Reviews: Ing, Dean

One of my tinfoil hat theories

The Ted Quantrill Trilogy — Dean Ing

Dean Ing’s Ted Quantrill trilogy—1981’s Systemic Shock, 1983’s Single Combat, and 1985’s Wild Country—is an odd relic of Cold War America. Many authors presented us with various versions of Cold Wars Gone Hot, but few took the tack that Dean Ing does in this series.

It’s not just that this is explicitly a sequel to someone else’s book, General Sir John Hackett’s The Third World War. Or that Ing teeters on the edge of inventing the technothriller genre (before Tom Clancy, if one considers The Hunt For Red October the first technothriller; please feel free to debate genre history in comments). Or even that one of the books features a lovingly depicted Segway, decades before those were invented. Ing brings an … ahem … unusual political sensibility to this trilogy. I believe that’s what has kept this series out of print.

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Very Proper Charlies

Soft Targets — Dean Ing

The America of Ing’s 1979 novel is filled with soft, juicy, unsuspecting Americans, who are pathetically vulnerable to bombs, bullets and the occasional bludgeoning. The whole country is a virtual smorgasbord for terrorists looking for quick, easy fame and funds from approving supporters.

For Hakim Arif, leader of the notorious Fat’ah terrorist group, Americans are not really his enemy, no matter what his press releases will say. Americans are the key element in his new entrepreneurial venture. Terrorism is a low-risk, high-profit scheme to which Hakim intends to add a bold new innovation: killing civilians within an unprepared United States.

But someone is about to throw a wooden shoe into the gears of Hakim’s business.

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