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Cyan: [Colonizing Cyan may be overcrowded Earth’s last hope for survival.] Kindle Edition
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The story unfolds in three phases - the initial expedition, the return to earth and the subsequent colonization. The key characters struggle with their own conflicts around if and how the need to protect the Cyl outweighs the needs of humankind for a new world. One of the crew makes an extraordinary decision at great personal cost.
This book is a realistic treatment of the challenges of time dilation with near-lightspeed travel and group dynamics during long trips. I enjoyed the realistic depiction of exploration of an unfamiliar landscape and attempts to establish a foothold in a habitable but hostile environment. I was less excited about the political machinations upon the crew's return to Earth and the resulting impact on the colonization efforts including substantial carnage inflicted on both humans and Cyl.
This story wrestles with the question of who is included in the circle of intelligent life and how extreme acts can enlarge or shrink that circle.
What does it take to colonize a new world where you will be completely cut off from any ongoing support? What kind of people do you take with you for such an endeavor and how do you overcome the resistance of those left behind? How do you modify new world native species and vegetation that are completely alien into food sources for the colonists? These questions and more are articulately addressed in an entertaining way by Syd Logsdon, the book’s author.
It was a joy to read this book. In my mind, Cyan will soon be declared one of the great in today’s science fiction genre. I found even the books cover to be enticing. It invites sci-fi readers to pick the book up in order to find out who the character portrayed on the cover is.
The author is not a prolific writer as he has a teaching day job that keeps him busy. Hopefully, he finds the time to write more stories like Cyan. I will be searching out Syd Logsdon’s older writings to see if they stand up to the literary level he reached with Cyan. I pray that they do.