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Slanted Jack

Slanted Jack

4.6 5
by Mark L. Van Name

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1. Rave reviews for Mark L. Van Name:

· “Van Name has created a hero worth at least a dozen more novels . . . I want this to be a series. I want to read a new one every year.” —Orson Scott Card

· “One Jump Ahead is like well-aged white lightning: it goes down smooth then delivers a kick that knocks you


1. Rave reviews for Mark L. Van Name:

· “Van Name has created a hero worth at least a dozen more novels . . . I want this to be a series. I want to read a new one every year.” —Orson Scott Card

· “One Jump Ahead is like well-aged white lightning: it goes down smooth then delivers a kick that knocks you on the floor.” —John Ringo

· “Hard real science smoothly blended into action that blazes like a pinball from one exotic setting to another. This one is very, very good.” —David Drake

· “Mark Van Name’s headlong pace of story-telling reminds me a lot of Keith Laumer. . . . He’s one of the very few modern authors I've seen who can manage that.” —Eric Flint

2. Van Name is going to be the next big name in military science fiction, and will attract enthusiastic reader attention with this novel that will appeal to readers of other Baen superstars, such as David Drake, John Ringo, and David Weber.

3. Advertising in Locus, more.

Slanted Jack: a novel that bobs and weaves, takes you on a headlong race through a strange but believable future, and never slows down.

The job looks simple enough: Jon Moore, the nanotech-enhanced, world-weary, soldier of fortune, agrees to help a con man, a friend from a part of his past he’d rather forget, protect a very special young boy. The deal doesn’t stay simple, as each move Jon and Lobo make results in more danger and more enemies. The situation grows even more complicated when a beautiful woman with an unclear agenda joins them in their quest.

The best con man Jon’s ever known, a ruthless gang boss, a heavily armed group of religious fanatics, and an interstellar government out to clean up a dangerous frontier world rush together toward an explosive climax—and Jon and Lobo are caught in the middle.

Slanted Jack: the second novel in the Jon & Lobo series.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

While the character development, world building and thematic depth are mediocre at best, Van Name's flare for witty dialogue, breakneck pacing and nonstop action compensate for the narrative inadequacies and make this high-powered sequel to 2007's One Jump Ahead an undeniable page-turner. When nano-enhanced soldier of fortune Jon Moore and his sentient assault vehicle, Lobo, run into a former acquaintance, a conman and thief named Slanted Jack, Moore's kindheartedness gets him and his sarcastic battlewagon into a deadly predicament. A religious fanatic who moonlights as an arms dealer, an irate gang leader and a powerful government councilor are all ready to wring Jack's neck, and Moore becomes the target of their collective fury when Jack suddenly disappears with an allegedly psychic child and a cache of invaluable artifacts. The flat characters and undemanding plot may discourage more cerebral readers, but those who gravitate toward action-heavy story lines will find Moore's escapades highly entertaining. (July)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Mercenary and former conman Jon Moore and his constant companion Lobo, an intelligent PCAV (Predator Class Assault Vehicle), get drawn into a multiplanet confidence operation revolving around a former partner and perennial troublemaker named Slanted Jack. Involving a quasireligious cult, a master arms dealer, a psychic child and the boy's self-appointed body guard, and a woman who both infuriates and attracts Jon, the operation takes Jon and Lobo to a number of planets, accessible through a series of jump gates, and keeps his several marks guessing as plans change, betrayals complicate matters, and Slanted Jack's unpredictability constantly threatens to topple Jon's intricate house of cards. Van Name's fast-paced follow-up to One Jump Ahead expands on the gritty future universe made up of expansionist governments, greedy corporations, interplanetary arms dealers-and a few decent individuals who do the right thing, even if it means breaking all the laws in the books. With strong appeal to fans of John Ringo (see p. 72) and Eric Flint, this sf adventure belongs in most libraries.
—Jackie Cassada

Product Details

Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
4.24(w) x 6.78(h) x 1.02(d)

Meet the Author

Mark L. Van Name, whom John Ringo has said is "going to be the guy to beat in the race to the top of SFdom," has worked in the high-tech industry for over 30 years and today runs a technology assessment company in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina. A former Executive Vice President for Ziff Davis Media and a national technology columnist, he's published over a thousand computer-related articles and multiple science fiction stories in a variety of magazines and anthologies, including the Year's Best Science Fiction. Jon & Lobo stories have appeared in a Baen anthology and Jim Baen's Universe.

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Slanted Jack 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
AnObserver More than 1 year ago
This book is second in a series that starts with "One Jump Ahead", copyrighted in 2007. It's in the soldier-of-fortune subgenre, but mixes a combination of serious thoughts with humor that keeps the book moving. The sci-fi concepts in the book are generally thought provoking and were probably pretty advanced when the series was started. The author's take on nanomachines is similar to that of Tony Daniel. I advise reading "One Jump Ahead" first; it will help to understand some of the more subtle parts of the main characters personality and problems.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JSF More than 1 year ago
A good second book for a series. Beginning to see threads developing for the next books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Slanted Jack, along with, One Jump Ahead, are old-school sci-fi at its best. A good story, along with an easy style, makes Van Name books a delite to read.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Jon Moore hates being the best combatant in the galaxy as that means missions he does not want to take. The nanotechnology enhanced soldier wants to live the rest of his life in peace and quiet on his home planet accompanied by his only friend, Lobo, an artificially intelligent Predator-Class Assault Vehicle. However, Jon knows that he and Lobo are expendable pawns always sent to the next impossible mission.------------- As Jon seeks a bit of R&R, he and Lobo meet his old crony con artist and petty thief Slanted Jack, who needs a slight favor. In spite of being the deadliest kick-butt person known in the galaxy, the kindhearted sucker, ignoring the sarcastic commentary of Lobo who encourages him to just say no, Jon agrees to help in what seems rather easy. He should have known that Slanted Jack set him up to take the fall from an angry arms dealing religious fundamentalist and his rabid followers, an enraged gang leader and his rabid mobsters, and a fuming high-ranking government councilor and his rabid supporters. They agree to kill Jon when Jack vanished taking a psychically gifted child and invaluable relics with him. However, in spite of the beautiful woman who insists she wants to help him and the assaults from the assorted rabid minions, Jon and Lobo agree rescuing the child is the mission.------------------- The second Jon and Lobo space thriller (see ONE JUMP AHEAD) is an entertaining futuristic crime caper as everyone converges initially on Jack who pulls a sleight of the hand with his disappearing act that leaves Jon and Lobo holding a dead rabbit. The story line is fast-paced and filled with non stop action as each step that Jon takes to expedite himself from the growing mess complicates his escape as more enemies surface. Although none of the cast except the heroic lead duo goes beyond comic book status, readers will enjoy the escapades in space of Jon and Lobo who will keep saying I told you so as the hero knows he didn¿t know Jack.-------------- Harriet Klausner