Friday, October 14, 2011

Borderlands: The Fallen-John Shirley

Borderlands: The Fallen

John Shirley

Gallery/Pocket, Nov 22 2011, $16.00

ISBN: 9781439198476

Engineer Zac Finn takes shortcuts on his projects so he can move onto the next one. He, his wife Marla and their son Cal are on board the Homeworld Bound docked at the Study Station. While his family waits on the ship for him, Zac uses DropCraft to head to an ET crash site in the Borderlands to loot alien artifacts. However, his vessel fails and he crash lands on hostile Pandora while thinking his mission was sabotaged as he transmits back to his astonished family his coordinates so they can mount a rescue. Only the pair is forced to abandon ship in one person lifeboats as the security drones have gone rogue.

Zac fears for his family are superseded when skags come for him. He is recued by people who want to roast him on an open fire. Berl and Bizzy rescue him from being dinner. At the same time slavers seem to have captured Marla and Cal tricks skags and spiderants to fight one another. The Finn family gets their second critical break when Cal runs into Roland the mercenary.

This superb science fiction tale is one of the best tie-ins to a videogame as John Shirley captures the essence of the Borderlands through the fresh futile survival efforts of the separated Finn trio. Rapid rotating between the three action-packed subplots, the solid cast makes for a dark thriller as Roland and his two compatriots try to form a Finn family reunion.

Harriet Klausner

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