OSTIUM EPISODE 9 – AVALON

Jake and Monica are ready to venture through Door #5 and find out what’s on the other side. Will Jake know where they are? Will he have some intrinsic link to this location in time? And will they be able to find out something before the blackness comes . . ?

Written and produced by Alex C. Telander.
Performed by Chris Fletcher and Georgia McKenzie.

Warning, this episode contains explicit language.

Please help and support Team Ostium by rating and reviewing on iTunes, as well as checking out our Patreon page. Perks include mini episodes, all the music to Season 1, transcripts featuring full-color covers and illustrations, outtakes, and access to new episodes a week before regular release.

And don’t forget to subscribe and tell your friends.

And finally from Team Ostium to you: Thanks for listening.

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“Change Agent” by Daniel Suarez (Dutton, 2017)


What if you could take a medication that could cause your body to go into reactive shutdown, altering your DNA, and when you recovered enough to regain consciousness and look in the mirror, you see a completely different face attached to a completely different body? And what if some truly despicable people were able to manufacture this medication? Welcome to Daniel Suarez’s chilling new novel, Change Agent.

It’s the year 2045, and Kenneth Durand is one of the top agents at Interpol fighting genetic crime. He specializes in tracking down hidden and very illegal labs performing “vanity edits” to an embryo’s DNA to make the future child smarter, or taller, or stronger, or all of the above . . . all for a nominal, or not so nominal fee. Because while the science and ability may exist, these mad scientists cut corners and don’t always comprehend what they’re really doing.

But the man behind one of the biggest cartels in the world known as the Huli jing, who is rumored to have this ability to edit an adult’s DNA, one Marcus Wyckes, is the biggest threat to be taken down. Any members of the cartel that are discovered always turn up dead, while Wyckes seems unable to be found. Durand gets full support to track down the Huli jing with whatever resources he needs.

Apparently this is one step too far for the cartel and they capture Durand, applying their secret supposedly nonexistent medication. The man wakes up days later to find himself in a hospital sore and tender in many ways. He looks in the mirror and Durand finds the face of Marcus Wyckes staring back at him. He has now become the most wanted man on the planet, and the police are on their way to the hospital.

Daniel Suarez has an uncanny ability with his science fiction thrillers to tell a story that not only seems vaguely plausible but makes the reader wonder if all this horrible stuff might be happening right now. Change Agent makes you wonder and think and hope, from the bottom of your heart, that this will never come to fruition, even if there’s a small part of your brain telling you it certainly will. The ending of the book unravels a little with the somewhat over the top action, but overall Change Agent is both a fascinating and gripping book that will keep you glued to every page.

Originally written on March 16, 2017 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Change Agent from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

OSTIUM EPISODE 8 – BACK TO THE FUTURE

In the beginning of Episode 8 – Back to the Future, Monica goes on a solo mission to try out something with a door in Ostium, and things don’t go according to plan. Later on, after a heart-to-heart discussion, Jake and Monica realize they need to visit an old haunt and sort some things out.

Written and produced by Alex C. Telander.

Performed by Chris Fletcher and Georgia McKenzie.

Warning, this episode contains explicit language.

Please help and support Team Ostium by rating and reviewing on iTunes, as well as checking out our Patreon page. Perks include mini episodes, all the music to Season 1, transcripts featuring full-color covers and illustrations, outtakes, and access to new episodes a week before regular release.

And don’t forget to subscribe and tell your friends.

And finally from Team Ostium to you: Thanks for listening.

“Apes and Angels” by Ben Bova (Tor, 2016)


In the second installment of the Star Quest Trilogy, Bova follows the same trajectory he left off in Death Wave. A wave of death is spreading through the Milky Way galaxy, wiping out entire planets whether there’s intelligent life on them or not. A vastly superior alien race contacted Earth to let them know they know how to help these alien worlds who have no clue of what is coming at them.

Apes and Angels is the story of an Earth mission, the crew of the Odysseus, traveling across many light years to Mithra Gamma where they begin studying the beings that live on the planet, with the goal of ascertaining how to contact them and protect them from this oncoming death. It becomes a bit of a Star Trek episode with the “Prime Directive” coming into play, as they grapple with how best to approach the alien race. Meanwhile on a neighboring planet is a primitive aquatic species that has been deemed too simple and primitive to be worth saving, and yet one scientist on the mission believes they are intelligent.

Apes and Angels, while an interesting experiment in what it is attempting to do, has a number of failings. The quick-moving scenes from Death Watch feel like an overly dramatic soap opera in this novel, with relationships and emotions between characters that lead to petty jealousy, making everything pretty heavy handed.

Originally written on February 23, 2017 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Apes and Angels from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.