by Gary Caplan
Talcon Star City has been honored as a “Finalist” of the 2012 International Book Awards in the “Fiction: Science Fiction” category.
Somewhere in the future, the universe is filled with hundreds of wild, weird and completely diverse civilizations existing on a myriad of strange and wonderful planets. But amidst all these brave new worlds, are otherworldly enemies intent on control, no matter what it costs them or the universe, and all courageous people must step forward and band together to stop them. That’s the premise of Gary Caplan’s brilliantly realized Talcon Star City, a story of bravery, revenge, aliens, and interstellar swashbuckling.
Caplan first burst onto the literary scene when he became a finalist in the highly prestigious 2010 Indie Excellence Award for his novel Phoenix Rising, which is also the prequel to Talcon Star City. Honing his craft, Caplan continued to write and went on to win the 2011 Indie Excellence Award in fantasy for his novel Return of the Ancient Ones. With Talcon Star City, he’s become even more exhilarating a writer, fashioning a science fiction epic that’s also thoughtful and realistic.
Talcon Star City centers on the character of Commodore Robert Sheppard, who, as acting admiral, commands the flagship Phoenix and the 6th fleet. As an esteemed member of the Order of Star Knights, Sheppard is gifted with unusually powerful metaphysical abilities, which he uses to help preserve the hundreds of civilizations in the universe. But there is now unrest in the universe and Sheppard and his other military officials must band together to fight a desperate alien challenge to the peaceful Alliance of Worlds. Lucky for Sheppard, he has his old mentor Garfield, and other allied Star Knights and admirals to help back him up in his fight. But as the plot thickens, the battle escalates. Now Sheppard is facing his old nemesis, the Varlon, who are sworn enemies of the Alliance of Worlds and are intent on expanding their power. But as Sheppard grapples with the evil he already knows, he must also face a group of aliens who are new to him, the fearsome Accads, who have joined with the Varlon and who pose challenging new threats he may be ill-equipped to vanquish. The best hope for the universe is to find the Talcon Star City and gain even more allies against these forces of evil. But time is running out. Can the stalwart heroes win the battle and stop this alien onslaught or is it already too late?
Caplan’s sparkling prose and larger-than-life characters make Talcon Star City an incomparable reading experience. “Sometimes unusual alliances are needed to combat deadly enemies,” says Caplan, an idea he boldly and entertainingly illustrates. His vision of the future is filled with startling new powers and technologies, all rendered with dazzling skill and humor, from comet-like projective weapons to particle cannonballs and invisible cloaks. Drawing from his own experiences in the military, Caplan gives his futuristic tale a stunning feeling of authenticity, making the interactions between military forces and aliens as plausible and true-to-life as they are exciting and original. Meant to appeal to fans of both Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek, Talcon Star City seems destined for classic status.