Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Survival Methods and Mating Rituals... by Chris Kenry

Reviewer: Bob Lind, Echo Magazine 

Publisher: Kinsington
Pages: 450


Marginally-successful children's book author Davis Garner is forced to take a career detour, when an HIV diagnosis makes it clear he needs to find a steady job with good medical insurance. A friend hooks him up with a position as a technical writer for a company conducting research in Antarctica, which necessitates he actually accompany the scientists on voyages there. A gay man with a minimal social life, even before the diagnosis, Davis now finds himself witnessing a bit of a love triangle between Artaud, a charismatic scientist in charge of the project, his smitten girlfriend Maureen (who is otherwise nasty to everyone she meets), and "Worm", a nebbish vessel tech who befriends Davis and confides his longtime crush on Maureen. Onboard conflict, regarding the use of a method potentially harmful to protected sea creatures, takes on a more serious note, when it seems clear there is some kind of conspiracy involved, beyond the scope of simple science. 

While Davis is openly gay, it is only incidental to the story, making it different from Kenry's three prior novels. It is well-written and very engaging (despite its 450 pages), providing an insight into a world many of us will never see. Recommended, especially for those into environmental issues. Four stars out of five. 

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