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As our reader base has grown, the Starman Series has begun receiving letters from highly satisfied readers. Read on to see a sampling of what other people thought about the Starman books!

 

#1: Assault on Mars

Jim Ogden, Founder of the Rick Brant Web Site: The first book in the Starman series, Assault on Mars, is a wonderfully old-fashioned futuristic story. The book tells the story of an invasion of Mars by pirates and the efforts of three Starman to help repel the invasion. The three Starmen are David "Zip" Foster, Joe Taylor and Mark Seaton.

Along the way we meet Jack and Jill, tiny beings from Titan, the great moon of Saturn, Steve Cliff, a kind of Han Solo type character, Richard Starlight, head of Starlight Enterprise and the mysterious Jogren.

There are a crash landing, hidden tunnels, robots, laser weapons and of course secret weapons, all things that make for a great adventure. If there is any downside to the book it is what I call Volume 1 Syndrome. Because the book is volume one of more than twenty planned books the first book has to set the stage for the rest of the series. This includes introducing a lot of characters and alluding to events that cannot possibly be fully explained in under 500 pages. While this is a downside it is not a very big problem knowing that characters will be fleshed out more in future books.

I can’t wait for the next book in the series.

BTW: Listening to the Star Wars soundtrack while reading this book makes for great background music.
 
 

Fred Woodworth, Publisher of The Review: I’m amazed at the preliminary organization you’ve put into the project,…the historical detail of your summary puts the work on a level of adult TV-level SciFi rather than juvenile (so-called) series-book writing; whereas the actual writing sample was very strongly reminiscent of ’50’s juvenile-type SciFi. It’s not just the ages of the heroes, but their speaking patterns: they remind me of Heinlein’s young-people’s space stories, or Mike Mars or even Tom Corbett….

Bottom line: I think this is a fine series-book. I’d have gotten hooked on your series and I’d have looked forward to the subsequent books, and would have chopped all the weeds, etc. that I had to do to earn the money to buy ’em.
 
 

Ed Pippin, Founder of the Tom Corbett Web Site: The STARMAN Juvenile Book Series is now available. If you enjoyed the TOM CORBETT, RICK BRANT and TOM SWIFT series books, you will be very happy with the STARMAN adventures. 

ASSAULT ON MARS is the first book in a proposed series of 23 STARMAN books and has all of the elements of the 1950’s space opera that we loved. 

In an age where electronic games, Internet surfing and computers compete for the leisure time of young people, the STARMAN series is a welcomed alternative. It is also a great read for "older" Cadets who remember the TOM CORBETT, and RICK BRANT stories. It is a project conducted by fans for fans with a professional result. This type of adventure book disappeared during the 1960’s when NASA’s engineer’s provided a less than glamorous looking space vehicle for the conquest of space :-) 

The style and flavor of the STARMAN series is reminiscence of the book series Robert Heinlein wrote for Scribner in the 1950’s. Heinlein never "talked down" to his audience in his series of books and neither does the STARMAN books. The influence’s from Rick Brant’s author Hal Goodwin and Tom Corbett’s science advisor Willy Ley are also apparent. The background of the series has a structure and history that has been plotted for each book. 

This is the type of project all fans should support. Cadet Ed plans to buy two copies. One for himself and one for his grandson to read and enjoy. 

Aside from the great read, the first run of 500 copies are numbered and are sure to be collector’s items in the future. So don’t wait, contact the Starman Team and order your book today!! Tell ’em Cadet Ed sent you. You will be glad you did.
 
 

Greg, Who Sent the First Communication After Assault On Mars Was Mailed Out: The Starman book arrived today. It looks like it just came out of a time vault, like those other Dig Allen and Tom Swift books! You certainly captured the look and feel of an old-time series. Thanks very much!
 
 

#2: The Runaway Asteroid

Dale Ames: Hi Jonathan: Just finished The Runaway Asteroid and it is better than the first book. In the first book I found Jack and Jill too far out and was happy they were not in this book. The plot was "Super" and a lot like my favorite space show Babylon 5 and the Shadow Wars -- each show stood alone but had an underlying subplot for the five year run... I found the story highly intelligent and liked the fact that the Starmen didn't save the world alone. Gene, Richard Starlight, Robert Nolan, Denn, Steve Cliff, Jesus Madera all played a role as big as the Starmen played. The inside of the Asteroid was great and who were the "Unknowns" on the Asteroid??? Plots, subplots, and sub-subplots were the best. I have red westerns, novels, mysteries, and much more but these books are right up there in writing skills.

 

#3: Journey to the Tenth Planet

Dan Henton: Thanks for the update, and thanks also for the [copies of Journey to the Tenth Planet]! They showed up in the mail today. My son (age 13) was there to see me unwrap them and immediately grabbed one to take to his room to read after he finishes his homework this evening. The cover looks great and I am looking forward to reading it myself as soon as I get a break in our remodeling project. Thanks also for the very nice note regarding my advice on precipitation on Titan...

 

#4: Descent Into Europa

Mark Johnson: I finished reading Descent Into Europa this evening. Outstanding. This book takes the Starman saga to new levels and is on par with the finest series book writing.

David, Jon, and Mike have done a superb job. In my opinion each book so far has been smoother and richer than the one before. Descent Into Europa had very few, if any, false or sour notes.

The plotting, pacing, and writing come together to form a very cohesive and enjoyable whole.

Most interesting to me is that Descent Into Europa is the most original and creative in terms of sci-fi ideas, yet also the most adept at reminding us that humans are human no matter what century they live in.

Take a bow, gentlemen!

 

#5: The Lost Race of Mars

Mark McSherry: Just finished The Lost Race of Mars today and found it to be a thrilling break-neck ride that ends on a deeply emotional-- and satisfying-- note. As with all the Starman books the action set-pieces are riveting fun. The adventures at the ravine and later at Brandow’s iron foundry are as exciting-- and vivid-- as anything in the earlier volumes.

One of the strengths of the Starman books-- in my humble opinion-- is the sense of place as well as predicament in the telling of the stories. The Starman Team has enough confidence in their work to take time to leaven the plotting with descriptive accounts of both locale and environment. And, by drawing on all five of the reader’s senses while doing so, enriches the tale by adding a depth that lingers in the memory long after the telling.

I knew the Series could be something special while reading Assault on Mars. The trek across the Martian landscape to Eagle City, which takes up the middle portion of the book, is exciting in and of itself. But the journey, especially after meeting up with Jogren, takes on a leisurely, almost lyrical quality as the earthmen land-sail across a snowy plain, then work their way on foot through the maze of the mud caves, til finally kayaking the Martian Sea. It is writing such as this, and there are other examples throughout the entire series, that transcends the boy’s-sf-adventure series genre that the Team seeks to emulate and pay homage to. It is a style that could almost be called Tolkienesque. Likewise, as an example in ‘The Lost Race of Mars’, the exotic setting of the villain's desert refuge is visualized in a manner resembling Middle-Earth locales imagined by that inimitable don.

Yes, The Lost Race of Mars is filled with great moments of both action and revelation. But for me the highlight of the book is where the action is nothing more than four men sitting on benches under eucalyptus trees watching a fisherwoman casting her net in the middle distance--- And listening to one of them reminiscing to the other three about a woman named Rose.

 

#6: Doomsday Horizon

Tim Parker: Just finished Doomsday Horizon! (I tried to stretch it out as long as I could but you guys made it so exciting that I finally had to finish it.) It was a very enjoyable read. I didn't think that you would be able to top "The Lost Race of Mars" but I think that you just may have. It had everything in it that you could ask for in a children's (or adults pretending they're children's) series.

It begins with a calm, relaxing camping trip involving the three Starmen that is suddenly shattered with their abduction by an unknown enemy. Then the scene shifts to somewhere seemingly in the far flung future. Just when the Starmen solve the mystery of where they are they are immediately captured again. The plot twists and turns in this manner throughout the book. Each time that you think you have it all figured out another development occurs that changes your whole perspective on things. Many clues are left along the way but sometimes they can be misleading. You're never really sure of what's going to happen right up to the end. My kind of story!

 

#7: The Heart of Danger

Steve Servello: After reading The Heart of Danger, I believe I am looking forward to the last volume, The Last Command, as much as most any series finale.

Starting with the 16 page short story, "The Eight Treasures," I was immediately captivated. It deals with the destruction of a planet 12,000 years ago and I must comment here, that Michael D. Cooper may well have written the best, yet heart wrenching pages of the Starman Chronicles.

As for the story proper, the war with the Xenobots continues apace with the civilized races of Sol more than holding their own. From one end of the galaxy to the other, the action is hardly non-stop yet we can pick up most interesting tid-bits of info on the various participants in this war. ...

(Could hardly put down The Heart of Danger. It is THAT good!)

 

David Ethell: I have to agree that this is a great read. I'm only half way through it, but I'm thoroughly enjoying it so far.

I know the Last Command will be a great ending to a great series!

 

#8: The Last Command

Mark McSherry: ... While I feel a sense of sadness, the over-riding sensation is one of joy; I believe that reading the Starman Series has made me a better person. That my consciousness has been elevated. And my spirit made more robust. ...

 

Steve Servello: My plan was to put off reading The Last Command because I knew it was the last of this incredible series and I wanted to delay not only the end but the expected joy while reading it. Well, the book arrived on October 5 and I held off until October 28. Such willpower! The truth of the matter was I just "had to know" precisely how the Xenobot wars would end and hopefully learn more of our galaxy's history. As I knew I would, I received giant doses of both. ...

"The Last Command" was the usual Starman page turner that I've come to expect but the most special of all. David Baumann, Jon Cooper and Mike Dodd have added an admirable ending to their magnificent saga, saving some of their best ideas and writing for last. ...

Lastly, thank you Michael D. Cooper for five years of sheer reading enjoyment. I will echo Mark in his earlier comment, I too believe my life is better for reading the Starman Saga. Certainly it has been uplifted.

 

#9: Paradox Lost

Marge Avery: Imagine our surprise and delight, late last night, to discover a copy of the latest STARMAN CHRONICLES, hot off the press! I read it this morning, first thing, and Richard is deeply into it right now. Thank you for giving us a copy.
It’s a great story, a real puzzler. Well written. I couldn’t put it down. Now I am thinking it over, and wondering about the story. There is a lot to wonder about. The story tells us that the time of year was late winter or early spring. In Seneca, New York, the winter lasts late. At the beginning of the story, one of the trees is dead and the grass is dry as straw and dead, a foot high and still standing, which seems unlikely after the heavy snows they have in Seneca, but new grass is sprouting. (Image of death and rebirth) When the Starmen are walking through the forest, it seems as if the trees must be in leaf, as they conceal the men from airplanes overhead. The Starmen leave impressions of their footsteps in the lush, new grass. The countryside seems like a springtime place, with fresh, flowing streams. Yet there is something ominous about the place. The Starmen’s captors are afraid of something. As they flee, the Starmen encounter the crater of a nuclear explosion, which was quite recent, only about 25 years ago. That introduces a further threatening element of fear and destruction. I wonder why the Starmen aren’t concerned about residual radiation. I would have thought that such a recent nuclear site would still be radioactive. The people of this time and place apparently are able to use nuclear power for destructive, but not constructive, purposes, or they have been the victims of people with nuclear capability. Then there is the peculiar statement of the captors, “You’re lucky that you materialized a week early, but a lot of people remember that you were coming and they are determined to be here at the appointed time.” That sentence seems to mix up the tenses, which adds to the strangeness of the situation, but it also goes to show that the people are familiar with the workings of a transporter. What a curious statement! What curious people! A similar mixture of the tenses is also in your slogan for the Chronicles! “The future - the way it used to be.” I like that. Then there is the building full of dusty artifacts, the wreckage of an old airplane, a village of silent people who seem out of sync with their time, the date on a recent newspaper, all these give the story a rather dream-like quality. It’s a mystery, and I really enjoyed reading it.

 

#10: Master of Shadows

Mark McSherry: I must say that you’ve wrapped up all the threads in the Starman Series very well! ... Chapter Eighteen, “Face To Face”, is just outstanding. A very intense experience with some surprising twists as our duo descend into that heart of darkness. ... Some wonderful writing here... The final chapter captures the emotion of closure for this book, and for the Starman Series, with a potent mix of both autumnal sadness and glory. Thank you!

 

Charlie Campbell: All in all I think it is a great book. And I hope it ain’t just me talking, but I think it is one of the better, if not the best Starman book. (Except maybe The Lost Race of Mars).

 

Jonathan Farmer: 30 minutes ago I finished Master of Shadows; it took me quite by surprise... In a way I am kinda sad that the series is finally all over... I have been a huge fan of the Starman series from the moment my mother first read me Assault On Mars when I was 7 or 8 years old; in a way it has inspired me to do several things, in a way it is also a part of my life. In a way it has inspired me to seek the true light and has eased me in times of grave distress over matters that I had no control over. Thank you very much for all the work you and the Starman team have put into the series, and know that someone profited from it.

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© 2011 by David Baumann, Jonathan Cooper, Mike Dodd. All rights reserved.