Book Jacket

 

rank 5684
word count 21315
date submitted 12.04.2009
date updated 14.10.2010
genres: Fiction, Thriller, Science Fiction,...
classification: moderate
incomplete

Bringing Home the Stars

Jennifer E. Kirk

A lone man confronts his personal demons , in the updating of the classic 'haunted house' formula set in deep space.

 

Dezza is a gritty salvager in a harsh world. Forced to confront an urban myth made of the retelling of stories of the Mary Celeste, he finds himself pitched into a nightmare aboard a derelict Starliner in deep uncharted space. He loses his friends, his livelihood and his reputation aboard the Starliner. Returning to civilisation, he struggles to come to terms with society's prejudices of a man who lost his crewmate to a ghost story, and the demons that lurk within his own mind.
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tags

alien, firefly, ghosts, haunted, horror, lovecraft, monster, scary, sci-fi, space, thriller

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212 comments

 

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Onthedottedline wrote 1664 days ago

A very human story set in a very inhuman environment, brilliantly told and expertly described. I can't imagine anything more challenging to write about than loneliness in deep space - I mean, what IS there to say? - and yet you create atmosphere and feelings, and engorge our senses with your crisp, economic phrases, and your gift for under-statement. This is sci fi at its very best. Backed with enthusiasm. Best wishes, Tony.

Steve Ward wrote 1688 days ago

Jennifer,
Wow, super writing! Although I've been a scientist all my life Sci-Fi isn't my genre, but your writing made a big difference. You make the unreal sound so real with fantastic dialogue and by exercising all the senses, hear, smell, touch, feel . I loved that line: Fate had a way of pushing the unwary in at the deep end. Also loved the holograms (I made some of the first laser holograms back in the early sixties doing graduate studies). Your characters Zoe, Tubs and Dezza are solid and the Starliner search is so much like diving on a sunken ship for treasure. Great tension all the way through. Excellent read. Good luck with it.
Steve Ward
Test Pilot's Daughter: Revenge

Eveleen wrote 1312 days ago

Bringing home the stars
Backed
Eveleen
(Turning a new leaf)

Eunice Attwood wrote 1330 days ago

Great dialogue and descriptive writing. Your writing flows very well holding the reader captive. Backed. Eunice - The Temple Dancer.

nsllee wrote 1342 days ago

Hi Jennifer

Cracking science fiction - credible technological talk, the classic trope of a team of professionals with their world-weary terse dialogue, as perfected in Alien, the mystery dead ship. Very well done. Backed.

Nicole
Chosen

mvw888 wrote 1342 days ago

Excellent pace, searing prose and a story beginning that grips and doesn't let go. Great introduction of characters--really, everything just in place here. Excellent.

---Mary
The Qualities of Wood

R.A. Baker wrote 1344 days ago

Your novel starts off with a great opening scene, that reminded me a bit of the film "Even Horizon". Spooky and suspenseful. Then it becomes a man's quest for vindication as he returns to place responsible for the deaths of Tubs and Zoe. The pacing was set well and I found myself pulled into this intriguing sci-fi story.

Cherokeeknight wrote 1353 days ago

Good evening Jennifer. Nothing I can add that hasn't already been said. Excellent story. Backed

Nick
Invasion From Within

Andrew Burans wrote 1356 days ago

You have crafted a most interesting science fiction thriller and your use of short paragraphs and crisp dialogue keeps the pace of your story flowing well and helps to build the tension. Your use of imagery is excellent and your character devvelopment of Dezza is solid. Your imaginative writing makes your work a pleasure to read. Backed.

Andrew Burans
The Reluctant Warrior: The Beginning

CarolinaAl wrote 1358 days ago

An interesting story with a thought provoking plot. Well developed characters. Intriguing settings. Lively dialogue. Awesome world building. Vivid, tight writing. Backed.

name falied moderation wrote 1371 days ago

Dear Jennifer
What a good book. I started reading this some time ago and just wanted to let you know, now finished. I have already commented and backed your book a while ago, but cannot see the backing anywhere. So i am taking the time to back it again because I believe your book is WORTH IT

BEST OF LUCK
Denise

SusieGulick wrote 1372 days ago

Dear Jenny, I got so excited when I saw that you had backed, "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not." :) Thanks so very much. :) Since I have already backed your book, I will put your book on my watchlist. Could you please take a moment to back my completed unedited memoir version, "Tell Me True Love Stories?" I'd be ever so grateful. :) Thank you. :) Love, Susie :)
authonomy quote: "Every time you place a book on your bookshelf, your recommendation pushes the book up the rankings. And while that book sits on your bookshelf, your reputation as a talent spotter increases depending on how well that book performs."
Here is the response I received from authonomy concerning backing:
When you back a book, it only improves the ranking of that book, not yours. However, the author whose book you are backing may decide to back your book also, in which case yes, your ranking would be improved."

Burgio wrote 1373 days ago

BRINGING HOME THE STARS
This is an interesting story. The beginning, the discovery of the strange spaceship, sets a suspenseful tone for the rest of the story. You have a good main character in Dezza. He’s likable even with his faults; the kind of character a reader wants to follow. I’m adding it to my shelf. If you have a moment, would you look at mine (Grain of Salt)? I’m in 8th place but only holding on by my teeth. Burgio

Despinas1 wrote 1373 days ago

Brilliant. Backed
Helen
The Last Dream

SusieGulick wrote 1410 days ago

Dear Jennifer, I loved Star Wars & Hans - your story has brought it back to life - good job. :) Your pitch is excellent, so set the hook for me to read your book. :) When you use short paragraphs & lots of dialogue, it makes me want to keep reading to find out what's going to happen next. I'm backing your book. :)
Could you please take a moment to back my TWO memoir books? Thanks, Susie :)

This is information from authonomy (so beware of any other untrue information you may receive that is spam & not quotes of authonomy):
"When you back a book, it only improves the ranking of that book, not yours. However, the author whose book you are backing may decide to back your book also, in which case yes, your ranking would be improved"...authonomy quote.
"Every time you place a book on your bookshelf, your recommendation pushes the book up the rankings. And while that book sits on your bookshelf, your reputation as a talent spotter increases depending on how well that book performs.

Owen Quinn wrote 1426 days ago

Brilliantly created characters and locale and even in the future, man has to face his demons in the face of distrust. The search to prove his story is compelling and the re are good well rounded characters to bounce the story off. There is a creepy atmosphere and the cold depths of space where noone can hear you scream is the perfecr setting because at the end of the day, there is nowhere to run.

Jim Darcy wrote 1445 days ago

Can see why this has attracted an agent's notice. A solid piece of sci-fi with convincing technology, fluid dialogue and a series of well-drawn characters who engage the reader's interest and sympathies. Could be likened on one level to a deep space Robinson Crusoe but has enough original elements to intrigue.
Jim Darcy
The Firelord's Crown

Chipper10 wrote 1502 days ago

love the style and the flow of the book. You have something special here.

I invite you to read or comment on the rebel. Best wishes on your writing.

God Bless,
Chipper Newman

bookjunky wrote 1590 days ago

Jennifer,

"Bringing Home the Stars" is rock solid cool! I haven't enjoyed a spooky space story since the movie "Event Horizon". Way to go! Backed.
If you get a chance, would you mind taking a look at my book, "The Wild, Wild Quest"? I appreciate any and all feed back.

Best of Luck,
J. A. Johnson
(The Wild, Wild Quest)
http://www.authonomy.com/ViewBook.aspx?bookid=13246

T.L Tyson wrote 1604 days ago

It is hard for me to slip into Sci-Fi. I am not too sure why. Maybe cause it is so out there. I suppose maybe because it is something I have never bought for myself.
That being said, I like your character Dezza.
The conversations flowed. There wasn't too much detail which meant I could imagine it. And it didn't seem too far into left feild. Which really means I enjoyed it.
Backed
T.L Tyson-Seeking Eleanor

Jill H. O'bones wrote 1611 days ago

A missing ship found. Gives the reader a reason to read on. Nice space adventure.

Backed

Jill

Bill Carrigan wrote 1621 days ago

Dear Jennifer,

Those who kindly backed "The Doctor of Summitville" may be interested to know that I'm showing another book, "Call Home the Child," a sometimes satirical novel about a troubled interracial adoption. I hope you'll take a look.

Yours, Bill

andyroo wrote 1633 days ago

All I can say is send me a message when this is available in print, please.

Francis Albert McGrath wrote 1635 days ago

Shades of "Alien" but enough to steer it in a completely different direction. "Tubs" as a character name? I enjoyed this.
Frank

Sequoia wrote 1654 days ago

I love the story. I am not so keen on the narratives and the European spelling throws me at times, but the conversational dialogue is delicious. Have you published yet, either self or otherwise? I tend to only read the first few chapters online, it's tough on the eyes. But this is one of the few that I would actually like to read in hard copy. Great work and cheers.

Sequoia
How to Sell Your Soul...A story of Love, Lust and Internet Auctions

Pedr wrote 1656 days ago

Just read the first chapter and synopsis, Jenny. Plenty of promise for reading on later but I thought I would give immediate feedback on the synopsis as you asked for it. It is nice and clear regarding the plot but you could put in more about the characters' motivations e.g Dezza's personal demons which you refer to in the pitch.

I would look again at the pitch too. The wording from 'society's prejudices of a man' ('toward a man'?) and losing his crewmate to a ghost story left me a bit confused.

I like the idea of the creature manifesting between matter and energy and look forward to reading more about how you are treating this.

Best wishes

Pedr

Fields of Yaru (thanks for your comment and backing)

peekaboo_boy wrote 1661 days ago

Deep space travel can be daunting for readers with all the jargon, but you make it accessible. I think the key to putting really good science fiction out there for the masses, instead of just a niche group, is to broaden the scope of things, relate future technology to our own in a way. I always thought it a difficult task, so I've avoided writing my own sci-fi, but you've encouraged me to give it a shot.

This story makes me warm and fuzzy... I'll continue reading.

Helena wrote 1661 days ago

Hi Jenny, I've read the first three chapters and I find it hard not to read on, time restrictions mean I cant continue but I'd love to know what happens to Dezza and if Tubs pub story comes true. Its a great read, well told and I found myself on the edge of my seat for most of the journey. The characters are also well drawn and relate well to each other. Its on the shelf. Helena (A Load of Rubbish)

Mike Lynch wrote 1662 days ago

Hi Jenny

As much as i like films set in space, i usually avoid the books in this genre.

What a fool i've been.

Your writing is exceptional. The world you've created here is sparse and bleak and filled with tension. Your characters are believeable and there's not even a hint of the awful "do or die" spaceman banter that usually puts me off these stories.
Narrative flows, dialogue is great and you suck the reader into the story with the tension you have created.

Obviuosly shelved.

Good luck,

Mike
(Calloway Blood)

Freddie Omm wrote 1662 days ago

slickly executed opening, sense of unease which grows, the horror spreading .

well written, this, the narrative never gets bogged down, which is clever, cos there's a fair bit of alien futureworld technology and stuff to tell about . there are some nice narrative touches and welcome flashes of humour .

the characters are well drawn and intriguing .

you also asked about your ch 26 pitch . i think it reads pretty well, the only thing that leaps out is that zoe is important up front, and motivates him to return, but then she just disappears, and we get the military guy toze intro'd at the end . i'm sure you have good reasons for it, but it gave the pitch a kind of imbalance as i read it .

but this is an excellent read and i am sure it will do very well .

shelved, and wishing you well with it.

freddie
("honour")

Onthedottedline wrote 1664 days ago

A very human story set in a very inhuman environment, brilliantly told and expertly described. I can't imagine anything more challenging to write about than loneliness in deep space - I mean, what IS there to say? - and yet you create atmosphere and feelings, and engorge our senses with your crisp, economic phrases, and your gift for under-statement. This is sci fi at its very best. Backed with enthusiasm. Best wishes, Tony.

CDV wrote 1665 days ago

Well-written, suspenseful, mysterious, not overwhelmed with technical details, almost everything I want in sci-fi. The only thing I felt might needed beefed up is that instant connection I want from the MC, even in hard core sci-fi. I felt Zoe's inner-most feelings and thoughts were closed-off to me in chapter 1. Maybe it's a personal preference, because I know the genre is full of non-feeling charaters, but I like to be able to crawl into a character's skin on page 1. With a name like J.E. Kirk, you have found the right genre, heh heh. Live long and prosper.

Richard Denning wrote 1666 days ago

This is well written Sci Fi. Immediately I find the world you create is believable. You have obviously thought about the physics of future travel both conventional and the old warp drive equivalent - your bridge.
the characters are likeable and you take to then straight away. The mystery of the derelict liner adrift in space draws you in - and that is just the first couple of chapters.

On the strength of that alone and the well written pitch I am very happy to back this. Cant really fault any part of what I have read. Its all slick and well done.
Good luck.

ShrapnelJones wrote 1666 days ago

just read ch 1-7. Heart is in my mouth. Excellently wriiten. Perfect dialogue and description in the right amounts. I will return to this read and finish it. I want to know what the Hell was on that ship. Reminded me of Event Horizon, Firefly, and some A.C. Clarkes better works. Love the nod to 2001 in the computer.

Backed.

plantaen wrote 1667 days ago

Bringing Home the Stars

First, and most importantly, I really enjoyed reading the first two chapters, and wanted to read on.

The characters are adeptly introduced and developed, and the narrative builds an air of menace and foreboding—very nicely done.

Waterstone's Test: yes, I would tuck this under my arm.

I had a look at the synopsis. I don't feel really qualified to comment; all I'll say is that if I were an editor or agent it would encourage me to take a look at the book.

Backed.

Glenn_Johnstone wrote 1668 days ago

I really like this book and it's one I would definitely buy in the shops! For me it blended the suspense of Alien with the Joshua Calvert character and context from Peter Hamilton's Void triliogy - a series of books I can read again and again! I've got hopes that 'Bringing Home the Stars' is of the same calibre.

Backing this one and hope it get's to the Ed's Desk - deserves to be there! All the best - Glenn

Glenn_Johnstone wrote 1668 days ago

I really like this book and it's one I would definitely buy in the shops! For me it blended the suspense of Alien with the Joshua Calvert character and context from Peter Hamilton's Void triliogy - a series of books I can read again and again! I've got hopes that 'Bringing Home the Stars' is of the same calibre.

Backing this one and hope it get's to the Ed's Desk - deserves to be there! All the best - Glenn

T. Allen Winn wrote 1670 days ago

Finished the first 6. Can you say screenplay, movie? This is my kind of reading. Can't wait to read more! You clearly build the suspense.

Tazumi wrote 1671 days ago

Hi Jennifer,

I really enjoyed reading the first part of your book. And I'm not usually a fan of pure sci-fi writing, so that definitely says something! My favorite part was the mystery. I hate it when you start a book and you get a giant blob of information about the world, etc instead of just being shown slowly through the course of the story. Your story does a great job of avoiding that pitfall. I also liked that you keep the reader waiting for the Cerberus question to come to fruition.

The only criticisms I have are probably due to my own unfamiliarity with the genre. Some of the space terms get a little overwhelming, but I think that it's probably just because I don't read much of this type of novel. I'm sure over the course of more chapters the problem would resolve itself. Also, I think you have some interesting characters here, but at the start of the story I was having trouble keeping them separated.

All in all, I think it's a great read!

RWGOOD wrote 1671 days ago

I really think this book should be going up, not down. hopefully more people here will give it a visit.

M. R. Gott wrote 1671 days ago

On chapter 25
You use the word static quite a bit, you may want to vary it up
Your formatting words and the paragraphs don't begin in the same way,
The last paragraph is very strong, mixing emotion with action and atmosphere
the word alien also appears a bit, not sure if there's a way to very this up

None of this is meant to piss you off just trying to help

M.R.

M. R. Gott wrote 1671 days ago

On chapter 25
You use the word static quite a bit, you may want to vary it up
Your formatting words and the paragraphs don't begin in the same way,
The last paragraph is very strong, mixing emotion with action and atmosphere
the word alien also appears a bit, not sure if there's a way to very this up

None of this is meant to piss you off just trying to help

M.R.

M. R. Gott wrote 1671 days ago

On chapter 25
You use the word static quite a bit, you may want to vary it up
Your formatting words and the paragraphs don't begin in the same way,
The last paragraph is very strong, mixing emotion with action and atmosphere
the word alien also appears a bit, not sure if there's a way to very this up

None of this is meant to piss you off just trying to help

M.R.

M. R. Gott wrote 1671 days ago

On chapter 25
You use the word static quite a bit, you may want to vary it up
Your formatting words and the paragraphs don't begin in the same way,
The last paragraph is very strong, mixing emotion with action and atmosphere
the word alien also appears a bit, not sure if there's a way to very this up

None of this is meant to piss you off just trying to help

M.R.

MickR wrote 1673 days ago

Jennifer,
Gotta love a good sci-fi story. And so far, this seems like a good one.
A couple of suggestions,
"Just a few hours," Tubs replied, muffled from beneath the panel.
[came Tubs muffled reply from beneath the panel.

hand one which had become tedious, fast.
{had fast become tedious]

Just a few thoughts.

Loved the story, hope to get back to it soon. Backed.
MickR - The Nightcrawler

ShrapnelJones wrote 1674 days ago

Now how come I never saw this before...WL for when I have the time.

Pia wrote 1674 days ago

Dear Jennifer,

Loved the title and pitch and got hooked into reading this timeless theme set in space. The hero having to face his monster, the guardian of the underworld, to become whole. Your characters have charm and your writing works brilliantly, with a light touch. Unlike some techno-obsessed Sci-Fi styles. I'll return to read more.
This should be a success.

Pia (Course of Mirrors)


M. R. Gott wrote 1674 days ago

On ch 26

On sending this out, is this in addition to a query letter. This overview is a bit to clinical. You still want to entice whomever and demonstrate your writting skills. In the first paragraph don't reveal its a creature it could be a spirit or i dunno anything create a fear in the unknown. (watch a trailer for the movie Event Horizon for an example of cryptic in a similair setting)

Add a personal element to the overview its just too clinical to catch attention. You want to be noticed leave the reader wanting something more

Hope this doesn't piss you off.

M.G. Gott

RWGOOD wrote 1674 days ago

Wow.. okay, its 4 am and i've finished the book. Bloody hell. kept me going and going. The problem with sci fi is to make the technical portion not only believable but also to blend with the story. You've accomplished that. I noticed some typo's but thats common to all books even after several edits and they were very few and didnt interrupt my enjoyment.
I was kept a hostage of your story during the search of the ship and the paranoia of wondering who's who when you realize what the creature is doing.
Great job.
backed, shelved, bought...

Richard

RWGOOD wrote 1675 days ago

Okay, i was only going to have a quick boo and start reading on the weekend, but it grabbed me by the scruff of my neck and wouldnt let go. i'm on chapter 5 now and i have to stop, but i'll be reading more later tonight. So far, this is extremely well written! Last time i was this engrossed in science fiction was I Robot. Cant wait to keep reading.
Richard

Bob Steele wrote 1678 days ago

Bringing Home the Stars is a good read for the sci-fi enthusiast, with a coherent, believable and well-structured backdrop and strongly evoked characters. The balance between narrative and dialogue is good, and both are tightly written. it should do well in its target audience, and I'm happy to back it, with no nitpicks.

mmcdonald64 wrote 1680 days ago

For Bringing Home the Stars--

In the last year, I've begun reading some military sci-fi, but have found only a few that I really like. This is definitely one that would fit into that catagory. I love that the book isn't just focused on the cool ships and technology, but instead, targets the emotions and fears of the characters. That's what makes a great story.

I read through chapter three, then skipped to 26 to read your pitch. It sounds good to me, but take that with a grain of salt because I not that far with my own book, so haven't yet studied the how-to's of writing a good pitch.

Anyway, loved the story and will back it.