Deepdrive SC (1998 Avon Books) Uncorrected Edition comic books
1st Printing - Uncorrected Proof Edition - Written by Alexander Jablokov. The twenty-first-century solar system is a smaller, more crowded place. Eleven extraterrestrial races have settled the planets and moons, sometimes interacting with human beings, sometimes ignoring them altogether in pursuit of their own enigmatic ends. On Venus, the massive Bgarth tunnel tirelesly beneath the soil, transforming the planet in strange and unpredictable ways. On Mercury, insectoid Gunners fire their isotopic cannon into the heart of the Sun for reasons no one can fathom. And on Earth, human clans struggle to possess the eggs of the Ulanyi, whose powerful placental minds confer social and political prominence. The alien races reached human space with faster-than-light drives -- deepdrives -- designed to self-destruct after use, taking the secret of their construction with them. Without deepdrives of their own, humans have no way to cross the vast, interstellar gulf separating them from galactic civilization, no way to compete as equals in the greatest game of all. But then a renegade Vronnan, Ripi-Arana-Hoc, crashes on Venus and is taken into "protective custody." Ripi is the only Vronnan ever to enter the solar system. There is no telling what he knows -- perhaps even the elusive secret of the deepdrive. But Ripi isn't talking. Now a ragtag group of mercenaries, thrown together by chance and failure, determines to break Ripi out and learn his secrets for themselves. There is Soph, embittered by a shattered marriage and the tragic death of her son. Elward, the muscle of the outfit, who has a thing for pain...his own. Tiber, a space pirate with a checkered past. And Soph's mysterious ex-husband, Lightfoot, whose motives are as opaque as those of any alien. But in a search for the deceptive, nothing is as it seems, no one exactly who -- or what -- they appear to be. There are no easy answers, only layer upon layer of secrets and lies. And as events set in motion long ago and far away by Ripi begin to ripple into human space, it is no longer clear who are the hunters, who the hunted. Softcover, 5" x 7", 312 pages, B&W, text only. Cover price $14.00.