Zylan’s Messengers by Sid Goodman

Zylan’s Messengers by Sid Goodman
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Contemporary, Historical
Length: Full Length (300 pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Not your run-of-the-mill sci-fi novel.

Three civilizations separated by billions of years in time and millions of light years in distance, come to life as their disparate histories converge to help the human race survive in 2408, when all of their bad decisions come back to haunt them.

Ecological disasters, resource depletion and pollution have finally overcome technology’s ability to cope, as a last minute technological reprieve is offered from one of the alien races … but with a cost.

Zylan’s Messengers reveals how one alien race was the proximate cause of the most destructive event in recorded human history; one that has never been fully explained, and how it forever altered the course of human development.

Zylan’s Messengers is a story of the human condition, and humanity’s unique ability in the animal kingdom to make conscious choices that were bad for their own survival as a species.

Science has cured many diseases and solved a lot of problems. Whether it can change the dark side human nature, though, remains to be seen.

Imagine following the development of three sentient species living on different planets over the course of millions of years. Each race has evolved unique characteristics due to the climate and natural history of their home planet, and yet all three face similar challenges based on the terrible mistakes of their ancestors. Mr. Goodman’s descriptions of these civilizations are so richly detailed that at times it almost felt as if I were reading three separate novellas. What makes this novel even more interesting, though, is how he slowly draws out the similarities among them. Not every character is necessarily likable, but their strong personalities are well suited to the plot, and I was impressed by how much attention was paid to characterization given that this is a heavily plot-centered tale.

Due to a prolonged exposition, the pacing in this book is a little uneven in the beginning. The narrator describes both well-known and somewhat obscure scientific concepts in detail in order to ensure that even people who aren’t particularly knowledgable about physics or astronomy understands why certain phenomenon take place. The pauses in the plot to describe why these things are happening are necessary and valuable, but it would have been helpful for this reader if some of these lessons had taken place a little later on instead. The beginning starts off with a fascinating series of events that I would have preferred to spend more time exploring before the lengthy scientific explanations begin.

As much fun as it is to read about otherworldly gizmos and playful descriptions of what aliens might look like, what I find most appealing about the science fiction genre is that it asks questions about ethics, morality and what our future might look like if we continue on the same path without necessarily providing clear-cut answers for any of them. This story excels at prodding the reader’s imagination and presenting old facts in new ways. If it is any indication of his writing ability I look forward to reading the author’s next book soon.

Zylan’s Messengers is an excellent choice for anyone who enjoys plot-centered hard science fiction. Why not give it a try today?

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