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Drakon Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 1996
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Something inhuman and lethal is loose in detective Henry Carmaggio's city. It's a monster, all right -- a member of a master race from a parallel Earth, and unless Henry can track it down, it's going to bring its friends.
It is four centuries after the ending of Stirling's previous novel of the Draka Domination, The Stone Dogs (1990). An accident with an experimental stardrive flings a genetically tailored Draka warrior, Gwendolyn Ingolfsson, across universes and time into contemporary New York City. Kenneth Lafarge, a secret agent for those who fled the Draka, comes to Earth in pursuit of her. Caught in the cross fire are New York cop Henry Carmaggio and his lover, investment counselor Jennifer Feinbaum. The Draka's plan is, very simply, to open an interdimensional gate and bring in a Draka army to conquer Earth. Defeating this cheerfully bloodthirsty scheme involves nonstop action and Stirling's usual wealth of technical detail, wry wit, and superlatively drawn female characters, not the least of them the appalling Ms. Ingolfsson. Roland Green
Top customer reviews
From a human perspective (and for most of the time the Draka are biologically human; they just don't see themselves that way) these people are pure poison. But everyone's the hero in their own story; Hitler loved dogs, and Himmler loved his children. The Draka keep slaves, enjoy keeping slaves, and at the same time love flowers, art, good books, and fine brandy.
In this book, a Draka, citizen of their Final Society, accidentally falls through a wormhole ("molehole") from their world to ours. If it weren't for fantastically good luck for us, she'd have flat conquered us. (One person against the Whole World? But the writing is good enough to make it believable.)
Hidden in the narrative there's a thread of "If the Master is _good at it_, wouldn't you rather be taken care of? Wouldn't you rather the world be in the hands of natural conservationists, even if you have no hint at all of freedom? Some of the Draka's willing slaves are conservationists. (One of the first things she does is release a bacteria that renders humans increasingly sterile after their second child. Shucks, even I think that's a good idea.)
There's lots of action and adventure and like that; the subtext is well hidden, but it's there.
If there's anything unbelievable about the book, it's the competence of some of the humans fighting her. But people _do_ rise to the occasion sometimes.
Excellent book. It was first published in 1996 (it holds up very well) and I've re-read it several times since then.
Gwendolyn Ingolfsson is an absolute masterpiece of a Guilty Pleasures Literary Creation.
Gwen is a human-descended member of the Draka master race, a genetically modified uber-woman who accidentally gets transported from her Earth (year 2442) into an alternate universe Earth much more like our own, circa 1995. She looks around and quickly determines the natives are not doing a very good job running their planet.
She decides to take over.
Trouble quickly ensues.
As soon as she figures out the local culture, she starts building up her power base in the Bahamas, in the best tradition of the evil-genius James Bond arch-villain. US intelligence is getting nervous about her technological capabilities, so they send a couple of NSA heavies down to Nassau to lean on her.
She invites them to lunch, and says:
`You can be fairly certain I'm not working for Jihad al Moghrebi' she pointed out gently. `And besides, isn't that mostly the Europeans' worry?'
[She thinks to herself] ...Her human ancestors had mostly ground Islam out of existence (four centuries ago). That it was allowed to flourish here was another sign of anarchic disorder. It was a wonder this bunch hadn't wiped themselves out long ago.
Yes, yes, I know...we are all supposed to agree that the Draka are bad guys, real hard core black hats and all , but still, I mean really...on the other hand, maybe that's just the pheromones talking...
Her Dreadful Perfectness aside, `Drakon' has several other great things going for it-
-Reading this book is just a lot of fun. It is a fast-paced page turner of a sci-fi thriller.
-It forces us to consider the implications of advances in biotechnology - for instance, even if we are lucky enough never to be invaded by psychopathic superbeings from an alternate universe, we are likely to have enhanced humans or cyborgs in our midst soon, and that, regardless of whether their powers derive from genetic modifications or bio-mechanical extensions, they are likely to be quite difficult to live with, but...
...even so, being ruled by them could be a better alternative than continuing on our current trajectory, which seems to be moving us rapidly towards either ecological catastrophe or a Weapons of Mass Destruction Ragnarok.
-And for connoisseurs of this author, there is a fun little tidbit of artistic-creation-in-embryo on display. At the top of page 100 in the paperback version, you can catch a first glimpse of the character who would eventually become Juniper McKenzie, of Emberverse renown, in the guise of an FBI agent named Claire Finch.
-Also, `Drakon' actually could become a movie. It is that good.
(and if it does, they would have to cast someone who could pull off the role of a semi-human predatory feline, one with superwoman and supervillain stamped into her DNA. Who could growl. How about Kristanna Loken?)
Steven Michael Stirling has written some great stories over the course of his career, and `Drakon' has to be one of his best efforts ever- if you haven't already, go out and get it today!
Definitely worth the read after finishing the original trilogy first which lays the ground work you need to hold the Drakon contents in perspective.
In a general sense it resembles Terminator and
The human from Samothrace trying to stop the Draka is almost as well fleshed out as the police trying to find this mass murderer, which is rare. The Draka is surprisingly well developed with views of its personal life, motivations, values - before toward the end becoming a caricature of an animal hunter, as well as essentially telepathic. Suspension of belief is necessary to accept the ending of the book, which detracts from an otherwise well thought out, well paced book.