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Déjà Vu (First Contact) Kindle Edition
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- ASIN : B08MYFFR8G
- Publication date : March 12, 2021
- Language : English
- File size : 662 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 244 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #20,063 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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So, here’s what happens. Or seems to.
It’s 2132. Astrobiologist Jessica Rowe is one of a crew of eight astronauts on the starship Intrepid. It’s the first mission planned for an interstellar journey to Procyon Alpha A in humanity’s initial effort to spread beyond the solar system. They’re two days out from leaving Earth’s orbit. On a spacewalk to explore problems that have cropped up in the ship, Jess is in mid-conversation with her colleagues when the Intrepid suddenly explodes. She and everyone else on the mission dies in an instant.
Then it happens again. And again. And again . . . until Jess wakes up in the far-distant future in a research facility on a moon circling a gas giant called Styx around Procyon Alpha.
But this is a First Contact novel. And there are no aliens in the picture. Or are there?
Did I say weird science fiction? And that’s only the beginning. The story rockets (as it were) from one place and time to another. Eventually, the Apollo 11 Lunar Excursion Module shows up in the picture. And, yes, it plays a significant role in the tale.
About that star system
Much of the action in this weird science fiction novel takes place on a moon circling a gas giant around the star Procyon A in the constellation Canis Minor. It’s located some 11.5 light-years away from us and is thus one of our closest stellar neighbors. It’s an interesting choice. In reality, the Procyon stellar system consists of two stars. Procyon Alpha A, as Cawdron calls it, is a massive, white-hued star almost seven times as bright as our sun, while Procyon B is a much dimmer white dwarf. The two rotate around each other in a distended orbit. To date, so far as I can determine, no exoplanets have been identified in the system. Peter Cawdron imagines the gas planet Styx with its many moons to orbit Procyon A. It appears more likely that any exoplanet that could conceivably harbor life in any form we might recognize would instead appear around the much smaller and less luminous Procyon B. There, anything that moved wouldn’t be burned to a crisp by the intense heat of the star.
A word about the author
Peter Cawdron appends an Afterword to this and, so far as I can tell, every other novel in his First Contact series. There, he often explains the inspirations for the story and relates, sometimes in great detail, the science behind what he’s written. “Déjà Vu is a tribute to H. G. Well’s The Time Machine,” he notes. Wells “wrote about the Eloi and the Morlocks emerging millions of years after our civilization had fallen. Inspired by that, I wanted to write a story that explored the deep future.” But if you think that reference explains the mystery behind the title, think again. As I’ve said, it’s weird science fiction. Because, in this novel’s Afterword, he also discusses NASA’s Moon Shot and humanity’s inability to communicate with other intelligent species on Earth.
It’s the beginning of the 22nd century as we meet Jess, a young astronaut. Jess is busy doing maintenance while floating outside a huge spaceship, orbiting the Earth days before blasting off to a distant star system. Cawdron’s strength is with moment- to-moment details that put you there. Another is his extensive knowledge of what’s going on in astrophysics and where it might lead. Jess is tired and eager to complete her tasks so that she can re-enter and get some decent sleep. Jess’s spacesuit has become uncomfortable. A strand of hair is driving her nuts and she struggles to ignore it as thick padding on her fingertips makes push buttons a challenge.
Like Jazz, the protagonist of Cawdron’s My Sweet Satan, Jess must cope with shifting realty. In Jess’s case, reality shifts again and again. The scene replays, but instead of the Earth, Jess sees another planet, a massive gas giant ringed in ice.
Let's skip to near the end of what is an inventive complicated plot:
It is thousands of years later and Jess finds herself back on Earth. Her welcoming committee is a woman and a cow.
Regardless, everyone knows who Jess is and she’s treated like Beyonce. Why? Jess has been brought back for a purpose. She’s going to the Moon in a spaceship built from plans ala Apollo 11. I’ll leave it there, other than to say that before the denouement, Cawdron gives a detailed account of what the Apollo astronauts overcame, the importance of what they achieved and why people need to know.
I really enjoyed this book and read it in two sittings. The unpredictable plot kept me invested. As to what happens at the end, does Jess complete her mission? I’ll say this: In Galaxy Quest, a film made several years ago, a character’s motto is “Never give up; never surrender!” Some of us never do.
Top reviews from other countries
This really is a one star book but I'm feeling generous today because it is Easter and I'm feeling goodwill to all me despite the Covid.
My suggestion is for readers to avoid this book if they thirst for a properly balanced and structured plot and characters with depth.
The reconstruction of a future Apollo moon shot is worth buying the book for on its own, and that is only part of the story.
A must buy for any SF fan.