Inspector of the Cross
John B. Rosenman
is in fine shape for someone 3,573 years old. He owes this to suspended
animation on so many freeze spaceships. Traveling solo is a lonely job . . . Not
to mention the loves, family and friends that he's outlived. Yet as Inspector of
the Cross, it's his mission to find the ultimate weapon to save humanity from
the enemy -- the Cenknife aliens bent on controlling the known universe . . . In
in spite of compensations, it's a terribly lonely job.
Will this trip to
the desolate planet, Sircon IV, harbor what Turtan needs, "The Godstone?" His
aged monkey-like host hopes to reassure Turtan that it is a myth, a useless
relic of no merit, revered by religious barbarians from a past long since gone.
Turtan, superb at his long-held job, senses the Overlord is lying. Lucan insists
a visit to the pillar would not be worthwhile for reasons he refuses to expound
upon. The two banter back and forth as Lucan holds his position in the most
polite way, while pointing out that the living alien chair wrapped around Turtan
contains deadly needles controlled by the simple thought waves of the Overlord.
And he'd seemed like such a sweet old man. They finally come to an agreement and
journey to the pillar across desert sands and into a dark cool cave. The
Monolith, 6 meters high, stands before Turtan. His first thought is . . . The
Godstone is alive.
After playing some dangerous mind games, including one
where there is suddenly three of him, each a part of his psyche, Turtan writes
his report to his superiors, stating that the Godstone is not the weapon he's
been searching for -- Lucan had warned him of the Monolith's tendency to
trickery. Now he believes him .
50 years later he awakens from his freeze
sleep just above Planet Zontena, his next assignment. In cosmic time, only 20
light-years from Ohio, where he'd grown up -- but a far cry from the "tall
cuddly birdlike" race who delight in games and cosmetic surgery, armed with no
spaceships at all. Still a weapon has been reported here -- could this be the
"one" which will save the human race? Computer statistics state there is a
strong possibility. And why is a beautiful young inspector named Yori already
here before him? Like an interstellar Sherlock Holmes, Turtan ruminates over
this puzzle -- on a planet that loves games.
Tension grows as Turtan's
ultimate enemy, a Cen named Turois, shows up as well. Unlike the rest of his
race, this alien has feelings. How did that happen? What game is the seemingly
placid Eden-like planet up to, and who will be the winner in a deadly race to
This is an engaging sci-fi story on so many levels.
Things are never what they seem and alien differences, often startling, make the
reader rethink "humanity." Amidst a war thousands of years long, stretched
across endless galaxies, and through black holes, surprises abound from the
strangest of places, while complexity often shows a simple face. Author John B.
Rosenman has again composed a story both exciting and engrossing, as his
plotting unpeels like a ripened onion giving off a plethora of probable
conclusions which can suddenly veer off in different directions. Rife with
subtle subterfuges, he brings both humor and cleverness to this novel which
builds to an unforeseen brilliant climax. This is a book that lovers of this
genre and those new to it will not want to miss. It's just that
Micki Peluso, author of . . . And the Whippoorwill Sang