- 20 January 2013
Hunted to the edge of extinction by a vastly superior foe, Humans return as the most cunning, efficient, and lethal predators the universe has yet seen
Burned from Earth and the colonies by a ruthless enemy, mankind is believed extinct. Yet in the centuries since the destruction, two pockets of humanity still cling to life. One is a colonist expedition, plodding through space with the thinnest hope of finding a new world to settle upon. The other is the remnant of a black-budget genetic research facility—a Cadre of enhanced and fanatical soldiers who prey upon the enemy in stealthy ambushes.
Mistaking the colony ship for an enemy vessel, Cadre Operators Maiella, Argo, and Thompson bore inside and blast their way to the bridge before realizing they are aboard a human ship. Packed with life support machinery and people, the colony ship Europa has everything the Cadre needs to patch their ancient machinery and cure genetic defects from their small gene pool. With their burly frames and terrifying skill at combat, the Cadre is the protection against the enemy the Colonists have desperately craved. But the bloody introduction is a division difficult to cross, and what should have been the most joyful reunion is tainted by fear.
Despite the diplomatic shine of the colonist Counselor, true integration proves elusive. A common project, the Counselor argues, one that harnesses the unique talents of both groups will ease tensions and build trust. O’Kai, General of the Cadre, declares a reconnaissance mission to their ancient home world Earth is exactly the project required. The common endeavor unites Cadre and Colonist for a time, allowing them to forget how different they have become in the centuries apart. Once the specially built transport is complete, Cadre Operators Thompson, Argo, and Beckert climb aboard and depart for Earth.
In the still-radioactive ruins of Washington, DC, the Operators find proof that the alien genocide was neither random, nor unprovoked. They also find evidence of another off-world research station called, “Cadre Two.” Against overwhelming enemy forces, the trio narrowly evades capture and brings the discoveries home to Cadre One.
At news of Cadre Two, General O’Kai immediately orders a team of Operators out to investigate, led by his second in command, Colonel Shao-Lo. They know nothing of what they will find. Cadre Two could be a burned out shell. Or it could be a trove of technology and resources, possibly a refuge should the ancient machines at Cadre One fail...if the dreaded enemy has not found it first.
The Exhausted Dead is the third installment of the Angry Ghosts series, picking up immediately where Black Hawks From a Blue Sun left off.
It fits on the bookshelf between the desperate battles of Heinlein’s Starship Troopers and the cold artificial intelligence of Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.
About the Author
A child of the Space Age, Mr. Farnham always held a passionate interest in the future of high technology. Impatient to live in that future world, he eagerly consumed any scientific article or Science Fiction novel that promised a glimpse. Herbert, Heinlein, and Huxley are three of his greatest influences.
His first novel, Angry Ghosts, was acquired by Eirelander Publishing in 2009 and re-released on e-book under the title Wraiths of Earth, in 2010. The sequel, Black Hawks From A Blue Sun, was also released in 2010.
The Exhausted Dead * by F. Allen Farnham
Trade Paperback; $17.99; 564 pages;