Sunday, December 10, 2023

It's got aliens, German Shepherds, and a very important knife.

Alex, the protagonist of Marko's latest novel, Scorpio, was born in Pennsylvania but doesn't remember it because her parents relocated to the colony world orbiting 18 Scorpii when she was only two.

Unfortunately, when she was still a tween, the giant extraterrestrials known as Lankies got there, too.

Alex and a couple hundred other colonists were near enough to the underground shelter known as The Vault to barricade themselves in semi-safety as the Lankies set about systematically destroying the colony and setting up their own atmosphere processors. Alas, her parents were not among the ones that made it to shelter.

We learn all this retrospectively, because the novel opens with Alex spending her twenty-first birthday riding in the back of an armored personnel carrier with some of the surviving troops of the colonial garrison, who she assists by working as a dog handler. 

That's an important gig because Ash, the squad's military working K9, can sense approaching hostile aliens through the humid, unbreathable soup of the Lankyformed atmosphere better than any human.

The little group is on a salvage mission, hoping to scavenge something usable from the colony's wreckage to keep the little group in The Vault alive and thriving as best they can.

And then the dog starts growling...

Read the book! I just finished Scorpio and really enjoyed it.