Zaftan Entrepreneurs – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat
Author Hank Quense describes the backdrop to his new novel, Zaftan Entrepreneurs, this way:
‘When the provinces united to form the People’s Federal Republican Government of Gundarland, the petty wars of the local leaders became a thing of the past. The outbreak of peace caught most folks by surprise and caused major disruptions to many portions of the economy. Weapons and armor manufacturers, many of them one-anvil blacksmith shops, went bankrupt from the lack of orders. The Camp Followers Guild, which furnished the armies with food, drink and entertainment while in the field, saw its primary markets vanish. Dens of iniquity lost many of their profitable, iniquitous customers. Ripple effects troubled other economic sectors. Ale brewers laid off workers in response to the hordes of still thirsty but now penniless ex-warriors. The garment industry suffered from a glut of skimpy, rip-away costumes favored by the Camp Followers Guild. The surviving blacksmiths offered reduced rates to sharpen kitchen knives and scissors leading to an alarming increase in marital homicides.’
Into this scenario, an alien mining expedition orbits the planet, makes a deal with the government politicians and begins to ravage the countryside using robotic explorers. The presence of the aliens and their robots in a rural area endangers the growing romance between a gem miner, MacDrakin, and the area’s only constable, Higginbottom. He objects to the robots trespassing on his land and declares war on the aliens and robots. Higginbottom has been ordered by the politicians to protect the robots. As MacDrakin’s war progresses, he and Higginbottom become increasingly estranged.
Besides adventure with a bit of romance and comic relief thrown in, the story contains a great deal of satire that will resonate with modern readers. The alien leader is depicted as a greedy corporate executive, ruthlessly seeking to increase profits. Most of the politicians are either incompetent or only interested in gaining more power while ignoring the country’s problems.
After reading Tales From Gundarland, I thought Author Hank Quense was all out of imagination but, he seems to have an imagination that is non-stop. I have no idea as to where he comes up with some of his descriptions of his characters. Zaftans are huge squid-like creatures with nasty dispositions. A pink dragon pup (accidentally generated by an unknown magical process) runs around the Presidential Palace. Nut-busters are dwarf warriors armed with a two-foot long helmet spike. Other unusual characters are too many to list.
Hank Quense is full of funny stories! As I said when I read Tales From Gundarland, this book would make a wonderful series of movies.
You can find out more about the book on Hank’s website: http://hankquense.com
Review Stir, Laugh, Repeat at Amazon.com