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Neutron Solstice

Adventure and suspense in the midst of the new reality

Laurence James

Cover Artist:
Michael Herring

First Edition

Release Date:
March, 1987

Cover Price:


Second Edition

Release Date:
August, 1992

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Third Edition

Release Date:
December, 1997

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Audio Cassette

Release Date:
May, 1998

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Graphic Audio WMA

Release Date:
November, 2005

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Graphic Audio MP3 CD

Release Date:
November, 2005

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Graphic Audio CDs

Release Date:
November, 2005

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Deep in the heart of Dixie, Ryan and his companions come upon a small group of survivors who are striving to recreate life as it was once known.

Back Cover:


A generation after a global nuclear war, Louisiana is a fetid, sullen landscape of impenetrable swamps and grotesquely mutated wildlife. Above the gnarled bayous, radioactive red dust clouds race across the sky on nuclear winds; below, thick mud sucks at a man's boots. Now and then a biting acid rain falls, swept in on the boiling winds from the Gulf.

In the reeking swampland that was the Mississippi basin, neutron bombs have left barren cityscapes the territories of small groups of bitterly opposed survivors. Ryan Cawdor and his companions Krysty Wroth and J.B. Dix come upon one such group who are striving to revive life on earth the way it was before the bombs fell. But they're up against a postholocaust feudal lord who's just as determined to wipe them out.

In the Deathlands, the world blew out in 2001.


Neutron Solstice
by GuapoPogi
I finished Neutron Solstice the other night for the third time. I think that this is book is a good example of the early direction that the series took, giving us unexpected glimpses into several character' pasts, and I really liked that Doc already knew everything about Ryan. I don't remember Doc's knowledge of Ryan's past being explored in future books, but I hope that it is as this is a very interesting plot twist to the series. Also in this book Ryan and Company drop their excess junk just outside of the gateway when they arrive and pick it up again just before the end of the book when they leave on another jump. This is something I always thought that people in their shoes would do. They could have taken crates of stuff from the redoubt in Alaska and had enough ammo to last quite awhile, although I seem to remember that a few books from now they accidentally set the auto destruct in a redoubt and would have lost everything anyway. Still they would not have future knowledge of this and I'm sure they would be stockpiling stuff just outside the gateway all the time. One thing I also liked about this book that I don't remember from too many DL books is the detail used in describing the town of West Lowellton. I must say that after 3 books I'm really tired of reading about J.B.'s Steyer AUG 5.6mm pistol. I think this has already been brought up here but just in case it hasn't the Steyer AUG is a 5.56mm rifle. You would think that the editors, and authors of a men's action adventure book company could get little things like that rite. I guess I would have to give Neutron Solstice an 8 out of 10.

Jak jumps aboard
by The Phantom
Although I didn't think this one is as good as the first two books, I liked this one.

The party loses another member in here, but picks up a new guy named Jak Lauren, a 14 year old albino, who becomes a permanent addition to the team.

A little more is revealed about Ryans past, and more info about what happened 100 years earlier. Kept me interested in learning more secrets about this land.
by jmatt35
Having not read the series in order, I wondered when Jak first appeared and who if any were part of Ryans group in earlier stories. The current group are tight. This story was excellent, fast, intense and lots of action. Ryan Cawdor is not someone I would want as an enemy.
Another Stunner!!
by doctorwholittle

Knowing what I know about the DL-verse, it's really cool to read all the foreshadowing of things to come.

(However, for the benefit of those who DON'T know much about DL, I'll keep them to myself!)

Solid writing, good plotting, great characterization &amp; an overall fantastic storyline makes this the best one thus far in the series.

(Looking forward to getting to HOMEWARD BOUND, though!)

The DL in the Louisiana Bayou with Jak's intro.
by Roadwarrior
Well this title was really memorable for me. It reminded me, sort of like the 'Live and Let Die' movie, especially with the main bad guy.

The location really struck me as exotic, with an over grown nature trail turned mutie swamp. Giant alligators, torrential rains, really atmospheric.What I found really descriptive was the beginning with Mother Midnight and her vision.

This was another novel in which whilst the group lost member of their group they gained another. Jak Lauren, the Louisiana Albino. I really do tend to have trouble picturing him in his late teens, with the mature way he is portrayed. Brilliant.

A novel with cool bad guys, exotic locales and very memorable. A very good read.
The Land of Jak
by cathboy
This is absolutely the all time fav for me. The swamps, the unexpected death, and the trek through the swamps chased by the swampies. The Baron is one of the meanest and best. This whole story, I could read over and over forever. Just draws you in and wont let go.
by One Eye Chills
This was what Laurence James was good, and perhaps best at, introducing characters that stuck with you. Here, it is in the guise of one of mine, (and apparently many others, rightfully so,),a white-haired, ruby-eyed kid named Jak Lauren.
Now Jak has just grown and grown, (albeit slowly),in this series. When written well, Jak can just be priceless and a scene stealer in any book. Like a sci-fi elf, Jak Lauren moves like the wind and reads like a futuristic Billy the Kid.
This book in the series was awesome in so many and unexpected ways - from introducing us to the great Jak, to swampies and horrific environments - to a baron that has ever stuck in my mind as a quasi-cyborg with sick, sexual desires. Neutron Solstice is a non-stop action/adventure in the highest vein in contemporary fiction still to this day.
Another Great Character!
by Poopy_Penguin
Jak is one of the most creative characters in the Deathlands saga, and the plot for this story is great! this is one of my all time favorites.
Worth another look....
by aceontheline

Since I haven't found a whole of the newer books to my liking, I've gone back and read some of the older ones again. This one is most definitely a keeper. Swampies, some of the Trader's old crew, lovely Lori to keep Doc happy and Baron what a great re-read. Having just read Cannibal Moon, this was an excellent choice to follow up with.

A Great Read (or listen in my case)
by slingbld

I am reviewing the Graphic Audio unabridged book &gt;

I loved this book! I liked the setting, Loved Jak's intro.

The Baron was interesting - a horror straight out of a 1970's John Holmes Porno.

Enter Jak!!
by ShadowTek
This is the story of the meeting of Ryan and Co. and Jak.. it is one of my favorite books, it takes place in a suburb of&nbsp;Lafayette,&nbsp;and is one of the most exciting "Baron vs Ryan and co" books ever..&nbsp;

This book will hook you from start to finish, I was simply mesmerized by its story..

The story in the deep south, with its&nbsp;voodoo, and swampy feel to it, is&nbsp;extremely&nbsp;exciting!&nbsp;

The climax of the book is simply awesome, it also shows just how badass Jak is..
Ever deeper waters
by gazhack

These earliest Deathlands novels are a testament to Lawrence James' strength as a pulp adventure writer. This is the fourth of his contributions I've read and they've been consistently good. &ldquo;Neutron Solstice&rdquo; might be the best I've come across yet.

It's certainly impressive in terms of continuity. We learn something of Ryan's origins, the Doc gives away some more hints, we lose a regular and gain one of the most distinctive characters in the series, Jak. The latter is introduced very dramatically and is one of the highlights. However I was a bit disappointed that his actual joining of the team comes down to &ldquo;I want to go with you because I like fighting.&rdquo; / &ldquo;Okay then&rdquo;, and I would have liked a more interesting motivation.

The muties who appeared to be living dead were a clever twist on the expected voodoo zombie trope of the swampland setting. In fact the whole fetid swamp landscape was excellently conjured up. The decayed nature trail with still functioning commentary was a good bit of ironic humour.

Chief villain Baron Tourment is a memorably grotesque villain, an unsettling mix of a giant body with a dependence on callipers for his weak legs. His gruesome execution of one poor character, cutting them up live and feeding them piece by piece to giant crocodiles is sadistic even by post-apocalyptic standards. The final pursuit between him, Jak and Ryan is probably the best ending of a Deathlands novel I've read yet.

Interesting as well to have a more detailed look at the early days after the nuclear war, with the tragic video diary they discover. It doesn't really have anything to do with the rest of the story but it brings a bit more substance to the Deathlands setup. That's probably the biggest recommendation of this book. It's not just a good adventure, but there's a sense of the series moving out of a standard Mad Max / wild west world and really finding its own personality.