It’s easy to see why this novel has been so popular with science fiction fans. In First Encounter, the prequel to a series titled Occupied Earth, author Jasper Scott has done a brilliant job of building suspense in a classic SF setting. While the book won’t win any literary awards (at least not those awarded by critics), it’s a moving tale I found engaging until the very end, where Scott delivers the last in a series of big surprises following a hostile First Contact.
A new world teeming with life
Captain Clayton (Clay) Cross of the starship Forerunner One has come out of cryostasis seventy-eight years after leaving Earth. His is one of three ships sent in search of a suitable site for human colonies on Earth-like planets surrounding nearby stars. It’s 2150, and Forerunner One has arrived at the fifth planet in orbit around the red dwarf star Trappist-1. A thousand colonists remain in stasis while Clay and a handful of others head to the planet’s surface to investigate. Included are both two scientists and the Ambassador from the United Nations of Earth as well as three military officers. What they find on Trappist-1E is a world teeming with life — and a challenge that sends them hurrying back toward Earth after a hostile First Contact with an advanced alien species. They arrive in 2237, with the scene set for the series that follows. After a series of chilling adventures, of course!
First Encounter by Jasper T. Scott (2019) 366 pages @@@@ (4 out of 5)
About the author
Jasper T. Scott has written more than twenty sci-fi novels and has reportedly sold more than a million copies of them. Biographical details about him are hard to find. According to his two-paragraph bio on Amazon, “He was born and raised in Canada by South African parents [and] he now lives in an exotic locale with his wife, their two kids, and two chihuahuas.”
For further reading
This is one of 15 First Contact novels I’ve reviewed.
For more good reading, check out:
- The ultimate guide to the all-time best science fiction novels;
- Great sci-fi novels reviewed: my top 10 (plus 90 runners-up); and
- The top 10 dystopian novels reviewed here (plus dozens of others).
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