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Alpha Redemption Paperback – September 1, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Splashdown Books (September 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0986451746
  • ISBN-13: 978-0986451744
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 8.9 x 5.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,444,496 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Reviews

"Move over, Hal...meet Jay."

Alpha Redemption is a beautiful work of art, cleverly told, portraying deep spiritual themes - a perfect storm of fiction. The daring parallel structure of Alpha is wildly successful, both in terms of mere pleasure in reading, and the manner in which it drives the story forward. It is heart-wrenching, pulling with the force of a bulldozer. From start to end, my heart leapt for Baines' main character, and, unpredictably, for his secondary character. Baines possessed the creative ability to make me feel for a computer! Move over, Hal...meet Jay. Alpha's pacing flowed superbly, striking a nice balance between philosophy, action, and the resulting character development. The story is deeply satisfying, the characters are interesting and compelling, and the reader will pull for them...and the gospel. This one's a clear winner.
~ Marc Schooley, author of The Dark Man

In Alpha Redemption, a story both fascinating and unique, P.A. Baines wonderfully marries two of my favorite themes: the danger and isolation of space exploration and the idea of man's creation giving him greater insight into his own Creator. If you like your science fiction on the introspective side -- on the order of Clarke's 2001 or Pohl's Gateway -- then this is a must read.
~ Kerry Nietz, author of A Star Curiously Singing, 2010 Indie Book Awards Finalist in Science Fiction and Religious Fiction categories

An all nighter, can't-put-it-down read, with a unique twist I didn't see coming and the perfect book for fans of Asimov or Clarke!
~ Dana Bell, author of Winter Awakening

Alpha Redemption is a haunting Sci-fi tale told through the masterful prose of P. A. Baines. Astronaut Brett Denton is on a light speed journey to Alpha Centauri, but his true journey is one of tragic self discovery as he delves into his past and confronts the hidden pain there. With echoes of 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, this is a treat for any hard Sci-fi lover and a must for every Christian who has ever doubted their faith in the one true God.
~ Kirk Outerbridge, author of Eternity Falls and The Tenth Crusader

A book that is not simply bold and adventurous but also well-written. Bravo!
~ Chris Walley, author of the Lamb among the Stars trilogy

An inspiring look forward to mankind's first reach for the stars, and to AI's first reach for something beyond its programming.
~ Ryan Grabow, author of Caffeine

Alpha Redemption is that rarest of combinations: both thoughtful and emotional. Baines has crafted an intriguing and beautiful story of love, loss, and grace. While simultaneously tackling the singularly sci-fi question, what is humanity, the author weaves questions of greater importance: what is the soul, and what is love. Alpha Redemption is a brief, but ambitious work, spanning an entire lifetime, and Baines has managed to work all these disparate parts into a wonderful, eminently readable, enjoyable piece.
~ Randy Streu, Editor, Digital Dragon Magazine


More About the Author

About me

I was conceived in the USA, born in England, raised in Africa and after a childhood spent travelling around the world, consider myself a nomad at heart. I love the smell of a harbour, and have never lived more than a few miles from the ocean. I love animals and if I could do it all again would choose a career as a big game warden in an African nature reserve.

I have done some interesting jobs through the years, including working as a waiter, a supermarket salesman and, for a number of years, as a fitness instructor (at one point winning a national aerobics title). I originally studied to be a psychologist but abandoned this to concentate on my fitness career.

At the age of twenty, I bought my first computer and discovered I had a knack for programming. For the past twenty years, I have worked as an IT professional, and am currently responsible for maintaining the biggest database of its type in the world. Married with two children, I live in a small farming community in Holland.


My writing

My first serious attempt at writing was a science-fiction thriller inspired by the book of Revelation. My plan was to write something that would appeal to both the Christian and secular markets. The Wire was accepted by a well-known secular agent in New York but was not quite ready for publication.

Three years ago I started a college degree in Creative Writing. The tutor and assessor both felt my writing was of a publishable standard and suggested I try to sell some of my work. I looked around to see if Christian speculative fiction was a viable option and found Marcher Lord Press ("MLP"). I wrote two stories and submitted them to MLP. Later they were entered in the Marcher Lord Select contest. The story I expected to do well was voted out of the first round. My second story, Alpha Redemption, which I almost did not enter, went through to the semi-finals and attracted quite a lot of interest. One of those interested people was Grace Bridges, who owns Splashdown Books. After I had made a few tweaks to the plot, Grace offered to publish Alpha Redemption.

In the period between the contest and Grace's publication offer, I submitted two short stories to online magazines, both of which have appeared in print.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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If you enjoy Science Fiction, coupled with a strong Christian message, I can highly recommend Alpha Redemption.
Michael
It's definitely a book you want to hand to friend and family and say, "Hey, read this--I want to talk about it with someone. What do you think?"
H. A. Titus
The story is deeply satisfying, the characters are interesting and compelling, and the reader will pull for them...and the gospel.
Marc Schooley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By P. Creeden on February 24, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am not a hard sci-fi fan, but I found the cover to this one intriguing. This book is one man's inner journey to find healing and salvation as he recovers from emotional loss and loss of his faith. The artificial intellegence gaining a 'life' is an interesting paradox to the storyline that takes a compelling and thought provoking twist. This book will probably break one of my top ten favorite reads for this year, possibly ever.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marc Schooley on September 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
Alpha Redemption is a beautiful work of art, cleverly told, portraying deep spiritual themes - a perfect storm of fiction. The daring parallel structure of Alpha is wildly successful, both in terms of mere pleasure in reading, and the manner in which it drives the story forward. It is heart-wrenching, pulling with the force of a bulldozer. From start to end, my heart leapt for Baines' main character, and, unpredictably, for his secondary character. Baines possessed the creative ability to make me feel for a computer! Move over, Hal...meet Jay. Alpha's pacing flowed superbly, striking a nice balance between philosophy, action, and the resulting character development. The story is deeply satisfying, the characters are interesting and compelling, and the reader will pull for them...and the gospel. This one's a clear winner.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By W. Hayes on May 13, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love stories about AI and space travel, so I bought this due to the high rating, but without reading the reviews. If you're looking for a young person's Christian space novel, maybe this fills the bill.
If you're looking for serious science fiction with challenging ideas, this ain't it.
Many sci-fi stories have incorrect or illogical ideas that you have to accept just to move the story along, but this one has so many that I gave up. Would you get on a ship for a two year journey where a single computer controlled access to all of your food and water??? But, OTOH, the main character has easy access to the alcohol in the medicine closet in order to enable a story line.
This book should be listed under Religious Fiction or Religious Fantasy. I can't imagine that anyone that's a fan of Banks or Asher or Gibson will find this read satisfying.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Adam Collings on March 23, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Hard science fiction, a deeply dramatic character arc, lots of spiritual metaphor, and exploration of the interesting questions. This book has it all. Brett is a broken man. He's never been the same since the death of his wife and children. He has turned away from his faith in God. With nothing left to loose, he takes on a dangerous job - being the first human to travel beyond light-peed on an inter-stellar journey to Alpha Centauri. Along the way, the ship's computer - Jay - begins to show signs of artificial intelligence - of sentience.

This book deals with questions that some Christians might find controversial. If there were such a thing as AI, could a machine have a spiritual aspect to them? Could they have a soul? But isn't that what good science fiction always does? It asks questions. It asks "What if?"

The structure of the book is atypical. It alternates between the present-day story on the spaceship, and glimpses from Brett's past. I hesitate to call these flashback scenes back story, because they are intrinsically part of the tale being told. In much the same way as the television series Lost, each chapter features a story from a different part of Brett's life. Scenes alternate between the present and flashbacks. These flashbacks are linked to the present-day part of the chapter on a thematic level. Each new chapter takes the back story further back in time - so we see Brett's life in reserve. This structure takes a little concentration at first, but I figured out the pattern quite early, and then I just left myself get swept away by the story. I don't want to give too much away, but there are important reasons for using this particular structure. Trust me - it works.

This story doesn't just use space as a setting.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Noah Arsenault on March 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
Don't judge a book by it's cover. But, hypothetically, if you judged this one by it's brilliant art, than your judgment would be spot-on. This was a fantastic book! Both of the characters, Brett and Jay, were developed well through the progression of the book, especially Jay, the AI (artificial intelligence). Something I really liked about the storyline was that Baines didn't leave us alone with Brett and Jay for the whole book, but also journeyed into Brett's memories. This contributed to Brett's character, our understanding of the mission, and the length of the story. The use of first person speech doesn't have an excuse, but I'm not opposed to it. I rather enjoy it! The conclusion left me a little confused for a few minutes, but the biblical analogy dawned on me soon after. Great ending, and I look forward to more from Baines!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rev. Stephen R. Wilson on March 21, 2011
Format: Paperback
Recommendation: Is there something beyond Excellent?

Originality - 5/5
Writing Style - 5/5
Plot - 5/5
Characters - 5/5
Aesthetics - 5/5

Wow! Can I say it again? Wow! Alpha Redemption is easily one of the best books I've ever read.

Brett Denton, a man who has experienced the greatest tragedy in life, is now on his way as the first pioneer to the Alpha Centauri star system. His only companion on the voyage is a learning on-board computer and his own memories. What will Brett find at Alpha Centauri? What will he find within himself?

Paul Baines' writing is realistic, detailed, witty, and insightful. I felt like I was actually reading the history of Brett Denton's life. There are a lot of humorous moments as "jay" the computer tries to figure out his human counterpart. And the Christian message in the book is unmistakable.

Another major plus for the book is the fact that the ending is so unexpected. It's very appropriate and yet completely unpredictable.

I recommend Alpha Redemption to any reader, whether you're a lover of sci-fi or not. It will be one of the best reading experiences you've ever had. It is, indeed, an Excellent novel.
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