The Ballad of Bawdy McClure
by F.S. Vander Meer

ISBN-13: 9781441552549 (Trade Paperback)
400 pages
Pub. Date: October 2009
Publisher: Xlibris

2510: It is now the Galactic Allied Confederation. Earth and the planets beyond all belong. It is not the best of times. No, the galaxy is hemorrhaging. Enforcement is handle through GAC Security. A individual must obey or suffer the consequences. “It is the Law” and “The Law is All.” Or is it?

Just because there is The Law doesn’t stop the fact that the galaxy is in chaos and violence has spread like a cancer far and wide. Earthers and off worlders alike a graving something better. God has taken a leave of absence, so it would seem, and nobody cares. You make do with what you have and try to stay out of GAC Security’s scrutinizing eye as much as possible. Hauler Jake Casey struggles with his own demons and tries to make sense of the murder of his friend, but business is business. He has a haul waiting to go out and a client chopping at the bit for him to take off and make the delivery. But little does Jake know that this murder and this friend have threads that seep across the galaxy and spin tentacles in nearly all directions on the compass. Getting this haul out will push Jake nearly to the edge of insanity as he discovers things about his dead friend he never knew. The Chief of Enforcement Central for Duketown is very suspicious of Jake and his relationship to the murdered friend. The Chandorian will prove to be more dangerous than Pilot Jake Casey realizes. This murder and this haul will test Pilot Jake Casey to his breaking point and it will endanger not only our good pilot, but several people close to him.

The Ballad of Bawdy McClure can honestly be classified as one of those works of science fiction that will be a rocket for its author, F.S. Vander Meer. The magic that Vander Meer weaves in this novel comes so close to the works of C.J. Cherryh it is undeniably scary. Not a copy, but a book richly written. Vander Meer pays careful detail to things. A cleverly designed and created world with rock solid believable characters is the strong point for this debut novel. The feel of the book is rich with imagery by the author’s masterfully detailed accounts of how people live, work and play. Vander Meer is a writer par excellence in this first endeavor. If you’re a fan of C.J. Cherryh, then I would recommend that you read this book. Vander Meer has left the door wide open for a series. Expect it! — Steven Fivecats, Editor