The Fleet of Stars

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

The solar system is guided by a network of machines capable of higher thought processes. Intelligent beings of the Terran and Lunarian variety live contented lives without conflict or economic distress. Sentient beings of all types are provided with every opportunity to live and thrive without the need to struggle against obstacles of any variety.

This sheltered existence is enough for those persons of Terran descent. They are content to have every creature comfort provided for them by an army of machines who do everything important. As for the Lunarians, most, save a few scattered settlements on Mars, have long since left the Lunar settlements they created for a separate existence on the planet of Proserpina. A few, however, joined the legendary Anson Guthrie on a long and dangerous voyage to Alpha Centauri.

Anson Guthrie and his colleagues represented that rebellious element within the solar system. Males and females unwilling to live safely ensconced within the bosom of a machine, no matter how benign. Unfortunately for those willing to trust artificial intelligence, the desire to rock the boat is a random mutation which cannot be controlled or predicted. Ex-policeman Fenn is just such a person, and his courageous journey to recover his human soul is the focus of THE FLEET OF STARS. A journey which brings him heartbreak, enlightenment, and ultimately the prospect of salvation—albeit in an unexpected manner.

It is not uncommon for the works of a series to stand alone as independent literary creations. THE FLEET OF STARS is not in that category. Absent a thorough grounding in HARVEST OF STARS (1993) and THE STARS ARE ALSO FIRE (1994), the value of this work will not be fully appreciated.