Kethani

Kethani

3.3 3
by Eric Brown
     
 

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It takes an alien race to show us our humanity

When a mysterious alien race known as the Kéthani make contact with the people of Earth they bring with them the dubious gift of eternal life. These enigmatic aliens will change the course of the human race forever but also touch people’s lives on a personal level, not least in a small town in the

Overview

It takes an alien race to show us our humanity

When a mysterious alien race known as the Kéthani make contact with the people of Earth they bring with them the dubious gift of eternal life. These enigmatic aliens will change the course of the human race forever but also touch people’s lives on a personal level, not least in a small town in the English countryside. But do the Kéthani have a hidden agenda and will the human race choose to evolve or turn in on itself in the face of this momentous revelation?

Kéthani is a superbly crafted novel that examines the consequences of first contact with an alien race, and the choices faced by those whose lives are touched by these visitors from the stars. This is moving and powerful science fiction.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Pleasant but evasive, this episodic novel posits a future where the alien Kéthani give humanity a sort of immortality. Upon their deaths, people with Kéthani implants are resurrected on the aliens' home world with improved bodies and minds and given the choice of returning home or spreading the Kéthani gospel throughout the galaxy. As religions and governments struggle to adjust, Brown (Helix ) focuses on the experiences of neighbors and friends in a small English village, keeping the vibe as low-key as their evenings in the local pub. When a member of another alien race kills one of the Kéthani, the characters begin to wonder who the antagonists are and what they're trying to do, as well as who (or what) the Kéthani themselves are and why they are aiding (or manipulating) humankind. But each section ends just when it should begin, dissolving tension and leaving these questions unanswered. The result is an unsatisfying cop-out. (May)

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Kirkus Reviews
Near-future alien-contact story cycle from British author Brown (Helix, 2007, etc.) comprising nine previously published pieces plus three originals (one a collaboration) and other linked material that connects the various stories into an approximation of a novel. The Kethani announce themselves by instantaneously erecting huge crystal monuments, later known as Onward Stations, all over the world. Their gift is immortality: Anybody that receives one of their implants will be resurrected and given the choice of returning to Earth or journeying among the stars as ambassadors. The returnees are psychologically improved, too; the crime rate among them is zero. Many cultures at first react violently, but as the years pass this dwindles into insignificance. These developments are filtered through the stories told by a group of friends in the local pub in a Yorkshire village, including the sometime narrator, doctor Khalid Azzam. One of the friends, Richard Lincoln, becomes a ferryman, that is, he collects the implanted ones after death and transmits them to the Kethani starship for resurrection. Richard's wife, Barbara, hates and fears the Kethani, and resists implantation-until she has a deathbed conversion. Local detective Doug Standish ponders the impossible murder of a woman who didn't really seem to exist. Khalid, probably the least convincing character, grows angry and resentful at his wife Zara's intellectual growth; they part, and Khalid commits suicide while contriving to make it look like a murder. Resembling a cross between John Wyndham and Bob Shaw: Beautifully rendered and quietly effective, though once you get the idea the impact diminishes.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781849973557
Publisher:
Rebellion Publishing Ltd
Publication date:
03/31/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
257,635
File size:
463 KB

Meet the Author

Eric Brown is the award-winning author of a huge number of SF novels, children's books, radio plays, articles and reviews, including Helix, Helix Wars, The Bengal Station Trilogy, The New York Trilogy, Kethani, Engineman, Guardians of the Phoenix, Kings of Eternity, The Serene Invasion, two Weird Space novels and The Fall of Tartarus. www.ericbrown.com

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Kethani 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
steveforbertfan More than 1 year ago
This has to be one of the best syfy books I have ever read. It is thought provoking and had me thinking and feeling and wondering what would come next. A fantasy of humanity (for the most part) is immortality, I never thought there would be so many facets to being immortal. It is well written, the characters well-defined and true to life. I was surprised at the low rating given it by 2 other readers. It is not all science and gimmicky, but fresh and honest and true. Yeah this is the way it would be, this is what would happen, these are the hearts that would be broken and these are the joys to be had. Expect to wonder and to feel and to want to read more from this fine author. Well done! This is the way the world will end not with a bang but a whimper.
onalake1 More than 1 year ago
I thought the book read well and had an interesting story about what this alien race can offer people and how they deal with or reject the so called gift they bring. It would be a good discussion book.
Olin More than 1 year ago
Interesting concept, but too much left unknown and somehow seemed to avoid the very philosophical concept, what is human, that was the center of the book. Aliens come to earth and "improve" humans, but you never meet the aliens, have no information on where they came from, what their real motivation is, and are they really friendly. An author could have started with a very different idea, how could a hostile alien race destroy human civilization without violence and with human cooperation, and written almost exactly the same book. In the end, humans ooh and ahh about how wonderful the aliens and human life now is, without actually giving any explanation. In this regard, reminds me of the Celestine Prophecy books that used a phony sense of wonder as justification. In summary, interesting, but not recommended.