The year is 3231 CE. Humanity is changing, and EXO special warfare operator Derek Mondragon can barely keep up. For one, “human” has left the lexicon—“accidentals,” as biologically unaltered humans are known, occupy Earth and Mars with “newstylers,” a growing class of bio-engineered shapeshifters. 

When the newstylers rebellion ends in an uneasy truce, Mondragon and his buddy Don are sent to clean up. It was supposed to be by the book—in, out, easy. But Don, a Gnosint trained from birth to read unreadable patterns, takes a pulse laser round to the head. 

Waiting for his friend to recover, Mondragon remembers Don’s most recent obsession: the fifteenth-century Voynich manuscript. There was something about a prophecy, a cryptographic key hidden in the deepest strands of human DNA… but there’s no time. The Emperor has issued the Edict of Shanghai, a decree making the bio-engineering of Mars’s hatchery children obligatory—and it won’t be long before Mondragon’s daughter is among them. Mondragon’s days of playing by the rules ... are over. 

Aran Jane’s Mondragon is a stunning and deeply complex debut that explores what it means to be human. Blending philosophy, theoretical science, and breakneck action, Mondragon chronicles the full spectrum of nature and artifice through one man’s rebellion against a tyrant’s plot.  

About the Author

I’ve dreamed of being a writer since I was a kid. At seventeen, I packed a legal pad, a copy of Bulfinch’s Mythology, and The Complete Works of Shakespeare into a briefcase, quit school and joined the Navy as a nuclear power electrician’s mate. (Hey, what did I know!) Searching for that creative outlet that seemed just to elude my grasp, I played a lot of acoustical guitar in those days, wrote some songs, sang in a local pub in Indianapolis, and even did some commercial sign painting. I attended IUPUI and majored in Chemistry. Then came a career as an investment executive in San Francisco; a market maker on the Chicago Board Options Exchange; and a few diverse businesses I founded, from video games and visual simulation systems to clinical process networks for healthcare. These days I play classical guitar and  “write behind the wheel.” For more on that, and how Mondragon came to be, take a look at my blog on the subject.

“Fans of immersive sci-fi, like the work of Philip K. Dick, should take a look; an auspicious start for Jane.”



Entertaining characters and an intricate plot that culminates in a compelling and satisfying conclusion.blueinkreviewlogo

Heavy in theoretical science, but lighthearted in its approach to such complexity, Mondragon is intelligent, multifaceted, and engaging.”