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Set in the year 3040, Right Ascension is the story of a future in which mankind is striving towards galactic dominance. But when a sleek, seemingly invincible alien vessel appears over Earth, mankind's status in the galaxy, and indeed its very future, is suddenly in peril. Admiral David Atgard and the crew of the Apocalypse embark upon a mission to find these enigmatic aliens, but the focus of their mission abruptly changes from a quest for answers to the exacting of revenge. Meanwhile, a belligerent species of reptilian warriors, seeking to avenge a previous defeat at the hands of the human-controlled United Confederation of Planets, takes this opportunity to plan an all-out assault on Earth. Faced with overwhelming odds and the knowledge of humanity's most horrifying secret, David must choose between honor... and humanity's very survival.
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Every so often comes along an author who threatens to redefine the boundaries of Science Fiction. David Derrico is such an author. His debut offering, Right Ascension, goes beyond the standard realms of the futuristic space epic, subtly tackling the issues of human morality, honor and loyalty where many authors would fear to tread.
Derrico has clearly given much thought to the setting for his story, describing in vivid detail the technology and social environment against which Right Ascension is set. Without overwhelming us with technical detail, he draws a brilliant picture of the technology that could shape mankind's future, describing futuristic weaponry and space-faring vessels in both a realistic and highly inventive manner of which Greg Bear would be proud.
Unusually for a debut author, Derrico has a remarkable talent for characterization, and in presenting his core characters with a series of awkward situations and dilemmas, he adeptly manages to challenge our definitions of right and wrong. Right Ascension is an utterly thought-provoking novel rich with vividly drawn characters, electrifying action sequences and plenty of food for thought. Derrico paints a darkly atmospheric future that, unlike many such futures depicted in popular science fiction, is actually quite believable. And the believability of Derrico's future is accentuated by his subtle exploration of the parallels between the thirty-first century and the twenty-first.
With this stunning debut, Derrico proves himself a worthy successor to the likes of such giants as Heinlein and Asimov.From the Inside Flap:
The dim light radiated by the candles flickered imperceptibly, casting dancing shadows along the earth-toned walls of the room. Tapestries of both human and alien origin adorned the walls, and a collection of artwork assembled from throughout the known galaxy decorated the small chamber. The glowing sculpture given to David by the Arcadian Chancellor rested in the center of a long, low table in front of the couch. Exotic statuettes, hanging ornaments, and musical instruments all contributed to the room’s decor. Though it usually gave him much pleasure, the room gave the Admiral little solace now.
Even the seat his wife sat in was a work of art -- created by an Arcadian sculptor thousands of years ago. His wife, too, seemed to be a part of that sculpture, her graceful lines blending with the subtle contours of the chair. His eyes followed her elegant form, tracing the flowing patterns of her robe up to the supple lines of her neck and into the recesses of her dark eyes as they burned back into his.
"I think you should go," he finally blurted out. "It’s too dangerous for you to stay here, Tara."
"What do you mean?" she asked him, stiffening up at the unexpected request. "Where do you think I should go? To stay with my parents on the mainland? Would I be safer-"
"No, not on the mainland," he replied, looking down into the dark fibers of the carpet. "I mean somewhere else... maybe just to Mars or the moons of Saturn for a little while... or maybe to the Cygnus System..."
"The Cygnus System?" she repeated incredulously. "My God, David, why would you want me to go there? Earth has to be better protected than Cygnus Prime... this has to be the safest place in the sector."
"That’s what they said about Korgia Prime," he snapped uncharacteristically.
The soft lines of Tara’s face deepened noticeably. "What is it, David? What is it you know? The Confederation reports claim everything is under-"
"Under control? No reason to panic? Of course that’s what they’re saying...." He paused and took a deep breath. "But the truth is there is damned good reason to panic, Tara. Damned good reason indeed."
"David," she said seriously, leaning towards him. "I’ve never heard you talk like this before. Not when there were daily attacks on Earth in the old days... not even when the Korgians were massing for their assault.... What in the hell is going on out there, David?"
"I wish I knew," he lamented helplessly. "I wish I knew."
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Book Description Bookbooters.com, 2003. Paperback. Condition: Used: Good. Seller Inventory # SONG1592810454