Congratulations to Lorinda J. Taylor for her latest book The Man Who Found Birds among the Stars, Part Seven: Fifth Island in the River: A Biographical Fiction
About the book
The Phenix Project for Interstellar Flight has launched its first mission – a flight to the star system called Epsilon Eridani, 10.5 light years away. Capt. Robbin Nikalishin is finally achieving his dream, although the recent breakup with his wife Fedaylia High Feather can’t help but sour the pleasure a little. However, the mission begins on a positive note and its first half is marred only by some personnel conflicts and serious injuries. Meanwhile, the Chief Engineer Ian Glencrosse continues to believe a demonic space entity has doomed the mission and this entity will relent only if provided with a sacrifice – the death of Ian himself.
The ship IS Ariana arrives at Epsilon Eri and deploys the Mission Specialists’ life-seeking probe on a young planet that may harbor nascent life. They are on the verge of retrieving the probe when a series of disasters puts the mission in jeopardy. Will Ian’s self-sacrifice come in time, or will the ship run out of oxygen before the Dauntless can come to its rescue?
Meanwhile, it seems Earthers are not the only interstellar travelers voyaging in the vicinity ..
And early review for the book
This is the seventh part of the fictional biography of 28th century spacefarer Robbin Nikalishin. It’s every bit as gripping and exciting as the very first book. No, actually it’s even more so, because in this book, the long-anticipated voyage to the stars actually happens.
The first third of the book shows Capt. Robbie and his crew launch into space and settle into shipboard routines in a long series of temporal quantum jumps and intervals that eventually take them to the vicinity of the star Epsilon Eridani. The only shadow on this optimistic beginning is the secretly delusional state of Chief Engineer Ian Glencrosse. Otherwise, we have a multicultural storytelling session, hormone-driven hijinks, birthday celebrations, and even a wedding. I laughed out loud at some scenes and was moved to tears at others. Many of the crew members are familiar personalities from the earlier books, so it’s easy to relate to them as they interact and become an extended family.
Things get serious when part of the ship’s engine malfunctions. Two tension-filled chapters are followed by relief and the thrill of discovery and a series of historical “firsts.” Then, just over the halfway point, real disaster strikes and the tension is cranked up to excruciating. There were many places where I honestly did not want to keep reading, but couldn’t make myself stop. I will say no more at this point, except that the ending promises momentous revelations for humans of the 28th century as well as readers of the 21st. Those who have read Lorinda J. Taylor’s book The Termite Queen may guess at some of them. I hope Part 8 is in the works!
A few things that impressed me especially: first, the extent to which Robbin Nikalishin has grown and matured since his younger days. He has definitely overcome some of his personality flaws to the point that he draws upon his earlier errors and their consequences in dealing with a number of issues on this all-important mission to the stars. Second, the aforementioned wedding scene includes a tantalizing glimpse into the writings of one of the Mythmakers. The Valley of the White Bear and the character Ingreaf are referenced in several of the earlier books, so I was intrigued to learn a little more about them here. Finally, I continue to be impressed with the technological terms for temporal quantum engines and other devices that do not as yet exist. When the Engineers and technical crew deal with these items, their discussions sound absolutely authentic (bearing in mind that I’m neither engineer nor scientist).
It may be argued that a reader committed to a long-running series may not be an entirely objective reviewer. On the other hand, having followed Capt. Robbie’s career through its many ups and downs, I would have been disappointed if this episode had been less than thrilling. I was certainly not disappointed, and would definitely recommend this book to anyone who appreciates serious science fiction leavened with realistic human relationships and emotions. But you really have to read the first six books to fully appreciate this one!
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And: Amazon UK
A small selection of other books by Lorinda J. Taylor
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About Lorinda J. Taylor
A former catalogue librarian with two graduate degrees, Lorinda J. Taylor was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and worked in several different academic libraries before returning to the place of her birth, where she now lives. She has written fantasy and science fiction for years but began to self-publish only in 2011. To this point, she has published fifteen science fiction/fantasy novels, including seven volumes of a series retelling myths in terms of her intelligent termite civilization. Her writings combine many aspects of science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, future history, off-world adventure, psychological fiction, and even a love story. She always strives to engage readers emotionally and give them something to think about at the end of each book.
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It would be great if you could share the news of Lorinda’s new book – Thanks Sally.