I feel grumpy today. The reason is lack of sleep. Yesterday evening, I started to read Terra Nova by Tom Williams, and next thing, it was the small hours.
The plot is intriguing and thought-provoking. When you have finished the book, you will find that serious philosophical questions are addressed in a format that at first seems to be a mixture of space opera and a medieval quest. The adventure gets you in, so that the important questions are presented without a boring lecture.
Humanity has expanded into the Galaxy, and along the way, met a mysterious Enemy. An effective truce has reigned for a long time, but, as the book starts, Lieutenant Mikael Svensson suddenly finds his reconnaisance ship under attack. He visits the human worlds one after the other, and to his despair discovers that they have been cruelly destroyed. He has seen them all, except for the newest, Terra Nova. He is on the way there, when he is attacked once more, and his ship is damaged. After this, he is unable to achieve faster than light travel.
He has nothing to live for, and is an immense distance from Terra Nova. He puts himself in suspended animation. Two thousand years later, he awakes at Terra Nova, which is still under siege from the Enemy. The planet's Central Computer creates a hole for his ship, and he crash-lands into the sea.
Here is the start of the medieval adventure. The people of Terra Nova have regressed to an Iron Age culture. A warrior with mysterious connections and two young lads escort Mikael towards the King's court. A lovely maiden joins them, and the small group needs to surmount determined enemies and harrowing adventures. Mikael and the boys need to reach what to the locals is the Oracle of the Godess and to Mikael the site of the planet's Central Computer. Otherwise, all people on Terra Nova will die a terrible death at the hands of the Enemy. And they are the last remaining humans in the universe. Clearly, this is a book aimed at young adults. Well, I am a young adult aged 57, and I enjoyed it.
Tom Williams is the author of Terra Nova, an epic SF electronic novel published by Awe-struck E-books. He lives in Perth, Western Australia with his wife, Monique, and that's all he has told me about himself.
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