Authors:Gerald J. Kubicki & Kristopher Kubicki

Publishers:Gerald J. Kubicki & Kristopher Kubicki


The father/son Kubicki team calls their latest effort an “adventure/mystery.” I would say “fantasy/science fiction” is a more descriptive subtitle. The story starts a mere million years ago in a world populated with an intergalactic space ship (picture Noah’s Arc with rockets), laser swords (that the authors candidly admit later bear a strong resemblance to the Star Wars ones), blue warriors (no mention of Avatar), and gravity-free local transports in which the Jetsons would have been comfortable. The story ends in the American Midwest in a blaze of gunfire and sword slashing where a group of modern-day warriors vie to possess an indeterminate number of laser swords which have obviously resisted obsolescence, big time.

This collection of sword suitors consists of the title group, SIM (Scientific Investigations Mandate), warring Mafia warlords, the FBI, the local fuzz, SWAT teams, the Fire Department, and an India-based effort. I was a bit confused by the kerfuffle given that the swords were apparently up for sale on Ebay. But rather than simply put in a bid, the competitors engage in a dizzying display of computer razzle-dazzle in an effort to find out who the seller is. The final shoot-out had all of the organization, and a great deal of the comedy of the Keystone Cops featuring confrontation from such inter-generational weapons as lasers and switchblades.

A major contributor to the collection effort emanated from the law offices of Dewey & Beatem. I must confess that this struck a chord with me as one who spent a summer at the law offices of Dewey Ballantine, whose founder was notoriously “beaten” by Harry Truman.

In a note, the authors admit to naming some of the novel’s characters after some of their friends. I assume that Gagan, Devesh, Jaina, Gudiya, Zayd, Franky, “the face” DeLuca, Zolnar, Zara, Manny “the nose” Marino, and Joey “smelly” Mancini were not among them.

Although it may be of no consequence to avid readers of this genre, I must note that the quality of the writing is journeyman at best. A well-turned phrase is hard to find and cosmetic imperfections abound. Some, actually, are quite humorous. For example, lying v. laying, complimented v. complemented, further v. farther, then v. than, weighted v. weighed, non hypenation of compound adjectives, a choke v. a chock hold, hold up v. holed up, and the rather condescending,“’You are stupido’ Tony uttered using the Italian word for stupid.” and identifying a character as a “negative antagonist.” There are also instances of subject/verb agreement: Anything growing or built on them were vaporized.

I have long challenged the mail-order writing course injunction that dialogue tags should be limited to “said.” However, having read, “said evilly,” I am prepared to give the “rule” a second look. Rules can be arbitrary; violations can be excessive.

Fans of this category of popular fiction, particularly those who may have enjoyed the first 25 of this series, will be fully satisfied by this latest output. On the other hand, conversions of readers who spend their time exploring more realistic and inspirational literary categories will, I expect, be few.