Cover by Jade,
New 2012 jacket.
NARC: DEATH'S HEAD UNABRIDGED
by Mel Keegan
PDF, EPUB, KINDLE, STANZA etc. -- click here to buy
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Read the first 10% of this novel online!
READER ALERT / CAVEAT: the sample readings offered here encompass about the first 10% of these works, and they're uncensored, unabridged. If you will be disturbed by candid descriptions of same-gender romance, or by realistic violence, please don't download! These samples are not intended for younger readers. By clicking to open these documents, you agree that you are of age in your local jurisdiction; you know what you are about to read; and the material will not disturb you ... 'nuff said.
Any "content warning" to readers?
Anti-drug war, related themes, realistic violence, frank description of same-gender relationships.
Cover art by Nicholas Hoare 1992/2000 GMP Edition
Two editions produced.
First printing: Nov. 1991,
Millivres reprint: 2001,
DreamCraft unabridged edition, 2004: ISBN: 0-9750884-5-9. Lulu.com printing: 2008; Amazon release, 2009.
The GMP original and Millivres reprint - no. The DreamCraft Unabridged edition - yes.
(The GMP and Millivres editions might be available on eBay for ridiculous prices. Please don't pay US$400 for the original version! It was so heavily cut, once you've read the 'real' one, from DreamCraft, you'll never go back.)
DEATH'S HEAD UNABRIDGED
"A thrilling sci-fi adventure of interplanetary drug wars, mind-bonding and gay passion..."
Four and a half centuries from now, a lethal designer drug known as Angel has become an epidemic disease, and a new breed of hero has evolved to a generation doomed to be lost to its ravages.
Jarrat and Stone are captains in the paramilitary NARC -- Narcotics and Riot Control -- assigned to combat the Death's Head drug syndicate in control of the vast spaceport city of Chell.
Under the NARC code of non-involvement, each of the two men hides his deeper desire for the other. But when Stone is captured on the urban battlefield and forced into Angel addiction, Jarrat's love for him is his only chance for survival ... but the price is that their minds will remain permanently linked in an empathic bonding...
And for NARC, the opportunity offered by this unique situation is too golden to pass up. To the team designing cutting-edge surveillance systems, the connection between Jarrat and Stone is a gift from jealous gods. But for the men themselves, the situation is an explosive cocktail of desire and dread, love and anger -- the struggle to survive, and a harsh question which both must answer. Will they let the department turn them into labrats in order to preserve their rank, their position, and keep on doing the job which, for each, is a burning vocation?
THE UNABRIDGED EDITION: from DreamCraft was first published in March '04. It's 30,000+ words longer than the original GMP issue; its new jacket was designed in consultation with MK.
Cover notes from the original printing:
"In his second novel, Australian author Mel Keegan keeps up the action and suspense of ICE, WIND AND FIRE, displaying the same imagination and confidence in the SF field as he did in the comtemporary thriller. " - GMP
Find out more about the series?
Read the first segment online ...
(Note: see our caveat.)
THE UNABRIDGED EDITION:
from DreamCraft was first published in March '04. It's 30,000+ words longer than the original GMP issue; its new jacket was designed in consultation with MK.
Want to know the backstory of the COMPLETE & UNABRIDGED issue of this book? Why it was cut ... how it was cut ... how it's been restored and reissued? Click here to visit The NARC page.
"A powerful futuristic thriller" — Capital Gay.
"Unputdownable" — Him.
Reader reviews are online on my website. You can post your own comments ... please note that this is a "moderated forum," where comments will be monitored, and may be edited prior to posting to prevent burned fingers and trodden toes!
Mel Keegan comments on DEATH'S HEAD
Of the thirty-odd novels and stories I've written, the "NARC universe" pieces are in my top-three. I love this universe, and I think the potential of the NARC concept is still 90% untapped, even after EQUINOX. Jarrat and Stone are "icon" characters set against a background where there's no confusion of right and wrong: it's as clear as black and white, good and evil. No need to rationalize the conflict which must be fought to rescue a generation of humanity (and the future of the colonies). On the most basic level, too, I get a big kick out of the technology. In a NARC book I get to dogfight in jetplanes, shoot it out between characters in space armor and high- tech machines ... and at the exact same time, explore the empathic bond between my heroes. Notice, it's not telepathic, but empathic, which changes the playing field utterly. The jacket blurb states that these stories take place in the 23rd Century ... dead wrong! Many times, I tried to convince GMP of the 24th Century dating, but to no avail ... no one was listening before the jackets were printed! The interesting thing is that the explosive conclusion to this book is due in large part to the input of the commissioning editor, the late Richard Dipple (who was the hub around which GMP revolved, and who is still missed). My original ending for the novel was a twist of irony: Jarrat chased down the chief villain who had taken Stoney's armour and Jarrat's own weapon in various previous altercations. Jarrat found himself looking down the business end of his own Colt AR-60. He knew exactly what that weapon could do to him ... and for the first time in the service lifetime of this particular firearm it jammed, giving Jarrat the advantage. I was happy with this ending and sent the novel in. Richard was happy with everything except the ending, which he said (and he was right) it didn't "go off" with big enough bang!!, and it should be redone. So I took the whole thing to pieces, and the version which was printed back in late '91 is the result.