Seeds of Earth, by Michael Cobley

Reviewed by Ian Hunter

Not to be confused with Robert Silverberg’s The Seeds of Earth, this is a totally different, and better book, so hold on to your jet packs because here come the invaders. Yep, we are fleetingly in Starship Troopers/Aliens territory standing up against the alien invaders, and losing, so it’s off to the stars, as the only way to save humanity is to send three colony ships heading off in different directions. And is it me? But I was really interested in finding more about how we got to this dire position: and more about the valiant stand against the invaders. And maybe even more about what happened in the 150 years that have passed in the turning of a page or two.

Cue for a prequel, or two, Mike? Or maybe some of these stories will be revealed in the next two instalments of ‘Humanity’s Fire’ trilogy. But in the meantime there is a distinct change of pace as we leisurely learn the fate of one of the ships, the Hyperion (get it?) as it has reached the planet Darien, and the colonists – a bunch of Scots and Scandinavians – I kid you not, have befriended the indigenous race, the Uvovo. They are a mysterious bunch, with secrets to be uncovered, especially the reason why all life was wiped out 100,000 years ago, and why the mysterious being known as the Pathfinder has returned.

Now is the time for revelations as a cruiser ship from Earth arrives to take the colonists back into the loving bosom of the old planet. Humanity has survived by forging alliances, but you know what they say about partnerships, so is all as it seems? Of course not, but I won’t spoil your fun finding out the surprises along the way. Seeds of Earth is a good, solid space opera with convincing world-building, multiple characters to drive the story along, a smattering of humour, info-dumping to skip over as quickly as possible, and intrigue, shenanigans and derring-do.

All in all, a good ‘un, and one to enjoy. Stay tuned to Planet Cobley for the next exciting instalment.

Seeds of Earth, by Michael Cobley, Orbit.