Human by Choice
Travis S Taylor and Darrell Bain
Twilight Times, Aug 2009, $16.95
Due to a combat injury, Intel officer Kyle Leverson retired from the Army. Now a widower, he moved to a remote place in the Ozarks. When he hears a loud crash outside his home, he goes to investigate. In the middle of his garden, lies astonishingly an injured ET.
Apparently the alien was hurt during a crash landing when the life pod transporting him burned up during atmospheric entry. Although hesitant, Kyle takes the wounded space traveler into his home where he tries to nurture the alien. The visitor from another planet has no chance of going home. She hopes with Kyle’s mentoring and her technology to be assimilated in the Arkansas culture as a human female, Jeri. However, as she adapts, enemies want her technology and have come to the Ozarks to abduct Jeri. Kyle refuses to allow any harm come to his beloved Human by Choice.
This is a super science fiction romance starring a wonderful hero and an intrepid alien who is the ultimate assimilated person. The story line is faster than the vessel Jeri flew in as the action never slows down yet the two key players the human and the alien are fully developed. Although the American government is too altruistic as the corpocracy would want the technology as much as the foreign interests crave it as economic espionage between allies is the norm, fans will appreciate this fine thriller. Harriet Klausner
Burnout: The Mystery of Space Shuttle STS-281
Twilight Times, $19.95
Upon reentry with seven aboard Space Shuttle STS-281 suddenly explodes into a deadly inferno. All on board are dead. An official investigation leads to a quick assertion of human error mostly by the crew.
Having known the pilot Jet Jackson who was his friend since their Air Force days, “Crash” Murphy has a difficult time accepting the official position. He begins to investigate the disaster, which leads him to Australian astronomer Dr. Michael Anders, who is also probing the Burnout. They team up and soon begin to find anomalies with the official denouement. They begin to find evidence of alien intervention, which leads them to Area 51. With the help of conspiracy buff operatives watching the locale 24/7, the pair sneaks inside seeking the truth, but neither is prepared for what they find.
This is an interesting science fiction mystery with an intriguing twist that leaves the portal open for sequels. The story line is faster than the shuttle although adjustment to the zillion NASA acronyms (thankfully a glossary helps) takes a bit of time; but once done acceleration throughout. Crash and Mike are courageous heroes, but what they learn and not learn will stun both of them and the readers. Burnout is an exciting thriller that will have fans soaring with Stephanie Osborn as the flight commander.
Twilight Times, $18.95
Gaea the earth goddess fears mankind has gone too far in destroying the planet. The sea, land and air are toxic. The forests are barren. Animals and fish have no home and those who still survive are hunted or fished for play. Earth has become a wasteland for the avarice humans.
Gaea decides the time has come to teach mankind a lesson to force humanity to change its wicked ways. However Gaea’s partner, Quant the seraph worries she may go too far; besides his “employer” The God of All created Mankind with the hope that humanity will find their own but just way. Other gods from places like Mt. Olympus agree with Gaea that time has run out so they try to bring a scare to the shaken sons and daughters of Adam.
This is an intriguing vivid allegorical fantasy as mankind is being judged by the Gods. Ironically the cul de sacs that detract from the prime plot are fascinating in of themselves as the audience will be spellbound with a tour of the design laboratory where species for new planets are created as well as other locales like the Court of the Serpent and of course Mt. Olympus and Hades. Although too many engaging detours happen in this entertaining tale, fans will appreciate this fine look at Judgment Day. Whereas Gaea and her allies find humanity guilty of planetary destruction, the God Of All prays whether divine intervention either with a miracle or the apocalypse is a fair judgment on his part when his beloved favorite was bestowed with free will, which includes potentially species suicide.