Gunner Gullnickson, ace skycykle jock and all-around contender, has only one way to save his mother's life and preserve his good-guy reputation. He must risk everything and go up against a Martian jouster who will stop at nothing to win: not bribery, not intimidation, not murder.
Plus five bonus stories, making this a novel-length collection. More
(Science Fiction and Historical Fiction Collection) This is a novel-length collection of short stories and novellas.
The main selection is "Jousting For Ma's New Brain". This is a story about a kindly man, Gunner Gullnickson, in a vicious game. Like the gladiators of old, someone will die for the entertainment of the crowd. Only this isn't ancient Rome. It's a space colony.
Yes, Gunner is facing a live-fire matchup—victory or death, mortal combat ... and all in the name of the sport of skycykle jousting, a pastime made possible by the colony's rotationally created gravity.
Gunner is an ace skycykle jock and all-around contender. But despite his hard shell, he loves his mother and would do anything for her. Yes, he'd do anything, but anything might not be enough. A fatal disease is ravaging her brain. Gunner doesn't understand his mother's illness, but he does understand that without a treatment that he can't afford and that the authorities refuse to provide, she will die a slow and agonizing death.
Now, thanks to his manager, Gunner has a slim chance to save his mother. He must risk everything—his meager savings, his life, his reputation—and go up against a Martian jouster who will stop at nothing to win: not at bribery, not at intimidation, and certainly not at murder.
The bonus stories feature a space marshal who must solve a vicious kidnapping and a missing-persons case, a story aboard a 19th-century lumber schooner in which the first mate must solve his captain's murder, an antique collector who discovers that a flamethrower might just be his best friend in the whole wide world, and a man recovering from a childhood trauma with the help of a wise and wise-cracking android dog.
Look at it this way, you can't go too far wrong.
Enjoy the ride!