Def Con One by John Simpson

Def Con One by John Simpson


Air Force Airman Bryce Callahan reports to the missile silo base in Cheyenne, Wyoming, to take up duties with the Base Security Police Squadron. There he meets Sergeant Todd Claymore, his training partner… who becomes his romantic partner, as well. Their lives settle into a routine as peaceful and pleasant as is possible while they’re on active duty.

That peace is broken when a squad of rogue Soviet commandos cross the U.S. border headed straight for Callahan’s base, intent on destroying the ICBM missiles. Led by a Soviet general who controls an unsanctioned missile base in the Ural Mountains, the guerrilla action could easily explode into World War III. Caught up in the danger, Callahan and Claymore must face the enemy with courage to stop the attack and an all-out nuclear war.

*reviewed for Manic Readers Review


In this military drama, Bryce Callahan is a young newcomer to the Air Force base in Cheyenne in the very near future of 2012. The political and military tensions of the time are stretched thin as the very real threat of imminent war with the Soviet Union colors the actions of the country and military. Bryce is soon paired up with Todd Claymore who becomes his lover and long-term partner. Together, these two weather daily life within the Air Force, military threats, bombs, possible nuclear detonation, and finally investigation for discharge for being gay.

Although taken together this would seem an overwhelming amount of action for any book under 200 pages, Simpson handles the action deftly and accurately. It’s clear the author has intimate knowledge of the workings inside the military and furthermore the day-to-day activities of the men involved. The concise and intricate writing led to a fully developed and executed plot that ran heavily along the political and military implications of possible war in which two gay men happened to find love. The well-written actions involving nuclear warhead protection and possible world wars kept the story engaging and moving quickly without dragging at all.

Both Bryce and Todd were well defined if slightly wooden in their romantic interactions. Each man became animated when dealing with the various trials and tribulations of the Air Force and their jobs. However, when they were alone their declarations of love fell flat of dramatic emotion, but that seems to be by design rather than poor writing. This did lead me to not connect with the main characters, but the writing and plot were enough to keep me engaged in the storyline and interested in the outcome.

There were a few caveats in the book- one being the writing style, which tended to be long paragraphs of detail, interspersed with short rapid dialogue leading to a slightly jarring reading experience. Also the main character of Todd had an exaggerated dick – eleven inches. I can only say this was definitely an eye opening aspect of the character that caused more than one pause during the sexual encounters. In particular this led to some awkward sex scenes early in the book, but overall the scenes were few and far between as the author focused on the strength of his writing in the action plot.

If you enjoy military and political plots with gay characters and sensibilities in dealing with the archaic policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” on a backdrop of potential nuclear war, this will satisfy on most levels. 

Get it HERE!
Review at Manic Readers HERE!

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2 thoughts on “Def Con One by John Simpson

    • I know! Not to mention Todd of course was a top with his *cough* ahem. So you can imagine the sex which was so awkward.. poor bryce! Is that someone’s fantasy?
      Thankfully there were only like 3 short sex scenes in the book and the rest was all military plot.

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