Friday 9 February 2024

Land of the Black Sun - Ryan Williamson - Doomsday Recon Prequel

Land of the Black Sun
Doomsday Recon Prequel
WarGate Books an imprint of

This author was recommended by another who I greatly enjoy. I was looking into his books and found this free short story on his site, it is a prequel to a new series. This story has a lot of a feel of the Barsoom series by Edgar Rice Burroughs, which are among the first books I remember reading when I overcame my dyslexia. So in some ways reading this short story was a throwback to my teens. It is a little more violent and a little darker than the John Carter stories but it sets the stage for the first novel in the series well. There is no description of this short, at least that I can find.

The description of the novel Doomsday Recon is:

“U.S. Cav Trooper Nephi Bennett's Humvee went from Panama to hell in the blink of an eye. Now, he needs to find his way back home—if he can live that long.
The year is 1989. America has just invaded Noriega's Panama. And Specialist Bennett's platoon of Cav Scouts are in country… with, frankly, not a whole lot to do.

Until a freak rainstorm somehow transports the entire platoon—Humvees, weapons, and all—to another world. A world controlled by a wicked Aztec god.  The Land of the Black Sun.

In a heartbeat, the Scouts find themselves fighting for their lives against savage beasts, witches, zombies, subhuman tribes seeking sacrifices… and even themselves. Fuel runs low, ammo grows scarce, and their only allies are a tribe of all-female warriors and a single fledgling sorceress with a decidedly mean streak.
But the fun has only just begun. Things in the Land of the Black Sun are about to become far more dangerous than Specialist Bennett could have ever imagined. For an ancient evil awaits…

…and Bennett and his fellow Cav troopers will meet it with blood and steel.
Embark on the adventure of a lifetime with Associated Press bestselling author Jason Anspach and Ryan Williamson in this brand-new military fantasy series. If you're a fan of modern warriors and weapons laying the hate on the armies of ancient evil, this is just the story you've been waiting for.”

The novel is co-written with Jason Anspach. This story opens with:

“Captain Gilgo creased his eyes against the blinding sun. Years spent hunting bandits and renegade Indians across the plains and deserts had baked his face into an angry, permanent sunburn, aging him far beyond his twenty-eight years. He sidled down behind the escarpment and took off his hat to run a hand through thick hair matted with sweat. 

“What the hell is the old fool doing?” he asked.

“Dancing,” the younger man beside him replied in a monotone, still watching.

“I can see that, Curly,” the captain said. “Looks like he stepped on a rattler. Man’s naked as a jaybird.”

“Mmmhmm,” Curly muttered. He was four or five years the officer’s junior, short and stocky with a wide, dark face marked with a broad nose and high cheekbones. He wore his carefully combed hair in long oiled ringlets and tied it back with a sun-bleached head-wrap. His mother had named him Tsiishch’ili, because of the mop of black, tightly curled hair he’d inherited from his na'ahiłii father, but seeing as only another Navajo could pronounce that, he simply went by Curly. The 9th Cavalry was a na'ahiłii regiment, one of the few in the US Army, and everyone in this detachment of B Troop had curly hair to some degree, including Captain Gilgo—even though he was bilagáana and about as white as a man could get without glowing in the dark.
“You suppose he’s making medicine?” Captain Gilgo asked.”

Later in the story Curley is the first to realize something is wrong:

““You okay, Curly?” Coleman called softly.

Curly didn’t answer. Something was very wrong. The storm had been wrong. Geronimo’s disappearance was wrong. The land was wrong. Now even the sky was wrong. Nothing was as it should be.

“Hey, Curly!” Coleman called, this time louder. Someone muttered angrily for him to shut up. Coleman stood and grabbed Curly by the shoulders, shaking him gently. “What’s wrong?”

“Everything,” Curly said, still gazing heavenward. 

“What are you talking about?” 

“Coyote is having fun with us and has scattered the stars in the sky.”

They are no longer on the hunt but soon find out they are hunted.  And the massacre at the first encounter is not promising. They soon meet some strangers that mike make allies but on time will tell.

This story also made me thing of the Space Trilogy by C.S. Lewis except being transported to a planet that is long fallen and in is the power of devils and demons.  This is a dark intense short story. It sets up the world for the new series and if this is a sample of what we will get it will be a very good series. An excellent short story and one I can recommend for mature readers.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2024 Catholic Reading Plan

Books by Ryan Williamson:
Little Mouse: A Short Story

Zarahemla Two Crows Series:
We Always Get Our Man
The Widow’s Son
The Spear of Destiny

Doomsday Recon Series:
Land of the Black Sun
Doomsday Recon

Contributed to:
A Fistful of Demons
Pulp Rock: An Anthology of Musically Inspired Tales
Black Chaos Book II More Tales of the Zombies
Whiskey & Wheelguns: Foreshadows: Tall Tales from the Weird West

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