Thursday, July 15, 2010

Jump Gate Twist-Mark L. Van Name

Jump Gate Twist
Mark L. Van Name
Baen, Jul 6 2010, $12.00
ISBN: 9781439133705

This omnibus focuses on the distant future outer space adventures of Jon Moore nanotech warrior and his partner Lobo the artificially intelligent Predator-Class Assault Vehicle. The tale contains two novels, two short stories and several articles.

"My Sister, My Self". On Pinkelponker, Jenny heals an injured Jon.

“One Jump Ahead”. Pinkelponker has been shut off from the rest of civilization, but Jon got off planet before the blockade could be enforced. He travels to Macken for R&R hoping to forget his warrior past although his nanotech enhanced body serves as a constant reminder. Jon is informed of the kidnapping of a girl Jasmine. Her father affluent Ron Slake of Kelco hires Jon to rescue his daughter from the Gardeners who demand Kelco leave. Jon finds a broken Predator-class assault vehicle Lobo that he borrows to challenge the Gardeners.

“Slanted Jack”. Jon and Lobo become couriers, but Moore discovers his partner is incredibly intelligent with emotional issues that make the killing machine confrontational. At a restaurant in the Falls, con artist Slanted Jack arrives needing his aid. He ignores Jack but not the shyster's client Manu who needs help. Jon checks out the Research Institute and a warehouse owned by Dougat with Lobo’s assistance leading to a secret secure basement. All hell breaks out with Jon rescuing Maggie and Jack before taking them on board Lobo. Agrateful Jack injects a chemical into Jon knocking him out.

"Lobo, Actually". Before Lobo meets Jon, he worked with other humans not as sensitive to his needs.

This is a strong collection in which the two shorts tells the early days of Jon and Lobo respectively; while the novels are exciting action-packed though similar with the pair going from one firefight to another. The real fun is the bickering relationship between two hard-butt warriors.

Harriet Klausner

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