Friday 21 June 2024

Contact: Angeles - Caroline Furlong

Contact: Angeles
ISBN 9798377579854

Contact: Angeles - Caroline Furlong

I have been aware of the work by Caroline Furlong for a few years now, but had not got around to reading any of them. I have the three Planetary Anthologies she contributed to, but have not got around to reading them. Her works have been mentioned by a number of authors I love and respect. So this is my first foray into her works and worlds. And what a story it is. I could hardly put this book down. It is an excellent read.

The description of this volume states:

“While removing a prototype sensor from the prow of her new Alliance battleship, the Ausa, Captain Elizabeth Goodwin and her crew encounter a setback when one of the engineers sent to remove and stow the device is injured in an accident. Before the other engineer can help the man, the two are surrounded by amoeboid creatures which seem immune to the effects of vacuum.

Thought to be hallucinations experienced by early spacers who had been alone in deep space too long, these creatures – known as “angel fish” – startle the crew by their sudden appearance. Despite her misgivings, Goodwin allows three of the aliens to be taken aboard for study. But less than an hour after the aliens have been brought on the ship, one of Goodwin’s men is killed and another is seriously wounded.

Her search for both the murderer and the escaped “angels” soon leads to a disturbing revelation. Eventually, Goodwin must decide which threat is greater: an old enemy of the Alliance, or the fabled “angels” encountered by the first explorers from Terra.”

I have a dual form of dyslexia and did not learn to read until later than most of my peers. I spend my summer between grades 7 and 8 in a private summer school and I went from reading at a grade three level to reading at a university level, and from reading about 30 words per minute to reading over 600 words per minute. This story took me back to the stories I loved when I was first reading. At the time I devoured books by James Blish, Edgar Rice Burrows, Piers Anthony, Steven Brust, Harry Harrison, Roger Zelazny and Herbert and others. This story took me back to those first books I could read on my own. 

This was a fascinating tale. A story of space, family, and alien encounters. It is the story of someone willing to risk it all and betray all they know for a big pay out. The characters are wonderfully written. The plot moves at a great pace. And the encounter is life changing for the Captain and her crew. 

This story feels like it could be an early story in the Star Trek TOS timeline, or a side story from Babylon 5. It is well written. It is entertaining, and very addictive. I can only hope that Furlong expands out from here and give us other stories set in this universe. Stories about the earlier war mentioned in this story, and stories of this Captain and crew. And as soon as I finished it I picked  the other three published books and a few of the magazines Furlong has contributed to.

This is a wonderful novella that I can easily recommend. It is a great story in a classic Science Fiction style. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2024 Catholic Reading Plan

Books by Caroline Furlong:
Knights of the Mutant Table

The Rise of the Discarded Series:

The Guardian Cycle Series:
In Dreams and Other Stories
American Mage and Other Stories

Contributed to:
Postcards From Mars Postcard Stories Book 1
Luna: Planetary Anthology
Uranus: Planetary Anthology
Sol: Planetary Anthology
The Best of the Planetary Anthology Series
Organic Ink: Volume 2

Magazines contributed to:
StoryHack Action & Adventure, Issue Seven

Cirsova Magazine of Thrilling Adventure and Daring Suspense: 
Summer Special 2019
Issue 4 Summer 2020
Issue 7 Summer 2021

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