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Alien Cradle

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Author: Jeff Inlo
Published: 2009
Language: English
Wordcount: 85,918 / 250 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 67.8
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 17,902
Added to site: 2009.12.06 25962
License: by-nd

Rath Scampion, outer rim scout, explores the barren landscapes of Fenrir just before a Regency Scientific Council plants the seed of a genetically created "alien". Once the colony takes hold, researchers discover the Fenrites advancing at an alarming pace, passing quickly through complex stages of industrial and technological growth. As the experiment spirals out of control, Rath must flee Regency investigators, ending up in the midst of marauders and outcasts. He is caught with no safe haven as the Fenrite disaster spurs on political and military chaos throughout the Regency controlled worlds.

Show Excerpt

equences of early theory. Pilots didn't go back in time, didn't show up younger than a twin brother. The ship simply became invisible as it moved faster than the light around it.

It was just a matter of propulsion. Find a way to increase energy and you keep breaking speed records. That was the key to the Boscon Prop.

Ironically, Boscon's basic principles dated back to the invention of the wheel. In watching a simple spinning disk, Boscon understood that the number of rotations was the constant while the speed upon the same surface was variable. He applied this reasoning for matter spinning about the nucleus of an atom.

He theorized that if it were possible to expand an electron's orbit around the nucleus without searing it off, the speed at the outer edge would exceed the speed near the center; the speed of light would be surpassed. With a few adaptations, like making the fuel more efficient, and concentrating the density of the charge, interstellar travel became as common as solar system

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 3.5 from 13 reviews: ****

Nice read but started losing interest about 2/3 of the way...
When he starts killing off all the interesting characters, I realized I wasn't reading the work of a master author...
Good concept and plausible characters for my money but lame ending. Could have left room for sequel, plot twists, etc.
Guess we know why it was free...


Interstellar government corruption, scientific deception, experiments out of control, and space pirates all threaten Regency government stability. Small time independent space scout Rath Scampion lands in the wrong place at the wrong time and finds himself an unwilling participant. Don't expect a hero - he just wants to be left alone. A good SF read with some interesting concepts.


I read this book with much interest. A good read and nice plots.
Storylines are entwining not to fast or to slow. I' d rate this 4 stars out of 5

Riaan Marais

A very nice read. I read this on holiday and enjoyed it very much.


Reads like a poorly written '50s style sci fi novel, it might have appealed when I was 10 years old but not now.
Unbelievable characters, plot and technology, its only saving grace is that it is free.

Randolph King

i found it a good read for sci fi buffs,i would recommend it


Interesting world creation; Good if somewhat slow story.

Human civilization is scattered across planets which have been scouted and colonized. No other life found so far. Scouts contract to scan new planets in their single small ships and report back on the planetary environment and resources.

Overall government is divided into 2 main parts; there is the "Regency" and the "Authority". The former is in titular control, but really delegates all the authority and money to councils which can be very powerful political entities. The "Authority" is the military arm. Plenty of infighting goes on.

The protagonist is a scout named Rath Scampion who is an unlucky and unhappy guy. Not terribly likable either, but you can identify with him well enough. He has just scouted a planet called Fenrir and found nothing unusual. There good deposits of precious stones. He fills his hold and returns to buy a freighter and bring back more. This is against the law and he is caught.

The problem is that between his initial scout survey and his return, a scientific council has decided to seed Fenrir in secret with cloned life for study and philosophical comfort to humans who feel alone in the universe and will believe that new alien lifeforms have been discovered .

Rath knows the planet was lifeless on his initial scan and is now a liability. He must be convinced his scans were wrong.

What happens with the the political infighting and decisions that follow as the "secret" experiment goes wrong? The fate of Rath Scampion and the created Fenrites is the kind of mess that autocratic politics and it's subservient science can create when it tries to control social flow and experiment outside of law and good sense.


An interesting story with a bit more potential than it ultimately explores. The writing is solid but never truly moves to gripping. I enjoyed the read over all but was left a little wanting throughout.

Some potential points to explore interesting character notes, situational developments, or moments to slip in to chaos are skipped while some, admittedly necessary, sections seem overly long.

I continued through the book with genuine interest. There were a few minor spots a good proofreader would have caught before releasing the material. Otherwise very solid and worth a read.

Darcia Helle

I loved the concept for this book. The story has great potential and the writing is very good. However, I thought it dragged in spots, while other areas should have been expanded on a bit more.

R Stephan

Interesting idea. The author should read a bit about biology and where our oxygen comes from. There certainly won't be any planets out there ready to settle with breathable air but without life. My guess is that blunder is the reason why you can read that book now for free.


Excellent book, only the battery life of my HP iPAQ 214 which I use as ebook reader stopped me from reading this from cover to cover on the instant I downloaded it!


It's an intiguing premise - creating aliens to fulfill our need for, well, aliens.

Overall, this was a good-not-great space adventure story with a few blind alleys, some loose ends and a bit of inexplicable behavior on the part of the "aliens," especially towards the end.

The flaws, however, are relatively easily overlooked and I'd give the author some extra points for moral ambiguity and raising the question of who is more human -- the humans or the people they created.

Definitely worth reading.


A great story, impossible to put down. Only niggly thing was what happened to Starr after she was captured by the Fenrites? Other than that a great story.



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Chadwick Wall
Chadwick Wall has written for the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the Sewanee Purple, the Riverside Reader, the Baton Rouge Advocate, and most recently After years living in many cities and regions, he counts himself lucky enough to reside in the laid-back yet vibrant, friendly and creative city of Austin. Here he spends many of his days and nights either holed up like a hermit, reading or writing away-or prowling around, investigating all of the live music, delicious cuisine, and cultural hotspots he can find. As our Author of the Day, Chad tells us all about his latest book, The Second Cortez.
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