Publisher: Ninestar Press
Publishing Date: February 2017
Publishers Description: Neek makes a living piloting the dilapidated tramp transport, Mercy’s Pledge, and smuggling questionable goods across systems blessed with peace and prosperity. She gets by—but only just. In her dreams, she is still haunted by thoughts of Ardulum, the traveling planet that, long ago, visited her homeworld. The Ardulans brought with them agriculture, art, interstellar technology…and then disappeared without a trace, leaving Neek’s people to worship them as gods.
Review: I am glad I did not pass this up based on the LGBTQMNOPQRSTUV designation that prostrates itself before the holy secularized schism and anyone who happens to be paying attention between bites of ground and seasoned tofu masquerading as meatable products.
Gender-less pronouns are funny in that they prescribe an affinity to nothing while masquerading as deeply entrenched identity. In this case it works, as the aliens become more viable as a believable instance and not some parody of humanity. The problem with Ardulum is the aliens are never carried to that next “instance” of alien-ess and interact with established humanistic idiomatic traits. There is some attempt at stilted alien dialogue and base physicality to make the aliens seem more alien, but is never adequately pulled off to render the depth needed for visceral SciFi.
I still enjoyed the story line and the characters as they traipsed across the vacuum in light space operatic fashion.