Boing Flip, boys! Mineran Conflict by P N Burrows

 

This is the second of the Mineran Series trilogy, published in January 2017.  Good news is, the third book is already well under construction.

Mineran Conflict starts with Sam, a former soldier, during an explosive commando exercise at the end of his twelve-month training stint with the Minerans.  Upon successful completion, it becomes Sam’s mission to hunt down and eliminate a ruthless drugs baron dealing in the paralysing narcotic Thrithroo V’ix.

The key to successful sci-fi fiction is to reflect our own world back to us, even if through a widely and wildly fragmented lens.  And this is what Burrows does, so successfully.   

Whilst the action is astronomically far-fetched, in that we are introduced to many different planetary systems and their assorted inhabitants, yet Burrows invites us to consider pressing social issues of our own time.  The Minerans are a race with a well-defined socio-ecological conscience who wish to preserve and encourage what is good – but are they not really Storm Troopers with friendly faces, killing and destroying their enemies?  The technology that allows space travel – surely a good thing, but what about the stellar-wide warfare and space debris that follow as a consequence?  And what would be your own take on children of indigent parents being adopted by the Army?

But back to the action.   This is where Burrows is at his most inventive.  We explore off-world cultures and technological wizardry through the eyes of Sam, a simple human ably assisted by out-of-this-world gadgetry and superior aliens.   The author displays a joyful exuberance in inventively challenging the known Laws of Physics , conjuring up creative ways to storm buildings, to capture and incapacitate enemies.  There is a fast-paced race through space, collaboration with exotic species from other planets, explosives, munitions.   

 “The hand-grenade moved in a slow, gentle arc from Sam’s toss.  Within milliseconds the on-board computer analysed its trajectory, the room’s dimensions, contents and placement of all organic matter.  It calculated the precise time to explode to cause maximum impact to all organic lifeforms … [ejecting] thousands of micro beads … to pepper the room’s inhabitants.”

As Sam says, “Boing flip boys … Boing flip”!