Starship Mine by Peter Cawdron, 115 pages, March 12th, 2016, Genre: Science Fiction/First Contact. Warning: May Contain Spoilers.
by Leigh Holland
Starship Mine is the story of a human being making first contact with an alien civilization. It’s also the story of a gay couple living in the Bible Belt, raising two foster kids. Casey and James love each other, even though they’re temperamentally quite different. Their kids, Angela and Robbie, are also well-loved and return that love. In fact, one of their greatest fears is that someone will come along and take their children away from them.
One Friday evening, most of the inhabitants of Earth share the same dream. It’s a dream about a blue gaseous planet surrounded by rings, much like the rings of Saturn. At first, James is baffled by what people are talking about. He doesn’t believe it to be true. Instead, he tries to find a rational explanation for the phenomenon. While at the church awaiting the kids to finish rehearsing for a performance, James has the dream while awake. To the others, it appears he has a seizure. In his own perception, he has floated in a distant galaxy, viewing a blue planet with rings. After he recovers, James is checked out by a paramedic and released to go home, so long as he doesn’t drive. The Reverend agrees to drive them home. Once home, James and Casey watch the news, trying to learn more about these strange events. James’ consciousness is transported far away to the distant galaxy of the strange aliens and their blue planet. James is given the chance to remain with the aliens or to remain with his family. James makes the only choice he believes will lead to his fulfillment.
If you ask, “Would you like to have the opportunity to meet an alien if such a civilization existed?”, most people excitedly respond they would. It’s the adventure of a lifetime, meeting an alien, seeing a new planet! And yet, here on this lovely green and blue planet Earth, many people are shackled to certain perceptions of ‘normal’ that too often cause us to disrespect those who are different from us. If we can’t become comfortable and accepting of those who are different from us, how can we hope to ever peacefully interact with an alien civilization?
I enjoyed reading Starship Mine. This book can be read in roughly an hour, making it an ideal lunchtime companion. While I won’t give away the ending, I wish that the book had been longer and the story had continued further along. It presented the adventure of first contact through a unique lens. This won’t appeal to science fiction fans who are looking for a fully immersive alien experience, such as “Dune”. I’d recommend this to science-fiction fans who enjoy stories that allow the reader to see humanity in a new way.
You can find this book at Amazon at Starship Mine.