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Today’s snippet, and several to follow, are from my first published book, Homecoming. Marna, who for two hundred years has thought herself the last survivor of her species, has been contacted by a ship crewed by Humans and a survivor of her own species, Lai. Here Marna, preparing for her first meeting with the R’il’nian, is observing the Human who has nursed her through her illness.
Cinda’s pelvis and breasts were well developed–she must be close to ovulating. No, Marna caught herself, Lai had told her enough about Human biology that she should know better. The women of her own people, ovulating once a century at the most, changed visibly when ovulation was near. Sexual relationships were important as a part of bonding between the R’il’nai, and helped encourage the transition to fertility. But the physical changes needed to bear and care for a child occurred only rarely, and generally only after a substantial period of sexual activity. Humans, ovulating once a month, remained physically ready for childbirth and nursing for most of their short life spans.
Snowy is a slave, a dancer. His first priority is keeping himself and his friends alive, and this means hiding the odd abilities that could get him killed. How can he cope with being totally paralyzed and sent to school with a group of telepathic bullies?
Lai is the last survivor of the R’il’nai, the species that has kept the Jarnian Confederation going for a hundred thousand years. He is in mourning for his Human lover, Cloudy, but now it seems there might be more R’il’nai somewhere beyond the borders of the Confederation. Can he find them? Should he?
Marna was on an isolation satellite when a plague wiped out all the rest of the population of her planet. Now the life-support system of the satellite has failed, and Marna must try to return to a planet where no other intelligent creature is alive. Is the plague still there? Can she survive? Does she want to?
Homecoming, the first novel of the Jarnian Confederation, won second place in science fiction in the 2010 Reader Views contest.
“If you’re looking for a science fiction adventure that has some thought behind it, I highly recommend this story.” Marty Shaw, Reader Views.
“Well-written science fiction expands the imagination. It is a book genre that explores the outer limits of reality, based on the reasoning and endless possibilities of science….
“Homecoming is a truly compelling book. The author has done a superb job of creating characters that are well rounded and emotionally real. The plot is original and thoughtfully crafted, and the supporting science is fresh and exciting.” Catherine Thureson, ForeWord Clarion Reviews. 5 stars.
“Homecoming” is one of those novels that grabs the reader and pulls you in. It flows smoothly, sometime at a breakneck pace, but always making sense. Bowling’s characters are very well developed, with flaws, skills, doubts and dreams.” Libbie Martin, Fairbanks News-Miner