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Alphanauts [Paperback]

J. Brian Clarke , Robert J. Sawyer

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Book Description

May 31 2006

After nearly fifty years in suspended animation a crew of human space explorers return to Earth, only to discover a medical side effect that prevents them remaining on their home planet. Now, in a desperate bid for survival, they must return to space and attempt to colonize an alien world under an alien sun.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 325 pages
  • Publisher: Tesseract (May 31 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1894063147
  • ISBN-13: 978-1894063142
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 15.3 x 2.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,014,691 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Clarke, the author of a number of published stories and the novel The Expediter (DAW 1990), is a very amiable writer, with a nice ear for conversational speech, which makes his characters, whom we don't really know, seem quite real." - David Mead, New York Review of Science Fiction.

"Throw in some cyborgs, an artificial intelligence, alien creatures, and a few other plot twists and you have an exciting if sometimes a bit over the top adventure story" - Science Fiction Chronicle

"Fans of science fiction in general and those with a special interest in new world adventures will find Alphanuats a satisfying read." - The Bookwatch

"Brian Clarke is a master storyteller of considerable originality and ability who in "Alphanauts" takes his readers on a true and highly recommended science fiction epic from beginning to end." - Midwest Book Review

"This is a fairly straightforward adventure tale, a bit of a page turner that any fan of old fashioned Science Fiction should enjoy. Recommended." - Ronald Hore, cm magazine

"Clarke has written a page turner with scientist-heros as conflicted as any human but with practicality and compassion from the Golden Age of SF. An excellent read that I hope will encourage more books by this author." - Pam Allan, ConNotations

"This is a first-rate planetary colonization story with lots of science. Engineers and scientists will enjoy this book; so will everyone else who likes good, interesting writing." - Paul Lappen, Dead Trees Reviews

" insightful look at colonization and life on other planets--one I'd recommend to others." -Lisa Ramaglia, Scribes World

"This tale is reminiscent of Golden Age stories of interstellar exploration." - Cheryl,

About the Author

J. Brian Clarke is best known for fourteen stories published by ANALOG magazine ... five were 'cover' stories ... and 'Dinoshift' was nominated for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of Ameriica (SFWA) Nebula award. Clarke's stories have also appeared in GALAXY, EXPANSE and ON-SPEC. 'Earthgate' was the lead in Donald A. Wollheim's 1986 ANNUAL WORLD'S BEST SF. 'Testament of Geoffrey' appeared in the Russian publication INVENTOR AND INOVATOR.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Envigorating Aug. 30 2006
By J. Bell - Published on
From the moment the story begins to the altogether too-soon ending, C. Brian Clarke's "Alphanauts" straps you in to your launch position and sends you through the universe at light speed. Forgive the space-ish jargon; it's true, though. Clarke not only tells a story well, his gift of descriptive writing brings alien worlds to life. Sometimes you find a writer who is good at plot, but whose characters seem a little rickety; or you read a book with incredible settings but very little action. With this book, you're going to get it all.

What I liked best in this book, and what I look for in many of the stories I read, are the strong *female* charaters. And the great variety of characters. So often when I find a writer who can create the kinds of 'real women' I like to read about, the character seems stamped over and over in different clothes and with different names, but essentially is the same person. Not so in "Alphanauts". Not only does Clarke manage to create an entire community of people, each an individual and very, very real, but he manages to create artificial intelligence-generated characters who are also completely real.

From AI to aliens, C. Brian Clarke presents an outer space adventure in the truest sense of the genre. For sci-fi fans, there's nothing lacking here. If you've never thought you'd be fond of sci-fi, this is a great place to start. The colonists and 'nauts in this book are pioneers. They are settlers in a foreign land and they have so very much to learn; much to learn about their new home and surroundings, and much to learn about one another.

Issues of trust arise, of faith, of acceptance, and of patience. What will happen to the colonists if the ancient intelligence on Genser's World wakes? What if it rises? When will they ever get the chance to return home again, and what will they find when they get there?

Although this book has just been released from Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing, I am already waiting on tenterhooks for the next one...there *has* to be a 'next one'...
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true and highly recommended science fiction epic Oct. 3 2006
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
Brian Clarke's Alphanauts is the newest title in the EDGE science fiction and fantasy series. This 325-page sci-fi adventure novel is the story of a small band of men and women on Genser's World, an earth-like planet of Alpha Centauri who encounter the degenerate descendants of another space-traveling species along with intelligent 'catbird' symbiots, two ancient cyborg intelligences, and a malevolent AI computer that will have to be destroyed before it can evolve into a form that will destroy everything our group of colonists have worked so hard to create. And if all this weren't enough, there is still another threat -- a much larger group of refugees from a ruined Earth who, within the tunnels and chambers of their asteroid-ship, plan a fascist utopia on the newly discovered and colonized world. Brian Clarke is a master storyteller of considerable originality and ability who in "Alphanauts" takes his readers on a true and highly recommended science fiction epic from beginning to end.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First rate planetary colonization story July 13 2007
By Paul Lappen - Published on
A small group of explorers have just returned to Earth after a several year trip to an earthlike planet of Alpha Centauri. They find, to their dismay, that they, literally, can't live on Earth at all. Anyone who has been away for at least 3 full years contracts a murderous disease called Earth Allergy Syndrome, or EAS. Also, relativity has reared its head; the toddler daughter of one of the explorers is now a middle-aged grandmother. The explorers are forced to return to Alpha Centauri, to what is now called Genser's World (after one of their group who succumbed to EAS).

Back on Genser's World, the colonists find the de-evolved descendants of another spacefaring race, and their empathic symbionts. Think of the symbionts as flying creatures the size of a hawk, with the face of a cat, and they love to be petted and scratched. They form bonds with humans almost instantly, a bond that becomes impossible to break. The colonists also come into contact with two cyborg intelligences, and a computer intelligence which is about to evolve into something that could easily wipe out the humans.

Suddenly, all contact with Earth is lost. By this time, the intelligences have modified the colonist's ship so that a trip of several years duration back to Earth has been reduced to several weeks. A group of colonists returns to Earth, and finds a scene of total devastation. Just before "The End," an asteroid was hollowed out and turned into a colony ship. It was launched toward Genser's World, with over 500 people on board. Their intention is to turn Genser's World into a fascist utopia.

This is a first-rate planetary colonization story with lots of science. Engineers and scientists will enjoy this book; so will everyone else who likes good, interesting writing.

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