Challenger's Hope

Challenger's Hope

by David Feintuch
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Overview

Challenger's Hope by David Feintuch

The second installment of the Seafort Saga finds Nick Seafort heading back to Hope Nation, but danger isn’t far behind . . .
After his heroics aboard the Hibernia in Midshipman’s Hope, Nicholas Seafort wins command of his first ship, the Challenger, and joins Admiral Tremaine’s task force. Their first meeting is a rude awakening, however, as Tremaine demotes him to a smaller, overcrowded ship and blatantly ignores Seafort’s report of alien life on Hope Nation. Above all, Seafort is anxious for his pregnant wife, who’s due to have their baby on the journey. After an alien attack and an admiral’s betrayal, a wounded Seafort is left stranded aboard a ship short of weapons and fuel. Hundreds of lives hang in the balance as Seafort must find a way to survive.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781453295618
Publisher: Open Road Media
Publication date: 01/08/2013
Series: Seafort Saga , #2
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 405
Sales rank: 179,538
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

David Feintuch (1944–2006) was the author of the award-winning military science fiction Seafort Saga series, which spans Midshipman’s Hope, Challenger’s Hope, Prisoner’s Hope, Fisherman’s Hope, Voices of Hope, Patriarch’s Hope, and Children of Hope. Feintuch came to writing late, previously having worked as a lawyer and antiques dealer. In 1996, at the age of fifty, he won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer from the World Science Fiction Society. He later expanded into the fantasy genre with his Rodrigo of Caledon series, including The Still and The King
David Feintuch (1944–2006) was the author of the award-winning military science fiction Seafort Saga series, which spans Midshipman’s Hope, Challenger’s Hope, Prisoner’s Hope, Fisherman’s Hope, Voices of Hope, Patriarch’s Hope, and Children of Hope. Feintuch came to writing late, previously having worked as a lawyer and antiques dealer. In 1996, at the age of fifty, he won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer from the World Science Fiction Society. He later expanded into the fantasy genre with his Rodrigo of Caledon series, including The Still and The King.     

Read an Excerpt

Challenger's Hope


By David Feintuch

Warner Aspect

ISBN: 0-446-60097-0


Chapter One

"Carry on!" Geoffrey Tremaine strutted to his place at the head of the Admiralty conference table. Scowling, he set down his sheaf of notes and flicked invisible dust from his gold braid. As the assembled officers stood easy, I tugged at my jacket, made sure my tie was straight.

While the Admiral settled himself, we took our seats. Each of the eleven men and three women at this briefing in the Naval warren of down-under Lunapolis captained a ship in the UNNS squadron ready to sail to Hope Nation, sixty-nine light years distant. The Admiral's sloop. Portia, fitted with the newest L-Model fusion drive, was docked aloft at Earthport Station. So was my own sloop, Challenger, though I hadn't yet boarded her.

Tremaine's cold eye roved the table. "So," he said finally, as if disappointed. "My command is gathered together at last." Short, florid, he seemed on the edge of rage.

I glanced to either side. Length-of-service medals on Captain Hall's dress jacket indicated twenty-four years' service; Captain Derghinski, on my right, had twenty-two. Each of them had been a Naval officer longer than I'd lived. Challenger was my first assigned command. I was, I knew, the youngest Captain in the entire U.N. Navy.

"We sail tomorrow, gentlemen. As your written orders indicate, we'll Defuse seven times to provide the most accurate navigation checks possible."

Again I wondered why he wanted us to waste time and propellant with so many jumps, but as the most junior present, I kept my opinion to myself.

A Fusion drive was accurate to within six percent-whoop, no longer. Within one percent of the distance traveled. That change was astonishing; during my long cruise to Hope Nation, vastly improved control battles had been devised and Admiralty was retrofitting them on ships as they returned to Home System.

Navigation wasn't my strong point, and even the refresher course they'd made me attend left me a touch shaky on the mechanics of Fusion. Thankfully, the ship's puter and our Pilot would carry out most of the calculations, though I'd confirm them myself no matter how long it took.

Theoretically we could now Fuse to within three light months of Hope Nation, and follow with a short corrective jump. For greater precision, it was customary to make smaller jumps instead of one long one. We might normally expect to Defuse for nav checks twice during the sixty-nine-light-year voyage to Hope Nation. Seven times was absurd.

"I'll sail on Challenger," Tremaine said.

My jaw dropped. Could I have heard aright? True, Challenger was somewhat larger than Portia-the Admiral's flagship was one of the smallest vessels in our fleet-and I could arrange suitable accommodations, but-the Admiral himself? On my ship?

Tremaine glared, as if reading my thoughts. "With Captain Hasselbrad."

"What?" I heard my incredulous voice, as from a distance.

"I'm moving my flag. Naturally, I'll want a Captain with more experience. Seafort, you'll be taking Portia. They'll cut your new orders this afternoon. Pick them up from Ops."

"But-" I swallowed. "Aye aye, sir."

While he glanced through his papers my head spun with unasked questions. Challenger, the ship whose specs I'd studied until my eyes blurred, was no longer mine. All I knew about Portia was that she was a two-decker, tiny by comparison. And what of my crew? I'd had Alexi and Derek Carr assigned as my junior officers. And Vax Holser. They'd all be lost to me. How could I cope with the demands of an unfamiliar bridge without their dogged support?

Tremaine tapped his notes. "Portia and Freiheit will remain at each station until the rest of the fleet has Fused. Their L-Model drives will allow them to arrive first at the next rendezvous, to clear any, er, encroachment."

So that was it. The only, er. encroachment we might encounter was the bizarre alien creature I'd come upon during Hibernia's voyage to Hope Nation, after I'd been catapulted from midshipman to Captain upon the death of Hibernia's seasoned officers. The skirmish with the fish still brought nightmares, which my wife Amanda gently soothed away in the solitude of our cabin.

Lord God! Amanda had gone ahead to settle on Challenger while I struggled through Admiralty's refresher courses and my briefings. She'd be unpacking in our cabin-now the Admiral's. The sudden change of vessels would infuriate her-and I couldn't blame her.

I studied Tremaine glumbly. Apparently he considered Portia expendable, so long as we protected his better-armed flagship. The fleet would Fuse and Defuse seven times to make sure my sloop and Freiheit were always in the lead to intercept a hostile force.

A gray-haired officer across the table intervened. "What will be our posture, sir, in case of unexpected contact?"

I grinned sourly at Captain Stahl's choice of words. Like most Naval officers, he found it difficult to concede that we'd really stumbled onto hostile aliens. At times I had trouble believing it myself, and I was the one who found them. After all, in two hundred years of exploring, man had discovered no animal life other than the primitive boneless fish of Zeta Psi. Thank Lord God our puter Darla recorded our contact. Without her playbacks and the few other eyewitnesses from Hibernia's bridge, I'd be confined to a schizo ward for hormone rebalancing.

"Contact is highly unlikely." Admiral Tremaine paused, shot me an irritable glance. "However, you must not undertake threatening maneuvers without absolute proof of the hostile intent of the other party."

I blurted, "Absolute proof will likely result in the destruction of your ship." Unwise, but I couldn't stop myself.

The Admiral half-rose from his seat, his face red. "Flippancy and insubordination are what I'd expect from you, Seafort!"

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Challenger's Hope by David Feintuch Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Challenger's Hope (Seafort Saga Series #2) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Feintuch's further development of Seafort's character was much more satisfying in this novel than in Midshipman's Hope. The characters in the storyline are quite diverse and the various problems that face Seafort are believable. It is not highly technical in its lingo and is easy, enjoyable reading. It was much harder to put down than Midshipman's Hope.
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Matthew Hajovsky More than 1 year ago
Not your normal 'good guy beats bad guys and everything is happy' series, but I absolutely could not put a book down.
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