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EDGE and Tesseract are imprints of Hades Publications, Inc.

Forbidden Cargo


Read Chapter One
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Read Chapter One


ISBN: 978-1-894063-16-6
Trade Paperback
5.5" X 8.5"

$14.95 US
368 pages


e-ISBN: 978-1-894063-80-7
$2.99 US

i-Pad (TBA)

E-BOOK (multi-format):
Forbidden Cargo

Finalist for The Colorado Book Awards...

It's 2110 and Creid Xerkler, the creator of the Molecular Advantage Machine – a virtual system that facilitates instantaneous access to all of humanity's knowledge and experience – is unwillingly entangled in a government Council plot to prove the existence of an illegally engineered race called the Imagofas.

Unfortunately Xerkler knows more than he should and fears what the Council might discover.

The Imagofas are revered by many as the next step in human evolution – a nano-DNA hybrid: part human, part machine – but to the Council they are a dangerous aberration and a threat to the very existence of humankind.

In their quest to prove this crime against humanity, the Council plans on abducting specimens from the Order sanctioned research facility on Mars.

When the kidnapping takes an unexpected turn and the Imagofas are forced to become fugitives, the Council vows to destroy them — while others plan to capitalize on their existence.

The Imagofas, in a determined bid to return to Mars, must draw upon their still developing and unique skills to survive the dangers of Earth.

Along the way, they are helped by three unexpected and unlikely heroes: the Cadet, a hard core gamer; Ochbo, a cleanlife pervert; and Prometheus, an enlightenment seeking MAMintelligence, who, while on his own secret quest, ultimately holds the answers to everyone's survival.

About Rebecca K. Rowe

Rebecca K. Rowe is a freelance writer, published author and member of the National Space Society and The Mars Society. She has M.A.'s in Journalism and International Relations. Her short work / poetry has been published in Polyphony, Ascent Magazine, and Sol Magazine. Rebecca is a graduate of the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers' Workshop. [MORE]

Best seller in Denver:

Forbidden Cargo was Tattered Cover's #1 best selling paper back fiction title at the beginning of September 2006 and appeared on the Denver Post Top Ten List as number FOUR for the week of September 10, 2006.


"Forbidden Cargo is a complex and imaginative first novel from Rebecca K. Rowe. It's a cyberpunkish thriller full of narrow escapes, political machinations, virtual combat, and deeply memorable characters, all flavored with a touch of Eastern philosophy and a nod toward contemporary debates in biotechnology. Rowe or EDGE need to submit Forbidden Cargo for some sci-fi first-novel awards, because this book is definitely a contender." - Dru Pagliassotti, The Harrow

"This gem of a book has it all. It's got virtual reality, technology and imagination. It also has an interesting story, with which the author does a fine job. This is not just a really good first novel, it's a really good novel." - Book Review Forum.

"Forbidden Cargo hits the future running at full speed and never glances back. Though author Rebecca Rowe's literary persona is indisputably 21st century, her science fiction DNA is imbedded with classic enhancements - a sprinkle of Robert Heinlein stem cells, coils of Neuromancer and The Matrix, and a breathless plot that would do justice to the breakneck inventiveness of A. E. Van Vogt." - Edward Bryant, Author and literary critic.

"Rebecca Rowe’s Forbidden Cargo is a gripping and moving novel that makes you think about where humanity will be a century from now. Rowe draws you into a virtual world so vividly rendered that it is both entirely believable and utterly fantastic." - Dr. David Grinspoon, Curator of Astrobiology, Denver Museum of Nature & Science, author of Lonely Planets.

"I just finished reading the preview for Forbidden Cargo. Of course it ended, just as I was getting into the story. So now I'm hooked." - Chandra Rooney.

"Finished Cargo about a week ago and wanted to tell you how impressed I am with your novel. Stylistically it reminded me of Idoru... Congratulations! A cracking good read." - Dan Maslowski.

Books in this series:


Reviews and Interviews have appeared in:



"Rowe's world is full of strange new ways of living -- and dying. Her rich descriptive language and arch dialogue potently reflect her surreal world: "He kept an eye out for bluegrazers; he'd know them by their rotten, blue-edged mouths." Dealing with issues of freedom and responsibility, as well as epistemological and existential quandaries, Rowe still manages to deliver a slam-bang adventure." -Paul Di Filippo - The Washington Post (Read this review)

"With Forbidden Cargo, her first novel, she joins a distinguished company of young writers—such as K.A. Bedford and Cory Doctorow—who will have a strong say in the shape of the science fiction of the future.... this is an interesting story which treats a number of important themes. Rebecca Rowe is a writer to be encouraged. I look forward to reading her next novel." - David Mead, The New York Review of Science Fiction

"[Forbidden Cargo] is very well written, the pace is just fast enough so you teeter on the edge of wanting to flee, but you never slip over that edge into chaos, and the characters are powerfully written. Sashimu, Thesni, Creid, Ochbo, Prometheus and Councilwoman Joli are all three-dimensional, credible characters with complex but realistic agendas and good blends of strengths and flaws." - Chris McCallister, Rambles.NET reviewer

"Rowe's first novel is a well-paced adventure based on a deeply imagined background of nano-technology and directed evolution in which the web of multiple plot threads comes together." - Fred Cleaver, Special to the Denver Post

"...this is an impressive first novel. Rowe is a name to watch in science fiction." - Mark Graham, Special to the Rocky Mountian News

"Forbidden Cargo is an exciting page-turner, a non-stop explosion of action and adventure filled with memorable characters. My personal favorite is Prometheus, an artificial intelligence (AI) struggling to find sentience by capturing a virtual catfish with a virtual gourd – a devious challenge posed by its creator, Creid Xerkler, the father of the MAM. Prometheus embodies another rich side-plot in the story, the dangers and promise of AI, a thread that brilliantly parallels the main storyline of the human nanogens." - Brian L. Enke - reviewer, National Space Society

"Rowe's promising debut subjects some pretty standard issues of the junctures between human and machine to a thriller's pacing and, with only a few bumps along the way, sees them entertainingly through." - Regina Schroeder - Booklist

"Rowe's take on where we will go with technology and her virtual reality sequences are seemless and believable. This provides an engrossing story with a cover that reflects the futuristic theme." - Sherry Hoy, Lib. Media Specialist

"...a politically charged thriller that careens across Earth, Mars, and the nebulous world of cyberspace." - Matthew L. Moffett - School Library Journal

"Forbidden Cargo is a complex and imaginative first novel from Rebecca K. Rowe. It's a cyberpunkish thriller full of narrow escapes, political machinations, virtual combat, and deeply memorable characters, all flavored with a touch of Eastern philosophy and a nod toward contemporary debates in biotechnology." - The Harrow Journal (Read this review)

"A fine thriller and science fiction story evolves with splendid twists of plot." - The Midwest Book Review, California Bookwatch (Read this review)

"Rebecca K. Rowe's style of sci-fi is refreshing--a complex new world is introduced, but not with so much scientific or historical information that the reader is overwhelmed." - NEO-OPSIS SF Magazine (Read this review)

"This is an engrossing book where science and science fiction meet in a complex future that is both incredible and believable and moves with the speed of light. Try and put it down between plot twists. Go ahead. Try...." - ConNotations (Read this review)

"The complexity of the plot shows that Rowe has a lot of promise as a novelist." - Emerald City (Read this review)

"With its nano-tech perspective and infatuation with futuristic politics, this book talks to fans who prefer their science fiction with a hard social science dimension." - SFRevu (Read this review)

"This gem of a book has it all. It's got virtual reality, technology and imagination. It also has an interesting story, with which the author does a fine job. This is not just a really good first novel, it's a really good novel." - Midwest Book Review, Reviewer's Bookwatch (Read this review)

"Look no further sci fi readers, anime fans, and casual video gamers, because this is your summer reading book." - Dreaming in Red (Read this review)

"This debut novel from Rebecca Rowe blends the high concept sci-fi storytelling of Robert Heinlein with flashy visual descriptions and action-packed sequences that recall anime films and videogames as much as William Gibson’s cyberpunk classic Neuromancer..." - hebdomeros.blogspot (Read this review)

"Sashimu and Thesni’s plight captured my imagination and heart. They touched me profoundly with their humanity despite their genetic differences as Imagofas. The prose throughout Forbidden Cargo is powerful and gripping. Rebecca K. Rowe paints the future with concise words and descriptions." - Dena, (Read this review)

"... this promising first novel should appeal to many teens." - Michael Levy, VOYA

"... incredibly awesome." - Lisa Odiorne, reader

EDGE and Tesseract Books are distributed in Canada and the United States by Fitzhenry and Whiteside   (more)
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and Tesseract Books, Ltd.
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