Buck Rogers is an accomplished pilot. In 1996 at the Oshkosh airshow, he is in an old WWI Fokker battling a Spad. There is an accident and Rogers deliberately crashes his plane to avoid crashing into the crowd. He is seriously injured so the government decides to test a new procedure. Rogers is frozen in time until some future era can save him. This future is 2429. He wakes in the Niagara orgzone which is the old Niagara area in New York. He finds out that there was a nuclear war that destroyed the world. The Mongols managed to take over the Chinese and eventually most of the world. America is not known as Amerigo and consists of North and South America. Except Chile which is a world power. An uneasy truce exists with the Mongols and Chileans.
First Buck has to defeat a faction gang called the Half Breeds by using old WWII fighters. He defeats the leader in a Messerschmidt and unites the various gangs in Amerigo. Then it’s off in a submarine to find the lost city of Atlantis. After a battle with Chilean and Mongol forces they find an alien city in time for the aliens to die. Then a big promotion to Brigadier General and it’s off to Mars to battle the Mongols and their Martian Tiger Men allies. Finally, they defeat the Mongols who were trying to terraform Venus and he exposes a traitor.
TSR decided to give us one last Buck Rogers book. It was a complete reboot of the universe and I assumed was a proposal for a new game. Martin Caidin who is probably most famous for the novel that the series The Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman were based on. An accomplished aviator who has flown many different WWII and modern airplanes. I suppose the weird fighter fight between a Messerschmidt, and Mustang had a lot to do with his expertise. This was a fairly weird book. Starts off with the odd WWII fighter scene. Then we get a submarine adventure before going into space. The book reads a lot like a travelogue. A leisurely description of Roger’s travels in this new world. The book includes an insert from 1933 by Phil Nowlan and Dick Calkins. It was a children’s book from the time and gives us an overview of Buck Roger’s world. This helps to show where Caidin got his idea for this book. Many of the things and people were the basis for this book.
Some other strange stuff is that familiar characters like Killer Kane and Ardala are good guys and not the baddies like they usually are in other versions. The book on the whole was an interesting read. As one review I read states it was both interesting and boring. This is fairly true. It had some enjoyable parts, but some stuff was weighted down with too much technical detail. As far as I know TSR never did anything with this Buck Roger’s version, and I believe abandoned it. Soon after the company had financial troubles and was sold.
Vince Pirelli and Jovanna Trask have arrived at the colony of Amalthea, one of the moons of Jupiter to search for the scientist that found the alien artifact. This takes them to the Stormriders, a race of genetically winged humans that live in the atmosphere of Jupiter. Soon the aliens from Charon arrive. They are a nanotech entity that starts to take over Amalthea. Soon it becomes apparent that all human life is in danger. NEO, RAM and all the other human worlds join forces to fight this threat. It all ends with a big final battle at Charon the moon of Pluto.
The final book in the Invaders of Charon trilogy. We get introduced to a strange race of winged creatures that can live in the upper atmosphere of Jupiter. We also get to find out what the actual invaders of Charon are. They are descended from a twenty-first century nanotech probe that crashed on Charon. This entity just kept reproducing itself and now has moved into human settled space. Keith manages to give us a fascinating story about these strange invaders.
So, this is the final book in the TSR series based on their role-playing game. This trilogy like the last never has Buck Rogers appear. I liked this strange universe and the books they created to supplement their games had a fairly consistent level of quality.
Vince Pirelli is leading a group of NEO cadets on a training mission in the asteroid belt. They get ambushed by RAM and Pirelli’s fighter is damaged. He gets rescued by nomads a group of people that ride a giant asteroid around with a huge tree growing on it. He has been taken to add some new blood to the group. After defeating someone in combat he becomes a citizen of the group. Jovanna Trask meanwhile is part of a raid on the RAM base on Phobos to steal some advanced Krait fighters. They find out that the nomads have an alien artifact and RAM is sending a fleet to retrieve it. NEO joins forces with Black Barney to stop them. While this happens, Pirelli manages to gain control of the nomads to fight off the impending RAM attack.
The second in the Invaders of Charon trilogy. We finally find out why this trilogy is named. The artifact reveals that there is an alien civilization on Charon the moon of Pluto. The trilogy will now be finished up by William Keith. An accomplished writer even this early. He is known for military and science fiction military. Notably for the futuristic Marine books written under as Ian Douglas. He also created the Carrier and spinoff series Seal Team Seven. Not to mention my favorite the Freedom’s Rangers series with his brother. He does an excellent job of telling an exciting story filled with action and strange races.
Twenty-one years before Buck Rogers is found, NEO is still waging their fight for independence. Agent Vince Pirelli manages to break out a woman imprisoned by RAM. Unfortunately, she is seriously wounded before reaching the safety of the Wydlin Corporation asteroid. The CEO of Wydlin had his sister freed so his father Remus would rejoin the corporation and revive the Barney Project. This project is creating gennies or genetically created humans as a form of advanced soldier. The daughter Rachel doesn’t survive but is downloaded as a digital personality. The woman who does this is Jovanna a college friend. This starts her involvement as an agent of NEO. We get to see the development of Black Barney and the other Barneys as they revolt. Twenty-one years later Vince and Jovanna are reunited to form a group to track down an alien artifact found in the outer planets.
The first in the Invaders of Charon trilogy. The last trilogy of the TSR series. This one gives us the story of how Black Barney the space pirate was created. How he and his fellow Barneys revolted. It also introduces the main characters of this trilogy in Vince Pirelli the NEO officer and Jovanna Trask the Martian that joins NEO. An interesting story and I especially enjoyed seeing the origin of Black Barney. The book is in some ways two books. The first two thirds are the origin story of the Barneys. The final sets up what will eventually be the story of the Invaders of Charon. This is the first novel of Brennan. She wrote an interesting fast paced novel that sets up the characters in the trilogy. Not sure if she wrote anything else but would check it out based on this entry.
Dalton Gavilon the son and heir apparent of the Sun King has decided to take power. First, he has his uncle assassinated. Kemal his cousin finds this out and wants to expose this crime, but Dalton’s father the Sun King manages to cover it up. For a thank you, Dalton poisons his father and blames Kemal. Now Kemal is on the run as Dalton starts his tyrannical rule. Kemal manages to kill his cousin but no sooner than this is done, the forces of RAM launch an invasion of Mercury. It is up to Kemal to unite the various factions on Mercury to resist the invasion.
The final book in the Inner Planets trilogy is the best. The story really picks up with Dalton the psychotic son of the Sun King making his grab at power. We find out that it was him as a young boy who accidentally killed Kemal’s father. This was covered up but gave the young Dalton a sense he was immune to anything. I loved this book, and it is the best of the trilogy. Britton Bloom wrote a very exciting book. This is his first and to my knowledge only novel he ever wrote. That is a shame since he has a knack for writing. This trilogy was written by three different authors and yet managed to stay fairly consistent story wise. There was an awkward part where Kemal’s mother is mentioned to still be alive but has no part in the book. It was mentioned in another that she died when Kemal was very young, and he never knew her. A bit of sloppy editing but otherwise the three books were consistent. Ends with Kemal being crowned the king. Once again, we have a Buck Rogers trilogy without Buck appearing at all. Which is fine since this series was about the universe that was created by TSR. An enjoyable trilogy in the series.
Kemal Gavilan has rejoined his family on Mercury to find out about the new laser weapon his uncle is developing. He has to deal with Ardala Valmar who managed to steal a prototype. He finds an artificial program left by his father that helps him in his investigation in the mysterious death of his father. Killer Kane gets hired to steal the crystals on Mercury. All this while Gavilan has to deal with the Dancers who think that he betrayed them and his paranoid uncle and nephew.
The second in the Inner Planets trilogy. This one written by Murdock who wrote the first trilogy. A competent job from someone who has experience writing for this series. This one continues the various intrigues with this new laser and the various parties that vie for its control. While nothing really special happens, it is clearly a filler book to the big conclusion. It does keep the story moving along and made for an interesting read.
A ship is found floating in space with proof of a deadly new laser weapon that has been developed in the asteroid belt. Kemal Gavilan is sent with Black Barney by NEO to investigate. Black Barney has an interest because whoever is developing this laser may be linked to the Dracolysk Corporation. This corporation was the one that developed Black Barney and other cyborg gennies like him. They thought the revolt destroyed this corporation, but it is still around. Along with its evil director. Kemal with other Barneys launch a raid that destroys the research facility. Only Kemal discovers that his uncle the Sun King of Mercury may be behind this. So, he goes back to rejoin the royal court and all its intrigues.
The first in the Inner Planets trilogy the second trilogy in the series. Obviously, the central character is Kemal Gavilian and not Buck Rogers. In fact, Rogers never appears in this trilogy. He is out exploring deep space. This second trilogy is more focused on intrigue and subterfuge instead of interstellar space battles. I like the change of pace. We find out more about the origins of Black Barney and his clone brothers. We also see more of Mercury. Kemal is an interesting character who starts to realize that maybe his father was murdered and starts to investigate. Sets up a good mystery.
The Martian Wars heat up with Venus largest state Ishtar getting in on the side of Earth. Mercury joins with Mars. Kemal Gavilan goes to Mercury to sabotage their war effort. Both the Venusian and Martian fleets meet and are evenly matched. The Krait fighters of both RAM and NEO hold the key to victory. Killer Kane leads the RAM squadron while Buck Rogers the NEO. A final battle off the asteroid belt will decide the war.
The final book in the Martian Wars Trilogy comes to a satisfying conclusion. We get plenty of space action along with intrigue by all sides. Ends with Earth gaining its independence and the good guys winning. Murdock wrote a good consistent trilogy. It had its ups and downs in the conflict. A good start to this series.
After Buck and the NEO capture Hauberk it looks like Earth has won its freedom. Only RAM was playing for time with their peace offer. They attack with their full might. The goal is nothing less than genocide of the peoples of Earth. Then they will rebuild Earth to RAM’s needs. For the NEO to win they need allies. Wilma goes to Luna for a pledge of nonintervention in the conflict. Because RAM tries to have her assassinated the Lunarians go further and declare war on RAM. Buck has an easier time with convincing the largest Venusian state of Ishtar to join in. Buck also has Black Barney and the Pirate’s Guild on their side. Mercury joins with their ally RAM and it sets the stage for a final battle.
The second in the Martian Wars trilogy ratchets up the action. RAM attacks with brutality in bombing every major archology on the planet. Things look grim but there is hope. This book expands the action to new places such as Luna (our moon), Venus and Mercury. A side plot with Masterlink/Kharkov still trying to kill Rogers but also helping Earth since they view the Earth as belonging to them adds another layer to the story. Buck as always takes charge and manages to capture the RAM board as hostages. A fun book filled with exciting space battles, political intrigue and high drama.
It is the year 2456 and RAM (Russo-American Mercantile) corporation rules Earth with an iron fist. The NEO (New Earth Organization) is the resistance group trying to overthrow them. They have had little success until they found Buck Rogers. A hero from the twentieth century recently revived from suspended animation, he starts to take charge. First is to steal advanced Krait fighters from RAM. With these fighters NEO is able to take on Hauberk, the orbiting base that ensures RAM control of Earth.
The first of the Martian Wars Trilogy by Murdock start off this trilogy on solid footing. We get introduced to the world of the 25th century at least on Earth. The Martian RAM rules a broken world through terror and economic control. Based on the TSR role-playing game it has a new take on the Buck Roger’s story. In addition to RAM and it’s evil CEO a Simund Holzerhein.dos, a computer personality of Holzerhein downloaded after his death. There are other players like Ardala Valmar a scheming information broker. Killer Kane an Earthman that betrayed NEO and now works from RAM as a mercenary. There is a rogue computer program called Masterlink which merged with the crazy Russian general Kharkov that Buck defeated back in 1995. This program wants to kill Buck and also take over the Earth. A fun story that sees NEO take over the Earth but you know that the war isn’t over.