Saturday, April 21, 2018

Perimeter (Joe Ballen, Book 2) by David M. Kelly

Release date: April 21, 2018
Subgenre: Science fiction thriller, Space colonisation

About Perimeter:


PERIMETER - Deceit has no boundaries
Joe Ballen’s working on a new ore-processing platform in the harsh environment around Mercury. When a savage Atoll attack decimates his crew, Joe is injured and must return to Earth to recover. While it’s a setback for the project, at least it means he can rebuild his relationship with his wife after nearly a year away.

But then the security forces come calling. Vital starship engineering files are missing, and without them Earth has no hope of escaping Atoll domination. Someone has to locate the files, and Ballen is bulldozed into the not-so-choice assignment.

But he’s not the only one in the hunt. As Joe struggles to find the data, he becomes tangled up in a high-stakes game of cat and mouse. It’s a journey that will take him to the perilous depths of space, where no one is quite what they seem. Can old enemies ever make good allies? And can Joe trust even the people closest to him?

Ballen’s back in another action-packed sci-fi noir thriller, guaranteed to keep you turning the pages.




I waited while Delacort thought about it. Running on batteries would mean the railguns and lasers would be useless after a few shots and, unless we got impossibly lucky, there'd be nothing left of us except for a cloud of trace elements drifting slowly inward to fry in the Sun. I knew he'd want to make a stand, his tightly muscled jawline delivered that message clearly.
"We have to be able to fight. Forty-eight rockets aren't going to save us on their own," he finally said.
"Forty-eight rockets, four railguns and two lasers doesn't sound much more effective."
Delacort lifted his chin. "Do you have an alternative?"
"Sure. Surrender. The Atolls don't want to kill us, they want to confine us. If we turn ourselves in they'll either hold us or send us back to Earth. Knowing how much they hate us, I imagine they'll send us home with our collective tails between our legs."
Delacort stiffened. "You're a coward."
Why is self-preservation always dismissed as cowardice? After surviving what I'd been through a few years earlier, was it any surprise I didn't feel like offering myself on the altar of destruction once again? "You're the one with the military background. What chance do we have? We're on a space station. We can't avoid their attacks or do any fancy escape orbits. We have limited weapons and a small crew. But they can maneuver freely and outgun us at least ten to one. If we had a fighting chance I'd raise a flag on the ramparts myself, but this is suicide."
"We might get lucky."
I nodded slowly. "Has Central dispatched a rescue ship yet?"
"What? No. Why would they? Nothing's happened. SecOps doesn't have ships waiting in line to nanny a bunch of nervous engineers."
The truth was we didn't have any ships to speak of, but that wasn't relevant to the point I was making. "They know our situation—we have virtually no chance of winning this fight. Some might survive in the Rabbit Hole, but you know how limited the time frame is. Earth could send a ship now to pick up the pieces, but they haven't. Why?"
I let him ponder the question and come to his own conclusions. Picking up my comm-set, I signaled Isabell.
"Prepare everyone to head for the Rabbit Hole. There's an Atoll ship on the way and they're not looking to get a tan."
Isabell sounded calm. "How long?"
"Eight hours, maybe."
"Will do."
Isabell disconnected, and I looked back at Delacort. He pulled a cloth from his pocket and mopped his forehead. "Central doesn't expect anyone to be left here. You're right."
"I'm glad you saw sense." I moved towards the hatch. "Let's get to the radio room and broadcast our surrender."
"That's not what I mean. Charge all the batteries and capacitors to full. We'll need everything we've got."
I groaned. Why couldn't things go the easy way? Just once.


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About David M. Kelly:

David M. Kelly writes intelligent, action-packed science fiction. He is the author of the Joe Ballen sci-fi thriller series and the short story collection Dead Reckoning And Other Stories. He has been published in Canadian SF magazine Neo-opsis.

David’s interest in science and technology began early. At the age of six his parents allowed him to stay up late into the night to watch the television broadcast of Neil Armstrong stepping on to the surface of the moon. From that day he was hooked on everything related to science and space.

An avid reader, he worked his way through the contents of the mobile library that visited his street, progressing through YA titles (or ‘juveniles’ as they were known back then) on to the classics of Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Harry Harrison.

David worked for many years in project management and software development. Along the way his interests have included IPSC combat (target) pistol shooting, crew chief on a drag racing team, and several years as bass player/vocalist in a heavy rock band. He also managed to fit in some real work in manual jobs from digging ditches and work on production lines to loading trucks in a haulage company.

Originally from the wild and woolly region of Yorkshire, England, David emigrated to Canada in 2005 and settled in Northern Ontario with his patient and supportive wife, Hilary. Foot surgery in 2014 temporarily curtailed many of his favourite activities – hiking, camping, piloting his own personal starfighter (otherwise known as a Corvette ZR-1). But on the plus side, it meant a transition from the world of IT into life as a full-time writer—an opportunity he grasped enthusiastically.

David is passionate about science, especially astronomy and physics, and is a rabid science news follower. Never short of an opinion, David writes about science and technology on his blog He has supported various charity projects such as the Smithsonian’s Reboot The Suit and the Lowell Observatory Pluto Telescope Restoration. He also contributes to citizen science projects such as SETI@home.

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