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Damocles [Kindle Edition]

S. G. Redling
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (442 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.


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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: #16,148 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
69 of 73 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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138 of 154 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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28 of 29 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars good read!
I gave this book a five. It was entertaining, hard to put down. I liked the the author chose to "tell" the story from two points of view. Read more
Published 7 hours ago by Shelby Anne
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Interplanetary Interaction
A good mix of physical, technological, and inter-personal interplay. First-contact sceario that doesn't involve bloodshed - even though there is the potential for it - kept my... Read more
Published 13 hours ago by Gary Stephenson
4.0 out of 5 stars Looking forward to more
Great sci-fi drama, interesting and entertaining. I really appreciated the protagonist's point of view. Reminiscent of planet of the apes. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Greg in Texas
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting premiss
A refreshing story about our contact with aliens on their home turf. And guess what? They are a little like us...a very little!
Published 15 days ago by J. P. Schafer
4.0 out of 5 stars First Contact story
I like this author. This is an entertaining and thoughtful book about first contact between humans and aliens. Not to give too much away . . . Read more
Published 16 days ago by Alexandra S. Morgan
4.0 out of 5 stars How many planets, how many explorers pausing to explore, leave a mark,...
I had stopped reading science fiction when there were no more books to read by the masters (Asimov, Clark, Heinlein, Herbert, etc). Read more
Published 18 days ago by Mary Ann Black
5.0 out of 5 stars Great exploration of language and understanding
This book knocked me out, seriously. I got it with no knowledge of the story, and not ever having heard of the author, but the writing and the storyline were just excellent. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Soox
4.0 out of 5 stars Captivating
Damocles is a very engaging story with a novel plot line - that of a one-way trip into interstellar space. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Michael A. Lamana
4.0 out of 5 stars A very entertaining read
A unique story overall I think. Doesn't go into sweeping geopolitical storylines, doesn't play to all-to-familiar sci-fi tropes that keep getting overplayed. Read more
Published 24 days ago by John C. Silva
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting First Contact take
The bi-modal first-person approach gives an interesting take on the alien contact situation.
In some senses it was a long short-story because many motivating themes that were... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Max H. Sherman
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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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