Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

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Monday, February 24, 2014

The Contact: Episode One

The Contact: Episode One, Albert Sartison, Amazon Digital Services, Inc., 2014

(Kindle Book Review)
This novella starts the story of Mankind's first contact with an alien civilization.

In the 22nd Century, Mankind has started to spread out throughout the solar system. He has also started to fiddle with Mercury's orbit through remote manipulation. Steve is a graduate student in astrophysics at an unnamed university. One day, the computer tracking system tells him of an unknown object coming this way from outside the solar system. Figuring that it's just a comet or meteor, Steve tells the system to keep an eye on it. Within 24 hours, the object has come from outside the solar system, used the planet Saturn as a brake, and put itself into orbit around Jupiter. That requires an insane amount of speed, many times faster than the fastest human ships.

Steve calls in Clive, a fellow grad student, to confirm his findings. Steve knows that Clive will find any holes in his theory. Clive is convinced, and the two call in Dr. Shelby, dean of the university. He is convinced that the object is not a comet or meteor, and convenes an international conference of eminent scientists. The public reason for the conference is to discuss future experiments to manipulate Mercury's orbit. When everyone is behind closed doors, Shelby reveals the real reason for the conference.

There is much discussion around the question "What do we do now?" Using electronic pulses, does Mankind say "Greetings?" Does Mankind send scientific constants or numbers that will not change, like pi (3.1416)? Will the visitor even respond at all?

Think of this as part of a larger novel, and it works really well. It's well written, and it feels scientifically accurate. It stops at the right spot, when Mankind sends its first message to the alien visitor.

(The Kindle Book Review received a free copy of this book in exchange for an independent, fair and honest review. We are not associated with the author or Amazon.)

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