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Hawk: Hand of the Machine Paperback – May 7, 2012

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About the Author

Van Allen Plexico writes and edits New Pulp, science fiction, fantasy, and nonfiction analysis and commentary for a variety of print and online publishers. He’s been nominated for numerous writing awards and won the 2012 PulpArk Award for “Best New Pulp Character.” His best-known works include Lucian, the Assembled! books, and the groundbreaking Sentinels series—the first ongoing, multi-volume cosmic superhero saga in prose form. In his spare time he serves as a professor of political science and history. He has lived in Atlanta, Singapore, Alabama, and Washington, DC, and now resides in the St. Louis area along with his wife, two daughters and assorted river otters.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 356 pages
  • Publisher: White Rocket Books (May 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615641318
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615641317
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,714,942 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Van Allen Plexico won the 2015 "Novel of the Year" award from the Pulp Factory Awards in Chicago for his space opera/Military SF novel, LEGION III: KINGS OF OBLIVION, and the "Anthology of the Year" award for PRIDE OF THE MOHICANS. He has twice been nominated for "Pulp Writer of the Year" and won "Best New Character" at PulpArk 2012. Praised by Kirkus Reviews, he is best known for his popular SENTINELS superhero novels (Swarm/Permuted Press), for the critically acclaimed SF novels LUCIAN: DARK GOD'S HOMECOMING (Airship 27 Productions) and HAWK: HAND OF THE MACHINE, and the "Shattering/Legions" trilogy beginning with LEGION I: LORDS OF FIRE, as well as for the ASSEMBLED! books (White Rocket Books), exploring the history of Marvel's AVENGERS comics.

He co-authored two books on Auburn Football, one of which (DECADES OF DOMINANCE) peaked at third on Amazon's Sports Best Sellers list and landed him on FOX television in Alabama and at the Alabama Book Festival as a featured guest in 2014.

Anthologies he created (or co-created) and edited include BLACKTHORN: THUNDER ON MARS, GIDEON CAIN: DEMON HUNTER, and MARS McCOY: SPACE RANGER . He has also contributed stories and novellas to books from Airship 27, Pro Se Press, New Babel Books, Adamant Entertainment, and others, as well as contributing to publications from Rittenhouse Archives and Maple Street Press. He writes occasional columns for and, and is host of the Parsec Awards-nominated White Rocket Podcast, discussing popular culture.

His books have been incorporated into reading programs for young people in libraries in several states. He lives in Illinois and serves as an Associate Professor at Southwestern Illinois College.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Baloo on July 16, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been reading Van Allen Plexico's books since his first Sentinels book. I've enjoyed all of them. Prior to reading this one, I'd have said Lucien was my favorite, but this just trumps it. I love the fast paced action. I tried to guess what had happened to Hawk all the way through the book and was pretty close to right, but I had doubted myself a number of times. A very nice, fast paced novel that has character and heart. Great stuff from a great writer. I'll buy anything Van Allen Plexico writes.
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By Dominatr37 on November 30, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hawk, hand of the machine
Hawk is a sci-fi novel set in the far distant future, and by far distant I mean many thousands of years in the future, and involves beings known as `Hands' that are actually cloned and created warriors who are programmed with different abilities before they are popped fully grown from their birth pods. When Hawk is born, or re-born which is more the case, he is created without his full set of memories which were supposed to be implanted in him at `birth', but were damaged because his birthing process was rushed.
Hawk was born into a war zone of sorts aboard a space station that was under attack by strange, insectoid beings, who are the primary enemy of the `Adversary', as Hawk would later find out. Thus begins an epic space adventure featuring different heroes known as `Hands'.
The novel takes off quickly and maintains an even pace as Hawk, at first at least, is on an out of control roller coaster ride of sorts. He truly has no conception what is happening to him as his implanted memories are damaged and his sentient space ship is holding back information from him. Only when he meets another hand, `Falcon', does he begin to understand what is going on in the universe around him. Eventually he and his fellow `Hands', some real, some imposters, confront their deadly enemy in a final battle that still leaves many questions unanswered.
It's been several years since I read any good sci-fi. This filled that niche. It was very good, very enjoyable. It held my attention, and I read through it in a few days. Van Plexico did a very nice job on this one, creating a galaxy that has fallen into a state of disrepair, as the enemies that drove it to the brink of destruction are now swarming at its gates once again.
All in all I have to give this story five stars. It was an excellent space adventure/mystery with a decent amount of action thrown in. Plus the cover is cool. Highly recommended, especially if you are a sci-fi fan.
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By Ron Fortier on September 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
Space Operas have been around since Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers first burst forth in America's funny pages. They certainly had their pulp counterparts from E.E. Smith's Lensmen series to Edmond Hamilton's Captain Future series and many others. Then with the advent of television American children were inundated with such TV series as Tom Corbett - Space Cadet, Space Patrol and dozens of others all culminating in the 1960s with Gene Roddenberry's "wagon train in space," Star Trek. Of course the eventual jump to the big screen was never far off. Sci-fi space operas had been around since the serials but none were so audacious and clearly proud of their comic and pulp roots as George Lucas' Star Wars franchise.

Which brings us full circle to the advent of New Pulp Fiction and a classic genre that never really went away thanks to likes of Frank Hebert, Jack Vance and E.C. Tubb. Now you can add another name to that list of extraordinary space opera creators in Van Allen Plexico. From his ground breaking comic inspired Sentinels series to the Vance inspired, "Lucian - The Dark God's Homecoming," this writer has jumped into the deep end of the imagination pool with no hesitation as this new novel proves.

Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away (sorry, I just couldn't stop myself) the known universe was looked after by a computer intellect that spanned space and was called The Machine. To enforce justice and order it created, via cloning, a small group of unique warriors to command its military forces. They were known as the Hands and chief amongst these were Eagle, Falcon, Condor, Raven and Hawk. When an insidious evil appeared from nowhere to threaten the peace and security of the universe, the Hands were deployed to battle this mysterious foe known simply as the Adversary.
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Format: Kindle Edition
In a shattered galaxy containing only fragmented political systems, what place do old loyalties and old responsibilities have, even for those who were once the most important representatives of loyalty and responsibility? And when the unifying force that holds them together fades, are old friendships and associations still a tie that binds? These are the greater questions that Van Allen Plexico explores in Hawk, not through philosophical discussion but in exciting page after page as concepts of loyalty, responsibility and friendship are challenged by destructive forces across the galaxy - and maybe from beyond it.

Anytime I begin a Van Plexico book, I immediately become aware that all of my other reading, whether for enjoyment or education, is going on the back burner until I'm finished with the new volume that has come into my hands. And this one contains all the features that make his books so readable and so enjoyable. His characters, though many, are easily remembered and identified. Their natures are learned not by what is told about them, but by what they do and how they respond to the circumstances and challenges they face. There is, however, always an air of mystery. Because we learn of them though their actions and words, it is always possible, and often proven to be true, that there is more afoot than we know. And Van Plexico conveys this uncertainty brilliantly - there is never a moment that the reader can rest certain in his knowledge of people, forces or developments.

In the beginning, the Hawk awakens in a crisis and is propelled from crisis to crisis across uncounted light years of space and, through his recovering memories, across multiplied millenia, as he and his companions attempt to unravel the mysteries they face.
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