I'm sure many of my readers know the science fiction and fantasy novels of Dave Freer, a fellow former South African who immigrated to Flinders Island in Australia some years ago. (One of his blogs, Flinders Family Freer, describes life there, including most recently hunting wallabies for meat and electrocuting himself in the process!).
Dave's been a prolific writer, producing some of the funniest SF/fantasy blends I've ever read. He collaborated with Eric Flint on a number of books for Baen. Their 'Rats, Bats and Vats' and its sequel 'The Rats, the Bats and the Ugly' have kept me cackling with laughter for many years. (I hope there's more to come in that series, Dave . . . hint, hint!)
Now Dave's taken his first step into independent publishing with his new novel, 'Stardogs'.
Like many of his books, it's an intriguing blend of SF, fantasy and space opera. I've had the pleasure of reading a pre-release copy, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Here's Dave's blurb for the book.
The Interstellar Empire of Man was built on the enslavement of the gentle Stardogs, companions and Theta-space transporters of the vanished Denaari Dominion. But the Stardogs that humans found can't go home to breed, and are slowly dying out.
As the ruthless Empire collapses from its rotten core outward, an Imperial barge is trapped on top of a dying Stardog when an attempted hijacking and assassination go horribly wrong. Trying to save its human cargo, the Stardog flees to the last place anyone expected - the long-lost Denaari motherworld.
Crawling from the crash are the Leaguesmen who control the Stardogs' pilots by fear and force, and plan to assassinate Princess Shari, the criminal Yak gang, who want to kill everyone and take control of a rare Stardog for their own, and an entourage riddled with plots, poisons, and treason. But Shari and her assassin-bodyguard have plans of their own...
Stranded on the Denaari Motherworld, the castaway survivors will have to cooperate to survive. Some will have to die.
And some, if they make it to the Stardogs breeding ground, will have to learn what it means to love.
You can read the first few chapters free at the book's Amazon page, if you're interested. I encourage you to do so, and to buy the book if they pique your interest. I think you'll find it an intriguing take on the world of space imagination.
(George Lucas, if you need a new movie inspiration, you could do worse than read this . . . )