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Alienist (Gerald Knave Science Fiction Novels) Paperback – January 31, 2003
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In this novel, Gerald Knave is a Suvivor for the Colonization Service in the twenty-fourth century. He spends a year on a planet deciding whether it can be colonized or not. He is on his way to another planet.
The Master is a Consultant for just about anything. He has known Knave since his recruitment as a Survivor.
Euglane is a Giell, an alien species. He is working as a psychiatrist. He has no problems with transference.
Harris France is a Detective-Colonel is the City Two Police Department. He is married to Cornelia Rasczak.
Mirelli Puffer is a Lance Corporal within the City Two Police Department on Ravenal. She has been in the department for seven years.
Folla is really alien. He is invisible, but talks to Knave.
Dube is another alien like Folla. He wants somebody to build a machine.
In this story, Knave's ship exits from the space-four shift with his engines at full throttle and his location unknown. He slowed down the ship to a relative stop and checked his locator. It cannot locate his position, so he manually works out his coordinates.
The ship is eleven thousand lightyears into unexplored space. He is beginning to calculate a shift or four that will take him back. Then Folla interrupts his efforts.
Knave uses his sound check to locate the direction of the voice. It says that no sound has been emitted for the last 80 seconds. Later, it declares that the voice is coming from a space five inches above his head.
The voice asks if Knave wants to go home. Knave says yes and thinks of Ravenal. With no discernible time lapse, Knave is in orbit around Ravenal. He has just instantly jumped sixteen thousand lightyears.
After clearing Ravenal Customs, Knave calls the Master and arranges to meet him. Knave tells him the full story.
The Master suggests that Knave talk to an expert in Psychological Statics. Euglane has been collecting data on mentions of aliens for statistical analysis. Knave makes an appointment for the following day.
Euglane explains his interest and experience as a psychiatrist for humans. He has been collecting data on this patients. He has never found any evidence of real alien encounters within his data. Knave gives him a card with his current phone number on it.
Six weeks later, a very troubled Euglane calls Knave. One of his patients has reported a murder to him. France is exceedingly upset and only calls the police after talking to Euglane.
France reports that he had awakened from a nap to find his wife lying dead from a beamer. He checked the doors and windows for signs of forced entry. All were locked and showed no signs of recent damage.
Knave convinces a friend to contact the head of the police department for a pass to France's house. He gets a letter stating that he can have access to any place or information regarding France. He immediately goes over to France's house.
Mirelli lets his enter the building. He notices the grounds and examines the door. Mirelli tells him that the police have checked everything in the house. After his inspection, Knave has to agree with her that the house is thoroughly locked.
This tale leads Knave to ask Mirelli to have dinner with him. Mirelli gets to pick a restaurant. She chooses one that is entered through a hatch in the ground. It serves meats and other foods on skewers and has vats of melted cheese and other liquids.
Mirelli refuses to believe that France is not guilty. Yet she is interested in Knave. They go out together several times.
Then a witness mentions Dube as a voice in her mind. The next installment in this sequence is Two.
The title of this story is a pun. An alienist is an old name for a mender of minds. They had nothing to do with space aliens.
Highly recommended for Janifer fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of very strange aliens, future cultures, and a bit of romance. Read and enjoy!
-Arthur W. Jordin