DEATH OF THE PLANET OF THE APES BY ANDREW E.C. GASKA

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Copyright 2018.

George Taylor has just found out that he is on Earth after coming on the Statue of Liberty. His journey to the ruins of Manhattan get him separated from his mate Nova. Here he finds a futuristic city with robots run by a hybrid ape/human child. Only this is an illusion by the mutants that control the city. They believe Taylor is a servant of the apes and are determined to find out what he knows about their plans to invade. Through flashbacks we see Taylor’s life including his finding a downed UFO during the Korean war. This lead to him getting into the secret ANSA space program using salvaged alien technology. All this against a surreal alternate history where Goldwater won the presidency and Texas has seceded.

Meanwhile in Ape City the old order is falling apart. A fundamentalist orangutan has become the head of the church and allies with General Ursus in his crusade to rid Simia of it’s humans. As the army marches into the Forbidden Zone Zira and Cornelius get involved with a chimpanzee revolution and Dr. Milo as he manages to salvage the astronauts spacecraft. Mungwort the garbage ape that was exiled gets involved with hybrid human/ape mutants in the ruins of New York controlled by the giant brains called the Inheritors. All comes to the final confrontation with the mutant’s doomsday bomb god.

So this book is the untold story between the first and second movies. Here we get Taylor’s story including his past. We get what happened to Zira and Cornelius. The events that shaped the ape society. How Dr. Milo was able to get the spaceship to work. It has been a while since I read a new book that I looked so forward to reading. This book was just awesome. Gaska is a true fan of the genre. Not only are there meticulous references to the movies but also are included are the astronauts from the TV series and animated series. There is a nod to the various comic book incarnations from both the Boom series and the old Marvel black and white magazine. I even found a reference from the old Adventure series from the nineties. The book is only $6.47 for a new 400 plus page book so this is an excellent deal. If you are a fan of the apes movies than you will love this book.

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CONSPIRACY OF THE PLANET OF THE APES BY ANDREW E.C. GASKA

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Copyright 2011.

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.

PLANET OF THE APES TALES FROM THE FORBIDDEN ZONE EDITED BY RICH HANDLEY AND JIM BEARD

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Copyright 2017.

UNFIRED by Dan Abnett

A group of mutants is making a pilgrimage to the holy church in the east. They are lead by a mutant who is unfired i.e. surgically altered so he does not have his psychic power and can kill to protect the pilgrims. They deliver a recently discovered holy scripture the launch codes for the Alpha-Omega missile.

MORE THAN HUMAN, LESS THAN APE by Nancy A. Collins

A young Cornelius goes on an archaeological expedition. They are ambushed by a tribe of baboons. Cornelius befriends the leader and lives among them and learns their culture. An army of gorillas comes and massacres the tribe. Baboons are monkeys and not apes so there is no violation of the sacred scrolls.

BLOOD BROTHERS by Will Murray

From the TV series. Galen, Virdon and Burke are continuing their quest and come to the Napa valley. It is inhabited by Native Americans lead by a gorilla. The gorilla was raised by the tribe and is their chief. He is also the brother of General Urko. He defeats Urko and the fugitives continue on.

THE PACING PLACE by Bob Mayer

An alternate world in which Taylor and Nova are not captured by mutants. They found a settlement called Fort Wayne and teach the younger humans how to talk. The pacing place is the place that Taylor paced while waiting for the birth of his son. A tradition starts where all men pace when their women are giving birth. Taylor dies with a thriving human civilization started.

MURDERER’S ROW by John Jackson Miller

A TV producer for the Hexagon Broadcasting Network has a show that will make the network competitive. He will get the future apes Zira and Cornelius to do a variety show on Saturday also known as Murderer’s Row for the killer competition.

ENDANGERED SPECIES by Greg Cox

Years before the movie a young chimpanzee researcher named Janae is studying humans. She notices that they seem to suppress the ability to speak and decides to try and teach a human to speak. She is murdered by gorillas to stop this heresy.

DANGEROUS IMAGININGS by Paul Kupperberg

A brilliant chimpanzee in an alternate future where the Earth wasn’t destroyed finds the backpack of the astronauts. He uses what he finds to invent new and wondrous inventions. This causes Zaius and the science council to crack down because these inventions are inspired by human technology.

OF MONSTERS AND MEN by Kevin J. Anderson and Sam Knight

A young Zaius goes on a scientific expedition to the Forbidden Zone. It is attacked by lizard creatures and while taking shelter in an old museum learns the truth about humans.

THE UNKNOWN APE by Andrew E.C. Gaska

A story from the animated series. General Urko has taken control of the Alpha-Omega missile and plans to use it against his enemies. Then a mixed army of apes, humans and mutants are lead by the Unknown Ape. This ape is Caesar from the past. With his friends Virgil and MacDonald have traveled to the future to stop the destruction of the world. Caesar manages to destroy the missile by sacrificing his life. Peace ensues between humans, mutants and apes.

SILENCED by Jim Beard

A tale of a young woman who was Taylor’s girlfriend. She had his daughter who was a worker at Ape Management when Caesar takes over. Later a descendant is the queen of the last human city. Finally the last descendant is Nova who speaks just before she is killed.

WHO IS THIS MAN? WHAT SORT OF DEVIL IS HE? by Robert Greenberger

General Urko from the TV series is recovering from his injuries with his family. He tells them of a time year before when he killed other human astronauts that arrived.

STONE MONKEY by Greg Keys

In Asia a siamang is hunted by a gorilla warlord. The warlord wants to live forever and forces the siamang to lead him to the immortal stone monkey. Instead he lead him to a refuge for oppressed monkeys that kill him. It is revealed that the siamang is the immortal monkey from human experiments long ago.

MILO’S TALE by Ty Templeton

Milo is from an advanced chimpanzee society far to the south. He comes with an expedition to investigate the crash of an old human ship. While rebuilding it he meets Zira and Cornelius. While in the ship an army of gorillas arrives and forces them to launch. They witness the destruction of Earth.

MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE by Dayton Ward

Galen, Virdon and Burke from the TV series come on the ruins of an old missile silo. Inside they find a message from a group of humans located at Area 51. They invite the fugitive and they manage to flee before General Urko arrives.

THE KING IS DEAD-LONG LIVE THE KING by Rich Handley

Caesar twenty years later is ruling a prosperous settlement. He decides he wants to make peace with the mutants and sends his son. The mutant ruler Mendez comes but Caesar’s son then kills his mother while the wife of Mendez kills her husband. The mutants leave and it is revealed that a mutant with mind control staged the killing because he was opposed to the peace.

BANANA REPUBLIC by Jonathan Maberry

A temple being built on the fringes of ape civilization uncovers a secret. The New Orleans Naval Reserve armory. Inside are stacks of assault rifles and grenades. An orangutan and gorilla decide to use the weapons against the growing power of the heretical chimpanzees.

An anthology of short stories from the original Planet of the Apes universe. Not only all the movies but the TV series and Saturday morning cartoon. What a great idea. Every story was excellent and there wasn’t a dud in the whole book which is rare for a seventeen story anthology. Obviously the level of writers and their passion for the subject helped. Hopefully there will be many more of such anthologies. A true must read for any Planet of the Apes fan.