In the concluding volume of the Alien Danger series the perils and dangers of the universe converge on the lovers, Mike from Earth, and Joe from Hrrrm an unlikely pair to have fallen in love. Together they struggle to build a world safe for gay people and keep the dangers and prejudices of the world at bay. All leading to the final titanic battle between prejudice and all that is good and kind.
The conclusion to the great gay sci-fi epic.
“This ship is going to be attacked.”
Mike Carlson and Girn huddled in the cargo hold of Prison Ship 437 headed to planet 6743-OA, an uninhabited world their jailers hoped would be worse than living in the most lurid vision of hell.
They’d taken refuge in the darkest corner of the gloomiest aisle. Innumerable boxes in a wide variety of sizes surrounded them. It was one of the few areas in the vessel Mike knew had no surveillance system. Guards patrolled only once a night. Mike realized the lack of precautions taken was because their guards didn’t care if all the goods being transported were stolen or ruined. Mike figured the guards would prefer them all to just die. Mike was determined not to let that happen.
It was early morning, although the amount of light on the grim, gray walls of the prison never varied, no matter what time it was.
“Are you sure?” Mike asked.
Girn had arrived with a delegation from the Senate, the ruling body in the star systems of Hrrrm. The Senate had decreed that all gay people were to be exiled to a prison planet. Billions were to be rounded up.
Girn was a spy for this first group of exiles. His eyes peered into each shadow of darkness. Even though their communicators said they were the only two in this room, Girn spasmed like an amphetamine addict, seconds away from collapsing into a twitching heap on the floor.
He said, “I shouldn’t be here. If they catch me, they’ll execute me on the spot. Even I didn’t know about this surprise inspection. We were lucky to find a way to meet.”
“How else were you going to let me know about the decree?”
“I don’t know. I didn’t think I could. Then this came up. I should go. It’s too dangerous.”
Visits by official delegations or plain old harassment inspections happened at random intervals. Their prison ship was one of the slowest of interstellar vehicles. Almost any inter-planetary vessel, no matter the size, could catch up to it. It was a prison transport, not a battleship. It was in need of repairs, and given to cranky behavior that Mike compared to glitches in the simplest electronic devices on Earth. He’d thought these people, advanced as they were, would have been able to solve electronic anomalies. They hadn’t. Mike wasn’t sure whether or not he was comforted by the universal ability of technology to fuck with its owners.
Each delegation that stopped at the ship was required to have representatives from all the major factions in the Senate. Mike figured they didn’t want anyone horning in on their possible profits.
Or risk any other faction capturing him.
Girn said, “Yes, I’m sure. You know how you were attacked on the way to Hrrrm?”
“Same thing here.”
“I thought we had better protections on this trip.”
“And the people who want to kill or kidnap you are more prepared as well.”
“Kidnap or kill?”
“If they can’t get you, this ship is to be blown to smithereens. You will be in space eternal, maybe protected for a few seconds by that aura you have, but then you will die, from lack of oxygen if nothing else.”
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Mark Richard Zubro is an American mystery novelist. He lives in Mokena, Illinois and taught 8th grade English at Summit Hill Jr. High in nearby Frankfort Square, Illinois.
Zubro writes bestselling mysteries set in Chicago and the surrounding Cook County area, which are widely praised as fast-paced, with interesting plots and well-rounded, likeable characters. His novels feature gay themes, and Zubro is himself gay.
His longest running series features high school teacher Tom Mason, and Tom’s boyfriend, professional baseball player Scott Carpenter. The other series Zubro is known for is the Paul Turner mysteries, which are about a Chicago police detective. The books are a part of the Stonewall Inn Mystery series, published by St. Martin’s Press. Zubro won a Lambda Literary Award for Best Gay Men’s Mystery for his book A Simple Suburban Murder.