Far Horizon – Patty Jansen

This is another work from Authonomy.  I previously reviewed Seeing Red by the same author, and need to offer a correction to that review.  Apparently what I took for punctuation errors are just differences in accepted norms between the US and Australia/UK (Ms Jansen is Australian). I have a pet peeve about punctuation, and the differences are hard for me to get used to, but that is my problem not hers.  (I have had the same issue with a few other works on the site.  There are a lot of British and <COF, pay attention here, I know how you love our brethren down under> Australian authors on there.)

Far Horizon is set in the same universe as Seeing Red and features the same main character, Cory, but I should probably have read it first as Cory is only 10 in this book.  We find him moving to a human run space station with his father and new stepmother, who is an alien.

Cory doesn’t fit in right from the start.  He has always been taught that aliens are much like humans but with different customs, and that it is important to try to understand them and build a relationship.  However, when he arrives at the Midway Space Station, he finds that a lot of humans don’t agree with him.  In fact, on Midway virtually none of the humans are accepting of aliens, and there is a lot of prejudice against them.  Cory’s stepmother isn’t even allowed out of their quarters because she ‘might’ be carrying some exotic alien disease, but no one notifies the doctor on the station that she needs to be examined.  Alien children aren’t allowed to go to school.  The alien dignitary is shut out of most of station life.  It is your basic xenophobic culture.

Cory’s father is the new station director, and is very much opposed to the xenophobic nonsense.  And there is an upcoming annual conference between Nations of Earth officials, who want continued interaction with the aliens, and alien officials, representatives of the Union that governs most alien worlds and has advanced technology humans could use.  Cory accidentally stumbles on a plot by a terrorist group opposed to any contact between humans and aliens, but no one believes him.

To tell any more would start giving away the story I think.

I enjoyed Far Horizon, although it seems to be children/young adult scifi, where Seeing Red was definitely geared for adults (it had cursing and sex and more violence).  It gave an interesting perspective to the character development in Seeing Red, although I still think Cory (who is a very intelligent person) should have responded to the crisis in Seeing Red a lot faster…but that is a different book.  If you want a quick read, entertaining but not too heavy, Far Horizon is a good choice.

Btw – Ms Jansen has completed Seeing Red, and I plan to reread it in its complete form and rereview it, as soon as she finishes put it all up on Authonomy.



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