Friday 7 October 2022

The History of the Earth-9 Colony - Manuel Alfonseca

The History of the Earth-9 Colony
Manuel Alfonseca
ISBN 9781512206739
eISBN 1230000258295

This is the twelfth time I have read a book by Manuel Alfonseca. I have had this one for a few years now, but had not got around to reading it. The month I read it, it was the book for the month for the Goodreads Catholic Book Club. I am very thankful we read it as a group. For this is an excellent offering from Alfonseca’s masterful pen. I found two different descriptions of this book online, the first:

“A science-fiction revision of the Adam-Eve theme and its consequences, in the field of space exploration and encounters with extraterrestrial intelligences.”

And the second:

“The colonization of the galaxy has started. A newly discovered planet appears optimal for human life. Unfortunately, the planet is not uninhabited. At least one, possibly two extraterrestrial intelligences, appear to populate it. What should the Earth colonists do? Will they be able to form a partnership and live together with the aliens or will they try to exterminate them? Then, suddenly, the aliens hide themselves completely. Colonization proceeds, This novel is a science-fictional revision of the Biblical theme of Adam and Eve and its consequences.”

Once I started reading I could hardly put it down. And I often thought of other books that have had a great influence on me over the years. The three volumes it reminded me of most are:

Solaris - Stanisław Lem
The Space Trilogy – C.S. Lewis
Ishmael Trilogy – Daniel Quinn

At the conclusion of this story I am desperate for more stories set in this world. I immediately thought of C.S. Lewis's Ransom being summoned to another plant again, or later fighting darkness at home.

And also of Quinn's My Ishmael or more so The Story of B where it is the disciple carrying the message. I want to know what happens with the message next. How does it spread, does in spread to this whole world? Or even beyond? I also felt the miraculous healing was odd. I do not see how it fits the rest of the narrative, and the creation story, exodus story, and crucifixion story that this tale is based upon. 

This was a fascinating story. I was hooked from beginning to end. As mentioned I could hardly put the book down. Manual’s writing in this story is excellent. And even though I felt echos of other stories the way he has handled the material and the themes and consequences he presents are very well written. Alfonseca does his own translation work in this and other stories. For me there is a feel of Jose Saramango and Gabriel García Márquez in his works. And in this one even a hint of Tomás Carrasquilla based on the collection of stories I have been working through. 

This is an excellent science fiction story and I can easily recommend it.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2022 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Manuel Alfonseca in English:
Jacob's Ladder
The Ruby of the Ganges
The Last Dinosaur
Ennia in Faerie
The Heirloom of King Scorpion
Beyond the Black Hole
The Water of Life

Earth-9 Colony Series:

Solar System Series:

The Sleuths of the Spanish Transition Series:
Quetzalcoatl's Zahir

The Mystery of the Haunted House
The Mystery of the Sapphire Bracelet
The Mystery of the Honeymoon
The Mystery of the Egyptian Vulture Country House

Chronicles of the Magic Jigsaw Puzzle Series:
The Journey of Tivo the Dauntless
The Mystery of the Black Lake
The Silver Swan
The Secret of the Ice Field
The Lost Continent

The Chronicles of the Aeolian Family Series:

Human Cultures & Evolution
World Population: Past, Present, & Future
The Fifth Level of Evolution

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