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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WILDERNESS FRONTIER STRIKE BY DAVID THOMPSON

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Copyright 1996.

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.

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.

DOOMSDAY WARRIOR #10 AMERICAN NIGHTMARE BY RYDER STACY

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Copyright 1987.

Ted Rockson is wandering the deserts of Utah after being forced to crashland his stolen MIG from the last book. He soon gets captured by a patrol of KGB and taken to an abandoned missile silo. There the sadistic KGB Lt. Lev Strelsky is going to torture him. Rock manages to persuade him to a game of chess. If he loses then he will tell Strelsky the location of Century City. Strelsky is a chess champion and his ego agrees. Only he lose in six moves. Strelsky accuses Rock of cheating and starts to drag him behind his jeep. Just then a huge storm appears and twin tornadoes sweep up Rockson.

He lands outside of Salt Lake City in 1989 just a few days before the nuclear war of September 11, 1989. Only this Salt Lake City is different from our city. The inhabitants are all brainwashed with elevator muzik that is pumped over everywhere. The food is also drugged. Armed men called Rooks with mirror visored helmets and carrying flamethrowers and assault rifles. In this reality the Chessman has taken over the city. A Soviet chess player who was in town ten years ago and caught cheating. He and his followers then took over the city and erected a force field around it. Now he rules with an iron fist a drugged out populace.

Rockson is picked up as a homeless man and brought to the Rooks headquarters. There he is identified as Theodore Rockman C.P.A. an upstanding citizen. They give him a good old session of brainwashing with the muzik and drugged food. Next day his wife Kim comes to pick him up and take him back home. There he finds his nagging wife and two children who are never described in the entire book. He watches the popular game show Twenty Questions which involve torturing some homeless guy until he answers the question “What are you for?” with “Social order.”

After a weird evening and hot sex with Kim he is off to work in the morning at his firm. There he finds that Rona is his secretary and he is having an affair with her. Well he goes nuts at work and leaves but instead of home he goes to a seedy part of town and uses half the $8 lunch money for a dive hotel room. Then the other $4 for a roll with a prostitute. Wow what a deal. Later he goes to a bar and with drink and rock and roll music gets his memory back. He hooks up with the local resistance who are the homeless. Seems eating old food from the trash is OK since the drugs are no longer effective. Rock breaks into a gun store and modifies an Uzi with an anti-air gun for a .50 caliber Uzi and mows down hordes of Rooks and Knights on horseback.

Well with his newfound homeless friends he assaults the Chessman’s HQ and overcoming his mental powers finds out he is Strelsky who also has a counterpart in this past. Strelsky is killed and the people are freed from the muzik. Unfortunately WWIII starts and they must escape the city. Rock steals a cab and with Kim his kids and Barrelman the leader of the homeless manage to make it to the time door and escape back to 2092. First Rock goes through some new age mumbo-jumbo of seeing the universe and all his past lives. Then in the future Kim, Barrelman and the kids disappear. He finds the clothes he was wearing have also disappeared. It was all a dream. He strips some clothes from the dead KGB and heads off for Century City.

Well this has got to be the most bizarre story for even this series. In a way it’s bizarreness makes it my favorite of the series. It is the best remembered of the books and definitely held my interest. I lived in Utah and Nevada during the eighties and visited Salt Lake on numerous occasions. Had some good restaurants but never seen a force field around the city or the Chessman. The Chessman seems to run a poor excuse for an economy. Rock is a C.P.A. with a big office and a secretary but still is poor. They live in a run down apartment with tacky art and drive an old Gremlin. The authors get a chance to try for some social commentary about the homeless and the heartless materialism of society. The pursuit of inane game shows and sitcoms. It is all lost in such a goofy, weird story.

Oh and even as a C.P.A. he still gets the women. He’s married to Kim who is even a bigger annoying, nagging moonbat then the one from Rock’s time. Still the Chessman is a bit of a sexist and conditions obedience in woman. As Kim says to Rock, “Just lie back, dear. Remember what the Chessman says about sex. it’s the woman’s job. After a hard day, the best thing is a blow job.” Naturally Rock is OK with this but does later take charge to Kim’s delight. And of course he is cheating on her with Rona in this alternate timeline. Not to mention the $4 prostitute. Don’t remember $4 going so far back then. Definitely a classic.

THE X FILES THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE EDITED BY JONATHAN MABERRY

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Copyright 2016.

Volume two in an anthology of X-files short stories.

DEAD RINGER By Kelly Armstrong.

1993 Comstock Pennsylvania. A young boy disappears from his home and winds up seventy miles away with no memory. So is this an alien abduction or some sinister evil fairy. The truth may lie with a woman that had a similar experience when she was a child. Interesting story to start the anthology with.

DRIVE TIME By Jon McGoran.

2016 Cameron Massachusetts. A top secret experiment in time travel is taking place. An intruder specifically asks for agent Mulder. He claims to be from the future and was sent back by a rival to kill the professor at the institute so the rival can get credit for inventing time travel. His plan is to send back the same assassin from different periods of his life thirty-five times so thirty-five men can assault the experiment. The oldest of these returnees wants to stop it because the man that sends them back becomes a cruel tyrant. This is a fascinating idea with a time travel twist.

BLACK HOLE SON By Kami Garcia.

1977 Chilmark, Massachusetts. A teenage Fox Mulder must endure the horrors of high school and his bickering parents. He hears from a friend about a young woman that was found whose disappearance was similar to his sister. He sneaks into the mental hospital were she’s at. He doesn’t get much information but has his first encounter with the Cigarette Smoking Man. A fascinating idea to explore Mulder as a teenager. And he gets his first encounter with CSM man although he doesn’t remember because he is drugged to forget.

WE SHOULD LISTEN TO SOME SHOSTAKOVICH By Hank Phillippi Ryan.

2017 Washington DC. A recently married Dana and Fox are moving into a new apartment. They receive a gift of a painting from a Russian artist that may have a clue to aliens. A strange story that has the two married in the future with a daughter on the way. Contradicts this years episodes in that Dana’s mother is alive when she dies this season.

MUMMIYA By Greg Cox.

1996 Bellingham, Washington. A homeless man stabs what he claims to be a mummy that attacked him. An autopsy reveals a young woman that was recently mummified by the same procedures the ancient Egyptians used. The trail leads to her boyfriend who is obsessed with Egyptology and hoping to bring back his terminal girlfriend. Another interesting story.

PHASE SHIFT By Bev Vincent.

1996 Houston, Texas. A family is trapped inside their home by a mysterious force. It looks like a possible alien experiment. A ok story with an implied gruesome ending.

HEART By Kendare Blake.

1995 Holmdel, New Jersey. Arthur Linninger is a mild mannered man who has a heart attack. The transplanted heart he received once belonged to a mobster. Now he starts taking on the characteristics of the mobster. Two FBI agents investigating murders has him worried. Other transplant recipients are found to have murdered the men responsible for the mobsters death and could Arthur be next. An OK story.

MALE PRIVILEGE By Hank Schwaeble.

2006 Horn, Arkansas. A strange condition causes all the men in Horn to suddenly develop large breasts. The investigation leads to a witch, a dragon and an ancient curse that involves the sacrifice of a young man. A good story.

PILOT By David Liss.

1996 Washington D.C. Mulder and Scully are investigating reports of strange lights. The witness seems to know the two agents and has an offer for them. He claims to come from an alternate reality where the X-files is a TV show. He gives them the pilot episode and wants money for all the others. This was a unique idea and I enjoyed this story.

ROSETTA By David Sakmyster.

2014 Arcadia, South Carolina. Mulder and Scully are there to meet a man that has proof of aliens from a recent probe landing on a comet. They may come face to face with genuine E.T.s. A interesting story but has a major error in X-file continuity. The Lone Gunmen are in it and they died some fifteen years ago.

SNOWMAN By Sarah Stegall.

2001 Mt. Rainier, Washington. Agent Doggit is approached by his former Marine commander for help. A covert team testing communication systems have disappeared. The two find Mulder also investigating and the bodies of the team. They seemed to have fled in terror and died of exposure. Now the three are stalked by what appears to be Sasquatch. Nice to remember someone remembers Doggit and I always love a good Sasquatch story.

VOICE OF EXPERIENCE By Rachel Caine.

1993 Washington D.C. Mulder meets an old flame on his lunch break. She is soon found to commit suicide. His investigation takes him to a famous author that may be stealing life energy from victims to write successful books. Another good story.

XXX By Glenn Greenburg.

1999 San Fernando Valley, California. Two porn stars have their heads suddenly explode while on set. The investigation leads to an anti-porn activist using an alien virus but the truth may be with the telekinetic abilities of the star porn actress Ashley Ford. An interesting story that lead to an unexpected ending.

FOUNDLING By Tim Waggoner.

1997 Ambergris Falls, Ohio. The inhabitants of a small town vanish without a trace. Mulder and Scully investigate and find a baby on the street. They have to fight ghostly figures and a mercenary employed by a billionaire. This was a fascinating story.

WHEN THE COWS COME HOME By David Farland.

2000 Gallup, New Mexico. A rancher is gored to death by a bull. Strange lights, crop circles and mutilated cow corpses point to aliens. The investigation take them to a Navajo witch doctor. The shortest and weakest story in the anthology.

Now two new books in a row. This one came out in February so it is probably the newest I ever did from this blog. Volume two of the anthology series was as enjoyable as the first. Once again stories with aliens, ghosts, time travel, alternate realities, the Lone Gunmen, Doggit, government coverups and conspiracies and plenty of general weirdness.

I even got a message from the editor. Makes me feel real important. He says he’s working on a third volume titled “Secret Agendas”. Something to look forward to.