Parasites: The Kon-Tiki Quartet: Part Two by Eric Brown and Keith Brooke

Back in February, I analyzed’Dislocations’, the initial volume in a quartet of novellas collectively written by British SF writers Eric Brown and Keith Brooke. I have now caught up with the next quantity,’Parasites’.
The narrative is set one hundred decades later on because the Kon-Tiki spacecraft that was launched by the conclusion of’Dislocations’ arrives at its destination, a Earth-like exoplanet fifty eight years distant, halfway inside the binary star system 19 Draconis. The clones of all Earth’s leading engineers and scientists that were chosen to direct humanity’s first interstellar colonisation assignment are woken from hibernation. But when they land in the world they have called Newhaven, it is to some jolt: the world is already occupied!
Far from coming face to face with small green guys, nevertheless, the Kon-Tiki’s team are greeted by folks they left behind on Earth a century before. Their confusion is solved when they’re advised that Earth’s technology progressed so quickly as soon as they left a bigger, quicker ship was started twelve years following theirs, coming on Earth over a decade ahead of them , on arrival, the boat 3D-printed its settlers out of information stored onboard!

As in’Dislocations’, the narrative is told from the view of three of those experts particularly. Kat Manning is among those Kon-Tiki’s team, a clone recently awakened following a century of hibernation. She’s satisfied by the 3D-printed variations of two guys she understood well in the home. Travis Denholme was a small exo-biologist who had been a fantastic buddy, although Daniel DeVries was a loud-mouthed extrovert who functioned inside her group of psychologists but always appeared to believe he deserved her occupation. It immediately becomes evident that events on Earth following the Kon-Tiki left attracted Kat’s first into a closer contact with the two men’s originals, together with life-changing effects that every one of those clones will finally have to attempt and come to terms with.

As well as the primary characters’ psychological challenges, the newly-arrived team are now confronted with a significant issue. They along with the five million colonists they’ve brought together were hoping to repay on a pristine world. Rather, they appear to be surplus to requirements, linking an established colony whose comprehension of this world they are on and the abilities necessary to repay it are much better in every way compared to theirs. Are they able to discover a legitimate role for themselves?
Much like the last volume, the cover artwork by Ben Baldwin is amazing, perfectly capturing the disquieting nature of the nearly familiar yet strangely distinct ecology of this Earth-like exoplanet Newhaven.
The name of this novella,’Parasites’, originally seems to be a reference solely on the biological connection between a couple of the alien species being analyzed by Travis. But, Brown and Brooke also have made the subject of parasitic behavior permeate the narrative metaphorically, as a possible interesting method of reading a number of their individual relationships within the recently enlarged colony.

As from the former novella, the subject of communicating is explored here with intriguing results. Within this novel, the scenario is much more complicated because although most of the people on Newhaven are clones, their departure times from Earth and the sum they have aged since are distinct. Kat and the Kon-Tiki team are physically exactly the exact same age they had been a century before when they put away from Earth, and their memories ceased at the point.

The 3D-printed colonists set away from Earth twelve years following them and came over a decade prior to them, therefore they’re almost a quarter of a century elderly, physically, compared to the originals which Kat was comfortable with. Additionally, a lot happened on Earth in the twelve years following the Kon-Tiki abandoned, not one of that Kat has some knowledge of. This causes a whole lot of problems for Kat, Travis and Daniel, which Brown and Brooke exploit to excellent effect.
There was just one part of this human story which I found less persuasive. We’re advised that Kat is one of the leading psychologists of her era. That is why she was chosen for the initial interstellar exploration assignment. Given that, it is slightly surprising how idiotic she’s at a vital stage in the book, when she immediately agrees to perform something implied by a man whose motives and behavior are obviously suspect. This did not ring true to me.

Even though the focus is chiefly about the individual personalities, the ecology of the alien planet is explored in some detail, also. I adored the marmoset-like animals along with the whale-sized slugs called geosaurs, whose initially parasitic, although today much more hierarchical, relationship Travis is analyzing. They include a level of detail into the alien environment that gives it a solid air of credibility.
Given that’Parasites’ is advised at novella-length, Eric Brown and Keith Brooke have managed to pack an awful lot of story to it. It is a sequel to’Dislocations’, enlarging the narrative world of the very first publication in exciting new directions. I am excited about seeing where they take things in Part Three,’Insights’.