A Problem in Translation

Rated 4.00/5 based on 1 reviews
What is humanity to do when faced by aliens that make decisions that seem completely illogical? If Captain Takahashi and the crew of the Astrid fail to find the right answers, the result could mean the end of humanity. Despite Takahashi's efforts, the powerful Lemec block his actions at every turn. How can he save humanity, and do the Lemec even care if humanity is saved? More

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About J Alan Erwine

J Erwine was born Oct. 15, 1969 in Akron, Ohio. Early in his life he was exposed to science, and specifically astronomy. From there on, J’s passion turned to science fiction, a passion that’s never died.

Due to family issues, J eventually found himself in Denver, Colorado, where he still lives (well, right outside now.)

From the time he could put subject and predicate together on paper, J has been writing stories. None of those early stories exist anymore (thankfully), but that passion for writing has never waned.

After several years of rejection, the story Trek for Life was eventually sold to ProMart Writing Lab editor James Baker. It wasn’t Asimov’s, but it was a start. Since that time J has sold more than forty short stories to various small press publishers. In addition ProMart also published a short story collection of J’s entitled Lowering One’s Self Before Fate, and other stories, which is still available. ProMart also published a novel from J entitled The Opium of the People, which sold a few copies before going out of print.

The relevance of the novel after the events of September 11th caused J to self-publish the novel, as he felt the story had a lot to say in the new reality we now find ourselves living in. Now, this same book has been re-released by Nomadic Delirium Press.

Eventually J would become an editor with ProMart. Then, after the untimely death of ProMart editor James Baker, J would move on to ProMart’s successor Sam’s Dot Publishing. He currently works as the managing editor for Nomadic Delirium Press. J also spends most of his time working as a freelance writer and editor.

J’s novel was voted a top ten finisher in the 2003 annual Preditors & Editors contest, and his short story The Galton Principle won a ProMart contest for best story over 5,000 words. In addition, a number of his stories have been voted “best of” in various issue of The Martian Wave and The Fifth DI… and have been included in Wondrous Web Worlds Vols. 2, 3, 4, and 6.

In 2009, the Ephemeris Role Playing Game was released. J is the co-creator of this game, and has written numerous supplements for the game. J currently has three novels and four short story collections available, and yes, they're all available from Smashwords.

J currently lives with his amazing wife, three wonderful children, three crazy cats and a very quiet turtle.

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Review by: Byron Paul on Feb. 20, 2014 :
typical space-opera first contact story. Erwine enjoys linquistics, and presents here connumdrums in translation. The humans have automatic translators, that in theory are still working correctly, but struggling with alien languagues that are vague, without structure, and possibly pronounless.

The humans come across a few alien species, with two focused heavily on, the Lemec and Kulnar. The Lemec appear to be "running" the universe to an extent, but not in the same sense humans have created empires on Earth. The ship's captain and crew making first contact struggle to understand the Lemec, their intentions, and the views of the Lemec held by other species.. possibly the Lemec are to be greatly feared. The Kulnar are difficult to converse with as well, but easier, and serve as translators between humans and the Lemec. The Kulnar seem willing to help humans to a point, and seem loyal to the Lemec to a point.. again, the intentions of the species the humans come across are almost undefinable due to translation issues.

In the end the human government and the ship making first contact find themselves in quite the confusing situation on the brink of war and peace.
(reviewed 2 years after purchase)
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