Threshold (Palmer novel)

Last updated
Threshold
Threshold (Palmer novel).jpg
Author David R. Palmer
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
SeriesTo Halt Armageddon
Genre Science fiction
Publisher Bantam Spectra
Publication date
December 1985
Media typePrint (Paperback)
ISBN 0-553-24878-2 (first edition, paperback)
OCLC 13000483
Preceded by Emergence  
Followed bySpēcial Education 

Threshold is a science fiction novel by American writer David R. Palmer, published by Bantam Spectra in December 1985. It was his second book published, following Emergence , and was intended to be the first book of the To Halt Armageddon trilogy. [1]

Science fiction Genre of speculative fiction

Science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction that has been called the "literature of ideas". It typically deals with imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, time travel, parallel universes, fictional worlds, space exploration, and extraterrestrial life. It often explores the potential consequences of scientific innovations.

David R. Palmer is an American science fiction author. His works have been nominated three times for Hugo Awards. He writes as David R. Palmer.

Bantam Spectra is the science fiction division of American publishing company Bantam Books, which is owned by Random House.

Contents

Plot introduction

Threshold is a space opera novel, involving interstellar intrigue, mysteriously alluring space aliens, and a hero who is larger than life. Its protagonist, the penultimate issue of millennia long alien breeding program: Peter Cory, billionaire, hard driving adventurer, and unrequited rescuer of damsels. (Due to a "clerical" error in the program, his future wife was born late and is now only a child, but there is no time to wait.) One of the aliens, a "wWyh'j" (witch) named Megonthalyä (Meg) and her obese feline familiar (Memphus) come to Earth to enlist Peter's help.

Space opera Subgenre of science fiction

Space opera is a subgenre of science fiction that emphasizes space warfare, melodramatic adventure, interplanetary battles, chivalric romance, and risk-taking. Set mainly or entirely in outer space, it usually involves conflict between opponents possessing advanced abilities, futuristic weapons, and other sophisticated technology. The term has no relation to music, but is instead a play on the terms "soap opera" and "horse opera", the latter of which was coined during the 1930s to indicate clichéd and formulaic Western movies. Space operas emerged in the 1930s and continue to be produced in literature, film, comics, television and video games.

Plot summary

Due to what they call a 'racial mental block' a quasi-immortal race called the Isi are unable to prevent a galactic catastrophe. The Isi think humanity (specifically Peter) will help them overcome this hurdle, hence the book's opening line "Peter, we are losing Armageddon..." Unless he joins forces with them "... the galaxy is doomed...!"

While Peter (and the reader) is understandably skeptical, the talking cat, as well as a crash course in telepathy rapidly convince him of Meg's sincerity. Soon he is using his uniquely human perspective to unveil new applications of ancient Isi mental powers, and develops some startling new abilities. Armed with complete control of his cellular structure (which allows for slow but complete cellular metamorphosis), and a "gnNäáq" (knack) which allows the mental manipulation of electrical energy, Peter and Meg travel to Meg's home planet of Isis where he will be taught the "mMj'q" (Magic) necessary to help save the galaxy from its impending destruction.

Publishing history

Threshold was first published in 1985 and reprinted in 1987 by Bantam Spectra. After being out of print for approximately two decades, Palmer made arrangements with Eric Flint's Ring of Fire Press in 2018 to have his works reprinted [2] ( ISBN   978-1948818193).

An out-of-print (OOP) or out-of-commerce item or work, such as a book, is something that is no longer being published. The term applies to all types printed matter, visual media, sound recordings, and video recordings.

International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.

Literary significance and criticism

Touted as the first book in a trilogy, [1] subsequent novels have yet to be published, although the author has made it clear that the second book is indeed written. In 1990, Palmer pointed out that when his personal finances permitted taking time to survive off of slim publisher advances, he would return to writing. [3]

A reviewer for Amazing Stories wrote in 2013 that the book is "easy to read, and has a fair smattering of clever repartee and wit." [4]

<i>Amazing Stories</i> American science fiction magazine

Amazing Stories is an American science fiction magazine launched in April 1926 by Hugo Gernsback's Experimenter Publishing. It was the first magazine devoted solely to science fiction. Science fiction stories had made regular appearances in other magazines, including some published by Gernsback, but Amazing helped define and launch a new genre of pulp fiction.

Sequel

Although written twenty years earlier, Spēcial Education ( ISBN   978-1948818513), the long waited for sequel to Threshold was finally released in September 2019 through Eric Flint's Ring of Fire Press.

Related Research Articles

<i>Foundation</i> series Science fiction book series by Isaac Asimov

The Foundation series is a science fiction book series written by American author Isaac Asimov. First collected in 1951, for thirty years the series was a trilogy: Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation. It won the one-time Hugo Award for "Best All-Time Series" in 1966. Asimov began adding new volumes in 1981, with two sequels: Foundation's Edge, Foundation and Earth, and two prequels: Prelude to Foundation, Forward the Foundation. The additions made reference to events in Asimov's Robot and Empire series, indicating that they were also set in the same fictional universe.

Keith Laumer American science fiction writer

John Keith Laumer was an American science fiction author. Prior to becoming a full-time writer, he was an officer in the United States Air Force and a diplomat in the United States Foreign Service. His older brother March Laumer was also a writer, known for his adult reinterpretations of the Land of Oz. Frank Laumer, their youngest brother, is a historian and writer.

<i>The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy</i> (novel) 1979 book by Douglas Adams

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is the first of six books in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy comedy science fiction "trilogy" by Douglas Adams. The novel is an adaptation of the first four parts of Adams' radio series of the same name. The novel was first published in London on 12 October 1979. It sold 250,000 copies in the first three months.

Daniel Keys Moran, also known by his initials DKM, is an American computer programmer and science fiction writer.

The Solo family is a fictional family of characters in the Star Wars franchise, whose key member is smuggler Han Solo, one of the central protagonists of the franchise starting in the original film trilogy in which he is featured prominently throughout. Subsequent to these films' events, Han marries Princess Leia, hence connecting her family tree to his; their son Ben Solo is introduced in the 2015 film Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The Uplift Universe is a fictional universe created by American science fiction writer David Brin. A central feature in this universe is the process of biological uplift.

<i>Thrawn</i> trilogy 1991-1993 literary trilogy in the Star Wars universe by Timothy Zahn

The Thrawn trilogy, also known as the Heir to the Empire trilogy, is a series of science-fiction novels written by Timothy Zahn. They are set in the non-canonical Star Wars Legends continuity and take place approximately five years after the events depicted in the 1983 Star Wars film Return of the Jedi. The series introduced several notable characters, including Mara Jade, Talon Karrde, and Grand Admiral Thrawn, one of the more notable villains in the Expanded Universe. The Thrawn trilogy was followed by The Hand of Thrawn, a two-book series also authored by Zahn.

<i>1632</i> series novel series

The 1632 series, also known as the 1632-verse or Ring of Fire series, is an alternate history book series and sub-series created, primarily co-written, and coordinated by Eric Flint and published by Baen Books. The series is set in 17th-century Europe, in which the small fictional town of Grantville, West Virginia, in the year 2000 was sent to the past in central Germany in the year 1631, during the Thirty Years' War.

Byron Preiss was an American writer, editor, and publisher. He founded and served as president of Byron Preiss Visual Publications, and later of ibooks Inc.

<i>Children of the Jedi</i> novel by Barbara Hambly

Children of the Jedi is a 1995 Star Wars novel by American writer Barbara Hambly. The novel is set several months after the Jedi Academy Trilogy in the Star Wars expanded universe timeline. Moreover, it serves as book one in a three book cycle involving Callista, an ex-Jedi Knight. The next book in the cycle is Darksaber by Kevin J. Anderson. Hambly also wrote the final novel in the cycle, Planet of Twilight.

Tim Pratt is a science fiction and fantasy writer and poet. He grew up in the vicinity of Dudley, North Carolina, and attended Appalachian State University, where he earned a Bachelor's in English. In 1999 he attended the Clarion East Writing Workshop. He moved to Santa Cruz, California in 2000, and currently resides in Oakland with his wife Heather Shaw and son River. He currently works as a senior editor at Locus Magazine.

Charles A. Spano Jr., sometimes bylined without his middle initial, is an American writer who co-wrote one of the first original novels based on the universe of the Star Trek television series. Spock, Messiah!, co-authored by Theodore R. Cogswell and Spano Jr. It was first published by Bantam Books in 1976, and reissued in October 1984 (ISBN 0-553-24674-7) and by the Bantam imprint Spectra in September 1993.

<i>Emergence</i> (novel) book by David R. Palmer

Emergence is a science fiction novel by American writer David R. Palmer. It first appeared as a novella published in Analog Science Fiction in 1981; the same magazine also published Part II, "Seeking", in 1983. The completed novel then was published by Bantam in 1984. The plot follows a precocious 11-year-old orphan girl, living in a post-apocalyptic United States. It had three printings through July 1985, and was republished in 1990 as a "Signature Special Edition" with a few minor edits and a new afterword by the author.

Paula Volsky is an American fantasy author.

<i>Empire from the Ashes</i> novel by David Weber

Empire from the Ashes is a science fiction novel by American writer David Weber.

<i>The Mirrored Heavens</i> book by David J. Williams

The Mirrored Heavens is a science fiction novel by David J. Williams. This is the author's debut novel, and the first volume in his Autumn Rain trilogy, which continues with The Burning Skies and The Machinery Of Light. The story begins in the year 2110 where global political power is balanced between the United States and the Eurasian Coalition. These two powers jointly constructed a space elevator, which is destroyed by a terrorist attack before it can become operational.

<i>Tales of Dunk and Egg</i> Series of novellas by George R. R. Martin

Tales of Dunk and Egg is a series of fantasy novellas by George R. R. Martin, set in the world of his A Song of Ice and Fire novels. They follow the adventures of "Dunk" and "Egg", some 90 years before the events of the novels.

<i>The Saga of Shadows</i> book by Kevin J. Anderson

The Saga of Shadows is a trilogy of space opera novels written by Kevin J. Anderson. First announced in 2011, it is a sequel to Anderson's seven-book series, The Saga of Seven Suns (2002–2008). The first novel, The Dark Between the Stars, was released by Tor Books on June 3, 2014. The second book in the series, Blood of the Cosmos, was published on June 2, 2015. The third novel, called Eternity's Mind, was released on September 13, 2016.

References

  1. 1 2 Palmer, David R. (1990) [1984]. Emergence (Signature Special ed.). Bantam Spectra. p. 297. ISBN   0-553-25519-3. Threshold (Book I of the To Halt Armageddon trilogy)
  2. "David R. Palmer". Eric Flint's Ring of Fire Press .
  3. Palmer, David R. (1990) [1984]. Emergence (Signature Special ed.). Bantam Spectra. p. 297. ISBN   0-553-25519-3. At that point I will again quit reporting and devote all my time to writing.
  4. Gaffen, Adam (August 27, 2013). "Lost In Space! Reviews of Unknown or Underappreciated Books Threshold by David R. Palmer". Amazing Stories .