They Are Not Alone: Mythology or History
by Leo Cauzillo

"We would not be strapped in for eight minutes as we would be for a trip to orbit, nor fifteen minutes as for a trip to the moon, nor even twenty-seven as for a trip to the planets, but for eight hours as for a trip to the stars"

With a nod to Heinlein and Vonnegut, a cerebral but humorous treat awaits sci-fi fans with a taste for history and mythology in this head-spinning debut novel. Mathematician A’Pal Chi devises a secret theory that enables lightspeed travel, allowing his team to build a vast new craft to carry two thousand occupants on an eight-year-long galactic journey. After Dr. Chi and his crew leave their doomed planet to search for new worlds, they encounter ancient Earth. Thus begins a program based on Mars which fictively re-examines mythological Earth history and spirituality through the lens of advanced science and mathematics.

Populated with gods and extraterrestrials, this work is a highly creative fusion of humanity’s mythological past and Earth’s possible future as a member of a yet-to-be-discovered galactic brotherhood. Cauzillo succeeds in the mammoth task of fusing mathematics, mythology, science, and legend into a credible, though complicated, tale. The reading isn’t suitable for the casual sci-fi fan seeking mindless popular entertainment because the challenging narrative requires familiarity with the mythological and religious literature and folklore of diverse cultures, along with the characters and tropes that populate these multiverses, plus the usual sci-fi interests in space exploration and technology.

The character, setting, event, and objects lists in the back are helpful in tracking the sundry names and references sprinkled throughout the chapters. Still, there are many widely familiar scientific and mathematical concepts as well as many widely understood references to ancient Trojan, Grecian, Egyptian, Norse, East Indian, and other mythologies re-interpreted in this unique tale. Although the writing is a tad uneven at times, the characterizations of A’Pal Chi, his family, and his contemporaries are lively and carry the story well even when the references to ancient cultures may feel obscure or oblique. Overall, this title definitely resonates with the atmospheric tone of a cult classic.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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