The SEED of CRONUS: A Novel
by Jack Hughes

A unique genre-mashing epic of alternate history, sci-fi, paranormal fantasy, and dark dystopian fiction.

A brilliant Viennese doctor consigned to a medieval dungeon after being compelled to treat a wounded rebel during the Hungarian Revolution against the Habsburg monarchy.

A French printer, the innocent patsy in a nobleman’s stock swindle, sentenced to a hellish existence on Devil's Island.

A former Tuskegee Airman rotting in solitary confinement, imprisoned after attempting to register to vote in the post-war Jim Crow South.

An artist awaiting death by public stoning after he failed a brain scan that tests religious fervor in a brutal near-future American theocracy.

Each is granted an unlikely reprieve when an unauthorized intruder offers the Seed of Cronus, a mysterious artifact of ancient – and unknown -- origin. The other-worldly abilities the Seed confers will allow the unjustly condemned an easy escape from their confinement.

But, the intruder warns, accepting the Seed requires a terrifying commitment.

  ". . . grimly transfixing . . . Hughes has a flair not only for history, but also bigger-than-life storytelling and characterizations . . ." — Kirkus Reviews

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by Vince Johnson

Throughout history, they have been known as Werewolves. Some now call them Dog-Men. For those who must hunt them, they are designated “Rex.”

There was a specimen of Canis lupus Rex at the compound, captured as a pup when its mother was killed on a hunt. When standing upright it was almost eight feet tall, with a human like physiognomy from its narrow waist up. The beast's gigantic lupine head, with powerful jaws filled with flesh-ripping fangs, grew directly from its hulking shoulders. Its lower body was wolfish, with massive hocks and a short tail.

After its size, the creature’s second most striking feature was its muscularity. The staff zoologist explained this was due to a condition called myotonic hypertrophy, caused by an associated mutation of the MSTN gene which increased skeletal muscle size and bone density. The extreme physiology of the Rex made even the most grotesquely oversized human bodybuilders seem puny by comparison.

“This genetic component of Canis lupus Rex gives them incredible strength and endurance,” the scientist told them. “But to support that muscle mass requires an enormous daily caloric intake. They're always hungry, which makes them very aggressive. Be cautioned. They're smarter than chimpanzees.”

For Rex there are no full-moon transformations, no
silver bullets, and humans are easy prey.