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A Science Fiction Novel

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Author: Jay Caselberg
Published: 2009
Language: English
Wordcount: 117,542 / 331 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 79.7
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 17,236
Added to site: 2009.09.07 25220
License: by-nc-nd

From Jay Caselberg, an Australian science fiction author, this book tells the story of rival families struggle for supremacy in a binary star system. The characters are described in great detail and the book is very well-written overall. With about 10,000 downloads here at ManyBooks, this is a Book of the Week you just canít miss!

Show Excerpt

dded at Sandon, a gesture Sandon politely returned.

He had only ever seen the younger Ka Vail boy from a distance. Up close, Jarid Ka Vail had much of his father's looks: the hooded gray eyes, the high cheekbones, and the thin lips. His mouth betrayed a slight arrogance. Sandon graced him with a polite smile.

"So, what news? How are the preparations going?" asked Ka Vail, looking back up at his son.

"We've started to pull in the groundcars from the farms and the communications networks are ready to be shut down. Preparations for line of sight are in progress. Data backup is already under way, but Markis is handling most of that. I've been helping out where I can, but I think we might be in for a difficult time. The Kallathik have been gathering again."

The Guildmaster passed a hand across his brow. "Why does it never change? Every Storm Season it's the same damned thing. What is it this time?"

"There have been mutterings about conditions in the mines, but most of that's thir

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 4.3 from 8 reviews: *****
H. E. Parmer

Although Binary is in the main quite well-written, there's one big problem with basing a science-fiction novel on one of the most well-known Shakespearian tragedies: Once the reader realizes the plot is lifted almost scene-for-scene from King Lear, there just aren't any big surprises. You know what's going to happen with the main characters, although the author fudges it a bit for one of them so the novel doesn't end on as bleak a note as the original play. Also, you can get away with some things in a Shakespearian drama that just don't work so well in a novel, particularly one that's trying for something more epic in its scope.

Ross Campbell

A good sci-fi story. I liked it.


I still would say it's hard SF because it speculates about a situation where aliens have hidden intelligence and the technical development suffers from periodical drawbacks. This scenario is pictured beautifully. I nearly bailed out of the book when most of the protagonists were wandering about aimlessly, for a hundred of pages.


A very good story, Caselberg does a good job of world building. As stated in a previous review, sometimes the names could get confusing. Overall, the book is more about the political and less about the science, but a great book nonetheless.


Excellent. Descendants of the original explorers to a binary star system contend against aliens, lost technology, seasonal hostile environment, religious fanaticism, and corruption as their economic and political system threatens to crumble. There is a lot going on in this book, it could have easily been expanded to a much longer book or a series of books. I'm sorry that it wasn't.


Excellent book - enjoyed it thoroughly.


Just to add to Kevin's review, lots of shades of King Lear there.

Kevin Green

I enjoyed this book, a far-world adventure of intrigue and betrayal between ruling families. I found some of the names of the main protagonists to be rather similiar and therefore a little confusing to begin with, but it was worth persevering with. The characters are well drawn and rounded, but they did seem to be rather preoccupied with their clothing which began to irritate a little. The storyline was well constructed and at times intricate, but it all pulled together in the final chapter to a satisfactory conclusion.
Overall, a good read and recommended.



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