Hubbard novelist releases a sci-fi sequel


Local author Michael Prelee has released his newest book, “Bad Rock Beat Down,” the second in his science-fiction series about interstellar repo man Nathan Teller.

In “Bad Rock,” Teller and his crew set out to repossess a wrecked space cruiser at the economically depressed Bad Rock settlement on the edge of explored space. It is there that they find themselves entangled with a crime syndicate leader.

Prelee, of Hubbard, is a Youngstown State University graduate and a lifelong resident of the Mahoning Valley. He draws on his hometown when writing – which explains the blue-collar characters and the ever-present seamier side of society.

The future might bring technological advances we can scarcely imagine, but the more things change, the more they stay the same.

“It’s about working guys in space,” said Prelee. “Someone will have to get their hands dirty.”

Although “Bad Rock” is set in the spacefaring future, there are still corrupt politicians and a space mafia of sorts.

Nathan Teller, his main character, is a small-businessman who runs the struggling Milky Way Repo Company. He is optimistic and hard-working but often finds himself mired in difficult situations.

The tone is along the lines of the acclaimed television series “Firefly,” said Prelee.

His writing tends to focus on a small group. “I like to get into the characters, delve into their backstories and how they react to what’s going on in the plot,” he said.

Prelee is also a fan of crime novelist Elmore Leonard, and employs a similar bottom line in his tales. “It always comes back to ‘what’s in it for me?’” he said.

Prelee has already roughed out the plot for a third Milky Way Repo novel. But first he plans to finish the sequel to “Murder in the Heart of it All,” his small-town crime procedural that was published last year.

“I should be done with it in a couple of months, and then I will start writing the next ‘Repo’ novel,” he said.

Prelee enjoys having two avenues for his fiction. “I get to stretch different muscles,” he said. “I like the flexibility of working in two different genres.”

Prelee will have a booth at this year’s Youngstown Comic Con July 7-8 at Covelli Centre, where he will sell all of his books.

His books can also be purchased at and “Bad Rock Beat Down” is also available at the publisher’s website, ($5.99 for the e-book, $15 for print).

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