Prime Directive review by:Mandy Tyra


Thrilling, smart, and snazzy little science fiction book. Yep, Bradshaw took me to Mars and dropped my ass off!! Tis fine, been hankering for an all inclusive get away/go away/stay away holiday vaca anyway.

Now, I don’t often venture to the syfy spacey territories but being a BIG fan of Duncan’s unique and unparalleled written (rip roaring out-the-door) voice, I suited up for the journey and I had an awesomely celestial far out fun time.

It opens with our astronaut crew on Mars, addressing kids questions. It’s all a jolly easy breezy good time, this group of six, until the broadcast ends….yea, this space traveling team are not all that into each other, not anymore. Irritations and intolerances have taken over but I suppose, after many many MANY months with the same people in close cut off quarters….I’d be the same. Oh no doubt…
It was so comical, all the nitpicking, cattiness, and indifferences.
They’ve all become a bit snarky with one another but none more than Dana, jealous geologist Dana who studies all those rocks, looking for something, always finding nada.
Why the hell does the biologist get all the good finds!?
*I LOVE how the bitchy self-centered one is American. HAHAHA touche…

A team of six multinational astronauts. It was a world effort to get them to this point, the first of hopefully many manned Mars missions. That’s one of their main jobs, to set up a basecamp for future missions.
There’s Dana; our American ~ jealous, petty geologist hell-bent on making a name for herself.
There’s Nikolai; the one from Russia ~ pilot/cook, big and strong quipster.
There’s Sabina; the one from Germany ~ pilot/medic, straight-laced & sensible.
There’s Charles; the one from England ~ engineer, kind of shy and socially awkward.
There’s Sanjay; the one from India ~ botanist, forgettable, so he’d like it all named after him.
And then there’s Mei Qiao Zhang; the one from China ~ biologist and the star attraction astronaut.

Dana wants so damn bad to leave her mark, to be remembered (to be revered!) and seeing as how they are due to leave the red planet real soon ~ for that long long looong trek back to Earth, where she’ll no longer have an opportunity for discovery and for getting her name in the history books…perhaps a blockbuster biopic movie with her name up in lights… ~ she decides to head off for a little solo exploration endeavor. Hopping in the Weeble, she ventures off to a craterous region.
Well, she does comes across something….not gonna tell you what but it is quite the site and NOT what you’re thinking.

The race aaaaand the chase is on!
This gets pretty damn brutal. The visuals Duncan created of Dana’s…ummm, metaphysical…metamorphosis….OH BLOODY HELL!!
Hilarious and horrific which is EXACTLY the balance this particular author excels at.

She only wanted some acknowledgement, some accolades, a bit of high praise standing ovation applause and now…well, perhaps she will be revered (…reviled)….as a specimen, in a petri dish.

Duncan captured the isolation desperation vibe of the red planet very well, the ‘uhhhh no where to go’ aspect of it all. And very vivid descriptions of the…ahem scenery. Lol BRAVO! I applaud yooooou.

I’m hesitate to say too much about this riveting and graphic little Mars tale, so…I’m not going to.
It really is a super quick read even though it’s 150 pages, you rocket soar through it!
And it took quite a few twisty shifty sharp left turns leading to a WOW ending.
Really does go to uncharted territory, some awesome HOLY HELL moments make you laugh and gag. He puts you rightthere, in the thick and thin head spin of it all.
I LOVE how Duncan describes things, heinous things ~ tongue firmly pressed into cheek ~ it really throws you for a fruit loop. :O
What a strange and awe-stunning mind he has.

This marks my 4th read and review for Bradshaw (not even counting shorts in various anthologies) and ~ YEP, still mesmerized. He’s a fantastic, engaging, hilarious, and highly original writer. Plays in many genres and his one man team is always on the winning side.
Up next for me from this multifaceted gifted writer’s wonderful little library shall be, Hexagram, an ancient Inca unfulfilled ritual trickled down throughout the ages book.
Sounds totally exciting and definitely not one to be read (uhhh chanted) out loud, I ain’t no dummy.

Gotta love the versatility in this British writer, he won’t be duck-billed or platypus holed…or whatever they call that..
Really NEEDS and DESERVES more attention, this bloke!!
He’s ultra unique and I think I’ll keep him. 😀

That is UNLESS he’s got the latest Those Who Survive Class Four #2 zombie book available for my viewing and ogling pleasure.
Oh I’ll be on THAT one in an apocalyptic New England minute!
So super stoked, so hurry the hell up with it Mr. P. Bradshaw!! ACES! 😀


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