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Local's novel drawing good reviews
winred cover
A science fiction novel by former Coastal Courier reporter George Duncan has not made the best seller list but it has garnered good reviews from the East Coast to the West Coast.
The Highlands (Sebring, Fla.) Today said, "A Wine Red Silence" was "a riveting story about titanic battles between the forces of good and evil. Throw in some social commentary, historic reflections, struggles of faith and conscience, a "Brave New World" of science gone mad, a dash of romance, and wit and one-liners. The result is a truer-than-fiction peek into a frightening future."
The Huntsville (Ala.) Times said the novel "catapults current ethical concerns into a hard-edge and hard-wired world."
Out West, The Ashland (Ore.) Daily Tidings noted, "As described by Duncan, the future seems, if not inevitable, at least plausible -- at times fascinating and at times chilling but ... there is also hope."
The plot centers on private detective Jerico Drake, who is investigating the death of his client's brother while becoming a target of a robotic assassin with artificial intelligence. The world is the balkanized United States about 50 years in the future, where some humans are genetically enhanced (genrich), robots are used as companions and criminal enforcers, and holograms are so real that a few humans get lost in them. The author's themes involve good and evil, the consequences of political correctness, the effect of original sin in a scientifically and genetically advanced society, and, amusingly, whether dogs go to heaven.
Drake is not only hounded by a robotic killer, he has been plagued by a foreboding that he will die young. The author leaves open whether Drake's "dark spectre" is merely a fatal premonition or whether there is an element of supernatural evil in it.
Counteracting the evil is Drake's client, Lori Hollendorf. Lori is a young, genrich Christian with deep faith, a psychology degree and a knack for dream interpretation. She is the light in the midst of darkness and Drake is increasingly drawn to her.
Duncan was a reporter at the Coastal Courier in the early 1980s, before leaving to become the city reporter for the Meridian (Miss.) Star. Later, he was the religion editor at the Star. He is currently the editorial page editor of the Daily News-Record in Harrisonburg, Va.
A second novel, "A Dark Orange Farewell," a contemporary mystery, will be published later this year by Capstone Fiction.
"I've always liked the science fiction and mystery genre, so I tried to combine the two, and the result was "A Wine, Red Silence," he said.
Duncan has also sold several short stories to e-magazines and contributed to the Australian anthology "Crosswords," a collection of Christian fiction.

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