In the world of 2073, the tiger is technically extinct in the wild, but as a species they’re flourishing ... they have been genetically redesigned. Their genes have been ‘tweaked’ to reduce their size to that of a large dog, and they’re popular ‘exotic pets.’
Few people care any longer that the wild tiger has vanished from the Earth. One of the only concerned individuals left is an eccentric, aged billionaire, Cass Vandermeer, who owns vast tracts of northwestern Tasmania ... and it’s here, in 'the Tarkine,' one of the last wildernesses in the world, that a handful of real, un-engineered tigers still live in the wild. The ‘park’ is managed by specialists who have spent their whole lives with these animals. So, when a ‘gene smuggling’ racket is uncovered a ‘can of worms’ with far-reaching consequences is opened, and the result is sudden violence and action, in the true Mel Keegan tradition!
Meet Sonny Moran and Alec Finch, two of MK's most delicious heroes. They're ranger and copter pilot, respectively, and that's Sonny on the cover, in the painting which inspired the story (see below!). And meet Poul Kolosimo and Andy Nardelli, the two VR-filmmakers whom almost everyone wants to strangle for one reason or another.
But who are the gene smugglers? How did they get into the Tarkine? And more importantly, how are Sonny and Alec going to keep the genetic materials of authentic, wild 'thoroughbred' tigers out of the hands of unscrupulous entrepreneurs, who are equally as vile as the drug lords of an earlier age. Exotic near-future SF, with a twist of technology, and a spicy gay romance.
Mel Keegan’s name is a byword for thrilling gay adventure in the past, present and future — MILLIVRES on Aquamarine.
reviewed by Buckeroo Bonsai
With each masterstroke, Mel Keegan paints a rich portrait of a near-future world which is alarmingly familiar. Picture, if you will, the last wilderness in the world. Humans have covered the globe like a virus, species everywhere are but a memory, cities have sprawled across the continents. You travel to the end of the world, literally, to find the last tract of wilderness: a place called the Tarkine.
And it's a real place, in the northwest of the island of Tasmania, just off the southern tip of Australia. In TIGER, TIGER, this part of the island is privately owed, which means it can't be logged, turned over to "pine plantations," mined, turned into a celebrity vacation resort, or another city. It's owned by a very old man who's still on a mission: preserve the last surviving fragment of the wilderness ... and preserve real, genuine live tigers. In this tiny patch of paradise live the park rangers who safeguard the Tarkine and the tigers.
Without delay, you meet Sonny and Alec. Warning: be prepared to fall in lust, if not in love! And into this snipped of paradise come the villains ... the gene smugglers, whose industry will make your blood run cold (if it doesn't there's something wrong, all your spark plugs are not sparking).
The text is quite brief (the book is 136pp, with gorgeous illustrations) but the story is amazingly complex, and so richly detailed, you might read it in an afternoon but you will be haunted by it for weeks. This reviewer could happily spend a whole novel's worth of reading time in this "Keegan future," and has read TIGER, TIGER several times. Heroes, villains, exotic locations, gay romance (and sex) ... and of course, tigers. What more could you wish for? As an artist, Mel Keegan has evolved in recent years. The "Master of Gay Thrillers" (Millivres) has become the Master Craftsman. Consider me subscribed.
reviewed by Sam
Hi. I never reviewed a book before but I have to add my nickel's worth about this one I guess cuz I love tigers so much and Keegan seemed to hit the nail 'right on' with this story. I liked how the tiger that was a major character in the story was not 'anthropomorphed' (can't spell that,but you know what I mean) but was let to be a real tiger, so you could really believe it. I'd like to see more stories about how it works out for these guys ... yeh, I liked the guys too! Also great plot. Can I get a printout of the cover art??? [You can get it on a card or a mousepad ... click on the 'MK at Zazzle' link on the menu bar to your left, or visit our Giftstore to see it! - ED]