Monday, June 12, 2017

Once Giants (Once Giants, Book 2) by Eugene Kirk and Garan Mad

Release date: May 13, 2017
Subgenre: Military science fiction, Cyberpunk

About Once Giants:  


The future is a no-holds-barred free for all, but all in a day’s work…when you were Once Giants.The year is 2189, and a wormhole leading to five habitable planets has been discovered, prompting a new global space race. Political undermining and sabotage abound, creating the perfect blend of chaos and opportunity for newly minted NETwork operator Tina Thompson to put her augmented, former pro-wrestler body to the test in the mercenary game.

But her celebrity past isn’t so easy to outrun. And when her infamy botches her latest job in Imperial East Africa, her actions trigger repercussions that affect former rival Shay Santiago as well.

As Tina and Shay both struggle to salvage their lives, a bigger threat looms. A mysterious gravitational anomaly has appeared, threatening to destroy the solar system itself. And Shay’s old high school flame may be the only person on Earth who can stop it.

Richly textured, interweaving narratives introduce new characters and bigger military sci-fi threats in this second installment of Once Giants, offering a thought-provoking look at how one person’s actions can affect the entire world.


Shay extended her fangs, bit down, and tore at the savory meat. Swallowing fist-sized chunks, she sped through to get to the part the gathering crowd of construction workers really wanted to see. Her crew hooted and cheered when she showed off the smooth, stripped thigh bone. Neighboring crews stopped work and strolled over to watch the spectacle. Shay smiled and waited until everyone was ready before continuing.
It was always fun putting on a show for the boys. It reminded her of better times.
She licked her lips and placed the thick beef bone lengthwise in her mouth, positioned it against her augmented incisors like a pair of bolt cutters. Then she crunched down, her teeth slicing clean through with a loud snap. The heavy knuckle of the joint quickly met the same fate as Shay munched away, crushing and chewing. The shards of bone and marrow rolled around on her tongue, the flavor tickling her taste buds delightfully before she swallowed the last of it.
“Damn, girl. I still don’t know if I find that sexy or scary,” Hank said, shaking his head. A few of the other guys laughed in agreement.     
“What can I say?” Shay flashed a She-Wolf smile, pulled on her thick work gloves, and fixed her hard hat. “I do love a nice, big bone.” She shot a wink their way, and the men hollered. More than a few called out that they had a bone for her anytime. Shay laughed right along with them as she picked up an I-beam and hefted it onto her shoulder. She grinned and launched a handful of insults and lewd comments of her own, inciting another chorus of rowdy cheers. Then, abruptly, a booming voice cut through the lunchtime din.
“Santiago! My office. Now!”


“You can’t be serious, Frank!” Shay crouched uncomfortably in the trailer that served as an improvised office for the site foreman, the tight confines pressing in on her large, seven-foot-two frame. In the corner, a battered standing fan clattered away; a vain attempt to stave off the oppressively humid Florida heat.
“The memo came down this morning.” A smug look was plastered over Frank Jensen’s sweaty face. “It’s out of my hands.”
Shay looked out the small window to see the crews slowly getting back to work, climbing into rust splattered, faded yellow machines, or up makeshift stairs with tools in hand. She should be out there with them. She clenched her jaw before looking back at Jensen. He’d always had something against her. This wasn’t the first time he had tried to lay her off for something stupid.
“What is it this time? Subcontractor bringing in auto-lifters? Company lost the bid for the next stage of the superstructure?” Shay huffed and forced herself to calm down. With her rent already overdue, a complication like this couldn’t have come at a more inopportune time. Guess she’d have to suck up to the fat bastard. “Come on, Mr. Jensen. I’m already taking unpaid leave to go to the convention next weekend. I need to be onsite to make up my time this month. Just shuffle me somewhere else. Put me on with Hank or Fry on the East block. Those guys have been complaining for weeks about being down a loader.” 
“I already said it’s not my decision.” He made a show of shifting through the papers and blueprints on his desk. His frustrating habit of acting as if he didn’t know exactly what he was looking for caused Shay’s ire to rise. Finally, he picked up a folder, opened it, and nodded before sliding it toward her. 

“Seems the head office has some issues with that wrestling club of yours.”  He leaned back in his tattered chair, failing to hide a grin with a couple of fingers over his lips.
Shay scanned over the contents. What the hell? The first page was a full-sized, glossy print of herself, dressed in one of her old costumes and growling at the camera. The logo of the American Amazon Wrestling League was emblazoned across the top, her own logo at the bottom in holographic text: The Savage She-Wolf. She couldn’t begin to recall how many of these same promotional glossies she’d signed in her days both in and out of the League. Hundreds? Thousands? Shay continued on, flipping through the packet of documents until she came to a freshly printed story from the International News Network: Former Amazonian Womans Wrestling League Villain Commits International Crime in Real Life.



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About Eugene Kirk:


I've been writing for about twenty years, mostly in the Sci-fi genre. Before then, I used to make up stories all the time for role playing games, along side my co-author, Garan Mad. But now, with a wife, two kids and a full time career as an engineer, I don't have time to game anymore, but my creative juices still flow, so now I pour them into my writing.

After publishing a couple of novels, I've switched to focus on shorter length works; something I like to call "Made for TV novels". They are fast, fun reads that you can digest in an hour or so, much like an episode of your favorite TV show. And with the time pressures we all have these days, maybe a couple of hours is all you can afford to spend on some quick entertainment. So hopefully you'll enjoy the format and if you keep reading it, I'll keep writing it.

About Garan Mad:

Though I trained as an artist, writing has always been a passion of mine, though this was kept mostly to Role Playing games, alongside long-time friend and co-author, Eugene Kirk.

A few years ago I fulfilled my dream of publishing a series of comics called CONTRACT and although comics/graphic novels have always been my first passion the time and monetary constraints of artwork production is quite daunting. So, after a bit of encouragement to return to writing I've jumped (back) into the pool.

So pick up a book, give it a shot and, most important, if you enjoy PLEASE let us know.


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