By Jean A. Flanagan
Moorefield Examiner

Having escaped the destruction of Mutinellis, which was consumed by a black hole, a quartet of space-traveling bounty hunters arrive at the headquarters of the human race, a planet called Fairchance. 


“Fairchance,” is the second in the Echo Suite Saga, by Franklin resident and Moorefield Examiner Advertising and Production Manager Mike Mallow.


The first book “Heartspark” introduced a world of science fiction/fantasy, where the scientists seemed hellbent on the destruction of the human race.
“Heartspark” has a definite Yul Brenner, 1973, “Westworld” theme. It takes place on a desert planet with bounty hunters, crime bosses and gunfights.


“Heartspark” has a definite Yul Brenner, 1973, “Westworld” theme. It takes place on a desert planet with bounty hunters, crime bosses and gunfights.


“Fairchance has a less Western feel,” Mallow said. “It’s more in the fantasy/science fiction genre, along the lines of “Lord of the Rings” and “The Chronicles of Narnia.”


“The story centers around Romani Doddridge, the captain of the bounty hunters. Fairchance is her home planet and she is reluctant to return. In this story, Romani comes to terms with her past.”


Mallow began writing the Echo Suite Saga more than five years ago. He was hoping to supplement his income with the sale of a story he had been formulating for some time. 


“I live in Franklin and work in Moorefield, so the drive is a perfect time to think,” he said. 


He didn’t really intend “Heartspark” to have a sequel, but “when I got to the end, I thought it was a bad place to leave the story.


“I also wanted a different location, not the desert, but something more lush and green, mountainous and pristine.”


Mallow draws inspiration from his West Virginia roots. Names like Braxton and Doddridge are obvious, and many of the characters are based on people he’s known. 


Mallow and “Heartspark” were participants at Tricon in Huntington and at PopCon in Morgantown. He will be appearing at the West Virginia Book Festival at the Charleston Coliseum on Oct. 5 along with copies of “Fairchance” hot off the press.


Mallow has developed a map of the Echo Suite star cluster and backstory guide that puts the Echo Suite Saga in context. He provides those to fans at no charge. 


“Fairchance” is published by Cressen Books LLC in Gerrardstown. It can be purchased from amazon.com in print, Kindle and Nook formats. It will also be available at some local venues, such as the Moorefield Examiner, local libraries and gift shops.