Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Shadows in Flight

Three kids are in a spaceship with their dad. They find an alien spaceship. The "domesticated animals" on the ship have gone wild and most of the aliens have died. The humans make peace, eliminate the wild animals and settle on the nearby planet with the aliens. The dad dies.

Pretty simple, eh?

Things get more interesting. The kids are 6 year-old super-geniuses. Dad is a super genius himself, who will die from gigantism in his 20s. The alien race had attempted to take over the earth. The humans, in turn, had wiped out nearly the entire alien race. Dad had participated in the war hundreds of earth years ago. They have been traveling at relativistic speed for a few years as earth has aged significantly. They are trying to find a cure for their gigantism, while still preserving their super intelligence.

Did I mention this fits in with Card's famous Ender series?

This is a shorter novel that is fast-paced and psychological. We see the "formics" as being subservient and gunning. The "queens" can choose to produce workers or drones. The workers seem to have no mind of their own and to follow the queen blindly. (This was the message that they first gave the humans.) However, they do have independence. However, the queens have altered their cellular structure to cause them to die if they dare try to separate from the queen (or even offer a differing opinion.)

The children are stuck in an awkward position. Mentally, they have intelligence that exceeds that of most adults. However, they are still physically and emotionally children. They may even "know" of proper emotional response to situations, but doing it can still be a challenge.

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