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With humanity spread throughout the universe and the government seeking a reliable means of faster-than-light communication, a telepathic man offers to enlist an unusual alien species to help.
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Ashwell's second novel, like her first, Unwillingly to Earth, turns on telepathy, aliens and deep-space exploration. Five loosely related stories comprise the narrative, which details the adventures of Richard "Ricky" Jordan and his family and friends. In "Big Sword," which leads off, Ricky is a young boy brought to a distant planet by his father, who is in charge of the Second Lambdan Exploratory Expedition. On Earth, Ricky was criticized as a snoop and an eavesdropper, but on Lambda it becomes apparent that he is a telepath-a useful trait since the planet's resident aliens, which are rarely bigger than large grasshoppers, are telepaths as well. The other four stories follow Ricky as he helps save the Lambdans from extinction (they are having major problems with their reproductive cycle); grows up; helps police detective Sebastian Karel solve high-tech mysteries on Earth; and creates a new division, with far-reaching ramifications, in the Space Force. Each segment is entertaining but, together, they read more like loosely connected short stories than a proper novel, with no binding thread other than Ricky, and with very little in the way of character development.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Ashwell's second novel, a conventionally plotted yet masterfully executed space-faring adventure involving first contact and telepathy, carries on the legacy of such hard-sf traditionalists as Heinlein and Asimov. Its five closely connected episodes follow the career of Richard Jordan, a particularly adept mind reader whose first true inkling of his powers comes as a teenager on the planet Lambda, where he establishes intimate psychic contact with a race of grasshopper-like aliens. As the Earth-based Space Force continues colonizing new worlds, aided by its faster-than-light, mass-time projectors, Jordan becomes the force's director for recruiting fellow telepaths to establish instantaneous interstellar communication. When a previously unknown flaw in mass-time projection causes an entire planet to disappear, Jordan returns to Lambda to seek old friends' help in bringing the planet back. Ashwell deftly spans a quarter-century of man's future in space and fills it with compelling action, well-drawn characters, and an intriguingly different conception of extraterrestrial anthropology. Carl Hays
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Book Description Tor Books, 1997. Paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0812551672
Book Description Tor Books, 1997. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0812551672