On October 12, 2236, humanity found proof of other intelligent life in the universe in the most dramatic way possible: an alien invasion of the air space over Terra, a human colony. Humanity is thrown into a struggle between the Boxti, an insectoid alien race that exists only to enslave and incorporate other species into their empire, and the Nangolani, the epitome of SF movies’ littl,e grey men. The Federation Government also faces conflict from within, thanks to old resentments from the previous handling of the Mars colony. Plus, a scientist’s life mission may come to fruition only because of the new threat from the stars.
One of my major quibbles with the original version of When the Stars Fade was a lack of attachment or serious development of the immense cast. While there are still a huge number of characters presented in the new edition, Korenman worked to flesh out each individual enough to be distinct. While I still didn’t identify immediately with the various cast members, they stand out in my mind more clearly. These versions are much simpler to identify in my mind, and I’m definitely becoming a Josh fan!
The various storylines flow better with the pruned version, as well, since the core pieces have been polished and cut. The most essential parts are present with the extraneous bits gone. While I missed some of the drama from the military exercises on Kronos, the updated version is just as riveting. (I still would love to see a movie or TV version of the Kronos stuff at the very least.) Don’t get me wrong: When the Stars Fade is still an immense tale of epic proportions that hits upon many of the most beloved aspects of great sci-fi. I just found it easier to follow with the more concentrated plot and better defined cast.
I think that California Coldblood Books' version of When the Stars Fade will become one of those sci-fi stories that fans love and discuss long after the final pages have been turned. Korenman’s vision has been beautifully realized in a way that will reach anyone who loves space battles, alien encounters, dicey science experiments, and political intrigue. If you haven’t given it a try, I highly recommend it . . . you may just find a new favorite tale to stretch your imagination.
5 Mysterious Injections out of 5