I just finished reading Osguards: Homecoming, written by distinguished BSFS member Malcolm Dylan Petteway. Osguards has all the elements that has always attracted me to science fiction, specifically, that subcategory of the genre called Space Opera. Enormous space ships equipped with planet-smashing arsenols, far flung interstellar civilizations, evil empires, super advanced technology, and weapons of such lethality Earth's most powerful weapons systems would come across as slingshots in comparison.
Malcolm takes these elements and creates an epic story that spans across space and time. Nausona and Laurona are princesses who flee their planet, Chakun, after it is overrun by the expansionist Kulusks. The sisters discover what they think is refuge on an obsure, barbaric world called Earth. But the part of Earth they find themselves in is no safe haven for the African-appearing girls. Nausona and Laurona have the misfortune of being in the southern region of a pre Civil War United States. Though they are afforded a measure of protection in the company of a kindly widow, the girls are still brutalized and threatened by a neighboring slaveowning family.
Nausona's and Laurona's hardbitten determination to survive and return to their home lays the groundwork for the role their descendants will play as leaders of a mulitgalaxy alliance.
Osguards: Homecoming is a compelling drama in addition to being a fast paced adventure. The characters are written with depth and feeling. There is a lot of internal perspective along with a healthy dose of political intrigue. I have one word to sum up the climatic space battle: spectacular! With Osguards: Homecoming, Malcolm has created a winner. Thankfully this book is the first in a series.
Keep 'em coming, Malcolm!!!!