Right off, this is not a military science fiction book. It is science fiction and some good reading, but it has nothing to do with the military, well, except for one guy how’s retired. This book is about the four McCoy brothers. They are middle aged if being around 55 is considered middle aged.
I’ll introduce them now: Derrick “Big Candy” Bartholomew McCoy, a high-stakes gambler who works for the casinos. He’s big and fat and eats candy while playing cards, mostly poker for lots of money. He’s the oldest and the cause of most of the trouble you’ll read about.
hen there’s Hutch McCoy , engineer and starship salvage specialist working for a small company. He found a mostly intact navigation computer with something very unusual on it.
Next, is Kitt McCoy, currently spaceship pilot approaching mandatory retirement age. Not going to be flying once he hits MRA since no company would hire him. He wasn’t wealth enough to own his own ship so his flying days were almost over.
And the youngest at 53, was Master Chief Edgar Zacchaeus “Easy” McCoy, Retired, after 35 years with the Galactic Union Navy. He was heading home to Esbe Four to meet up with his brothers he hasn’t seen in about 20 years.
Twenty years ago was when his father had died, but all the brothers were grown men by then and headed on their separate ways after the funeral. Now they were going to be meeting up again, to do what, none of them knew, but they all did know that they wanted to see each other once again.
During this meeting, Hutch brings up the news about finding the navigation computer in that old salvaged spaceship he had been working on. What he believed was on the computer was a map with a course through the Fanning Belt. This was something miners/prospectors had been dreaming about for years. The Fanning Belt was an impossible to navigate region of space within the Contested Zone. Inside the Fanning Belt resided a proto-planet that probably contained large quartzite crystals ready for the taking. These quartzite crystals were what powered starship and they were worth more than most people could even dream. To find one would probably put the finder up for life once they found the proper buyer.
And that was a small problem. Since this was in the Contested Zone, both the Galactic Union (GU) and the Independent Coalition of Planets (ICP) didn’t want either to get their hands on this rare resource. So, mining quartzite by other than the government wasn’t allowed. Anyone who wanted to sell quartzite would have to do so on the black market, but they still would come out very wealthy. So, how would these four brothers use this information or could they even think about using it?
Their first problem was they didn’t have a starship. Well, only Hutch, Kitt and Easy didn’t. Come to find out, Big Candy did have a spaceship, sort of. His was an older model that he had been restoring over the years just as a hobby. It was completely usable as a living environment having formerly been a pleasure yacht. There was plenty of room for several people, lots of storage space for supplies and cargo, and Big Candy had even stocked it full of food and water while he used the ship for his temporary living quarters when he didn’t want to live at a casino. The only problem with this ship, called the “Saturday Night Fever” or just Fever for short, was that it had no engines.
Now all four of the McCoy brothers were single and had never married. They had careers but nothing that made them rich. Big Candy gambled by using casino money which was a surprise to his brothers since they thought he would be rolling in dough, but no, most of his winnings went back to the casino and paid for his living and food accommodations. So, if they all agreed to purse their father’s dream of hitting it rich by mining quartzite, then some how they had to buy four engines for the Fever, get it fueled up and space worthy.
It just so happened that when Easy left the Navy, he received a large retirement bonus (I wish that was real). He was willing to invest in the ship if his brothers were willing to go into to this venture also. They all agreed that his was what they wanted to do now that it seemed possible.
But another problem comes up. Big Candy has made an enemy of a young spoiled rich kid that took his gambling loses personal. Big Candy never intended to clean the kid out and the amount he won was less than the kid spent on just drinks, booze and women in a day. But, the kid didn’t like loosing. The kid also had a security team funded by his father who was Franklin Rosenshield. This security team did what the kid told them, within reason. The kid, Desmond Rosenshield, told Mace Sinclair he wanted Big Candy roughed up for embarrassing him at the poker table. So the security team set out to do just that, but they didn’t count on Easy McCoy being around.
So this is where the fun starts. Can these four brothers get an old spaceship space-worthy enough to leave this planet behind and will the trouble Big Candy got into follow them forever? That’s what this story is all about. No military action what-so-ever, but it is interesting. I’m surprised that this isn’t a military sci-fi book since Toby Neighbors “SSG Vanhorn” and now “GSG Vanhorn” series are very much military sci-fi and I enjoy them immensely.
Not sure I’m going to follow this series, but the author’s second book titled, “Staying Alive” is now available on Amazon.