Author: A. C. Crispin
Genre: science fiction
Publisher: Ridan Publishing
Point of Sale: Amazon
Read by: Chris Gerrib
One of the nice things about POD and its kissing cousin, ebook publishing, is that it allows authors to bring their backlist out to a new audience. Those of us that don't hang out at used bookstores get to read "new to us" authors while the author gets some money off of an old book. One of those finds comes to me from a friend of the blog, Ann Crispin, half of the team at the invaluable blog Writer Beware. The book is her debut novel, Starbridge.
Starbridge is a novel of first contact, as told primarily through the eyes of Mahree Burroughs, a young colonist returning to Earth on the merchant vessel Desiree, which is captained by her uncle. It's also a bit of a romance, as Mahree develops a crush on the ship's doctor. Finally, it's a real page-turner of a book.
One of the problems with creating aliens in science fiction is the tendency to create humans wearing latex masks. Crispin's aliens definitely aren't wearing masks, nor does she fall into the other trap of a homogeneous species. Crispin also addresses something often glossed over in science fiction, the difficulty of communicating with an alien species. They don't all speak English and read Shakespeare, you know!
Since it wouldn't be a story if everything went smoothly, it doesn't. There is some violence, as threatened in the back-cover blurb, but personal, and not of the blow-stuff-up-real-good variety. Overall, I found Starbridge a highly readable introduction to an author I hadn't read before.