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Frontier Earth Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 2001

22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews

Advanced space-humans and alien invaders go head-to-head in Tombstone, Arizona, in 1881. (western fans will exclaim, Aha!) Macklin and Doris are descendants of the lost Roanoke colony, some of whom were rescued and taken into space by benevolent aliens of the multispecies Associative. As Monitors, they keep an eye on Earth, but when the predatory alien Kra'agh attack their ship, they crash, separately, on Earth. His memory lost, Macklin wanders into Tombstone, where he finds a room at the boardinghouse of kindly and attractive widow Sarah Nevers. Inevitably, he gets mixed up with the Earp brothers and their allies. Meanwhile, the two ghastly Kra'agh hunters (they can eat terrestrial life-forms and feed on pain and fear) kill some humans, absorb the contents of their brains, disguise themselves with projected illusions, and creep in pursuit. Naturally, they side with the Clanton gang. Doris finally catches up with Macklin and helps him remember what's going on, but his intelligent Companion is damaged and requires rare elements for repair. The Kra'agh, however, have destroyed the Monitors' Moon base and are poised to invade Earth. They try to trap Macklin at the OK Corral, playing their part in the historic shootout, then attack the boardinghouse and grab Sarah. Doris will attempt to rendezvous with an emergency pickup craft, while Macklin follows poor Sarah. First-novelist/actor Boxleitner (the Babylon 5 series, etc.) gives this oft-exploited scenario an organized, crisply delivered, and well-informed workout. Expect sequels. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Will please both science fiction and Western fans. -- BookBrowser

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Ace (January 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441007945
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441007943
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.5 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,636,374 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Sonny Whitelaw on December 21, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Tombstone 1881; not the slightly gritty, visually septic Hollywood version, but a real, multi-layered tapestry of frontier life, where the gap separating the lawless from the law keepers is thin and murky. This is the well-researched backdrop for a science fiction story that would give Sigourney Weaver nightmares.
From the outset, we are thrust into a cat and mouse game. The predators are creatures who do not feed simply on human flesh, but feast, indeed savor, human terror. The prey is a man without a memory. But there's far more at stake that just his life...if only he could recall why.
At times, the reader is caught up in the events leading to the most famous showdown in American western history, the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Then changing gear, the unfolding drama is seen from the alien perspectives of hunter and hunted, both of whom are confused by human motivations and self-righteous, conflicting moralities.
Cocky and self-assured, caught up in their own unfolding drama, the human players have no comprehension that the very future of Earth is at stake as they head towards their own violent climax. A climax that without alien involvement, may have seen history written very differently....
The book is punctuated with a rich patina of sensations. Not simply visual, but visceral. The brutality of the aliens is described with imagery that reaches into our primitive hindbrain and shakes it uncomfortably. Yet we also see that some humans too, feed on terror and in many ways are as unprincipled as the most horrific of aliens our imaginations can conjure.
Read this one carefully to savor the tastes and textures of a well written, first book. I look forward to a sequel.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 22, 1999
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The man really did it! This first novel gives us a taste of Harry Turtledove, with a dash of Stephen King, and a healthy dose of Mr. Boxleitner's wit, charm and experienced actor's sense of story. It is definitely a first novel AND a setup for a sequel so the exposition is sometimes too lengthy, in moments even diluting the suspense, BUT when it revs up, it really revs up and is well worth the read--looking forward to more from such a creative storyteller!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robert E. Murphy on November 22, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Having just picked this book up, I was struck by the level of research that the author obviously performed to get the flavor and historical authenticity of the Tombstone area. The intensity of the Earp-Clanton feud his heightened by the behind the scenes death struggle between the Monitor and the Kra'agh.
This type of believeable alien is similar to those done by William H. Keith in his novels, and therefore it is no suprise to see Bill Keith acknowledged in the book.
I was forced to stay up far too late to finish this book. I hope there are more forthcoming, and more information on the Associatives, and the eerily dangerous Kra'agh.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sharron Albert on September 17, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I picked this one up because it's no secret that Bruce Boxleitner is a fan and reader of science fiction and a history buff. I thought it would be interesting to see how he managed to combine the two in this tale purporting to be first contact with aliens in 1881 in the Old West
The protagonist is Monitor Macklin, a human being from stock that came originally from Earth, and sent to Earth to keep us safe from the predator aliens. There's a couple problems, though: the predator Kra'augh are already here, getting ready to move in, strip-mine the planet and enjoy hunting the Food -- us. And Macklin's ship crash-landed and he's lost a chunk of his memory. His AI implant is working hard to feed him data, but his head injury is making it hard to get through. To make it more interesting, Macklin arrives in Tombstone shortly before the OK Corral shootout (and if you don't know what this is, go watch Tombstone).
The story focuses on Macklin trying to figure out why he's here and who he is and why he knows what horses and saddles are, but has obviously never ridden. Meanwwhile, Monitor Doreen, Macklin's partner and lover, who did land safely (they were both dodging the predator ships when they landed), is busy looking for him. Concurrent with that, two predator scouts are on the move, killing some Food (and pleased with the sport can give) and trying to find the Monitors so they can't send for help.
It's competently written, if a little clumsy sometimes. Nothing fancy in the structure, just the linear storyline ad a few memory flashes of the past from Macklin. I'd guess that Boxleitner is a man with a story to tell, and has chosen to tell it more like a western than sf.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on November 21, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Macklin and Doris are descendants from the lost colony of Roanoke, whose citizens were taken into space by a benevolent race. Both serve as Monitors insuring the safety of earth from malevolent aliens. As a prelude to an invasion, the Kr'agh attack the ship of the Monitors, which ultimately crashes onto the planet. Macklin suffers amnesia and wonders into Tombstone, Arizona circa 1881.

The Kr'agh trail Macklin, munching on humans along the way and absorbing their intelligence like a sponge. The Kr,agh soon disguise themselves as human and join the Clanton gang. Macklin allies himself with the Earp brothers. Doris catches up and helps Macklin regain his memory, as the OK Corral is about to occur.

At first glance, the story line of FRONTEIR EARTH seems like a zillion other novels with similar themes that for the most part failed. However, Babylon 5 star Bruce Boxleitner provides freshness to the OK Corral that will please science fiction and western fans. The plot is filled with non-stop action and actually appears plausible. The Monitors are an interesting duo and the Kr'agh make for some vile villains. Mr. Boxleitner shows a deft touch that will lead to readers wanting more novels in this universe.

Harriet Klausner
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