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Traveling In Space Paperback – October 21, 2011
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
"Superbly entertaining and unique...thought provoking." -- The Mindquest Review of Books
"Many of the aliens' encounters with human beings are downright funny...much to think about and I'm sure that "Traveling in Space" will play on my mind for some time to come" -- Russell Blackford, Neworld Review & Metamagician and the Hellfire Club blog
"A unique spin of science fiction... With much humor and much to think about...not to be overlooked" -- Midwest Book Review.
From the Author
PRAISE FOR STEVEN PAUL LEIVA AND "TRAVELING IN SPACE"
"Steven Leiva not only promises, but delivers. Beautifully Written" --Ray Bradbury.
"Traveling in Space's humor and refreshing perspective are thoroughly enjoyable" -- Diane Ackerman, New York Times bestselling author of The Human Age and A Natural History of the Senses
"Leiva's immense gifts are matched only by his wry, biting wit" -- Paul Provenza; author of "¡Satiristas!" director of "The Aristocrats," host of Showtime's "The Green Room with Paul Provenza."
"Wry humor, intellectual insight and terrific story telling are the consistent signatures of Leiva's work." -- Ken Kragen, legendary Hollywood producer/manager and space buff.
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Top Customer Reviews
"Traveling in Space" is spiced throughout with wit and humor. Not to allow any cats from bags, while reading chapter 21 "Angel Voice! You're My Choice!" I was laughing so hard I had to keep dabbing my eyes so that I could see the words on the page. As the book's remaining pages become fewer and we readers know the end is near Mr. Leiva leaves only the most touching question unanswered...at least until the final sentence. In that sentence the author gives us a funny little surprise, but so packed with significance that we fully understand this most satisfying ending.
To my delight, I was guided to this book by a friend and I hope you will allow me to expand on that favor and be your guide in discovering this brilliant work.
The entire story is told strictly from the point of view of the aliens, who come from what they call,The Living World. That does take a bit of getting used to at first, in the way the aliens think and speak, (we are simply called, Otherlife) but isn't that the fun of really good SF, getting you out of your comfortable human zone? The best ones allow an examination of human culture from an otherworldly point of view, making us think long and hard about who we are as a species. Leiva does a great job here, keeping the aliens consistent, and always engaging.
Any SF story is allowed at least one "gimme" and this one is, admittedly, a doozy, but just go with it and enjoy the ride. There is a bit of fantasy element at work here as well, the Living Worlders look exactly like us, except that they are so genetically advanced that they appear extremely beautiful to Earth people. You just have to go with that, and the plusses and minuses of their advancements are explored in full, and are part of the plot.
This is his first SF book, and I was expecting some creaky technology. However I was knocked out by some of the unique ideas, especially the frequent use of the different kinds of "bubbles"; very cool indeed. Bubbles are difficult to explain in this short review, but as the story moves along they start to make more sense. It allows Leiva to get around the "Treknology" problem of creating new miraculous devices as the plot gets sticky and harder to resolve.
One of the more interesting parts of the book is how the human culture has a profound effect on the aliens themselves. Again, this can be a clichéd and tired SF concept, but Leiva handles this very well indeed.
Congratulations to Mr. Leiva on a great book!
Los Angeles CA
There are many Earth characters, most of which are reasonable. Nobody is stupid. The plot is driven by the way things really are and things that could actually happen, not the stupidity of some character(s). [I hate stupidity driven plots.] Margaret Cleveland is my favorite character. She is an absolute treasure, and so real she could have stepped out of a news paper.
Leiva is an excellent writer, capable of seeing and stating the truth with humor unrivaled by most people. A couple of examples (two of my favorite quotes): A character describing an ex-wife, “Dumber than a zipper on boxer shorts.” And again, “Dumb as a barbwire brassiere.”
There are several typos and misspellings in the book, something that would normally put me off, but there aren’t many, and the writing is so good, I was able to overlook them. And Leiva stays in his paradigm throughout (with only a few minor exceptions). [Another thing I hate in a book is an author who creates an interesting paradigm, then ignores it when it suits him or his imagination fails, which describes most popular sci-fi these days (IMHO)]. I do hope he gets a better editor on his next book, though.