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   Outer Domain, by Terence Thomas  
  Novel, first publication in October 2008
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    Buy Outer Domain by Terence Thomas
       Additional Information  
      As a science fiction reader, I noticed a crop of books that are just a tad shy on science. I appreciate knowing that the writer has some knowledge of science, otherwise I’ll pick up a Harlequin romance novel. As a researcher (I am listed in the Marquis Who’s Who in Science and Engineering), and My Book “Sound Synthesis”, TAB BOOKS Inc. is a text in several US universities and two in Europe. I realize that novels are essentially character and story driven, but science adds a special element to the mix. Humor, also conspicuously missing from most science fiction, makes this story more engaging and reader friendly. The year is 2078 and Captain Felix Jenner is the commanding officer of the starship USS Mobius, a class D scientific research ship, operating as a deep space probe. A new source of light has appeared at the outer rim of our system and the Mobius has been selected for a mission to investigate the phenomenon. Nineteen of the finest science officers from the Academy were chosen for the mission including the best science officer in the fleet, Niles A. Barstow For the first few months everything went well but strange things began to happen on board. Multiple false hull breach alarms were triggered with no evidence of internal pressure loss. Add to this a variety of instrument malfunctions and you have the ingredients for panic. The crew however is working at efficiency greater than anyone has the right to expect. Even captain Jenner manages to masterfully maneuver the ship through an unexpected asteroid field. As they approach the light source they see a giant cloud, A cloud which officer Barstow points out, could not maintain its billowy state in the vacuum of space. They soon find out that the cloud is an amorphous powder. As they explore the cloud a derelict alien ship appears. Captain Jenner and Science Officer Barstow decided to take a shuttle to the alien vessel and find the bodies of large dead creatures. They return to the Mobius with one of the creatures for scientific examination. Soon it is determined that this alien is a warrior, complete with quantum weapons and is not really dead. Captain Jenner and Science Officer Barstow put on their pressure suits and lure the alien into an air lock and manage to jettison the strong and angry alien. The captain decides to start looking for other ships when Barstow suggests that the cloud would be a perfect hiding place for a warship. A panic reaction put everyone on a monitor to look for any sign of an alien ship. As soon as one was spotted the captain fires the engines and the Mobius moves into the cloud. They could not fight a warship so a plan is designed to escape. A probe with explosives was put together to provide a visual distraction while they exited the other side of the cloud. The medical research staff informs the captain that the cloud of powder was actually a life form that is symbiotic and beneficial to humans. Because some major DNA changes were observed though, tons of powder that they had in their collection tanks, have to be dumped. Captain Jenner’s vision of bringing back the most important medical substance ever, was destroyed. In his journal he expresses his disappointment that the mission did not accomplish all he had hoped. He also expressed concern about their getaway. He wondered if they had made a clean getaway for if they had not, there would be a day.

      Related theme(s)  
  • Space Ships - Spacecraft

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