Skyracos: The Mining Mess

Skyracos: The Mining Mess

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Product Details

BN ID: 2940016574103
Publisher: John Picha
Publication date: 03/31/2013
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 852 KB

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Skyracos: The Mining Mess 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
jpcatton More than 1 year ago
A short while ago I read John Picha’s pulp adventure, “Pandora Driver,” and now I’ve found he’s ventured into space opera. What’s the first tale of the Skyracos like? Well, the action confines itself to one setting, the mining colony Destiny City on planet Claous, where a mysterious plague is raging, and the imaginative ‘saucer-blimp’ control station that runs the settlement. That means that the book focuses upon character development and the claustrophobic sense of tension in the colony as the plague worsens and the authorities struggle to avoid mass panic and find a cure before it’s too late. The plot centers upon Chip Daniels. He’s a new recruit to the Skyracos elite forces and so he’s still struggling with the technology, the unit’s moral codes, and the choice between idealistic or pragmatic actions. In fact, sometimes we see his daydreams where he imagines the heroic deeds he could perform, which are a shocking counterpoint to the distressing and chaotic reality he finds himself in. His Chief is an interesting, shadowy character; sometimes siding with Chip, sometimes obeying the commands of vested big business interests, we’re never sure whose side he’s on. The source of the plague/virus is kept as a mystery, but the readers suspect right away that the colony’s leaders, under the officious Mr. Tultee, do not have the colonists’ best interests at heart. There are things about the colony they want kept secret and sooner or later, Chip is going to have to break rank and find the true villains of the piece. The ending reveals a startling fact about the nature of the virus that turns the action on its head that made me want to go back to the start and read it again, this time from a new perspective. The whole atmosphere is reminiscent of the Star Trek original series episode “Devil in the Dark”, only much more complex and detailed. I found the storytelling in the present tense a bit strange at first, but it lends the narrative an extra sense of urgency and approaching crisis. “Syracos: The Mining Mess” is a highly entertaining book, well-written, with great ideas, and good characterization, and I hope it’s the first of a series.
Anthony-Stevens More than 1 year ago
Chip is an idealistic young man who tends to get lost in daydreams from time to time. He and his fellow Skyracos are armored super-cops, thinly scattered on many worlds, in an imperfect future. Destiny City is a remote colony owned by the Arkon Mining Company. Chip is a junior part of the Skyracos wing brought in to assist the company security forces in quelling a riot. It doesn't take long to discover there is much more to the story than the mining company would have them believe. Sheer greed quickly overcomes compassion and common sense as the Skyracos are ordered to betray their ideals. A saucer-shaped blimp hovers over Destiny City. The Painwell Pharmacare laboratory team within this floating research facility scrambles to find a plague cure while the Arkon Mining security teams battle the terrified colonists below. The reader is given a peek into the minds of each of the major characters as the situation reels out of control. Chip's idealism is put to the ultimate test as John Picha weaves an exciting tale. I must admit I expected a lightweight space opera. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Skyracos unfolds in a manner reminiscent of Kurt Vonnegut at his best. I found myself relating to Chip's pain as he is tested under fire and learns some hard lessons. Skyracos is a dark story, well told.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Blood and Steel In its opening paragraphs, Skyracos rockets to the planet Claous, and the futuristic mining town of Destiny City. Here, a heartless, interplanetary conglomerate mines its own version of blood diamonds, Eternium. When a riot erupts and miners begin to exhibit strange symptoms, the ironclad space corp of Skyracos are called in to restore peace. But nothing can interrupt the precious flow Eternium, not without serious repercussions. Skyracos mixes pulp, sci-fi action with a good dose of political intrigue, setting forces at odds and then letting the fur fly. It's a unique take on the space marine genre, well worth attention.