Thursday, September 4, 2014

Straight Reading from the Library - H. Peter Alesso

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter, and a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn host between this tour and the Excerpt Tour, here.


In an era of genetic engineering, Lieutenant Henry Gallant is the only Natural (non-genetically enhanced) officer left in the fleet. Many of his superiors, including rival Anton Neumann, have expressed concern he is not up to the challenge. However, his unique mental abilities have proven essential to the defense of the United Planets in its fight against the Titan invaders.

Serving on the first FTL prototype, the Intrepid, on its maiden voyage to Tau Ceti, Gallant finds a lost colony on the planet Elysium. Cyrus Wolfe and his son, manipulate planet politics against the democratic opposition led by James Hepburn and his granddaughter Alaina. Wolfe has allied himself with an ancient Artificial Intelligence which had lain dormant on the planet for millennia, but is now willing to protect the colonists against the Titans.

With Alaina’s help, Gallant discovers the ancient AI has a sinister ulterior motive and he matches his unique and exceptional mind against the complexity of machine intelligence to escape the ultimate trap and prevent the extermination of humanity.

In Lieutenant Henry Gallant, one man pits the naked human mind against the perspicacity of machine intelligence.

 This is the second book in the series, but it can be read alone. However, if you want to get a look at the backstory of the characters and get to know them a little better, you can pick up the first book which we featured on this blog last year.

There's a touch of romance for Henry, who has to daily prove himself as good as the genetically engineered officers who make up the rest of the fleet.

All in all, this is a great space opera-- think Star Trek and you have the idea.  The writing is good, the plot exciting, and Mr. Alesso does a wonderful job bringing the characters to life.

I am eagerly looking forward to the next book in this series. 4 stars.


The cold midnight black of space was indifferent to the warp distortion of the United Planets’
Intrepid on its maiden voyage to Tau Ceti. Exotic dark matter fueled the ship’s warp drive to
create a space-time distortion bubble around the ship. Even while exceeding the speed of light,
everything within the bubble appeared normal, including the perception of time.

One of Earth’s nearest cosmic neighbors, Tau Ceti is a yellow dwarf star at about 11.5 light-
years distance. The star’s brilliant radiance beckoned the Intrepid deeper into its gravity-well,

while the ship’s forward view port allowed the bridge crew to witness its inner fusion turmoil,
converting over six hundred million tons of hydrogen to helium each second.

Officer of the Deck, Lieutenant Henry Gallant, stood at the center of the Intrepid’s bridge.

Tall  and athletically built, he seemed perfectly at ease as the focus of attention. His symmetrical
facial features and square jaw made him appear forthright and earnest. His steely gray eyes
might have deemed him overly intense, but in a curious way; a single careless curl of brown
hair drifting across his forehead hinted at a youthful exuberance which combined with his good-
natured smile left a reassuring impression.

In stark contrast to the vast emptiness outside the ship, inside the Intrepid, the dozen members
of the bridge crew were crowded into a circular hi-tech equipment-packed bridge with three
inner concentric circles. The innermost circle was around the command chair with its virtual
support screens. It was normally occupied by the commanding officer, but the OOD was
currently sitting there. The next circle was the command and control, and weapons stations,
while the outermost ring consisted of sensor, navigation, and communication consoles.

One hundred and eighty degrees of the bridge’s circumference was occupied by a front wall
displaying a high resolution view screen showing the star system ahead of them.

From their demeanor and casual posture, the team gave the air of routine—nothing remarkable
going on here. Yet there remained eagerness in the faces of the men nearest Gallant, causing
him to savor the moment before issuing the next series of orders. The crew was so well
coached on the ship’s evolutions they could predict his exact words.

That was Gallant’s perception as he stood at attention, careful to display a neutral facial
expression while anticipating the coming maneuver.

He turned his attention on the youngest member of the team—the twenty-year-old helmsman—
only one year younger than Gallant.

“We’ve reached the system threshold, sir,” reported the helmsman, as if prodding the OOD
to end the FTL flight. Within the star system they would be limited to sublight drive to avoid
passing through a consequential field of matter; a planet, a large asteroid, or even worse, the
star itself, which would bring their voyage to a swift and fatal conclusion.

“Very well, prepare to exit warp,” said Gallant. On the ship-wide communication system, he
announced, “All stations, standby to collapse warp bubble. Standby to collapse warp bubble.”

Turning to Chief Howard, he said, “Chief of the Watch, sound three blasts of the drive alarm.”
Chief Howard complied and the racket the alarm made ensured the whole crew knew what
event was about to transpire.

“Helm, collapse warp bubble,” ordered Gallant, ostensibly monitoring the virtual screens
surrounding him, but in actuality, his attention was keenly focused on the actions of the
helmsman, cautiously checking every movement to ensure exact performance—waiting,

“Aye, aye, sir,” responded Second Class Petty Officer William Craig. Short and wiry, with a
ruddy complexion, he was young for a second class PO, but his outstanding performance and
Chief Howard’s recommendation had spurred his advancement. Using a methodical touch on
the controls, he listened to the AI’s prompting and made subtle adjustments. He watched as the
three dimensional image projected on a virtual screen showed the warp bubble as it writhed and
gyrated in response to his manipulations.

The Intrepid dropped smoothly out of warp. The subtle changes to the surrounding space-time
fabric were inconspicuous to the crew; nevertheless Gallant detected a subtle difference to the
ship’s rhythmic vibrations beneath his feet.


As a scientist and author specializing in technology innovation, H. Peter Alesso has over twenty years research experience at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). As Engineering Group Leader at LLNL he led a team of computer scientists and engineers in innovative applications across a wide range of supercomputers, workstations and networks. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a B.S. and served in the U.S. Navy on nuclear submarines before completing an M.S. and an advanced Engineering Degree at M.I.T. He has published several software titles and numerous scientific journal and conference articles, and he is the author/co-author of seven books. You can visit his Web site at:

Author Social Media:

Author Web site at:
Goodreads Address:
Midshipman Henry Gallant Facebook for Henry Gallant Saga:
Author Blog Address:
Amazon link for Volume 1 of the Henry Gallant Saga:
Amazon -
Apple -
Barnes&Noble -
Smashwords -
Goodreads -

Book Reviews for Volume 1:

Past Reviews of the first volume: Midshipman Henry Galant @2013

"The author has created a wonderful piece of work with his first novel in the Henry Gallant Saga. Between Henry Gallant beginning his new life on the United Planets' battle cruiser Repulse and trying to save the world the author has came up with it all. Henry Gallant is an admirable character with many wonderful features such as courage, intelligence, humility, kindness and special powers. ... the odds stacked against him pretty high. But maybe through it all, Kelsey will see the remarkable things about him." Ashley Patts, Teenage Rush

"This story moves along at a swift pace, with interesting character development and plot surprises. The characters are complete and engaging. This could develop into a good series." Rae

"Its style and flavor reminded me of The Lost Fleet series by Jack Campbell." - JJH

"Space Opera at its finest. Rousing read, introverted young man against impossible odds, a girl to win or lose, an enemy or is he? Way too much fun...can't wait for the next one." - vrzepka

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  1. Loved the review. I really enjoyed the excerpt.

  2. I liked the review and excerpt, thanks.

  3. Are you still working as a scientist? Have your professional colleagues read your novel?

  4. I'm definitely intrigued!

    Trix, vitajex(at)aol(Dot)com

  5. Loved the blurb - thats how I decide if I wanna read the book or not!