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Alysha Forrest and the crew of the Stardancer arrive in their first full-length adventure!
When a routine mapping expedition uncovers what looks like ruins on the planet Theth-129, the crew of the Stardancer is thrilled to have something more exciting to do than catalogue worlds only a terraformer could love. Their trip to the world’s surface confirms their wildest hopes: their ruins really were made by natives, a find of incredible significance. But there’s more to this world than an obelisk, a set of painted caves, and a mysterious shoreline. When the sea claims one of the ‘Dancer’s senior officers, their investigation reveals that the lost civilization might not be quite so lost after all.
Alysha Forrest and the crew of the Stardancer have no idea that their way of life is on trial. The fate of an entire world is resting on the outcome….
What can I say about Strand? It’s a homage to the first Star Trek’s pattern of high-minded, optimistic adventures in space, with a touch of camp… Alysha even goes around bare-chested for a while, like Captain Kirk with his eternally ripped shirts. It has moments of humor and grief, a quick-moving plot, and makes a great introduction to characters I plan to develop throughout the series. Several people have asked if they need to read any of the previous Alysha Forrest stories to get this one: the answer to that is definitely no! In fact, because at the time of writing I thought Alysha’s Fall would be long out of print, I did with Strand what I did with Transcend and the events of Wingless, summarizing Alysha’s background in the narrative. So whether you’ve read the first few stories or not (or if you even want to—Alysha’s Fall is full of triggery material), you can pick up Strand and enjoy it. (If you do want to go back and read it all, you can either start with Alysha’s Fall if you’re fine with high-trigger stories, or you can start with “Second,” which is a fan favorite.)
Oh, yes, fair warning to my military SF buffs: Fleet is not a real military. Please don’t expect them to be acting like the Navy. (This becomes an important plot point… later! Stay tuned for upcoming adventures!)
So the book’s got aliens. It’s got an all-female cast. (Literally. I think the only male speaking parts are extras, and two of the three are aliens.) It’s got spaceships and first contact and a mystery and mouthy Harat-Shar. It’s in the Pelted universe, so if you’ve run out of Vasiht’h or Reese or Lisinthir, here’s your ticket back in. And it’s got a whale-sized backmatter section, not just with information about the Alliance and Fleet, but with author sketches as well! Go forth and enjoy! And as always, if you like it, tell your friends, leave a review, and pass it on… and thank you! Word of mouth is gold!