Dax Rigby, War Correspondent
John B. Rosenman
A young hero.
A beautiful, sexually aggressive woman.
A mysterious, dangerous world 900 light-years from Earth.
Put the three together, and I believe you have the formula for an exciting and romantic science-fiction adventure novel. In Dax Rigby, War Correspondent, Dax Rigby travels to Arcadia, a distant world to investigate the war between two alien species, the Hoppers and the Flyers while World War III rages back on Earth. Dax, who is only twenty-three, hopes that his news report will enable him to escape a life of poverty and marry Lexis, his rich boss’s beautiful daughter, when he returns.
The ingredients of my tale serve many functions. Perhaps the most important is to test Dax’s strength of character and ability to survive the dangers and solve the mysteries of an alien environment. In particular:
· Can Dax solve the mystery of why the Hoppers and Flyers fight each other so savagely and why both species are dying?
· Can Dax avoid being killed when he does battle with a giant Hopper on the plains of Arcadia?
· Can Dax solve the mystery of what’s killing the inhabitants of Base Camp and jeopardizing the mission there of the Western Alliance? Why, in short, does everyone act so sick and behave so strangely?
· Discovering what appears to be an enemy conspiracy, can Dax determine the identity of its leader and avoid being killed to stop his investigation?
As if that’s not enough, Dax faces other challenges:
· Can Dax remain faithful to Lexis 900 light-years away on Earth when he is faced by Casey Frank, a beautiful, demanding copter pilot who keeps trying to seduce him?
· Can Dax cope with the shocking revelation of his divine identity and powers and remain true to his mission?
· And most of all, can Dax find a way to use what he learns not only to save the lives of two alien species but also the lives of six billion people back on Earth? In other words, can he stop World War III and save his side, which is losing?
Choices: ultimately they determine who and what we are. Will Dax remain strong and focused despite the multiple problems he faces, or will he crumble as most of us would? Though tough and hardened by a brutal childhood, Dax possesses a core of idealism. Will that idealism ultimately prove to be a strength or a weakness? Will it destroy him and doom humanity or save him and Earth as well?
Why did I write the novel this way? Someone once said that if you want to grab your readers and keep ’em hanging on every word, you should throw a lot of problems at your hero, especially BIG, seemingly INSURMOUNTABLE problems. Hey, it’s worked for day-time drama for over fifty years. In addition, as a kid, I watched fifties movies like Forbidden Planet, which features a distant planet that serves as a treasure-trove of possibilities. So I love world-building and feel free to let my imagination soar and take chances. I’ve followed this approach in other novels as well, such as Speaker of the Shakk (Mundania Press) and Alien Dreams and A Senseless Act of Beauty (Crossroad Press). In all these, the hero visits an alien world and has amazing, even cosmic adventures.
Excerpt: After their sabotaged copter crashes, Dax faces a gigantic Hopper with a puny mallet in order to save his and Casey’s lives.
The monsters were all around him. Looking up at them, he felt he stood at the bottom of a dark well about to collapse on top of him.
Dax took a cautious half step and glanced around.
The copter’s nose had gouged a deep groove in the dirt, and its rear section tilted upward even more steeply than he’d thought. On the copter’s other side, giant Flyers flapped crimson wings and stared at him with bulging green eyes. It was the Hoppers, though, that riveted his attention.
Close by, one of them started toward him on armored hind legs. The six-legged creature must be at least four meters tall.
Dax raised his mallet in trembling fingers and gazed up at the behemoth. It watched him with hungry, multi-prismed eyes. Ice froze his spine.
The Hopper opened its huge maw and puffed out a breath. It reeked of carrion. Dax
staggered back against the copter. Holy shit, he thought. Look at the size of its mouth! It could eat me in a single bite.