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Jarrat and Stone are back, and if the Scorpio assignment looked tough, this one is the challenge of a career. Here is the NARC novel that has been eagerly anticipated ... second-guessed ... demanded! ... since SCORPIO was released in 2004.

All roads lead to the homeworlds. The Scorpio data-trail ... the Michiko dossier. Earth. Mars. The timeless cities of ancient worlds ... dark. Wicked. Corrupt. For the outsider — stranger, colonial, mutoid — it's a mean arena. Alien, dangerous. For the 'Earther' headed back in ... it's not what you expected, nor where you want to be.

Chicago ... Marsport ... the incredible skycities of the Jupiter system. New-old worlds on the old high frontier ... New battlefields were Death wears the same old face.

Aerosports and Angel packwar — the launch of a super-carrier — the death of a friend.

Nothing is as it seems. Trust only those you know — believe only what you see.

Mel Keegan’s name is a byword for thrilling gay adventure in the past, present and future — MILLIVRES on Aquamarine.

    Aaaaahhhhhh, at last! I have it in my hands!!! I'm reading it!!! In fact, stayed up past midnight to finish. Woah. This one has everything. Can't hardly believe the amount there is in this book. And it's a page-turner from the get-go. Don't even ask me to name my fave part. Well .... maybe .... the scene in the storm in Harry's garden ;-) .... and then the 'sim' scene in the middle of the book before the ship arrives at Earth ... woooo. I also really like having TWO guys doing the undercover work. Bring it on. More please, soon please. And I want to take my next vacation on Mars!!

    Now, this is the book I've waited fifteen years for. Since reading (devouring / inhaling / ingesting) the original Death's Head (which we all now know was abridged within an inch of its very life), I've wanted (longed / yearned / begged) to see the planet Earth. To know where Stoney comes from. To see what's become of human society (politics / fashion / environment). I freedly admit, this is the kind of sci-fi I like. There are no monsters and Earth is not being invaded for the umpteeth time. [MARGINALLY OFF TOPIC HERE: There are also no characters in alien costume (meaning, human actors who look almost 100% homosapien till one arrives as the head, where the unfortunate performer is wearing a large, often grotesque, rubber creation. Trek. Farscape, Stargate. Babylon. Star Wars ... it's been a Hollywood trend since somebody glued a pair of anetnnae on an actor whose face had been painted blue. I suppose I have nothing major against TV/cinematic SF; however, one grows weary of the masks, and aliens who appear so weird and then behave in ways that are so completely human, you can only go out for another bucket of guacamole dip and hope for better luck after the commercial break. I digress, for which, profuse apologies — but having said all of the above, you now know a little about me, and will perhaps value my opinions of Mr. Keegan's work all the more highly!] The NARC novels are about HUMANS BEING HUMAN, in a world that is very different ... yet strangely the same. One can see exactly how the world of Keegan's twenty-fourth century evolved, item by item, from our own world. Put another way, you could take the world in which the NARC books take place, and reverse-engineer it step by step — and end in our own world. As each novel was released (the first two from GMP, the latter works via DreamCraft) I was on tenterhooks to see if Keegan could maintain the sheer logic of the world-building, at the same time as keep up the integrity of the purely human drama. Ten out of ten. Five stars out of five in the Buckeroo Bonsai Great SF Guide. And as I began, the facet I've been waiting for was to explore the planet Earth, see where Stoney (my favourite; sorry; one isn't supposed to pick favourites, but there you have it ... guilty as charged) grew up. APHELION delivers, value plus. Highly recommended, if you're looking for human drama, gay romance, and a kind of sci-fi that has seldom been done to date — and has never been done better.

    [Buckeroo Bonsai has also contributed a full-on review of the series as a whole, 'Gay Science Fiction comes of age with a vengeance' appearing on the NARC site. This overview is not merely in-depth, but examines this series in the context of gay science fiction as a whole, and is extremely thought-provoking.]