||One Hand Publishing
||Jan 18, 2011
Humanity has spread over several star systems, but the technology used to bridge the void conceals a mystery yet to be solved. While society is directed to the agenda of The Circle, its membership pursues advanced biotechnology to ensure their status far into the future.
Welcome aboard the SANSSOUCI – the decadent flagship of Trenton Star Lines – where a traumatized heiress seeks to uncover her identity, a space-born viking charts the course through the deep, and an inexperienced pilot struggles to safely travel the darkest depths of the human psyche.
Over a decade in the making, this compelling debut novel paints a complex picture of humanity’s future filled with visceral emotions – and where nothing is what it first seems to be.
Barnes & Noble.com
One Hand Publishing
Don't Fear the Reaper
I highly recommend this book. I couldn't put it down!
On one level, this is pure space opera. It's an exciting adventure with a flawed hero who is so very human that I couldn't help but root for him, a heroine I could really identify with, and a truly villainous villain who would surely have been twirling his mustache if he had one. A couple of times at the beginning of the book, I actually found myself hoping the hero would be even more of an arrogant jerk pilot than he already was, just to get the villain's goat. Before long, with the help of his super cool mutant sidekick, our hero is foiling villainous plots.
On another level, it's hard science fiction, and a lot of serious thought has been put into making the world a believable extension of the real world, and the real world's science and social development. The descriptions of how the starship's jump drive works were epiphanous. Many science fiction books present FTL stardrive as requiring a human mind to make it work, usually shown with cyborg implants, but this novel actually presents a theory of how a human mind is necessary to the process, a theory that makes perfect, elegant sense and at the same time is presented in the form of incredible fight scenes on alien worlds that are sure to get your blood pumping. The mutant and biomech cultures both evolved in a way that will please fans of hard sf who might not normally read space opera. This society's political and legal systems were original, well-thought-out, workable, and logical extensions of how democracy might develop in the future. This book is in the hard sf tradition of science fiction written by scientists, the author being an engineer in the space industry.
This book can stand alone as a story, but it's clearly the beginning of a series, in the "ends at a beginning" sort of way. I can't wait to read the next installments of this adventure, and see how this delicious cast of characters gets on.
Editor of Time Yarns
Eleuthera is Science Fiction brimming with fascinating ideas and an exciting story
I wasn't sure what to expect from this novel as I dove into the opening Prologue. Clearly there were big ideas at work here.
And then you turn the page and the story immediately grabs you. Many stories try to immerse you in a distant future Earth and universe, while getting bogged down in the process. I can tell you Ralph Ewig's Eleuthera creates and immerses you in this new future universe very effectively. However, this new world building doesn't detract or slow down the character development, intimate personal relationships, or the exciting science fiction tale that he wants to tell. In no time at all you are following the new pilot named Rascor Griffin as he begins piloting the liner SANSSOUCI. Before you can catch your breath the world of "jSpace" becomes a central focal point of the novel as we begin to learn how it allows humans to travel nearly instantly around the universe.
This is the kind of hard science fiction story that successfully makes you care about its characters and protagonists in a way that fans of Clarke, Vinge, Asimov, Heinlen and other classic science fiction writers should really enjoy.
Rascor gets himself caught up in a complex and deadly plot involving jSpace and the potential for a form of life after death. Intricately woven together, these futuristic and seemingly fantastical plot elements are made quite believable and realistic, allowing the story to move toward its very exciting finale.
Eleuthera is a novel I can unreservedly recommend to readers who enjoy their science fiction loaded with cool, believable, futuristic concepts and an exciting and fun story to read. I highly recommend this novel.
A novel full of interesting notions
Ralph Ewig's Eleuthera is a novel of ideas. Ewig created a universe, as many SF writers have done, to explore human potential and the strangeness of the cosmos. The ideas here are better than the execution, but the trip is still worth your time.
In Ewig's universe, faster than light travel through "jSpace" is possible only with a pilot whose highly trained mind can focus enough to direct a course through the void. One of Ewig's most interesting notions is that humanity has become dependent on a technology that not even its makers really understand. Rascor Griffin, a new pilot on the liner SANSSOUCI, finds that jSpace travel is even stranger than he expected. Pilots' minds normally imagine details to cope with the total emptiness of jSpace, but Rascor seems to be interacting physically with "nonexistent" places. Without intending to, he actually brings other beings back to the ship with him when he "wakes up."
Rascor is also an unknowing pawn in a scheme of the tycoon who owns the space liner. Alexander Trenton's company controls the jSpace technology and is working on an offshoot that will be even more lucrative: the preservation of human consciousness after bodily death. Trenton is ruthless in this pursuit, willing to order his own daughter's death at one point. Can the ragtag group that gathers around Griffin expose Trenton's criminal activities and solve the mystery of jSpace? I won't detail the ending, but suffice to say the book concludes with its heroes about to embark on an even greater adventure.
Eleuthera has its flaws. For one thing, the idea that the SANSSOUCI's captain would allow a being who should not even be on the ship to work on its computer system isn't believable. Also, the time period is fuzzy: some elements are definitely further from 2011 than others.
Ewig is an aerospace engineer, and his technology is always interesting. If you want to know what it might be like to stow away on an Earth-to-orbit elevator, or live in a small room that seems big because the computer can entirely reshape it, there's a lot of fun to be had here.So take the good ship SANSSOUCI for a spin. There are bumps in the ride, but you'll visit enough interesting places that you won't regret buying a ticket.
- Matt Bille
Author, The First Space Race
Want to review or comment on this
Click here to login!
Need a FREE Reader Membership?
Click here for your Membership!