By the year 2000 humanity had discovered just thirty exoplanets, now that number is 4,043 (as of 21st August 2019) and the total is rising. Of these, seventeen are judged to be potentially habitable.

This explosion in extrasolar research and discovery forms the inspiration for Andrew J Chamberlain’s, The Centauri Survivors, a first contact novel which presents us with a vision of the best, and worst, of humanity as we discover and then seek to colonise the first habitable planet we encounter.

Themes of identity and otherness, family, and environmental responsibility are woven into the story, as a diverse range of characters, try to survivor and impose their will on the new planet, whilst it, in turn, presents them with an altogether different reality from the one they were expecting.

At its heart, this is an adventure story, with conflict, aliens, heroics and, in places, some very very bad behaviour; but it also presents the reader with a vision of how another race might perceive us, giving an independent perspective on our qualities as well as our deficiencies.

The story presents humanity with the challenge of coming to terms with the fact that we might not be in control, that it’s “not about us” and that we must learn to be satisfied with our small corner of the universe, before someone or something, else imposes that lesson on us.

About the book:

When a habitable planet is discovered just four light-years from Earth, governments and private corporations rush to build a ship to take the first humans there. But only a few of the colonists wake up from cryosleep after the sixty-year journey, and as their ship comes into orbit around the new planet, they find themselves surrounded by death.
As the survivors scramble to make sense of what has happened, they find their own lives under threat, and, pursued by their enemies, they escape to the surface of the new planet. Caught between their human adversaries and whatever the planet throws at them, the survivors fight to stay alive, as circumstances drive them towards a final, deadly confrontation.

Andrew J Chamberlain is a writer and creative writing mentor based on Cambridge in the UK. He is the host of The Creative Writer’s Toolbelt, a podcast that offers practical advice and encouragement on the craft of writing. In 2017 he published The Creative Writer’s Toolbelt Handbook, which takes the best advice from the podcast and condenses this into one book.

He has published fiction non-fiction and memoir commercially and as an independent author, and in July 2019 he published The Centauri Survivors, a first contact SciFi novel. He has spoken at writing conferences and conventions including the Lakes Course, Eastercon, and Worldcon, and he mentors writers from around the world.