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Book News: 'Skeleton Crew' by Gre7g Luterman - Now bigger and better

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A mammalian humanoid stands defiantly in the hand of a giant reptilian creature.Gre7g Luterman self-published his furry science-fiction novel Skeleton Crew though Amazon's CreateSpace in August 2014. The cover art was designed by his wife, H. Kyoht Luterman, and inside were over a dozen full-page illustrations, mostly by Rick Griffin. It got excellent reviews. It's now been picked up and re-published in a new, expanded edition by Thurston Howl Publications, with a new cover by Rick Griffin (seen here, to the right) and new illustrations.

The backstory to Skeleton Crew is that four centuries earlier, the giant Krakun race came to the primitive planet of Gerootec and offered to hire thousands of the over-populated Geroo as their starship crews. The Geroo who went into space (and their descendants) would never see Gerootec again, but they would live in luxury compared to the backward conditions on their homeworld.

The novel is set entirely on (or within) one of the Krakun's huge exploration and generation starships, the White Flower II, traveling through interstellar space. Technically, the ship belongs to the Krakun's Planetary Acquisitions Incorporated, with a mission of finding new planets to colonize. New planets for the Krakun, that is. Never for the Geroo.

After 400 years, some of the Geroo are asking if the Krakun are their employers or their slave-masters. The novel's villain is Planetary Acquisions' representative on the White Flower II, Commissioner Sarsuk. He's the Krakun that can be seen on the new cover, holding Kanti, one of the Geroo. All of the other characters in the novel are also Geroo; this might be the first science-fiction novel that doesn't have a single human in it.

The Geroo are unclothed, with thick tails and fur. The text frequently mentions twitching ears, tail-rings, and the like. Kanti is called Shaggy for his unruly fur. There are 10,000 Geroo stationed on the White Flower II - exactly. Because 10,001 of them would mean over-population, and the Krakun's policy for over-population is... messy. And that's one "law" that Commissioner Sarsuk enforces ruthlessly.

Skeleton Crew is excellent hard-science science-fiction. It's also excellent furry fiction!

This is Book 1 in The Kanti Cycle. Books 2 and 3 will be released by Thurston Howl Publications. Small World, Book 2, in 2018 will introduce more species; and Book 3, Fair Trade, will presumably become available in 2019.

The new edition of Skeleton Crew is also available from Amazon. A longer review of this book appeared on Dogpatch Press.

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Fred Patten

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About the author

Fred (Fred Patten)read storiescontact (login required)

a retired former librarian from North Hollywood, California, interested in general anthropomorphics