Publisher: Musa Publishing
Publication Date: September 25, 2014
Origins: From Publisher for Review
Synopsis: It doesn't matter if you believe in mermaids. She believes in you.
Gene is a rogue-for-hire, using his one-man ship to make a decent living on the flooded Earth. Most of the population has been driven out to Seaplexes--artificial islands glutted with poverty, commercialism, and organized crime. His AI companion, Stitch, does most of the work of their salvage and smuggling jobs. Life is good.
Until a mermaid crawls into his ship's exhaust port.
Now it's not enough for Gene to avoid the mafia he's in debt to, enforced by bio-engineered hulks. Everyone wants to know what this fantasy creature is doing on a dying planet.
Corporations want to exploit her. Old friends want to capitalize on her fame. Gene has to choose between protecting her and keeping himself safe. And all she wants is to return home.
Review: Gene lives in a post-apocalyptic world where most of the land has flooded and a majority of the remaining population lives in Seaplexes which are overrun by organized crime families. Gene is an independent contractor who has a reputation of being able to get out of tough situations. Gene’s only companion is his AI, Stitch, who does the ‘heavy lifting’ on their runs. Gene and Stitch are working on escaping from a man to whom Gene owes a lot of money when Gene finds a mermaid in the ship’s exhaust port. Then everything gets crazy. Gene is trying to outrun the mafia, corporations, and his old friends who all want to get their hands on the mermaid. MERM-8 explores the issues of identity and what it means to be human. Gene is a man who is used to fending for himself and looking out for number one. He’s forced to choose between himself and the mermaid, which causes him a moral dilemma. MERM-8 has a lot of action and intrigue, with characters which I grew to care about deeply. Watching Gene grow during MERM-8 was very rewarding. Readers of science fiction and fantasy will enjoy MERM-8.