About the Book, Learning to Fly Alien Spacecraft
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Publisher: Fay Abernethy (July 3, 2023)
- Language: English
- Paperback : 426 pages
What if the secret alien space station protecting the Earth went PUBLIC?
Hanna Abebe has come far since leaving Ethiopia. All the way to the other end of the galaxy, in fact. And although her course at the Essoona Pilots’ Academy is tough, it’s not as tough as maintaining the ultimate long-distance relationship . . .
Astronaut Dan Simpson is furious. The Galaksi Alliance have exiled him on a remote planet to stop him telling NASA about them before they’re ready. But by the time they come to take him home, Dan has fallen in love with an enigmatic alien and decides to stay. Only then does he discover what a perilous business his new girlfriend is involved in . . .
At last! Captain Joe Llewellyn has permission to initiate first contact via the UN. But if he messes it up, the Galaksi Alliance could cancel the Shantivira’s funding, leaving the Earth defenceless. So, no pressure. All goes well until a rogue Samaritan flies a cargo ship through months of painstaking negotiations . . .
This character-driven eco science fantasy is a must-read for fans of Becky Chambers, Ursula Le Guin, Douglas Adams and Doctor Who.
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About the Author, Fay Abernethy
Fay Abernethy left the UK more than twenty years ago, seeking adventure.
When not diving with sharks or falling off horses, she worked as an engineer in the automotive industry. Later, she started her own translating business and settled down in Germany with the man of her dreams.
Pre-children, they explored the Alps together – on foot in summer and on skis or snowshoes in winter. She now lives the life of a respectable citizen, having discovered that being a parent is the greatest adventure of them all.
Why does she write? To find out what happens next, of course!
Connect with Fay:
I don’t usually jump into a series without having read the first book, but the title of this novel, Learning to Fly Alien Spacecraft, hooked me, so I took a chance. Wow! Am I glad I did! While I read tons of science fiction and fantasy as a teen and young adult, I’ve largely fallen out of the habit (with the exception of Star Trek novels), and this book felt like being welcomed back into the home of speculative fiction. It’s a delightful read, with interesting characters, and plot that wasn’t hard to follow at all.
There are so many characters in this book, that it feels like an ensemble piece, but standouts were Hanna, a human who was sold as a maid when she was very young, Joe, who is the sort of big-brother character anyone would benefit from having, and Kitty, a space-demon (and Joe’s wife) who sometimes takes the form of a jaguar. All the characters, human and other, were well drawn, and author Fay Abernethy really makes the reader feel as if they’re a new resident in the house for humans who are – as the title says – learning to fly spacecraft.
Of course, the novel is more than races through the stars and acquiring flight and combat skills, it’s also a glimpse at a future where several alien cultures have formed an alliance and are working cooperatively to protect each other and each of their world’s resources. I loved the alien culture that Abernethy created, and appreciated how it was inserted organically. Most things aren’t spelled out, but explained through context, and I appreciate that the author trusted her readers to get it
If, like me, you want to read about a near-future that isn’t perfect but is still positive, Learning to Fly Alien Spacecraft is an excellent choice. It’s meaty enough for adult readers, but suitable for tweens and teens as well. While the experience of this story would have been richer had I begun with book one (The Cleaner, the Cat, and the Space Station), book two stands alone as a complete and satisfying story.
Goes well with: a somewhat wonky-looking birthday cake and a cup of coffee.
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