Beyond the Veil of Stars

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Cornell Novak’s childhood was anything but ordinary. His father, Nathan, spent his life chasing UFOs and examining mysterious black glass disks that were turning up in fields all over the world. Cornell even believed that his mother was abducted by aliens, so when the sky changed and the stars disappeared one night, he believed it meant the aliens were ready to communicate with Earth—and that his mother would soon return.

Cornell’s father became a minor celebrity in the neighborhood while the phenomena was new. The world was ready to accept the idea of aliens, and Nathan Novak’s profession suddenly seemed respectable. Unfortunately, no aliens appeared. Every year, the world held its collective breath on the anniversary of the change, and each year was a disappointment. Nathan Novak kept up his work, while Cornell became more and more disillusioned. Father and son drifted apart.

When Cornell answered an ad looking for volunteers to test new drugs, he spent several days being tested, and then was offered a job working. The agency found a portal to other worlds, and Cornell gets his chance to not only meet aliens, but to become an alien on its home world. Befriended by a woman volunteer named Porsche, he learns more about the aliens than he bargained for.

Robert Reed has created an interesting future, with characters that are as real as the people next door. Science fiction fans are sure to enjoy exploring this future world.