The Rabelais Alliance

Rated 5.00/5 based on 1 reviews
In a part of space so terrible it is known as Hellgate, the Fleet supercarriers hunt the starship wreckers, privateers who, alone, navigate the Rabelais Drift and hold the keys to survival on the frontier. The Resalq are not the dead race humans suppose; we share a common enemy known only as the Zunshu. Neil Travers and Curtis Marin are at the hub of spiraling events which must culminate in war. 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!

About the Series: Hellgate
In a desperate bid to counter the threat of a shadowy enemy, Earth’s distant government taxes its colonies to build the brutal DeepSky Fleet and conscripts colonial youth to man it. But this tinder ignites the Colonial War of the 2660s -- while the unknowable threat from ‘the stormy side of the sky’ beyond Hellgate proves appallingly real. A father’s quest for justice for his murdered son takes Curtis Marin back into Fleet, where he encounters Neil Travers and the rogue crew of Richard Vaurien’s salvage vessel Wastrel. They stand at the pivot point of both the Colonial War and the conflict against the unknown, unknowable Zunshu ... in a place where time and space collide, the future of mankind will be decided.

Also in Series: Hellgate

Also by This Author

Also by This Publisher


Review by: Michael Joseph on June 19, 2012 :
Curtis Marin is a hit man, although he would object strongly to that term. He would probably prefer something more along the lines of ‘avenging angel’. In the almost lawless fringes of the human colonies among the stars, where money and power lets you get away with murder (in other words, not much changes in 700 years), Marin works for a secret organization that, for a price, allows bereaved families to get justice. Marin does a lot of research, including hacking into computer systems, to ensure that the selected victim is guilty of their crime before he carries out a commission. He’s judge, jury and executioner.

We first meet Marin while he’s on assignment, taking out a particularly nasty gun-runner who murdered a dozen people just because they discovered what he was doing, or might have seen something they shouldn’t have. By the time Marin pulls the trigger, the reader is convinced the man is getting exactly what’s coming to him.

Neil Travers is a Sergeant aboard the Intrepid, a huge deep space carrier currently assigned to an unstable area of space commonly known as Hellgate. The ‘Fleet’, as the military is called, enforces Earth’s ever more tenuous hold over its colonies. In an entirely self-defeating manner, Fleet relies on massive numbers of conscripts from the colonies to support its mission. New inductees are put through a training program that tests them to their limits, and some of them don’t live through it. On the Intrepid, things are even worse. A sadistic training officer called Neville takes special pleasure in torturing recruits with his simulated battle scenarios. The simulations are very real, and some recruits are killed during them. Some simply screw up, and are then flogged to teach them a lesson. One of these whippings results in the death of a young man, whose rich and powerful father wants justice.

The first half of the book weaves the stories of Marin and Travers together until they finally meet aboard the Intrepid. It was Travers who smuggled out the information about the true cause of the young man’s death to his father, and of course Marin is the man hired to obtain justice. When they meet, the sparks fly. In this version of the future, sexual preference is a non-issue, so the only thing standing in the way for Travers and Marin is the job Marin has been hired to do. Travers has very little compunction about helping Marin complete his assignment. He and the entire ship have been through hell at the hands of Neville, and the unseen commander Colonel Falk. But things don’t go exactly to plan, and soon the two men are struggling to save their own skins, and the lives of their friends aboard the Intrepid.

Of course, this being Mel Keegan, the story isn’t really over once the bad guy is put out of the way and the boys are safe. No, that’s just the beginning. There’s still another mystery or two to unravel before we get to the conclusion.

The Rabelais Alliance is classic Mel Keegan, in space. You have two hot and perfect for each other heroes, a rich supporting cast, action, adventure and mystery. It’s no wonder that the book has spawned at least four sequels.
Marin and Travers both have older mentors who were also sometime-lovers. Mark Sherratt is Marin’s boss, the head of the secret organization Marin works for, and a member of an alien race thought long extinct. Traver’s friend and mentor is Richard Vaurien, the roguish captain of a band of privateers. Both of these men are interesting in their own right, and I assume they continue to play key rolls in the later books.
(reviewed 39 days after purchase)
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