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Alphanauts Paperback – May 31, 2006
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The Amazon Book Review
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"Clarke, the author of a number of published stories and the novel The Expediter (DAW 1990), is a very amiable writer, with a nice ear for conversational speech, which makes his characters, whom we don't really know, seem quite real." - David Mead, New York Review of Science Fiction.
"Throw in some cyborgs, an artificial intelligence, alien creatures, and a few other plot twists and you have an exciting if sometimes a bit over the top adventure story" - Science Fiction Chronicle
"Fans of science fiction in general and those with a special interest in new world adventures will find Alphanuats a satisfying read." - The Bookwatch
"Brian Clarke is a master storyteller of considerable originality and ability who in "Alphanauts" takes his readers on a true and highly recommended science fiction epic from beginning to end." - Midwest Book Review
"This is a fairly straightforward adventure tale, a bit of a page turner that any fan of old fashioned Science Fiction should enjoy. Recommended." - Ronald Hore, cm magazine
"Clarke has written a page turner with scientist-heros as conflicted as any human but with practicality and compassion from the Golden Age of SF. An excellent read that I hope will encourage more books by this author." - Pam Allan, ConNotations
"This is a first-rate planetary colonization story with lots of science. Engineers and scientists will enjoy this book; so will everyone else who likes good, interesting writing." - Paul Lappen, Dead Trees Reviews
"...an insightful look at colonization and life on other planets--one I'd recommend to others." -Lisa Ramaglia, Scribes World
"This tale is reminiscent of Golden Age stories of interstellar exploration." - Cheryl, booksnbytes.com
From the Publisher
After being away from Earth for more than three years, space travelers can no longer live on their home world because of the mind destroying condition known 'Earth Allergy Syndrome'. These travelers are, in fact, forced to become citizens of the galaxy.
Alphanauts follows the adventures of a small band of these men and women on Genser's World, an earth-like planet of Alpha Centauri. Along the way they meet the degenerate descendants of another space-traveling species and their intelligent catbird symbiots, two ancient cyborg intelligences, and a malevolent computer intelligence which must be destroyed before it evolves into a form that will inevitably annihilate everything they have worked so hard to build.
And, as if the colonists have not enough troubles, they are also forced to deal with a threat from their own kind; a second and much larger group of refugees from a ruined Earth who, within the tunnels and chambers of their asteroid-ship, plan a fascist utopia on the new world.
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Back on Genser's World, the colonists find the de-evolved descendants of another spacefaring race, and their empathic symbionts. Think of the symbionts as flying creatures the size of a hawk, with the face of a cat, and they love to be petted and scratched. They form bonds with humans almost instantly, a bond that becomes impossible to break. The colonists also come into contact with two cyborg intelligences, and a computer intelligence which is about to evolve into something that could easily wipe out the humans.
Suddenly, all contact with Earth is lost. By this time, the intelligences have modified the colonist's ship so that a trip of several years duration back to Earth has been reduced to several weeks. A group of colonists returns to Earth, and finds a scene of total devastation. Just before "The End," an asteroid was hollowed out and turned into a colony ship. It was launched toward Genser's World, with over 500 people on board. Their intention is to turn Genser's World into a fascist utopia.
This is a first-rate planetary colonization story with lots of science. Engineers and scientists will enjoy this book; so will everyone else who likes good, interesting writing.
What I liked best in this book, and what I look for in many of the stories I read, are the strong *female* charaters. And the great variety of characters. So often when I find a writer who can create the kinds of 'real women' I like to read about, the character seems stamped over and over in different clothes and with different names, but essentially is the same person. Not so in "Alphanauts". Not only does Clarke manage to create an entire community of people, each an individual and very, very real, but he manages to create artificial intelligence-generated characters who are also completely real.
From AI to aliens, C. Brian Clarke presents an outer space adventure in the truest sense of the genre. For sci-fi fans, there's nothing lacking here. If you've never thought you'd be fond of sci-fi, this is a great place to start. The colonists and 'nauts in this book are pioneers. They are settlers in a foreign land and they have so very much to learn; much to learn about their new home and surroundings, and much to learn about one another.
Issues of trust arise, of faith, of acceptance, and of patience. What will happen to the colonists if the ancient intelligence on Genser's World wakes? What if it rises? When will they ever get the chance to return home again, and what will they find when they get there?
Although this book has just been released from Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing, I am already waiting on tenterhooks for the next one...there *has* to be a 'next one'...