Size: 6.00 x 9.00 in
Aaron Okonkwo, a Nigerian scientist, travels with a crew in the 24th century to evaluate Viridis, which proves to be a beautiful and fabulous world. There, Aaron discovers a strange, alien species and amazing machines and technology left in a vast underground complex by a mysterious race called the Creators. Aaron soon falls under the irresistible, seductive spell of Nightsong, a green alien female with ominous and bewitching powers.
However, an even greater danger rises. He will be forced to fight for the planet’s survival against a ruthless invasion of many ships to conquer and enslave the planet – just as Africa itself was once enslaved. Aaron knows it’s A Senseless Act of Beauty to try to reclaim his ancient warrior heritage and fight back against such overwhelming odds, but he knows he must try.
- 1 To Be Read list
Publisher: Crossroad Press
Tropes: Alien Artifacts, Aliens in History, Ancient Weapon, Benevolent Aliens, Chosen One, Evolving Powers, First Contact, Galactic Civilization, Interstellar Travel, Reluctant Hero
Word Count: 115000
Setting: The beautiful planet Viridis
Languages Available: English
SETUP: Aaron loves Nightsong, the beautiful alien girl, but can he trust her?
Whatever the case, the deadly plants remained just as obediently in place behind as they did ahead. However, he couldn’t forget what had happened to the Egyptians who dared to follow the Hebrews across the Red Sea.
Walking beside Nightsong, Aaron no longer felt like the brave warrior he had claimed to be. Though he loved her, he recalled suddenly all the suspicious things she had said and done. Perhaps he had been foolish to enter the briars with her. This could be a trap, and he the prey.
He stopped and turned, debated going back. But as he hesitated, Nightsong drew swiftly ahead. No! Better to follow her and stay close.
He raced after her, quickly catching up.
Finally they reached a circular clearing. Serene and confident, Nightsong led him to its center, where she gazed up into his eyes.
“You are the first of your people to see this,” she said.READ MORE
He looked around, nervously seeing only the briars surrounding him like an impenetrable wall, or an enemy ready to spring. The briars seemed to be growing, rising.
He gasped. No, the ground they stood on was sinking! They were going down into the earth!COLLAPSE
Glenn O. Parkhurst on Amazon.com wrote:
Island of Dr. Moreau meets Avatar
John B. Rosenman demonstrates once again that originality lies in the clever combination of familiar topics and images. He likes to take an archetype and twist it a little to fill it with new meaning. In his philosophical space travel sci-fi novel "A Senseless Act of Beauty" the readers will her echoes of "The Island of Dr. Moreau" and the movie "Avatar". The concept of experimenting with nature and the ethical implications of this practice is at the core of the works by such sci-fi icons as H.G. Wells. On one hand, our instinct tells us "don't mess with nature". On the other hand, science would not progress if not for a few daring maniacs who were willing to push the boundaries, not fearing judgment from their colleagues and contemporaries. "A Senseless Act of Beauty" opens on earth in a scientific facility in Nigeria. Aaron, on of a scientist, takes a leisurely hike with a human-enhanced male monkey. The hike nearly costs Aaron his life, for he discovers that his companion has murderous tendencies. The intricate experiment came with hidden dangers. The experience piques his curiosity and sets him on the path of interstellar colonization and interspecies sexual affairs. The line between human and animal/alien is very fine. What happens when you cross it?
It is refreshing that the main character, a conqueror and a colonist, is not the so frequently demonized white man. Aaron is African - and privileged. His color is of little significance on the new planet. I commend the author on raising certain ethical and philosophical questions without passing judgment.
Daz Pulsford on Amazon.com wrote:
A Senseless Act of Beauty by John B Rosenman is a Sci-Fi built on the characters from two different worlds. The alien life on Viridis presented an unusual situation to the explorers which turned in unexpected directions. The author kept me moving through chapter after chapter waiting and wondering what would come next. I found myself changing my allegiances as the story progressed and the characters learned more about each other and themselves. Secrets revealed were always a surprise that filled in the questions that followed me. I really recommend this book. A great summer read.
A powerful tale of love and wonder
Cleverly mixing some traditional sci-fi elements: an alien planet ripe for conquest, an arrogant and rapacious paternalistic invader, indigenous humanoids who cause fascination and wonder, and mysterious technological forefathers, A Senseless Act of Beauty also includes tales from the African Mythos of our future past, and more than a dash of love and heartbreak as it weaves a tale of hope, the surrender to love, and a quest for understanding.
It is the central character Aaron's journey of self-belief and understanding his place in things that sets up the story, and around it we see the story change from his view as a visiting scientist to a fierce protector of the planet Viridis. Beginning with a defining moment of his youth that shapes his future instincts, the author takes you through Aaron's transformations as he learns to love, grieve, love again, and ultimately triumph over the very forces of mindless subjugation and assimilation of which he was initially a part.
The native aliens of Viridis also undergo a distinct journey. Although physically and psychically far more evolved than humans, they are emotionally stunted, naïve and split along gender lines - believing their omnipotent Creators to have deserted them as a failed experiment and doomed to extinction due to the overbearing mental dominance of the females over the repressed males.
In Aaron they see their saviour, and as with the other males of his crew, he is coerced into gifting reproduction to his mate, Nightsong. What follows is a bizarre evolutionary rollercoaster at high speed as Aaron and the aliens try to leap the gap in fertility, causing distress and anger amongst both Aaron and his former Captain and their offspring.
Woven into the love and heartbreak of these genetic problems is the discovery of the Creators machines below the ground and their array of awesome and terrifying powers - all of which lead to Aaron realising his potential (as bound and retold in the stories of his native heritage) and destiny as guardian of Viridis against the returning, now warlike Humans who want to carve up the planet for its riches. A final conflict brings a neat fulfilment to the story and leaves room for glimpses of what might yet be.
Rich with astonishing sights and sounds, primal fears and advanced technology, the simplicity of love and faith and the ugly faces of envy, greed and mistrust - this book is a magical tale that will have you hanging on right to the end.
This is a work of African outer-space science fiction. It is also my longest and most ambitious and experimental novel. This is partly because it is a framework novel that contains four short stories that interact symbolically and thematically with the larger narrative.
The audiobook version was read by B.J. Harrison.