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Damocles by S. G. Redling
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Damocles

by S. G. Redling

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884197,602 (3.9)9
  1. 00
    Second Star by Dana Stabenow (imyril)
    imyril: Second Star is a traditional first contact novel whereas Damocles twists the concept, but both touch on the intricacies of trying to communicate without common ground and have good strong female lead characters (and a generally gender-neutral society).
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The crew of Damocles has given up life on Earth in order to explore other planets seeded with human DNA. A one-way expedition, they are not expected to return. When they find the planet Didet, they are forced to land due to problems with their space ship. Meg, the team's linguist, meets Loul Pell, who had previously written papers on how to survive invasion. This book had a very interesting premise. It was fun to read about the interactions among the species, particularly the discoveries they quickly made about one another. It did feel slow at times, mainly because of the language barrier. I would love to read a sequel. Overall, well worth picking up. ( )
  JanaRose1 | Jun 25, 2015 |
I thoroughly enjoyed this twist on first contact. The crew of the Damocles are hurtling through space in search of the origins of humanity; the novel is merely a single episode on what is set to be a longer journey (which may or may not be explored in other novels). Brought out of cryosleep after the ship's drones identify a planet with potential for intelligent life, the crew find themselves rushing to the surface when the ship's engines malfunction. Aware there is a advanced - and human - life, but ignorant of quite what to expect, they must navigate the intricacies of first contact with these far-distant cousins without the benefits of any common ground. This is a very simple, very focused novel, which I found very charming. ( )
  imyril | Mar 17, 2014 |
I’m sure I would not enjoy the experience of space exploration in a search for intelligent life, but I love the armchair travel experience of reading about it and this book is exceptionally well thought out and engrossing. When the people of Earth find evidence that human DNA may have been scattered far and wide throughout the universe, a handful of Earthlings undertake a journey through deep space hoping to make contact with humanoids who may be distant relatives. After a long time traveling in a suspended state the crew lands on the distant planet of Diodet, not without problems of course, and makes contact.

The Earth human narrator Meg is a linguist--not an engineer, pilot, or biologist--and since it’s her job to learn the language of the strange but still human resembling people they encounter readers have a front row seat for the excitement of first contact. Sharing narration duties with Meg is Loul, a young Dideto male who is called on by his government to advise them on the unfolding situation, even though his report on the possibility of space travel had caused him to be shunted away to a menial job years ago. It’s just as fascinating seeing Earth humans through his eyes as it is learning about the language, physical biology, and culture of the Dideto people with Meg.

Amazing as it is to find other humans, it’s not all smooth sailing. Crew tensions, Dideto politics, and the quirks and superstitions of deep space travel complicate and then threaten what is already a difficult, dangerous venture with the Earthlings (or Urfers as the Dideto call them) far away from their homes and loved ones in both space and time. To me this is science fiction at its best--expansive, thought provoking, and steeped in “what if’s” inspired by science, but also strong on characterization as it explores the possibilities of human connection. ( )
  Jaylia3 | Apr 16, 2013 |
One novel I had read a long time ago "Contact" by Carl Sagan set the standard for me for books from this genre. Of course in that book as well as many others that have followed almost always have us Earthlings making contact on our own planet. This is the first time I have come across a book in which the Earthlings make the first contact and the planet they land on has not ever space traveled.

This was a wonderful novel that kept me engrossed the entire way and in fact, I wish it were an even longer book so I could see what happens to everyone. The characters are complex and the author takes pains in proving that though the Dideotans are similar to us, yet in their own subtle ways they are vastly different. We get a good description of the natives but it still boggled my mind, so I never really had a clear picture of them. I did get a feeling that they were more like us than I thought but even though they had a lot of technology, they were still a few rungs below us on the physical evolutionary ladder. It is not until the last couple of chapters that I did have my suspicions confirmed.

The book did get a bit bogged down in the complexity of what these two `sides' had to do just to start to communicate and the lack of communication did get a little frustrating for the reader. However, if the author had simplified it in any way I think that the purity of the story would have been compromised and it would not have been such a thought provoking novel.

I think if you give this book a chance, it will grab you and not let you go until the very last page. ( )
  Cats57 | Apr 6, 2013 |
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When Earth is rocked by evidence that extraterrestrials may have seeded human DNA throughout the universe, a one-way expedition into deep space is mounted to uncover the truth. What linguist Meg Dupris and her crewmates aboard the Earth ship Damocles discover on Didet - a planet bathed in the near-eternal daylight of seven suns - is a humanoid race with a different language, a different look, and a surprisingly similar society. But here, it's the "Earthers" who are the extraterrestrial invaders, and it's up to Meg - a woman haunted by tragedy and obsessed with the power of communication - to find the key to establishing trust between the natives and the newcomers. In Loul Pell, a young Dideto male thrust into the forefront of the historic event, Meg finds an unexpected kindred spirit, and undertakes an extraordinary journey of discovery, friendship, and life-altering knowledge.Told from both sides of a monumental encounter, Damocles is a compelling novel about man's first contact with an extraterrestrial race.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 161109965X, Paperback)

When Earth is rocked by evidence that extraterrestrials may have seeded human DNA throughout the universe, a one-way expedition into deep space is mounted to uncover the truth. What linguist Meg Dupris and her crewmates aboard the Earth ship Damocles discover on Didet—a planet bathed in the near-eternal daylight of seven suns—is a humanoid race with a different language, a different look, and a surprisingly similar society.

But here, it’s the “Earthers” who are the extraterrestrial invaders, and it’s up to Meg—a woman haunted by tragedy and obsessed with the power of communication—to find the key to establishing trust between the natives and the newcomers. In Loul Pell, a young Dideto male thrust into the forefront of the historic event, Meg finds an unexpected kindred spirit, and undertakes an extraordinary journey of discovery, friendship, and life-altering knowledge.

Told from both sides of a monumental encounter, Damocles is a compelling novel about man’s first contact with an extraterrestrial race.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:54 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Loul Pell is a middle-class, midlevel government functionary, stranded in a dead-end job and resigned to the loss of his ambitious dreams. Meg Dupris is a traveler from a distant galaxy, haunted by tragedy and committed to a lifelong journey of discovery. Literally worlds apart, they are two unexpectedly kindred spirits, whose chance meeting will be the first step toward life-changing history: contact with an extraterrestrial race.Dispatched from Earth after being thrown into chaos by the prospect of human life nurtured on distant planets by an ancient alien race, Meg and her fellow explorers aboard the spaceship Damocles have found {8212} in the far-flung planet Didet and the strange civilization that has developed under its seven suns {8212} the proof that will forever alter humankind{8217}s role in the cosmos. But the efforts of both Earthers and the Dideto to forge a peaceful, productive bond may be doomed by two very human traits: mistrust and superstition.… (more)

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