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Sci-Fi Undercover — Joe Clifford Faust

August 13, 2013

Title: Desperate Measures (Book One of Angel’s Luck Trilogy)

Author: Joe Clifford Faust (wikipedia)

(Official WordPress Website)

Publishing info: A Del Ray Book / Ballantine Books – 1989

Pages: 245

Cover Art: David B. Mattingly (official website)


          When I first saw this cover–I was sold immediately.  There wasn’t a part of the artwork that didn’t intrigue me.  It is such an alluring cover that not only am I overlooking the fact that this book is part one of a trilogy that I don’t own the rest of, but I am seriously considering trying to contact the artist.

Important details from the cover:

•  a woman is being choked on a very large television while bar patrons watch

•  a man with the shoulders of Hercules and the shirt of a Hawaiian is not enjoying his massage

*  the (impressively) mustachioed masseuse, with the biceps of Mark McGuire, is very intent on his work, failing to notice that his customer is holding a pistol

• a hologram? on the table displays a hopefully consensual BDSM scene

•  meanwhile, a surprisingly normal-looking individual is passed out next to a hard-pack of Marlboros

•  everyone else seems content to block the exit–surely a fire hazard

          After deciding that this was the next book for Sci-Fi Undercover, I braced myself and read the back cover sales pitch and . . . was pretty pleased by what I found.  Impoverished and unlucky cargo-hauler captain goes against what sounds like the Chinese mafia?  He teams up with a group of mercenaries, reminding me of one of my favorite novels The Warriors Apprentice (of the Vorkasigan Saga)?  No regrets about starting this book.

I wonder if the same artist did this Russian cover?

I wonder if the same artist did this Russian cover?

Joe Clifford Faust has published eight novels over a career that began in the mid-80s.  According to available information, he is still writing and trying to make his out-of-print novels available electronically.  What I found most interesting about his website during my brief exploration was his strong Christian beliefs.  It appears that Faust keeps his writing and his faith separate, a somewhat rare trait among prominent Christian authors.

          Check back later  to read what I thought of the novel and if you see a copy–pick one up and read it with me!  Check out Faust’s list of novels and their incredible foreign covers.  All I know is that I would pay real money for this absolutely awesome Japanese one.


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