Timelines are tricky things as readers were reminded in Carnosaur Weekend. Agents Kyler Knightly and Damon Cole are back in Apocalypse Soon. The work of protecting the timelines by Continuity Inc. is ongoing, difficult, and relies on everyone sharing the same common goal and following the rules.
In the signature story of this second volume of the series one Continuity Inc. technician by the name of Paul Dirac has gone rouge. His ongoing obsession with Pre-Apocalypse North America and vintage cars was thought to be a quirk one expected from a genius. The company shrink had perceived his obsessive interest as nothing to be concerned about and cleared him to work. Proving the shrink wrong, Dirac has gone rogue and jumped back in time to “Old Vegas” in the year 2035. He took a lot of supplies with him which means he is not coming back. What he plans to do there is unknown, but he can’t be allowed to do more damage than he has already done simply by going back then. Kyler and Damo have to go after him as fast as possible and bring him back alive. Easier said than done.
“Babylon Heist” comes next where Kyler Knightly is sent back approximately 3000 years to prevent a theft. Continuity Inc. got a tip that another time traveler had been sent back to collect a priceless artifact for a collector in the 23rd century. Kyler knows what they are after, but has no idea of the identity of the time traveler. So, he is working undercover in the Babylonian underworld trying to make contacts and gather information. 770 B.C. is a dangerous place and he has no idea whom he can trust.
Billed as a “Bonus Story” the final tale “Strontium Dreams” has nothing to do with Kyler and Damon or Continuity Inc. for that matter. Time travel may or may not be involved. What is clear is that it is a future world and one so decimated that survival means doing anything you have to survive. Having the stamp of “genetic undesirable” on your forehead helps keep you away from the collectors looking to salvage organs for the wealthy and keeps the rest of you out of the taco meat sold by vendors in the Jetsam Flats. One does not want to become taco meat.
Like the past, the future is not always pretty and certainly not here in these short stories written by Garnett Elliot. Whether it is Red Venus or Dragon By The Bay, Scorched Noir, or his efforts in the Drifter Detective Series, or the aforementioned Carnosaur Weekend, a hint of hard edged noir prevails no matter the setting. It doesn’t matter if one is vicariously on Venus fighting humans and alien life, running from dinosaurs, or shooting it out to bring back the rogue employee, that dark nourish edge of crime fiction is always there in the works of Garnett Elliot. One could easily make the argument that these are primarily crime fiction tales in a science fiction setting. Those works are also very good reads that tell complex tales with plenty of action and adventure.
Apocalypse Soon is yet another example of Mr. Elliott’s steadily increasing body of work. If you have not read him yet you really should. The only question is where and when you wish to start.
Apocalypse Soon (Kyler Knightly and Damon Cole Volume 2)
Beat To A Pulp
Paperback (also available in eBook format)
Material was supplied in paperback format by the publisher three months ago in exchange for my objective review.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2016