The Grandfather Paradox.
The captain of this ship is blindsided when he returns from a mission to find his crew has decided to rid themselves of him. Andu Nehrengel is the captain of this spaceship in a faraway and remote place in outer space. Without any warning or rhyme or reason that order him to surrender, come back as their prisoner or force him off his own ship and place him in a small runabout which has provisions and power for five days. But, although he is alone, needs to plan his strategy needless to say that he survives and crashes on an alien planet. The science lessons begin when he meets Chandra and he survives attacks by huge meat eating alien bird beasts and then finds himself alone with three beautiful how lucky can he get female human clones. The four are now stuck on this planet. However he is alone and marooned in the present but will wind up in the past in order to survive in the future.
The author shares his plight with readers as the planet is infested with bird beasts, huge parrot looking carnivores and even more a pelican that has a giant scooped beak. Vipers snake like creatures and more just staying alive will require more than plain survival skills. The descriptions of the bird beasts were quite graphic and the fact that he survived and made it to some kind of safety remarkable. But, creating shelter and a fire was interesting to learn how resourceful he is but someone was definitely after him and the calm before the storm was about to explode. Finding himself on this strange planet he is blindsided by three human clones Prime Alpha, Prime One, Prime Second. Finding himself in a precarious position in what looks like a hospital room, Andu has to find a way to let these three know that he is not out to harm them. Stranded with these three female clones he needs to find a way to deal with his mission and put an end to what readers will learn is a genetic curse or defect he has. Time travel might be the only way. Where will they wind up first you won’t believe where the author takes us back in time? Time travel takes him and the three clones back to the time of the Civil War.
Chapter 15 talks about Einstein and you hear the voice of Brigham Young on a recording that explains the paradox, time travel as Andu listens attentively and is extremely taken with what he learns and hears. The entire idea of time travel has been depicted logically as to what implications might arise from any changes to known chronology, and a good overview of the literature and debates on the “grandparent paradox” can be found in Chapter 15 and the chapter titled Paradox. Added in we get to understand time travel and so does Prime Alpha as Andu fixes his spaceship and explains what he plans to do in order to go back in time and see his grandmother Carina, whose diary, plays an important part in enlightening him to his past. As Margaret/AKA Prime Alpha and Andu hopefully get what they need from Brigham Smith in order to rid himself of the gene that might kill him. Going to earth they shoot for 1861 but wind up in 1862 meeting Samuel Clemens and the interplay and dialogue is amazing as we learn about this riverboat pilot, join him and many others in five card poker and learn about the Confederate Army, the war and we even get to know more about the advances back then as Clemens through Andu/AKA Henry in the past learns about some of ours from the future. Hearing Samuel Clemens tell him about Hannibal where he came from, being a riverboat pilot and meeting many of the people allows readers to get to know this great author in many different lights. Telling him that they are the survivors of a Mormon ship related to Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and then hoping to find a new home for the church. Remembering that the three clones leaped experienced time travel in order to find the gene that will correct the deadly virus that Andu has been inflicted with hoping to erase it from himself. The science and research that went into this book is extensive and for those that want to learn more about time travel, paradoxes, astronomy and even physics this novel is perfect. In the second half of the book that we are now deeply into Andu/AKA Henry Morgan fosters a true friendship with Samuel Clemens and we learn about the author first hand from his experiences along with meeting Pamela Moffett his sister and how she helped Margaret/AKA Prime Alpha overcome a sickness. Taking readers to 1862 and the battle of Shiloh where he searches for his ancestor and with the untainted genetics he desperately needs. Andu’s great-granduncle was Byron Matthewson who plays an integral part in finding out about his past and the gene. But, how he and Clemens become involved in the Civil War and how it ends will keep readers wanting more and trying to figure out the final outcome for the time travelers.
The primary focus of this novel is to determine whether he can alter time in order to create the outcome he wants. Will they survive? From the 25th century and back to where the technology is so advanced to where there are no phones, computers or any real means of communication other than the telegraph and the pony express this is one novel that will make you wonder as Andu is familiar with other planets, galaxies and can pilot a spaceship. Let’s not forget Red who placed him in this position but also helped him decide his way.
The journey continues with Samuel Clemens and man named Orion that accompanied him for most of the trip and the fact that Andu was still hoping to find the cure for the bad gene. But, things change as Margaret and Samuel Clemens go in one direction and Andu and Orion in another. But, she finally is left on her own and winds up with child living with a coldhearted couple and finding little solace anywhere. Hoping that Samuel will help her out he discounts her all together as Orion does when she wants to travel alone. Using a disguise she hopes that she can fool anyone thinking she is lone woman traveling to another place. All the while Andu is now in another time period in the year 1901 meeting Young and hopefully Byron in order to get the gene he needs to live a longer life. Then we hear Andu telling us about how to travel through linear space in the ordinary fashion. He and Prime Alpha have no choice but to chart a narrow and complex course through each and every star system and gravity well that lies between our present positions where they were at the time. Added in we go back just a little further before the other two sisters met a fatal death and we asked the question as they did: How can Margaret be sitting here today, telling you her adventure if her mother was never born, how could she ever have been born? Imagine her using her time machine to travel back sixty years to visit her grandfather when he was courting Margaret’s grandmother. Margaret as is related in Chapter 20 where we learn more about the paradox and how Margaret convinces her grandfather of her true identity by revealing something only he would know but never told anyone at this age. Next we revert back to 1862 and we recap that Andu fought in this war as John Lawrence and felt his life on the field of carnage near a cannon. Andu realized that this is war and the author includes battles with General Sherman, General Grant and how Mrs. Wallace felt something within her to go to her husband’s battlefield and the outcome you have to read as the war comes right in front of the reader as if you are experiencing it at the same time. The ending will try and tie it all together as we learn the final fate of Prime Alpha, Andu and Byron? So, how can someone survive in the present if they died in the past? The ending will definitely surprise readers and make you wonder if Andu gets back into the 25th century if his journey’s to the past and even the future are over or if he will once again along with some others try his hand time travel and employing THE GRANDFATHER PARADOX to get there! Characters right out of history books and new ones that might make their way into some, author Steven Burgauer really keeps readers thinking and wondering what would happen if I could join Andu on his next trip back in time? Insightful, thought provoking and mind stimulating!
Fran Lewis: just reviews/MJ magazine