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Home > Author > Derek Laurens
 
Derek Laurens

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Member Since: Aug, 2008

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  Derek Laurens           

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Derek Laurens is the penname of Northern California attorney Bryan Smith. The author is making it his mission to bring back Golden Age science-fiction space adventure with a distinctly modern twist.


Background Information

                 AUTHOR'S COMMENTARY

 

     I wrote The Survivors and its prequel Lizard's Lair, both novels primarily out of a teenage fondness for grand science-fiction space adventure.

 

     If you look around at what is available out there today, it is readily obvious that the emphasis is on fantasy rather than traditional science-fiction. While the likes of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings abound, one has to wonder and ask: just what ever happened to the good old science-fiction space adventures in the style of the original Star Trek television series and as written by the grand old masters like Robert A. Heinlein and Poul Anderson?

 

     Whatever happened to the glossy paperback covers of the 1960’s depicting a handsome leading man, the curvy females in tightly fitting space uniforms, spaceships, robots, and ray guns?

 

    When I arranged submission of a press release on The Survivors not long ago to The Sacramento Bee, the release states that, in addition to being a fast page-turning adventure story, “for those interested in a slightly deeper read--with musings on the nature of life and death, love and lust, loyalty, war--all of that is there, too. . .”

 

     I am going out on a limb and predict that this novel will become at least a minor cult favorite of science-fiction fans. I expect that some critics and reviewers will delve into the perceived “weightier implications" of the work. Maybe I had some of that in mind myself.

 

     Still, belay all of that! At least on a first easy read. For those of us who are sci-fi fans and children of the 1960’s, who pine for Star Trek on a Friday night and re-runs of Flash Gordon on a Saturday morning, we just  want something fun to read and harkening back to the early work of say Robert A. Heinlein and of Poul Anderson--but with a modern touch. If you like The Survivors at all on this simple level of fun and entertainment alone, then power to you and that is fine by me.     

 

  Derek Laurens, May 30, 2008 at Sacramento, California

Birth Place
Atlanta, GA USA
Contact Information
Phoenixe Press, LLC
331 Suite 200
Sacramento CA 95814   USA
Contact Author: Derek Laurens
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The Survivors at Createspace.com
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THE SURVIVORS: A Novel
CLASSIC SCIENCE-FICTION SPACE ADVENTURE! A PREMIER SCIENCE-FICTION NOVEL IN THE GRAND TRADITION OF ROBERT A. HEINLEIN AND POUL ANDERSON. THE CREW OF THE SPACE CRUISER 'BEAGLE' ARE STRANDED ON THE DISTANT PLANET OF SIGMA THETA III AND SURROUNDED BY SAVAGE NATIVE HUMANOIDS ... It is the 25th Century. After a routine exploratory mission to a black hole in a distant galaxy, officers of the space cruiser Beagle--under the command of Colonel Kendrick Landry--return to the edge of the Milky Way to explore a planet ravaged by war millennia ago, now inhabited by hostile, savage, mutated descendants of the planet's original inhabitants. When the Beagle re-enters orbit on departure, the craft is shot down by an ancient, mechanized planetary defense network long pre-dating the alien savages. The savage humanoids abduct two women officers--the sexy and exotic Maya Terrazone and the bright but petulant Veronica Winters. Colonel Landry leads a rescue party to find and bring back the two women with the help of "Jones"--Veronica's pet telepathic alien tiger. Landry struggles to believe that each of the two very different women might manage in her own way to stay alive among her captors. Even if the women still live and Landry can rescue them, he wonders if his group can even survive another crossing of the desert--teeming with the savage creatures--to return to the Beagle. More, it will be virtually impossible to make repairs to the Beagle with the creatures skulking around outside. Landry has already lost five flight members to ghastly death at the creatures' hands. The Beagle team has learned that the savage alien species is going extinct because a virus from long-ago biological warfare has killed off all the females. All the surviving creatures are male. It suddenly dawns on Landry: do the problems of his flight crew and the dying alien race have a common solution? Landry poses a challenge to the Beagle genetic scientists: can they create adult females for the creatures and preserve the race? if so, might the added presence of females distract the vicious male creatures and permit the Beagle crew to make repairs and escape? But even if the Beagle crew does regain orbit around the planet, then the ancient, mechanized planetary defense network may fire upon them a second--and likely fatal--final time. Mr. Laurens' new premier novel will evoke much nostalgia for science-fiction fans who were children of the 1960's and avid fans of the original Star Trek television series and voracious readers of science-fiction by grand masters the likes of Robert A. Heinlein and Poul Anderson. Still, the author has breathed ample originality into The Survivors, a rather cutting-edge technological and social science-fiction work which delves into highly relevant contemporary issues confronting modern man including genetic enhancement of human lifespan, creation of new life from existing life via advanced genetic engineering procedures, "cellular regeneration" of damaged human tissues, and changing sexual mores evolving alternative lifestyles including "polyamory" communities. While tastefully written, The Survivors does contain some scenes of rather shocking violence and explicit sexuality. When the novel is optioned for a movie (and it will be), rest assured that the film will carry an "R" rating. FROM AN APRIL 2008 PRESS RELEASE TO THE SACRAMENTO BEE: "The Survivors is a riveting premier science-fiction novel by a promising newcomer to the genre . . . Derek Laurens'. . . prose creates a fast page-turning adventure story that builds from the opening page, reeling you in and holding you unresisting . . . For many readers that will be enough. For those interested in a slightly deeper read--with musings on the nature of life and death, love and lust,loyalty, war--all of that is there, too . . ."

LIZARD'S LAIR: A Novella Prequel to "The Survivors"
In this "prequel" to the highly regarded science-fiction novel, The Survivors, Colonel Kendrick Landry and Major Will Adams return as the crew of the starcraft Aurora travel to Alpha Centauri B-III and learn that the descendants of the crew of The Green Horizon, Earth's first interstellar starcraft, are living in centuries-old enslavement to a lizard-like race. The First Intergalactic Alliance does not permit liberation of the human slaves because the planet is not a member of the Alliance and subject to Alliance law. Alliance law, however, would sanction the Aurora's defense--including even offensive action against the lizard government, permitting its overthrow by human resistance fighters on the planet--but only if the lizard government has first attacked the Aurora. Without knowledge or consent of Colonel Landry, Major Adams devises a scheme to provoke such an attack by the lizard command. The lizards attack the Aurora, in orbit about the planet, with devastating force. Now, the crew of the Aurora will be fortunate to ensure their own survival, let alone assist in liberation of the lizards' human slaves! The events of Lizard's Lair occur one solar year earlier than the central story of The Survivors and sets out in full narrative detail the plot of a story briefly summarized early in The Survivors. For those readers who might not take immediate notice, this dandy novel is not just about lizards! It is a modern satire on government over-reaching and institutionalized slavery. FROM A JULY 2008 PRESS RELEASE TO THE SACRAMENTO BEE: "This novella is an original science fiction thriller and proves that indeed good things can come in small packages."





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