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The late 21st Century: the continents are submerged by rising oceans and Earth is a water world. Russell is a hydrologist based on a floating city, Pacifica. His lover Eric is one of 50 Aquarians, a new sub-species of man, able to breathe water. When the two reject a lucrative bid for their services on an odd salvage, Eric vanishes. An intrigue begins that could endanger the whole Pacifica region. More

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About Mel Keegan

A self-confessed science fiction and fantasy devotee, Mel Keegan is known for novels across a wide range of subjects, from the historical to the future action-adventure ... but certainly MK is best known for the NARC series, featuring iconic characters Jarrat and Stone. Mel lives in South Australia with an eccentric family.

From 1989 to 2001, GMP Ltd. in the UK issued the Keegan titles, and released eight original novels plus numerous reprints. In 1999, GMP was bought out -- twice! -- and the final owner of the old company was a magazine publisher (Millivres Publishing Group) which had, essentially, no interest in continuing the old paperback list. In short order the editorial staff was laid off and the writers were set free...

You'd be surprised at the writers who were suddenly adrift without anchor or rudder! Keegan, Josh Lanyon, David Patrick Beavers, Chris Hunt, and others. Some of us have clawed our way back and are rebuilding careers which were badly damaged by the demise of GMP. Regrettably, others have vanished.

Here's Keegan's current backlist (all titles published via GMP and Alyson, plus those in-the-works with Millivres at the time of the shut-down, plus all titles issued to date by DreamCraft:

In GMP and Millivres:
NARC #1: DEATH’S HEAD (abridged)

Breakheart (in Swords of the Rainbow, from Alyson)

In DreamCraft:
HELLGATE #1: The Rabelais Alliance
HELLGATE #2: Deep Sky
HELLGATE #3: Cry Liberty
HELLGATE #4: Probe
HELLGATE #5: Flashpoint
HELLGATE #6: Event Horizon
NARC #1: Death’s Head, complete and unabridged
NARC #2: Equinox
NARC #3: Scorpio
NARC #4: Stopover
NARC #5: Aphelion
The Vampyre #1: Nocturne
The Vampyre #2: Twilight
Legends #1: The Winds of Chance
Dangerous Moonlight
The Deceivers
Home from the Sea
The Swordsman
The Lords of Harbendane
More Than Human (with Jayne DeMarco)
Tiger, Tiger
Umbriel (with Jayne DeMarco)
White Rose of Night (reissue)
Fortunes of War (reissue)
Aquamarine (reissue)
Storm Tide (reissue)

Shorter Stuff:
Callisto Switch
Breakheart (unabridged)
Crimes of Passion
Shadow and Flame

Non-fiction and Poetry:
The Hellgate Companion
The Future According to Keegan
Worms in the Big Apple
Mel Keegan: 20 Poems

During 2009, all titles are being made available in every possible ebook format, as well as paperback and hardcover. Visit MK OnLine or The World According to Mel, to join our mailing list

... we'll keep you posted!

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Michael Joseph reviewed on on April 5, 2012

Russell Grant is a scientist, a geneticist in fact, and the son of a geneticist who helped create the ‘Aquarians’, a new human subspecies able to live in the water, almost like a fish. That’s important because the polar ice caps have melted and the world is almost completely covered in water.

Russell’s lover of many years is Eric Devlin, one of the first Aquarians. Eric can ‘breath’ under water and has skin that will protect him from some of the problems normal humans experience from being in the water for long periods. Eric and Russell are devoted to each other, sharing their lives on the tiny artificial island of Pacifica.

Russell and Eric are pretty happy, living and working on the tiny little artificial island of Pacifica, the brainchild of billionaire Gerald Duquesne. But trouble comes looking for the pair one day, in the form of two strangers who want to hire Russell, his submersible, and especially Eric for a little salvage job. Russell is suspicious, especially when the men won’t discuss the details of what they’re salvaging or what the conditions are, and so he turns down the job. A few days later, Eric goes missing, and Russell is pretty sure the two men are behind it. Thus the adventure begins.

The resourceful Russell tracks down Eric and rides to the rescue. But getting his lover away from the bad guys is just the start of the adventure for these two, as the tiny remnants of humanity seem to be teetering on the edge of a new global conflict.

It’s been a while since I read any of Mel Keegan’s work, but Aquamarine is everything I expect from him. There are two likable guys in love, action, adventure, a little sex, mystery and intrigue. This isn’t great literature, it’s more like classic pulp fiction, but Keegan is a good example of why that style of writing remains so popular. Aquamarine is quite a nice little read, despite a number typos. The only real issue I had with the story were the unanswered questions regarding the technology. The genetic alterations to make the Aquarians I just had to take a leap of faith on. The author goes into a lot of details about other technical aspects of how people are surviving – hydroponic vegetables, chickens, rabbit and fish for protein, etc. – but he leaves out things like where the fuel is coming from, or the rare earth minerals needed to keep producing computer chips. These are minor quibbles in the grand scheme of things, and some readers might not even notice them. As with most science fiction, it’s easy to poke holes in it if you try.
(reviewed 10 days after purchase)
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