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Distant Cousin [Kindle Edition]

Al Past
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $21.95
Kindle Price: $2.99
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Book Description

What if our first contact from another planet was a human? What if the first real alien to visit Earth from another solar system was a woman on a mission to find the distantly related cousins of her own people? What if she brought with her a warning of an impending disaster of apocalyptic proportions? And what if nobody believed her?
Al Past’s novel Distant Cousin is a most unusual science fiction story with a most unusual heroine. Ana Darcy has jeopardized her mission and cut herself off from her own people to bring a desperate warning to Earth authorities. Astronomers at a Texas observatory don’t believe her, but the US military is willing to interrogate her—under custody of course. Her astonishing escape from Army detainment is our first hint that she may be more than she first appears and capable of more than we imagine. While the military scrambles to locate and recapture the woman they call “Gidget from Outer Space,” Darcy realizes that her journey to Earth has placed her in the path of the oncoming destruction and she will suffer Earth’s fate if the calamity is not avoided.
Befriended by ordinary people as varied as the family of a Texas dude ranch foreman, a mild-mannered reporter, and an Olympic contender from Barbados, Darcy conceives a daring plan to evade government capture while hiding in plain sight, and to deliver her warning in a manner which cannot possibly be ignored. Afterward, she might just fall in love … if she can trust her own feelings … and if she can trust her boyfriend with the truth about her origins. This is a science fiction novel which might better be described as a love story with scientific speculation. The premise of humans on another world is startling, and the author reels out details about Darcy’s homeworld so sparingly that our curiosity is cleverly aroused. It is only when unexpected arrivals provoke a sudden crisis of diplomacy that we learn exactly what Darcy gave up in accepting her mission to Earth—and what she might be running from.

Editorial Reviews


Distant Cousin is the best novel I have read in a long time...outstanding! Distant Cousin will stamp its wonderful magic on your soul. -- iUniverse Book Reviews

About the Author

Al Past has taught college English and linguistics for over twenty-five years. Now retired, he lives in south Texas.

Product Details

  • File Size: 624 KB
  • Print Length: 391 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0595372929
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: iUniverse; 1 edition (October 25, 2005)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001GCTS36
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #635,914 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inventive, entertaining and well-written January 13, 2008
Typically, once I move beyond the pantheon of the all-time great SciFi writers (e.g., Clark, Bradbury, Heinlein, Brin, Niven, Sturgeon...), I find myself disappointed in the quality of the writing. I don't mean this as a slam on the genre, only on my difficulty in finding SciFi novelists who can combine a good SciFi storyline with good writing. Al Past is such a novelist. From the opening line, Distant Cousins leaves no doubt that its author knows his way around the English language. Other reviews have explained the story line, so I'll simply say that if you like SciFi, and prefer that it be well-written, you should give Distant Cousins a try.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Close Encounter of the Fifth Kind January 4, 2007
Is it really? The Fifth Kind is supposed to denote communication with an alien. The Barbie doll who plays the lead in this screenplay waiting to happen is not actually an alien being. She is a human from another planet, and she does one helluva job at communicating! Remember the wonderful magic you felt the first time you saw Spielberg's Close Encounters? Literary author Al Past makes us feel that way again. You will fall in love with an alien all over again, just like you did when you met E.T. The author of Distant Cousin takes you to one of those places we all seek when we encounter a delightful, memorable novel like this one. Mr. Past shows us the majestic beauty of the mountains near Alpine, TX, and he takes us for an exciting ride to other locales both inside and outside the U.S., but those are merely logistical issues that complement the plot. The real story is found in that magical, mysterious place within our hearts.

Romance fans will enjoy this book as much as SciFi bugs. The storyline never encourages you to get out the hankies or bores you with technical mumbo-jumbo. It just blasts along the highway of your first big love affair. Like that affair, you may find a few bumps in the road in the form of grammatical typos, but I assure you they will never give you a flat tire! The characters and plotlines are all first-rate. There isn't a single wasted page or a single slow spot that you just have to wade through to get back to the good part. You will love the lead characters so much that you will be casting in your head for the Spielberg movie long before the end. Don't worry about there never being a sequel: it's already out. This is quite a book. When do we get to see the movie?
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very human approach to science fiction March 23, 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Distant Cousin is a fascinating novel that captivates the reader with the pull of a neutron star. Al Past accomplishes this, not with a lot of pseudo-scientific claptrap, but through the development of a convincing story line with characters who are intriguing and genuine. The reader is almost afforded the illusion of being a part of the novel itself, and characters take on the aspect of being more like personal friends than just people in a story.

Distant Cousin is sublimely entertaining, though the author occasionally uses it as a vehicle to comment on the societal and cultural state of Planet Earth. These observations are keen, insightful, and all the more so since they are seen through the eyes of an impartial alien observer. In a similar fashion, he is also able to portray occurrences that we normally take for granted, such as eating or taking a walk, with the freshness that only an extraterrestrial would perceive. Since the book takes place in several geographic locales, this ability to create moods, atmospheres, and even the sensation of taste, serves him in good stead throughout the work. BUY THE BOOK! READ IT! ENJOY!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Distant Cousin -- Perfect member for anyone's library December 15, 2005
What a wonderful combination of joy, excitement and optimism fills each page of this exceptional book. There is never a dull moment for the characters or the readers. Al Past has captured the complex beauty of every location, circumstance and person in his new book. He does it in such a way that one is kept at the edge of each skillfully constructed, crisp chapter, anxiously wondering what is really going to happen next to the individuals and the earth. At each turn the spirits and strengths of humanities at all levels are portrayed in a most positive way. If you are ready for some mind provoking enjoyment, please do go out and find your Distant Cousin.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Science fiction at its best June 5, 2009
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The reader will find no death rays, little green men or goo-oozing tentacles in this book; only a very human young woman faced with an enormous challenge. To save the population of planet Earth from possible extinction, interstellar explorer, Ana Darcy, must defy her standing orders to remain hidden, but when she delivers her warning to her distant cousins, no one believes her.

From west Texas to Barbados and back, Al Past captivates us with his vivid descriptions of culture, landscape and cuisine and shows us our world from the perspective of an extraterrestrial visitor to whom every taste, smell and vista is new and exciting.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Felt cheated at the end July 1, 2009
Format:Kindle Edition
I enjoyed the book right up to the end and then felt I'd been conned into buying the conclusion to the episode. The story just stopped, like it was published while the author finished the book. I knew there was a sequel, but I expected a better end to book one of the series. I was hooked enough to buy the sequel knowing that it has half the pages of part one. I hope it has a smoother ending that makes me want read part three rather than feel suckered into buying it to finish what should have been one book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
This was an intriguing book and different from most first contact books. I enjoyed it. My one thought is that it didn't seem to have a climatic moment and read more like a... Read more
Published 4 months ago by G E. Learned
5.0 out of 5 stars love it
After reading the most recent (6th) book, I'v gone back to start the series over.
Love it the 2nd time as much as the first.
Published 9 months ago by PLS
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good read
I really enjoyed the premise and it was well written. A few (very few) inconsistencies with Ana's character grated, but I'll read again now I've read y the series and see if I... Read more
Published 13 months ago by pleck
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Yarn with Characters One Cares About
This a good tale with many twists and turns. I wasn't sure where it was going. I look forward to the next volume.
Published 14 months ago by jonathan t patten
4.0 out of 5 stars Having read the book...
This belated review is offered from the viewpoint of a writer, who has read thousands of books over the years, and at least has some perspective on good fiction. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Barry Yelton
2.0 out of 5 stars Decent read for young teen
I found the storyline to be interesting but the dialogue was very stilted. Characters were well thought out but the random plot changes made for it becoming unbelievable. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Lisa Weinrauch
5.0 out of 5 stars Do We Have A Distant Cousin?
I am writing a review of Distant Cousin an the three sequels since I read all four books back to back over a single weekend - that alone should tell you something about the... Read more
Published 22 months ago by PMSteve
4.0 out of 5 stars Quirky alien
An odd but amusing story about a misplaced human returned to earth. The athletics side of the story was a bit strange but an easy read.
Published 23 months ago by Jenny Hay
5.0 out of 5 stars Marj
Very well written and includes interesting tidbits about foods, scenery, events, etc which add to the story. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Marjorie Slesak
5.0 out of 5 stars Human Alien
This is the first book in a series and I am reading the others. This book has a great story based on a premise that could actually have happened. Read more
Published 24 months ago by TS
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More About the Author

Al Past has been an author, a husband, father, grandfather, a musician, a Naval officer, a rancher, a house builder, and a professor of English and linguistics. His first book, still in print after 25 years, is a collection of his arrangements of baroque masterpieces for two treble clef instruments (Charles Colin Publications). He has also collaborated with author Barry Yelton, providing the photographs to accompany Mr. Yelton's lambent poetry in On Wings of Gentle Power (Strider Nolan Media).

The first volume of the Distant Cousin series, the highly original tale of Ana Darcy that had been haunting him for twenty years, had to wait to be written down until after his retirement from teaching. Readers have followed the adventures of Ana's family in the four companion volumes to date: Distant Cousin: Repatriation, Distant Cousin: Reincarnation, Distant Cousin: Regeneration, and Distant Cousin: Recirculation.

Dr. Past lives on a ranch in south Texas with his wife (a journalist and retired professor of Spanish) and way more animals than is good for him.

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