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Homecoming coverTime for the Science Fiction Romance Brigade Presents again.  I’m continuing from last week with an excerpt from Homecoming. Marna has just asked Cinda what Lai, the sole surviving male of her species, is like. Click on the logo above for information on how to participate and links to other snippets.

Cinda chewed thoughtfully before answering. “It’s a stupid word, but I’d have to say he’s nice. When we heard we’d be transporting him out here, we all figured he’d be–well, aloof, at the very least. He’s not. He’s interested in us, in our work, in why we’re in the exploration service–maybe even nosy, except he backs off if we’re even a little hesitant about answering. I suppose he could read our minds if he wanted to, but I don’t think he does, or wants to.”

Marna bit into a crisp slice of jagga root, enjoying the sweet-sour, slightly nutty taste. It was not unusual for two space-going species to be friendly — an inherently unfriendly or warlike species rarely developed the technology for star travel without destroying itself. One species taking orders from another — that was unusual. And actual cross breeding — that, she would have said, was impossible both biologically and socially. But from what Lai had told her it had happened. “What is the relationship between the R’il’nai and your people?” she asked.

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.

Reviewers say:

“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

Homecoming (iUniverse, 2010) is available from:
Barnes and Noble  in dust jacket, trade paper, and e-book formats.