Sunday, August 30, 2015
Space Operae!: A Tale of Three Planets - by Michael R. Collings - A short science fiction novel with a bonus twist on a werewolf tale
Michael R. Collings writes novels, short fiction, poetry, reviews, critical essays, and scholarly studies of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. His novels include The Slab, The House Beyond the Hill, and Static! He has twice been a finalist for the Horror Writers Association Bram Stoker Award®.
A short time ago, Michael reached out to me with a request to read his new book and provide a review. I took a chance. Sometimes you discover a real gem when in these circumstances. Unfortunately, this was not one of those times.
Conceptually strong, Space Operae! A Tale of Three Planets, "...is about aliens...alien nations, alien worlds, alien Gods. It is, in the most fundamental way, of the Aliens, by the Aliens, and for the Aliens."
The crux of the the story is the terraforming and seeding of alien worlds by the Koleic. The author goes to great lengths to establish his non-humanoid characters and the framework of their command structure aboard their God-ships. Basically it's a numeric system with numbers closer to one being higher up on the food chain, with higher numbers becoming more and more dispensable There's even a scene where a group of nines were all wearing red sashes. Get it?
When one God-ship returns to a previously seeded world and finds nothing, things start to get interesting, later a God-ship encounters a Great Old One. A bit of a Lovecraftian twist.
I'm not saying Space Operae! A Tale of Three Planets is without it's merits, it just wasn't something worth getting excited about. The bonus story, "Wer" Means "Man", was even less enjoyable. Again the idea of a twist on the age old werewolf story was interesting, but it never seemed to get off the ground for me.
Space Operae! A Tale of Three Planets is self-published and available now in both paperback and ebook formats. The good news is, if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, you can read this book at no additional charge and if you are an Amazon Prime member, you can read it for FREE as your monthly selection in the Kindle Owners Lending Library.
I can't really recommend Space Operae! A Tale of Three Planets, however as is always the case in these situations your mileage may vary.