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Damocles Kindle Edition
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|Length: 334 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
Redling's second novel, and first out-and-out science fiction, blatantly combines elements of Octavia Butler's "Lilith's Brood" with Isaac Asimov's "Nightfall" to create a cerebral journey sci-fi devotees will find comfortably familiar, yet engrossingly new. Redling keeps focus on the scientific aspects of first contact--language and cultural barriers, incompatible technology, finding food--without ever losing pace or bogging down in jargon and effluvia.
Linguist Meg Dupris feels like an alien on a ship full of engineers and scientists. Where her five colleagues deal with empirical precision and absolutes, her discipline relies on guesswork, delicate balances, and false cognates. But on the surface, her affinity for the fuzziness of language and culture makes her indispensable. Sadly, it just doesn't make her any more liked.
Loul Pell has been seconded to peon work since his thesis on how to handle First Contact got him laughed out of respected public service. But when the tall, lithe humans land on his planet, he accidentally finds himself between them and the trigger-happy generals who stand completely unprepared for interspecies dialog. Only Loul and Meg have the kind of thinking required for something as imprecise as First Contact.
Where many writers skip past such mundane details as language and technology, Redling revels in such specialized detail.Read more ›
They land on a planet in eternal daylight with humans far different from them in appearance and no experience with space travel. Meg, the linguist must somehow succeed in communicating and setting up an understanding with the inhabitants.
As the storyline continues, one becomes astounded at how realistic and believable everything has been explained...the voyage, the reasons for it, how extreme fundamentalists on earth killed thousands at the news that humanity was not unique - thus giving the support for this voyage of discovery. Their mission is to go from planet to planet until they do discover another human race or run out of resources.
One can't help but think, as you read this - this is the way it would happen, the dialogue, the actions, the thoughts and emotions. This is not an action packed science fiction novel. It is meticulous in its step by step movements. The value of language in understanding and overcoming fear and misunderstandings is emphasized. The obvious physical differences of the different humans and their planet are explored as well as their society and superstitions.Read more ›
"Damocles" starts with the well-clichéd scene of a spaceship's inhabitants reviving from a "deep sleep" to explore a promising new world. Damocles (the ship) had set out after Meg, a linguist, deciphered a message from deep space claiming that an ancient race had seeded humans in other locations. Its mission was to find proof that other human civilizations existed. Sure enough, it found one, though those humans were just a little different from themselves. Their plan to carefully study the inhabitants from orbit was hastily revised when a malfunction in the Chelyan crystal (used for propulsion) forced everyone but the engineer to evacuate the ship, land on the planet, and hope for successful repairs. In the meantime, they had to establish communication with the natives, overcome their mutual fears and suspicions, and try to forge a bond of trust and friendship.
Sounds good, right? The downside is, most of the book consists of Meg trying to build a vocabulary so she can communicate with her counterpart, Loul. This leads to dialogue like: "Meg talk Loul. Questions. Questions Meg talk Loul." How much of that do you think you can tolerate? If you said less than about 250 pages, then you're going to have a tough time with this book, because that kind of gibberish continues pretty much to the end. Oddly, near the end they switch back and forth from this pidgin English to normal sentences. In the middle though, this goes on for page after page, with pretty much nothing being accomplished.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
From movies to books, pretty much all of us have experienced at least one "first-contact" story where the aliens have traveled an unimaginable distance to pay a visit to a... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Michael
I was so sad it was over - there needs to be more - so much more!!Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Overall, this is a very good story. The viewpoints are internally consistent. One of them is alien, which makes the story that much more interesting. Read morePublished 4 months ago by David T Stark
I was so supremely sucked into this world. This is how I would love to see the events of space exploration pan out. Read morePublished 4 months ago by SoSoDD
What makes an Alien? What is it that makes all of us hate or fear people that are different from what we know?Published 5 months ago by Monah Holmes
No doubt, S.G. Redling has crafted a wonderfully readable and exciting Sci-Fi story in Damocles. The characters are engaging and alive, with well defined personalities that allow... Read morePublished 5 months ago by JacquesB
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