Baen Books has released Mike Kupari’s latest novel, The Family Business. It’s a dystopian (perhaps post-apocalyptic*) tale of a Federal “Recovery Agent” on the job in a much-changed United States of America. As of this writing, it is rated 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Here’s an excerpt:
“He remembered, vividly, the day California was invaded. A combined Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force offensive had finally pushed the UEA out of Texas and back into Mexico. The damned Greys counterattacked by opening up a second front in the Continental United States. They were somehow able to jam NORAD’s radars effectively enough to conceal hundreds of hypersonic transport aircraft.
The planes dropped troops and weapons into Southern California before turning kamikaze and striking various targets throughout the region. Having secured a beachhead, the UEA was able to bring up more assets from Mexico and South America by sea, reinforcing their toehold in California and allowing them to break out of the Greater Los Angeles Perimeter.
They were able to take the entire LA-to-San Francisco corridor before being stopped, and they held that territory for two years. The number of American citizens caught behind enemy lines (and being used as human shields) prevented the US from responding with nuclear weapons.”
Kupari, a self-described revolverphile who preaches the Gospel of the FN, is an experienced (though wrong-handed) shooter who uses his experience as a former EOD Technician, PMC contractor, and general retro-gun-nerd-savant to provide verisimilitude to his writing.
Here’s another excerpt.
Nathan’s thoughts began to wander. He thought of his last tank crew again, Cole Jackson, Greg Rasmussen, and Jake Guthrie. Jackson had walked away from a football scholarship at the University of Alabama to enlist in the Army when the Greys dropped the rock on Phoenix.
He was a big, burly black guy, almost too big to be a tanker. He’d painted “ROLL TIDE!” on the sides of their tank in red letters, much to the chagrin of their platoon leader, who had gone through ROTC at Louisiana State.
He’d been the best gunner Nathan ever had. The only reason he’d been sitting at Specialist-5 instead of being promoted to Sergeant was that there hadn’t been enough of a lull in operations for admin to stay on top of everything. They had been pushing the UEA forces deeper and deeper into Mexico, not giving them room to breathe as they retreated from North America.
Jake Guthrie, the driver, was a skinny white kid from Tennessee, drafted two weeks after graduating high school. He liked fixing up and racing old beater cars, and had been happy to be a tank driver. He once confessed to having been worried that the war would end before he got a chance to go fight in it. It was the sort of attitude a lot of the soldiers Nathan served with had, a grim determination to see it through until the end.
His mother had wept into Nathan’s shoulder at his funeral, when he’d handed her a folded flag.
Greg Rasmussen, Nathan’s loader, hailed from Brigham City, Utah. A Mormon, he was quiet and kind of shy, and had been drafted into the Army before he could go on the two-year mission his church expected of young men. He liked to read a lot, and usually carried some science fiction or fantasy novel in his pocket. He had dreams of being a writer himself. He had a manuscript that he’d been working on, insisting that he was going to submit it to publishers after he finished it.
He died before he got the chance.
They’d all been so young and so selflessly, recklessly brave. Even until their final battle, they had fought furiously, and they died giving the enemy hell. They’d killed four human-manned tanks and two alien mechs in that battle, an achievement for which they’d all been posthumously awarded the Bronze Star.
Serving with such courageous young men had been an honor for Nathan, and even now, years later, his chest swelled with pride thinking about it.
Yet sometimes, in his darker moments, Nathan regretted not dying with them. The guilt had been terrible, especially in the weeks and months after. He’d felt that he’d failed them somehow, as both an NCO and a brother-in-arms, by surviving. That feeling had been a big part of what had driven him to become a Recovery Agent.
The best way to honor his fallen soldiers, he’d reasoned, was to dedicate his life to bringing to justice the traitors and collaborators who had contributed to their deaths.
The book is officially described thusly:
Decades ago, the Visitors descended on Earth. They claimed to bring peace and prosperity. Their real goal was the total subjugation of humankind. But humanity did not give up its only home without a fight. After a devastating war, the Visitors were driven back to Mars. Their millions of willing human collaborators were left behind. The task of hunting down these former alien collaborators and bringing them to justice falls to Federal Recovery Agents like Nathan Foster.
Now, Nathan Foster is tasked with bringing to justice Emmogene Anderson. As a teenager, Emmogene was experimented on by the Visitors and implanted with a device that allows her to control other people. With her is her obsessive ex-lover, who was also a former commando of the Visitors’ forces. It’s an easy enough job—but Emmogene has been implanted with something else, something much more important.
Nathan and Ben must decide what is right in a largely lawless world— and the fate of the planet hangs in the balance.
“I started writing in high school. I didn’t really get into it until college when I began writing fiction online. I never seriously considered trying to be a novelist, though, not until 2006. That was the year I met Larry Correia. He liked a story I was writing online and asked if he could jump in on it. That story ultimately became DEAD SIX.
I lived in Doha, Qatar for a year, while working security at a US installation there. Qatar ultimately became the inspiration for the fictional country of Zubara.
Later in life, I served as an explosive ordnance disposal technician in the US Air Force. I deployed to Afghanistan and applied that experience to my second book, Swords of Exodus.
My first solo novel, Her Brothers Keeper, wasn’t exactly inspired by real life. I am sad to admit that I’ve never captained a privateer rocket ship. I do, however, have a lifelong love of science fiction and space opera and am excited to continue sharing my take on different genres.”
About Author Mike Kupari
Mike Kupari is the author of the debut science fiction novel Her Brother’s Keeper, as well as the co-author, with Larry Correia, of the best-selling Dead Six military adventure series including Dead Six, Swords of Exodus, and Alliance of Shadows. He is a relatively active prolific freelance writer, having contributed to Breach-Bang-Clear, The Mag Life, and other publications over the last several years. Mike grew up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and enlisted in the Air Force at the age of seventeen, deploying twice as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal tech. He went on to serve six years in the Army National Guard and spent several years both at home and abroad as a security contractor with a PMC. He now lives in the northern tier, bemoaning the price of ammo, arguing with a truculent parrot, and filling in DFPs (complete with grenade sump) dug into his yard by a recently adopted canine.