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Manifest Destinies

Noel Bernard (Author)

ISBN: 0-7414-5857-8 ©2010
Price: $17.95
Book Size: 5.5'' x 8.5'' , 332 pages
Category/Subject: FICTION / Science Fiction / General

Before the time of warp drive starships whisking explorers between planets, humankind had to slog its way to the stars by the crude means of riding the Rip, creating a self-mending tear in space-time, light year by light year.

Before the time of warp drive starships whisking explorers between planets, humankind had to slog its way to the stars by the crude means of riding the Rip, creating a self-mending tear in space-time, light year by light year. This is the epic adventure of one such expedition to extend the boundaries of human civilization thru colonizing the moon of the second planet in the Chara star system. Along the way they face space pirates, internal sabotage, hostile aliens with their own dreams of destiny, and shortsighted politicians.

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Customer Reviews

  , 06/29/2010
Reviewer: David V
The book was intelligent writing. I loved the real science the author used though out. This coupled with human foibles and bureaucratic intrigues provided quite a believable set of characters. The drama leading to the conclusion kept me riveted to the end. Is this the first in a series? I hope so!

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  Manifest Destinies , 12/27/2010
Reviewer: Alexandria M.
This novel explores the complexities faced by humans in their attempt to conquer space travel to planets light years from Earth. The setting is at a time in the future when Earth is overpopulated. By law a couple is not permitted to have more than one child. In addition to the normal human quest to explore the unknown, travel to and settlements on distant planets are encouraged as a means of draining off the excess population. The story follows Admiral Joseph Bradclaw, appointed to captain of a new cutting edge space ship that is able to transport a greater number of prospective colonists than previous ships and to do space jumps in half the time. Joseph's task is to investigate what has happened to the first phase of settlers who seem to have mysteriously disappeared from their planet colony. When he arrives at the distant planet light years from Earth, Joseph comes to realize that the space colonists from Earth and powerful alien life forms from distant worlds had clashed violently when seeking to colonize the same planet. Ironically, the human settlements are being established on the land; the alien settlements are under water. Yet these very different life forms view each other as enemies that cannot co-exist. Unable to communicate, each seeks to exterminate the settlers of the other. Before Joseph arrives, these conflicts have succeeded in decimating the first wave of alien and earth colonists. The science is intriguing as we see how ingeniously humans overcome some of the obstacles to light year travel and how life on earth has evolved. The dangers presented by attempting human colonization of distant planets are compounded by the time lapse in communication and in travel. Humans are assisted by man-made "beings" called Sims and Functionals that perform sophisticated and menial tasks for humans. Sims, apparent sentient beings, interact on a human level as companions and colleagues but are still subservient to humans. Sims have the ability to change shape and take on any form, including human form (and alien form) as well as inanimate forms. Among other things, they serve as surrogate wombs so human mothers need not be inconvenienced by pregnancy: they are extensive repositories of information; and with their ability to absorb and distill new information, they serve as interpreters between humans and aliens. Sims and Functionals are invaluable in space travel; they maintain the space ship and life support while humans are in stasis through light years of travel. Admiral Joseph's Sim, Ms. Cabin, serves a key role in the conflict between the humans and the alien life forms. The interplay of all these different "life" forms (humans, aliens, Sims, Functionals) and the backdrop of the manipulation of space and time through science are fascinating. Noel Bernard deals thoughtfully with themes that resonate with us all and that are particularly relevant in the 21st century.

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