Michael Gilmore, Captain of the HMSS Ark Royal is part of the Earth delegation invited by alien race to develop their planet. Passengers are an ill-tempered prince and an inscrutable quadruped alien. His First Officer is on the brink of mutiny, the ship’s AI seems to have turned renegade, and the neighboring vessel harbors a genocidal maniac....
|Number of Pages||:||459 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Ark Reviews
I felt that this book was a pretty easy read as far as science fiction goes it's pretty simple stuff. I feel that yes it was a good book and owning a copy is even better but the way i see the book is that I have seen all of this sort of stuff before. Though what I really like about it is the fact that the alien race is in about the same age as humans which really doesn't make it boring. I really like how Jeapes starts the book with "the alarm sounded when the cluster of M-type asteroids was two miles ahead" it starts you right in the action and gives you a look at the sort of technology we have developed in this time. I also like how he puts Gilmore's idea about the king by saying "This man, is not in the least bit mad" showing that he always felt the stories had a bit of a truth to them but remained skeptical about them. Overall, it is a great read and I feel that the author really tied up leaving it with a nice hanging ending to set up another book.
One surprise piles atop another, so each feels smaller, loses significance. Gilmore is hero, saves day more than once. Manhattan 2149. "The First Breed" short four-legged aliens who hang box translators from their necks are secretly nicknamed 'Rusties' for their flaking red-brown 'skin'. In 2148, they asked Earthlings to join them, spaceships of delegates, to settle a planet, free from the mistakes both have made ravishing the resources of their original worlds. Whoever wins their 'Convocation' Competition will rule the planet. (view spoiler)[ Earth assumes Rustie planet is new colony, really their original home planet. "Your preconception did the talking" p 223.(hide spoiler)]Captain Michael Gilmore is given command of the Ark Royal for his knack to "take a bad situation and make it work .. flexible" p 48 by King Richard Windsor "thickset .. in his early sixties" p 37, ruler over "biggest ship yet built" p 46, "a kingdom of 7437 subjects. Of course everyone thinks I'm mad" p 40 but does "know exactly what you're doing" p 40. (view spoiler)[ King Richard lies to Gilmore and arms Ark. All the other human ships have 'hidden' arms; Arm Wild tells Gilmore Rusties knew all along.(hide spoiler)]King Richard assigns heir James, Prince of Wales "my son is an excellent negotiator" p 49 as diplomat. With "best quality AIs on board .. funds left for six crew" to be chosen in a fortnight already include Gilmore, "Hannah Dereshev .. first officer" requires husband "Samad Loonat as chief engineer" p 49. I thought the crew would have more effect on plot; they didn't. (view spoiler)[ Surprisingly, no big deal even when King and crewman Adrian killed.(hide spoiler)]Krishnamurthy is the villain. He leads a suspicious group from India who for five hours torture 'rescued' occupant of downed alien flyer to death, for possible real purposes of the invitation. (view spoiler)[ Krishnamurthy takes over with soldiers in a coup. Rusties don't interfere until Gilmore shoots a nuclear weapon too close. Happy part of ending when his ignored subordinate suddenly shoots him down without warning.(hide spoiler)]Rusties are hermaphrodites who don't care whether called he, she, or it, confusing that they are often called it. Arm Wild is the Rustie aboard Ark. I thought their ability to communicate without humans hearing would have more impact, but there is no big effect. Scenes with Julia, music that aliens cannot comprehend and offer to try, "the human mind may be just what is required" p 117 have no purpose, go nowhere. To move "step-through" space, Rusties have found small tubules they expand, and expect humans to follow the invention eventually. (view spoiler)[ Richard surprises everyone by expanding a tubule and 'dropping in', making UK-1 the best at the Rustie Competition.(hide spoiler)]When Martian Peter Kirton is faced with turning off snarky AI Plantagenet, emotion is almost deeper than during a big ship battle. Names from India, and names from all ships gathered to fight, were too many, too confusing for me. A small difference, whether the King is called Majesty or Highness, proves vital, as in life-or-death. (view spoiler)[ A India spy, air-conditioning AI, overhears and kills King instead of Prince. (hide spoiler)] What should be a big reveal, who is behind the Competition, doesn't really go anywhere. (view spoiler)[ Rusties obey five dying cruel Ones Who Command, that want them to now be subject to the human race. Gilmore convinces Arm Wild otherwise. Kind of triumphant, Gilmore wins, yet confusing.(hide spoiler)]
This is title which for me has some small personal history. I saw it in paperback about ten years ago. I read the first chapter or so and thought it was interesting. Unfortunately since I was an impoverished student at the time, I didn't buy it. Which since I didn't see it again I sort of regretted. So when I came across it for the Kindle I had to buy it and finally see if ten years on it lived up to the memory. The short answer is YES. First off this is pretty hard science fiction. There are no shields, or transporters and inertial compensator is a funny name for seat belts. The story opens a short time after humanity is contacted by an alien race calling itself First Breed. They wish to share with humanity a colony world and the nations of Earth are being invited to make tender to join this colony. During the course of the story there really is everything, political intrigue, misdirection and probably a very accurate take on space combat. The writer has pulled off the trick of making aliens actually 'alien' not merely the written equivalent of Star Treks bumpy headed aliens of the week. It isn't too say it is perfect. The story mentions Earth and you are left with a sense that it is a pretty Balkanised place, it would have better I think if the writer had worked in a bit of background. Particularly in the case of the UK1. But this is a minor point. In short this is an disregarded classic.
OK, I'll own up and admit my rating is partly induced by a good helping of nostalgia: this is the book that not only convinced me there was more to science fiction in general, and Space Opera in particular, than Star Trek/Star Wars, but also that printed science fiction was out there. In the same way that cannabis serves as a gateway drug, this was my Gateway Book to Space Opera in all its many and various forms.As for the book itself, what makes it interesting is that not only is a first contact situation with one of the most, well, alien races I've seen in fiction, it also shows the beginning of human interstellar travel. We see the contrast between the realistic human vessels - centrifugal "gravty" have to make carefully calculated acceleration burns,etc- and the fantastic alien ships. And we see the best and worst of humanity, as well as how our idiosyncratic tendencies may appear to outsiders.All in all, a thorough recommendation from me.
For the longest time in High-School, this book sat in the back of my English teachers classroom, on a bookcase filled with books she thought that might appeal to her students. I do not think she had read all of them. On one occasion I had glanced at it with a critical eye, and deemed it beneath my reading level. I'm glad for second glances, for if I hadn't, I'd have missed out on a unique book not likely to be matched by many others.Jeapes provides a scenario not often found in science fiction; seeing through an aliens eyes. Some might say that this happens in other works, but I must maintain that this book explores the idea of alien aspects, be it their society, or their physique, or their POV... Logically,and yet uniquely.This book isn't like star wars, nor like Star Trek, nor like starship troopers. It is unique, it fits it's own genre. And I think it deserves a bit more notice...
Finally, finally, the one library in my library system to own this book delivered it. Was it worth the wait? I thought it was pretty good—although the author had a tendency to come up with human equivalents willy-nilly. Apart from wishing that Jeapes had discussed the ramifications of artificial intelligence a little bit more, I enjoyed the book and will read the next in the series.
http://nhw.livejournal.com/282609.html[return][return]Various factions of humans dealing with aliens. All good fun, if the hero is a little too admirable to be true.