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Damocles [Kindle Edition]

S. G. Redling
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (487 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.95
Kindle Price: $4.99
You Save: $9.96 (67%)
 
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Book Description

When Earth is rocked by evidence that extraterrestrials may have seeded human DNA throughout the universe, a one-way expedition into deep space is mounted to uncover the truth. What linguist Meg Dupris and her crewmates aboard the Earth ship Damocles discover on Didet—a planet bathed in the near-eternal daylight of seven suns—is a humanoid race with a different language, a different look, and a surprisingly similar society.

But here, it’s the “Earthers” who are the extraterrestrial invaders, and it’s up to Meg—a woman haunted by tragedy and obsessed with the power of communication—to find the key to establishing trust between the natives and the newcomers. In Loul Pell, a young Dideto male thrust into the forefront of the historic event, Meg finds an unexpected kindred spirit, and undertakes an extraordinary journey of discovery, friendship, and life-altering knowledge.

Told from both sides of a monumental encounter, Damocles is a compelling novel about man’s first contact with an extraterrestrial race.



Editorial Reviews

About the Author

S.G. Redling parlayed her degree in English from Georgetown University into various careers including waitress, monument tour guide, sheepskin packer, and radio host. She has leapt from a plane and a moving train, gotten lost in Istanbul and locked in the dining car of a midnight train through the Carpathians. She currently lives in Huntington, West Virginia, and is also the author of the thriller Flowertown.

Product Details

  • File Size: 518 KB
  • Print Length: 334 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 161109965X
  • Publisher: 47North (May 28, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AOBGZBI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,812 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
80 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The same and different March 8, 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
`Damocles' is a space ship from Earth following a trail of human DNA across the universe. The journey is long and is one way. The crew is in stasis until the ship discovers an inhabited planet. As they orbit Didet, they make preparations to study and land with as little disruption possible; after all the earthlings are the invading aliens here. However, trouble develops with the ship and the crew must leave the vessel and hope the pilot can repair the drive system.
They land on a planet in eternal daylight with humans far different from them in appearance and no experience with space travel. Meg, the linguist must somehow succeed in communicating and setting up an understanding with the inhabitants.

As the storyline continues, one becomes astounded at how realistic and believable everything has been explained...the voyage, the reasons for it, how extreme fundamentalists on earth killed thousands at the news that humanity was not unique - thus giving the support for this voyage of discovery. Their mission is to go from planet to planet until they do discover another human race or run out of resources.

One can't help but think, as you read this - this is the way it would happen, the dialogue, the actions, the thoughts and emotions. This is not an action packed science fiction novel. It is meticulous in its step by step movements. The value of language in understanding and overcoming fear and misunderstandings is emphasized. The obvious physical differences of the different humans and their planet are explored as well as their society and superstitions.
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First Contact and Nightfall May 5, 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
When the crew of the human exploratory vessel Damocles settles over the planet Didet, they think they have a years-long observe-and-report mission ahead. But mechanical failure forces an emergency landing for which neither the humans nor the Dideto are prepared. Suddenly, a beach drenched in eternal sunlight plays host to negotiations that will change two species forever.

Redling's second novel, and first out-and-out science fiction, blatantly combines elements of Octavia Butler's "Lilith's Brood" with Isaac Asimov's "Nightfall" to create a cerebral journey sci-fi devotees will find comfortably familiar, yet engrossingly new. Redling keeps focus on the scientific aspects of first contact--language and cultural barriers, incompatible technology, finding food--without ever losing pace or bogging down in jargon and effluvia.

Linguist Meg Dupris feels like an alien on a ship full of engineers and scientists. Where her five colleagues deal with empirical precision and absolutes, her discipline relies on guesswork, delicate balances, and false cognates. But on the surface, her affinity for the fuzziness of language and culture makes her indispensable. Sadly, it just doesn't make her any more liked.

Loul Pell has been seconded to peon work since his thesis on how to handle First Contact got him laughed out of respected public service. But when the tall, lithe humans land on his planet, he accidentally finds himself between them and the trigger-happy generals who stand completely unprepared for interspecies dialog. Only Loul and Meg have the kind of thinking required for something as imprecise as First Contact.

Where many writers skip past such mundane details as language and technology, Redling revels in such specialized detail.
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161 of 179 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Chelyan crystal ... she canna' tae any more! March 18, 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
It's pretty easy to find sci-fi novels where aliens suddenly appear in the skies and land on earth. There's a lot fewer novels where "Earthers" travel across space and initiate contact on an alien planet. Especially when that planet's inhabitants are, sorta-kinda, human.

"Damocles" starts with the well-clichéd scene of a spaceship's inhabitants reviving from a "deep sleep" to explore a promising new world. Damocles (the ship) had set out after Meg, a linguist, deciphered a message from deep space claiming that an ancient race had seeded humans in other locations. Its mission was to find proof that other human civilizations existed. Sure enough, it found one, though those humans were just a little different from themselves. Their plan to carefully study the inhabitants from orbit was hastily revised when a malfunction in the Chelyan crystal (used for propulsion) forced everyone but the engineer to evacuate the ship, land on the planet, and hope for successful repairs. In the meantime, they had to establish communication with the natives, overcome their mutual fears and suspicions, and try to forge a bond of trust and friendship.

Sounds good, right? The downside is, most of the book consists of Meg trying to build a vocabulary so she can communicate with her counterpart, Loul. This leads to dialogue like: "Meg talk Loul. Questions. Questions Meg talk Loul." How much of that do you think you can tolerate? If you said less than about 250 pages, then you're going to have a tough time with this book, because that kind of gibberish continues pretty much to the end. Oddly, near the end they switch back and forth from this pidgin English to normal sentences. In the middle though, this goes on for page after page, with pretty much nothing being accomplished.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Skip it.
Unfortunately, there was just nothing here. No sense of drama or character development. I couldn't even tell any of the supporting cast apart. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Mike
4.0 out of 5 stars I Seriously Gave Up On This Book Twice Before I gave It A Good Enough...
Boring and uninviting was how this book started for me, I stopped reading it twice, then came back to it, I hate not finishing a book! The story really hooked me in. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Michael R. Grove
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written world exploration
I deeply appreciated the knowledge of linguistics that informs this novel. The writing was seamless and visionary, in the best tradition of Marion Zimmer Bradley and Ursula K. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Karon Crow Rilling
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A clever read
Published 10 days ago by Martin Barrett
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent potrayal of what first contact will be like if ...
An excellent potrayal of what first contact will be like if neither side shoots first. The focus on our biggest issue--communication--allows for a cultural and sociological... Read more
Published 25 days ago by Robert Lamphear
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read!
A great sci-fi story from a linguist's point of view. Highly recommended!
Published 26 days ago by normann2
3.0 out of 5 stars Quick, easy read.
Nothing spectacular. I feel bad saying that but... Nothing really comes to mind for additional comment. Not a bad story.
Published 1 month ago by Marcie
5.0 out of 5 stars I Absolutely LOVED This Charmingly Delightful Story!!
What a fascinating book this was, where WE are the Alien invaders! I loved every minute of it, but it ended too soon. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Judy Schechter
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
I guess the people that panned this book are really not sci-fi fans. I loved this book. I thought it was a great first contact book. Read more
Published 1 month ago by S. G. Zell
3.0 out of 5 stars Thomas's picks
I enjoyed this book and give it 3&1/2 stars, half as many in the Didet purpling sky. What I liked was the good mix of scientific aspects with the human touch, a good amount of each... Read more
Published 1 month ago by tcbc2
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More About the Author

After a ridiculously normal childhood spent fighting with my siblings in the woods of West Virginia, I graduated from Georgetown University with an English degree. To my parents' chagrin, I parlayed that fine education into a series of jobs including waitress, monument tour guide, and sheepskin packer before settling in as a morning radio host in Huntington, West Virginia.

I tend to stroll blithely into strange situations and take adolescent pride in surviving them. Some of my favorites: jumping from an airplane (recommended), jumping from a moving train in Hungary (not recommended), getting lost in the Spice Bazaar in Istanbul, and being locked in a dining car on a midnight train through the Carpathians; and winning a heated argument over the schematics of the Battlestar Galactica.

These days, I spend a lot of time in pajamas and--for reasons too complicated to explain--I am no longer shocked to find wildlife in my house. For me, everything is a story and the story is everything. Getting to tell my stories? Greatest thing ever.

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