REVIEW: Last Man On Earth Club by Paul Hardy

Dave Van Domelen dvandom at
Thu Mar 22 13:44:26 PDT 2012

     Excerpted from my Capsules column for this month:

     The Last Man On Earth Club: Therapy for Apocalypse Survivors: (Also available directly on the
Amazon Kindle store, but Smashwords has multiple formats).  This isn't a
comic, it's a novel (170,000 words of novel), but I have a good reason for
reviewing it here unlike all the other novels I read.  Specifically, it's
written by Paul R. Hardy, formerly of the Legion of Net.Heroes writing group
on rec.arts.comics.creative.  He's since gone off and gotten work in Real
Writing, but he's still remembered fondly as one of the best writers on RACC,
and one of the most successful at writing deadly serious stories in a
fundamentally silly universe.
     While there's no mention of the LNH in this novel or in his bio, in some
ways this is a thematic continuation of the Legion of Occult Heroes series.
As the title suggests, it's about the last survivors of worlds.  The setting
is one in which space travel is still out of reach, but interdimensional
travel has been figured out by countless races.  And not all of them end
well.  So, in a world dedicated to helping evacuate survivors of dying
Earths, a special therapy group has been set up for six individuals believed
to be the sole survivors of their versions of humanity.  Numerous mysteries
intertwine with their stories, and the therapist who starts off as a neutral
observer finds herself quickly drawn into events herself.  The premise lets
Hardy play with numerous character is from a Victorian Horror
setting, another from a War Against The Machines setting, one is a sort of
X-Files agent, one is from a superhero world, and so forth.  I'm sure Hardy
was tempted to bring some LNH into the superhero world, but he resisted the
temptation.  :)
     The story does start somewhat slowly and dryly, there's a lot of
exposition needed to just make sense of the concept and place the characters
where they need to be.  But by about the quarter mark, the mysteries start to
poke their heads above water and the action gets moving.  And despite the
presence of eight main characters (and several important supporting
characters), Hardy manages to keep the spotlight moving around with deft
ease.  As one might expect from someone with experience in superhero team
writing.  ;)  Recommended.  $2.99 at Smashwords.

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