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Full Name: Michael Bishop and Alexei Rector
Nationality: American
Organization: CIA
Occupation Agent

Creator: Christopher A. Gray
Time Span: 2013 - 2020


Michael Bishop and Alexei Rector are agents of the CIA.

Prior to their current employment both men had served with distinction in separate but equally challenging divisions of the U.S. military, each being part of that branch's most elite fighting force. Bishop had been a Force Recon Marine. Rector had been a Navy SEAL. Over the years they would become occasional ad hoc team members.

"Inter-branch operations were common, especially when it came to White House assignments and protecting dignitaries or other VIPs in times of crisis. In addition to their extensive combat and specialist training in anti-terrorist, hostage extraction, bomb disposal and intelligence gathering, some veterans from every branch were also schooled in the high art of dealing with non-military VIPs in emergency situations. Rector and Bishop were two such men, highly sought after by the State Department."

"Both men had been wounded in action and both had been awarded medals for their outstanding service. Navy Cross, Silver Star, Bronze Star, Distinguished Service Cross. Rector had suffered a concussion from an IED explosion in Iran. Nine years earlier Bishop had been in Afghanistan when his unit was ambushed by Taliban fighters. Two of his fellow Marines were killed, while Bishop had been shot in the lower abdomen just below his body armor. He was near death, but thanks to a skilled medic he survived to spend the next four months in hospital. After his recovery he was given an Honorable Discharge and was soon recruited by the National Security Agency."

When we meet them they have both been summoned to the Pentagon to meet with their sometime CO, a Navy Captain, who informs them that they have been given jobs of "ferrying scientists to the Pentagon" in an 'escort and protect' role. [Bit confusing that since in the case of Bishop, he was no longer in the military].

Jump ahead a fair number of years for the next recorded adventure and we learn that these two men were now agents with the CIA and had worked together on and off for nearly a decade.

In the sequel to the first adventure which appears to come next, Bishop is described as a Planetary Intelligence agent. I have not yet determined what Rector is.

In the fourth, they are both back as CIA operatives, this time referred to as 'senior' indicating both have been doing this sort of work for quite some time.


Number of Books:4
First Appearance:2013
Last Appearance:2020

     As I mention in My Comments below, this series is confusing and I think it might be related to the fact that two different people were involved sometimes together and sometimes not.

1 Dark Nights Dark Nights
Written by Christopher A. Gray
Copyright: 2013

The planet appeared without warning in our solar system, in orbit opposite that of Earth. On that org was a quantum computer which believed it knew what was best for humanity, though that salvation would mean the deaths of half the population. Astrophysicist Doug Lockwood leads a team including Bishop and Rector to stop its horrific plans.
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2 All The Big Ones Are Dead All The Big Ones Are Dead
Written by Christopher A. Gray, Howard E. Carson
Copyright: 2018

One of the varied ways that terrorism is being sponsored is through the illegal sale and distribution of elephant and rhino ivory. CIA agent Michael Bishop is ordered to locate one of the biggest groups dealing in such things and put a stop to it. He and his colleague, Alexei Rector, will learn that some very rich and powerful people are involved.
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3 Dark Nights 2: Resurrection Dark Nights 2: Resurrection
Written by Christopher A. Gray
Copyright: 2019

Taking place 6 years after the Dark Nights adventure, has civilization dealing with a 'quantum constant-based disease' called NETP and having to take into account 'the reality of interplanetary political competition'. "Planetary Intelligence Agent Michael Bishop, Senator Doug Lockwood, investigative reporter Kyla Aquino and Professor Norman Stravinsky form the only possible alliance that can hope to thread the intricate and fascinatingly dangerous threats."
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4 The Thing Of It Is... The Thing Of It Is...
Written by Howard E. Carson
Copyright: 2020

Nikki Balitnikov is a successful businessman. He is also a spy and he wants out of that line of work. To achieve that, he is willing to sell something he possesses, something that a lot of people would like to get their hands on. Alexei Rector is a CIA operative who would very much like to see him fail.
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     This series is a tad bit confusing and really hard to nail down, at least to this aging, addled reader.

     The first book is a pretty good science fiction oriented adventure with a planet ruled by an artificial intelligence moves itself from a solar system quite far away into ours to escape a supernova. It then decides that to protect itself further, it needs to subjugate the population of Earth. Kind of a When Worlds Collide meets Colossus: The Forbin Project. The heroes of this series work to save the day and sort of do and sort of don't. This adventure was penned by the original author, Gray, on his own.

     Then the second book (which might really be the third, I am not sure) has the fellows working to stop terrorists using illegal ivory poaching to fund their operations. Far more typical government agent kind of activity. No mention I could find of the alien AI. It is listed as being by Gray as well as Carson.

     Then the third/second book which really is a sequel to the first one and takes place six years after it has the heroes as 'planetary intelligence agents' fighting a new kind of computer AI menace. Gray was back as the solo author for this one.

     And then comes the fourth adventure, this one by Carson by himself, in which mostly Rector is out to stop a traitorous businessman from selling something to the enemy that he really shouldn't.

     So two majorly amalgam of spy-fi and sci-fi as well as two largely traditional spy-fi fare with some eco-fi thrown in.

     IMHO, the two pairs of books should have had different protagonists. Might not have been so confusing



My Grade: C+


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