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Cyan: [Colonizing Cyan may be overcrowded Earth’s last hope for survival.] Kindle Edition
|Length: 338 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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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.
I remember watching “The Twilight Zone” as a youth, where an episode called ‘The Long Morrow‘ touched upon that effect. And I’ve enjoyed plenty of other treatments of that topic, in a variety of media, in the decades since … including Cynthia Felice’s “Downtime,” which I reviewed for this forum a couple of years ago.
Now comes “Cyan,” written by Syd Logsdon, published by EDGE-Lite and Hades Publications … and a welcome addition to my shelf.
cyanThe story begins on Earth, in a not-distant-enough future. It is a world dealing with a variety of problems, many of which can be traced back to what you and I are doing right here, right now. As the population grows and resources dwindle, more and more are convinced that, truly, ‘the end is nigh’ and that the only viable solution is NOT to be found on this planet.
So where is this solution to be found, and how do we get there? What do we find when – if! – we arrive there, and can we truly handle it? Could we adapt, or would we just adhere to the mindset that got us into the problems to begin with?
And I’m not just talking about global issues, but small, personal, even intimate relational issues between individuals, as well. Borrowing a line from Tina Turner, “what’s love got to do with it?”
In “Cyan,” Logsdon provides answers to these and other questions that arise in the course of his story. They are answers that ‘grow’ the story and your interest in it … though there are times when the answers are less-than-encouraging, even as they develop the story -and your interest – further.
Along the way, the reader will meet a cast of characters that run the full gamut of humanity – and more. As the story progresses, two of these characters will emerge as leading protagonists, each with a vision for humanity’s future, and the path to realize that vision … but at what cost? There will be a confrontation of course, though its ultimate resolution might surprise you … it surprised me, and was one of the favorite parts of my read.
I recommend this read. I think Logsdon has brought a new and fresh approach to an established trope of the science fiction genre … and crafted a good story, too.
Will we see some more in the future? Time will tell.
NOTE: I received a free e-copy of this work through LibraryThing in exchange for a review.
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.