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Polly Steward book Legacy of Aldebaran
  • Categories:Gender, Book
  • Adult Content, Body Swap, Action, Sci-Fi, Available at fivedollarbooks.com

Description

Spoilers Included! A group of ordinary men and women aboard a jet airliner are struck by an eerie beam of light from the depths of space. When the plane lands (three thousand miles away from where it's supposed to come down and two days later), only this small group is found aboard, meaning more than a hundred other people are missing. All of the survivors suffer complete amnesia in connection with the strange event, and it's only a full year later that they all discover that they've been changed, enhanced in various ways (strength, ESP, psychokinesis, prophecy, control of heat and cold through molecular manipulation, and psychometry). The mysterious beam was sent by another sentient species of life on a planet in the Aldebaran system, and it was an effort to prepare the human race for an assault by a confederation of worlds conquering all the planets that it encounters. Before these people can do anything constructive, they are captured by a sort of alien policeman and sent to another planet thousands of light years away. On this world (sort of like Farmer's "Riverworld"), humans never age, never suffer from disease, and can swiftly recover from any non-fatal injury or wound. They're kept in a pre-industrial state by the Overseers, however, and their lives are used as entertainment for the species who control most of the galaxy. Once on this world, the unfortunate people are punished in mean-spirited ways (the only black captive is placed on a continent that still practices slavery, for instance). The tallest, strongest man, who most resisted capture is "Thad Shannon", a former amateur boxer and current sports photojournalist. His punishment is to be physically transformed into the genetic duplicate of beautiful seventeen year old girl while retaining his own mind and memory. He's then dropped amid a tribe of brutal Hell's Angels-like hunters who own their many wives and treat them like property (since humans do not reproduce on this planet, the women's specialness is greatly reduced and they're valuable only for their looks). Shannon is mortified, of course, but being so much smaller and weaker physically now, he is unable to effectively oppose any of the huge male warriors (none of that ridiculous "swordswoman" feminist blather). Shannon resists his new status with all of his might, but is slowly beaten down and forced to accept a new life role. The novel is very long but never boring. It's filled with action and humor and wonderful characterization. The stories of all of the captives are told in depth, and there are plenty of characters you'll never forget, such as "Gwillo" (G. William Olander), a six year old super-genius with a two year old body and the mind of a hormone -driven teenager, and "Simon Viroqua", an average-looking seventeen year old boy who just happens to be the greatest unarmed fighter on the entire world (based on real author Steve Vance [THE HYDE EFFECT, THE ABYSS, SHAPES, WALPURGIS NIGHT, who used to be a boxer). Thad's predicament is only one of the plotlines, but it's extremely well done and thorough. The agonies he must endure in the male-dominated tribe and his small triumphs are beautifully realized. LEGACY OF ALDEBARAN is available for a five dollar download at FIVE DOLLAR E-BOOKS (fivedollarbooks.com), and it's worth every cent. I can't recommend this novel highly enough. Polly Steward is the real name of "Dale Watters", the teenaged girl who wrote "The Wild Y" for Brutarian Magazine. Check out both the novel and the story. You won't be disappointed.

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originally posted by Catoose on 2002-06-24, no edits, entryid=4307