The Prairie Martian
New Halchita is Surrounded by Enemies
The Scavenger Hordes claim the land the town sits on as their own. Giant, mutated ticks await the unwary—one careless step could mean a slow, delightful death wrapped in their sticky palps. And in the skies above, artificially intelligent killing machines look down upon the survivors of the Great Inadvertent War, ready to obliterate any settlement they judge guilty of inappropriate technological advancement. But Sheriff Frank Westfall’s biggest concern is the beautiful and mysterious stranger in the lockup. “Nancy” claims to be a visitor from Mars, a descendant of an experimental colony abandoned by Earth when the war broke out. When Frank discovers that Nancy is not what she appears to be, his duty is clear—the problem is, he’s never had to kill anything with such a pretty face before.
A Great Companion for a Winter Evening The Prairie Martian is a delightful romp through the combined genres of western, sci fi, and dystopian novels with ingenious twists of plot and sly commentary on the foibles of humankind. There is nothing predictable about this book, including the ending that Eaton snatches from the jaws of saccharin at the last possible moment, making this reader groan out loud in sympathy for the long-suffering, sage, satisfyingly flawed (and preternaturally tall) protagonist. The writing is deft and droll, if sometimes discursive. But isn’t that what makes for a good read?

—Dr. Patricia Kullberg, author of On the Ragged Edge of Medicine and Girl in the River