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The Last Day of Captain Lincoln Kindle Edition
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I don't know what I was expecting when I opened up this book. A quick science fiction read about death in the future, probably. Regardless, read a novella about an old man that brought me to near-tears more than once was not it. Captain Lincoln is so very human, and the observations the author makes are so very true that everything resonates within your soul. The fact that it's set on a space-ship, and you can totally understand the logistics behind his death, just add a touch of the surreal and the serious to the whole thing.
Overall, this is definitely a book I will go back to read more than once. I'm giving it a top rating for that fact. It's not the type of book you rave about, just because of the nature, but it's one you quietly recommend to those that you know would appreciate it. I absolutely loved the end, adored the characters, and thought the whole thing was amazingly well-executed. Anyone who can make me feel something for an 80 year old man is doing something right. I highly recommend you giving it a look.
~ Lilyn G, (Sci-Fi & Scary)
About the Author
- File Size : 15121 KB
- Publication Date : November 15, 2015
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print Length : 139 pages
- Publisher : EXO Books, LLC (November 15, 2015)
- Language: : English
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- ASIN : B0182N1UYQ
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,299,384 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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By Exo Books (Author)
A friend recommended this book to me. I was looking for something in the “fantasy” category. I guess I was thinking of a ‘rainbows and unicorns’ kind of story. This book wasn’t that…not exactly. Even still, I liked it a lot.
Captain Lincoln is an 80-year-old retired (space) ship captain, descendant of the last humans of earth, part of a Utopian society of people still searching—after many, many generations—for a new planet to call home. Every person living aboard “the ship” is guaranteed a HEALTHY, productive, satisfying 80-year life…but that’s it.
It is Captain Lincoln’s 80th birthday, his last day.
This story is very reminiscent of the 1976 film (starring Michael York) called Logan’s Run. Do you remember it? Also set in a Utopian/Dystopian society, each person is given a certain life span—in that case just 30 years—and then are asked to voluntarily allow themselves to be terminated so that resources can be shared with those still living without the probability of over-population. The problem is, in Logan’s run, many choose to… well, run.
In The Last Day of Captain Lincoln this isn’t the case. The last day of each person’s life is celebrated. On the last day of life for those people, “siblings”, all born on the same day (in groups of 8 born through scientific method every five years) are lauded and hailed for their accomplishments and thanked for their contributions. We follow Captain Lincoln as he lives his last day; he visits with friends, says goodbye to the kids in the different classrooms and spends time with his loved ones.
I don’t think I’m spoiling anything for other readers when I say that Captain Lincoln does indeed die at the end. After all the title is THE Last Day of Captain Lincoln. But, the story isn’t morose or gloomy—not that Captain Lincoln doesn’t fear his death, he does as any sane person would. The end of self is a daunting condition to face. But—the story isn’t depressive. I actually found myself thinking, “Wish it could be like that for me one day… a long, long …long time in the future.
I only had one…criticism (for lack of a better word) and it was this: The author does not denote his/her authorship with a name. Instead, his/her work is “signed”—by EXO Books. Which is fine by me. Except, in a move that can only be called “quirky”, every word in the book containing the letters exo, like EXObiology or EXOdus, is written in bold letters (only the EXO). I found that distracting; especially in the beginning before I started looking for a reason why this was so and discovered the author’s “name”.
This is a quick read, only 10 chapters, that I finished in about an hour and a half (with lots of interruptions from the grandkids). And, I really liked it. I would recommend it to anyone who likes sci-fi, fantasy or utopian society stories!
The result is an interesting variation on Logan’s Run. The included verse and quotations are a nice touch (Einstein, Beckett, Yeats, Asimov, Longfellow, Vonnegut, Whitman, etc.) although at points the author seems to be trying a little too hard to impress the literati.
Overall- Recommend. This is a nice diverting afternoon read. It won’t warm your heart, but it will nudge your thoughts, which is what Sci-Fi is supposed to do.
The arc of the story follows Captain Lincoln on his last day alive. In this society of future survivors, heading to a new home in the Universe on a journey that will take them hundreds of years, the rules dictate that in order to create space for new generations, the oldest amongst them must die when they reach their eightieth birthday.
To engage us the author takes us carefully and imaginatively through the different events, rituals and celebrations which precede the death of Lincoln and seven of his “brothers and sisters”. It is of course also a chance for him to take us on a journey through Lincoln’s mind, as he slowly and painfully comes to terms with the inevitability of his own death.
I couldn’t put this book down because it so imaginatively and creatively examines the science of the future and the state of current affairs on Earth. At the same time the author infuses every chapter with the pathos of what it means to live under the sentence of death, and to consciously let go of everything we have known and loved in our lives.
A must read for anyone interested in philosopy and science. Beautiful story telling, inspiring and most importantly thought-provoking.
The writing is solid, the characters intriguing, and the plot line, though not entirely original, fascinating. I really enjoyed the Utopian society concept and the idea that your life is literally numbered, so how can you make the most of it? How would you reach your potential when you know you only have a certain amount of time? It made me think about how real life SHOULD be that way, where we make the most of every day like it might be our last.
A thought-provoking read for sure. I finished it in two days! Looking forward to more from this author.
Top reviews from other countries
There is a problem, however. The ship has a fixed population and a finite amount of resources. Every five years a new batch of eight babies are born and as a consequence, the eight oldest members of the ship have to die. Today is everyone’s birthday, and the last day of Captain Lincoln’s life.
As far as the plot goes, that's pretty much it. Those just wanting a thrill-a-minute ride may want to look elsewhere, but if you are willing to give it a chance, Captain Lincoln is well worth reading. Here, the focus is about emotion, memories and the realisation about one's own mortality. Lincoln is not battling an alien race or enemy within; here the antagonist, and thus the source of conflict, is time.
Life aboard the ship is a utopian one; the crew want for nothing, everyone gets on with everyone else, and everyone has a generous and healthy lifespan of eighty years. There is no disease, injury (not sure if anyone has ever died due to an accident as this isn't mentioned) and no jealously over sexual partners. People still fall in love, of course, and the relationship between Lincoln and his partner Helen helps form the central spine of the story.
The workings of the ship, crew and society are used as a backdrop to the central drama and are explored as Lincoln goes on one last tour, each chapter centring on a particular location and theme. One example of this is the ship’s school. The children are taught by interacting only with other humans until they are five, after which point they are gradually introduced to the ship's network through computer implants (an observation on today's children being plugged into iPads etc as soon as they can crawl) and begin to work when they are ten. Life and death are rationalised and considered part of the natural path of molecules in the Universe. This reminded me somewhat of a speech Delenn gives Sheridan in Babylon 5, and anything that reminds me of Babylon 5 is always more than welcome!
The tour Lincoln takes offers the opportunity to explore his thoughts and emotions as he progresses towards the inevitable. In addition to dealing with the concepts of depression and philosophical musings of what it is to die, there are also the practical concerns like how do you explain death to a young child and get them to understand? All of these concepts come to a head as the story progresses. There is a very moving scene where the reality of the situation for Lincoln really hits home, which is followed by an equally heart-breaking one at a leaving party as the story moves to its poignant conclusion.
Captain Lincoln is a novella rather than a full novel so doesn't stretch the premise out for too long or outstay its welcome. That said, there is one scene with a long speech about the history of peppers I could have personally lived without, as it took away the focus of the central character. That's just a minor quibble though. The only other negative is that I found the opening scene’s use of changing tense very confusing. This is deliberate and makes perfect sense by the end of the scene, but I would hate for anyone to instantly give up on the book because of it.
The themes of the story have stuck with me since finishing it and writing this review a few days later, as it offers plenty to think about. For this reason alone, I'd definitely recommend The last day of Captain Lincoln.
This isn't an action and adventure story. All the conflict is internal. We always know the outcome. Yet when that outcome arrives it is no less heart-wrenching.
I highly recommend this book. It is powerful and moving and will leave you changed.