the north is the Five Kingdoms that want to retake Drantos and they outnumber Galloway’s forces by five to one. Only the star weapons and advanced tactics might win the day. All the while the alien confederacy continues to debate the fate of humans on both Tran and Earth.

The third entry in the Janissaries series has what made the first two great. Plenty of set piece battles that could go either way. Medieval intrigue, the threat of aliens bombing them and the approach of the Demon star which will plunge Tran into environmental ruin. We do get more insight into the aliens but it is still fleeting. A good portion involves the Lady Tylara who is feeling guilty for having a trusted friend assassinated. Carodoc a loyal general was married to Gwen Tremaine the girlfriend of the human Les who is working for the alien Shalnuksis. His return threatened to cause a problem that could either disrupt the alliance or anger the aliens. His death made the problems conveniently go away but now she suffers guilt and even tries to commit suicide by charging the enemy alone in battle. She gets captured and manages to bring a count from the enemies side to hers.

So the book ends with them victorious after a big battle. There was obviously supposed to be another book forthcoming. Pournelle and Green for some reason pursued other projects and it was never written. Pournelle had been working on the fourth book Janissaries The Mamelukes. Although Jim Baen didn’t like the title. Probably because most people wouldn’t get the Mameluke reference. The Mamelukes were the Muslin rulers of Egypt and the main rivals of the Ottoman Empire. The Mamelukes were on the losing end and the Ottomans extended their empire into North Africa.

Whatever the title the book is mostly finished but sadly Jerry Pournelle died last year so the future of the book is in doubt. It was supposed to end the story and tie up all the loose threads. I would hope they can find someone to finish it and it gets a release. It would be nice to get some closure to this fascinating and unique series. I guess only time will tell if that happens.

JANISSARIES CLAN AND CROWN BY JERRY POURNELLE AND ROLAND GREEN

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Copyright 1982.

It has been several years since the alien Shalnuksi brought Rick Galloway and his CIA mercenaries from a certain death in Africa to the planet Tran. Now they have settled in with Rick marrying a countess. Most of the mercenaries are now follow him and he has alliance with the kingdom of Drantos and Tameraethon. Time is getting short for him. The Demon Star the third sun of Tran is making its 600 year appearance. He has to start growing the madweed for the aliens. Otherwise they won’t trade ammunition, medicine and other modern necessities they need. The Demon star is already causing massive disruptions in the weather and refugees are starting to pour in from the south. His first move is to form an alliance with Rome. The Romans are in a civil war in no small part to him. His victory over them caused a losing general to revolt. Galloway joins the rebel general to make him Caesar and secure a powerful ally. No sooner than that war is over than another threat from the west. Hordes of Westmen the descendants of the Scythians are coming from the high plains to escape the drought. All this while setting up a university to preserve knowledge for the coming disaster.

The second book sees Roland Green join him in writing. Another excellent book filled with big medieval battles. Throw in some modern weapons to give it an interesting twist. Add to it medieval machine politics and an alien race of drug dealers who are going to bomb the planet back to the stone age so it stays primitive. The main concern is to preserve his new university so knowledge will survive the coming catastrophe. The book does a good job of showing how life was in the middle ages and some of the more simple measures in hygiene to improve society. There is still the threat of the aliens and this mysterious Confederacy. Not much is talked about that which I would have liked to see but there was plenty of time for that in future books. At least at the time it seemed that way. Which we will go over in the next book.

JANISSARIES BY JERRY POURNELLE

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Copyright 1979.

Captain Rick Galloway is the head of a group of CIA mercenaries in an unnamed African country. They are their to help the local rebels overthrow the Marxist government. Unfortunately thing didn’t turn out good and now they find themselves on a hill surrounded by Cuban troops. They can either surrender and get a public show trial before they are executed or die fighting. Then a miracle happens. A flying saucer lands and offers to take them to safety. With no other option they quickly accept and are flown to a secret base on the Moon.

It is here they find the real reason they were rescued. The aliens want Galloway and his mercenaries to go to the planet Tran. A planet that is inhabited by humans that have been stolen from different periods and is in a medieval state. Every six hundred years a third sun comes and makes the growing of a drug feasible. The aliens want Galloway to use his modern weapons and establish control of an area to grow this drug.

With little options he agrees and are taken to Tran. Soon after landing Andre Parsons one of the mercs stages a coup and deposes Galloway as leader. With the pregnant girlfriend of their human pilot and one deserter from the mercs he heads out alone. Along the way they link up with Tylara who is a deposed countess and head to her family lands of Tamaerthon a people descended from Celts. With Galloway’s help they organize modern pike formations and take on the Empire of Rome. Galloway is establishing himself but there is a greater threat from the aliens and the Galactic Confederation they belong to.

The first in the Janisarries series by Pournelle. I think it is one of my favorites of his work. It has the common themes to his stories i.e. a decadent stagnant society vs. the human desire to grow through technological advancement. In this instance the Galactic Confederacy is a collection of alien races that has ruled for over five thousands years. They do it by keeping the peace through stagnation and no change. Also they use humans as Janissaries. Janissaries were the slave soldiers and administrators of the Ottoman Empire. They took as tribute the first Christian son from a family and raised him. A successful system that saw them eventually becoming the power brokers of the Ottoman Empire. They grew too powerful and had to be disbanded. So humans in this Confederacy are the Janissaries of the Confederation. Now with Earth starting to advance into space the Confederacy is looking at options to force them into the Confederation and control them or bomb them back to the stone age. Some of the human slaves work to conceal Tran in the hope it can be a bastion of human freedom.

I really think this is a unique story idea. Taking a group of modern mercenaries kidnapped by alien drug dealers and dropping them on a medieval planet. There is plenty of adventure in the realistic battles fought. There is the medieval intrigue of Tran plus the threat of the aliens as Rick Galloway tries to build an empire on Tran to save it from the coming catastrophe. Galloway eventually kills Parsons and reestablishes control of the mercenaries which is where the first book ends.