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The North Star Serial, Part 1

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A collection of the first 13 episodes of the North Star Serial as featured in Digital Dragon Magazine. An exciting space opera, it tells the story of Captain Janaai Resnick and her crew as they fight for the Coalition against the neighboring Korelean Empire.

148 pages, Paperback

First published April 20, 2010

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About the author

Bryan Thomas Schmidt

44 books150 followers
Bryan Thomas Schmidt is a national bestselling author and Hugo nominated editor of adult and children’s speculative fiction. His fourth novel, Simon Says is a page-turning near future thriller. His debut novel, The Worker Prince received Honorable Mention on Barnes & Noble Book Club’s Year’s Best Science Fiction Releases for 2011. His children’s books, 102 More Hilarious Dinosaur Books For Kids and Abraham Lincoln: Dinosaur Hunter- Land Of Legends appeared from Delabarre Publishing in 2012. His short stories have appeared in Tales of The Talisman, Straight Outta Tombstone, The X-Files: Secret Agendas, Predator: If It Bleeds, Decision Points and many more.

He edited the anthologies Space Battles: Full Throttle Space Tales #6 for Flying Pen Press, Beyond The Sun for Fairwood Press, Raygun Chronicles: Space Opera For a New Age for Every Day, Shattered Shields with coeditor Jennifer Brozek (Baen, 2014), Mission: Tomorrow (Baen, 2015), Galactic Games (Baen, 2016), Decision Points (WordFire, 2016), Little Green Men--Attack! with Robin Wayne Bailey (Baen, 2017), Monster Hunter Files with Larry Correia (Baen, 2017), Joe Ledger: Unstoppable with Jonathan Maberry (St. Martin's Griffin, 2017), Predator: If It Bleeds and Infinite Stars And Infinite Stars: Dark Frontiers both for Titan Books, 2017 and 2019.

As editor, he has edited books for Grail Quest Books, Wordfire Press, Delabarre Publishing and authors including Andy Weir's The Martian which hit number 6 on the New York Times Bestsellers list in 2014, Alan Dean Foster, Mike Resnick, Frank Herbert, Todd McCaffrey, Tracy Hickman, Angie Fox, Leon C. Metz , Ellen C. Maze, David Mark Brown, and more.

He’s also the author of the bestselling nonfiction book How To Write A Novel: The Fundamentals of Fiction.

Bryan can be found online at Facebook, on Twitter as @BryanThomasS and @sffwrtcht and via his website.

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Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 reviews
Profile Image for Jo.
740 reviews35 followers
April 17, 2021
Some minor editing errors. The serial portion of the book reminded me of Battlestar Gallactica and Star Trek. Kind of a family-friendly blend. I was leaning three stars, but have ultimately decided to remove a star because it appears that there are only two other stories in the series, which are not included in the book, nor are they available any longer at the links on the author's website. (If someone knows of an anthology or anthologies in which the stories "Crippled" and "Sweet Revenge" are included, I would love a heads up in the comments.)

Schmidt mentions in his introduction that character arc and development can be hard to achieve with a 1500-word limit, and he's not wrong. He was excited about being able to add more of these developments in a serialized story, but I still found this aspect lacking. Perhaps if Schmidt went back and fleshed all these stories out with more of the depth that 1500-words prevents, he'd end up with a novel that I could really enjoy. But maybe Schmidt isn't interested in these characters or this world any more, which would be totally understandable.

I do have some issues with the idea that the Koreleans were the bad guys and the Coalition were the good guys, considering that the Koreleans were basically Native Americans, but in space. On the other hand, the Koreleans' attitude that women are for baby-making would infuriate me, so I wasn't really thrilled with either society as a whole. Perhaps more nuance and gray area could be useful. Like, yes, the Koreleans are being a**holes, but they have a valid grievance with the Coalition's past behavior. And yes, the Coalition has a point about this war coming out of nowhere, but is it really so surprising after you waltzed onto someone else's home world and told them who and how to worship? More exploration of this everybody-did-wrong idea could, if handled well, be really interesting in the novel-version of this series.

I also felt that Grat had a moment of inconsistency: He was supposed to be this wise, experienced old fart, but I'm not convinced. What wise, experienced old fart f*cks up like he did?

The excerpts from other books intrigued me, but I've ultimately decided not to read them, as Schmidt is more evangelical than I prefer. Ultimately, if you're into sci-fi or fantasy and the "God is good" stuff doesn't make you squirm in your seat, Schmidt is definitely worth a try.

I received a free copy through GoodReads' First Reads program, in exchange for an unbiased (though sadly much belated) review.
Profile Image for Chad.
356 reviews8 followers
June 26, 2010
I really liked Part I of the North Star Serial. I am looking forward to further adventures of CAPT Janaai Resnick and her crew against the Korelean forces. This is a good sci-fi book that keeps the unnecessary subjects of sex and vulgar language out of the space battle storyline. The book is clean, wholesome fun that I know my 10-year old son will really enjoy and he is one of those that does not like to read.

The Koreleans have a deep hatred for Christians who have colonized the galaxy after escaping persecution on Earth. CAPT Resnick has just been given command of NORTH STAR, a destroyer in the Coalition Command fleet. While on her first assignment she comes into contact with Koreleans forces and thus the war begins. Many themes are at play here and the storyline is solid. I want to follow the story a find out what happens to the entire crew in future parts of The North Star Serial.

I also really enjoyed the excerpts from both The Worker Prince and Sandman. I will keep my eyes open for these novels as I am certin that they reach bookstands

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads giveaway program. Thanks to Byran for making this book available in the giveaway program. These first 13 NORTH STAR Serial stories are the start of a great adventure!
Profile Image for Ellen Maze.
Author 43 books248 followers
September 26, 2010

North Star Captain Janaai Resnick has her hands full in this first installment of the North Star Serial. Not only does she have to prove herself to her crew, but also as soon as they head out, she must prove herself a capable leader when the ship is attacked by the Korelean threat.

Author Bryan Thomas Schmidt creates for us a likable and believable female lead that is supported by a cast as three-dimensional as those at the helm of the Star Trek series. With snappy dialogue and genre-correct technology, I think anyone who enjoys the space opera will put this one at the top of their list. I don’t usually read this genre, and I was pleasantly surprised at how fun it was.

As a bonus, at the end of this tale, Schmidt includes novel excerpts from a couple of his upcoming works, THE WORKER PRINCE and SANDMAN.

Ellen C Maze
Author of Curiously Spiritual Vampire Tales
Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider
Profile Image for Anthony.
Author 10 books49 followers
February 7, 2011
I appreciate the effort Bryan Thomas Schmidt has put into creating this world and publishing this book. There's a lot of potential in the characters and concept, but that potential is only scratched at here. The author's introduction talks about the problems of telling an on-going story in 1500-word increments (the requirements of the website that originally published the tales), a problem I can relate to -- "flash fiction" is not my forte. I think publishing these stories as-is creates a second problem for the author: some information is repeated ad-nauseum, and some (I think) vital information about how the Coalition came to existence is left unmentioned until late in the book (in a story I assume was probably published early on, but which chronologically takes place much later). The book overall might have benefited from an additional pass through to clarify some things earlier and to remove needless repetition of information now that the stories are in book fashion.

What intrigues me about the book is the underlying concept. Yes, at first blush it all feels a little "Star Trek-y," but there are enough differences that I was able to put that comparison aside pretty quickly. The concept here is not that Earth colonized the Stars, but rather that Christians did. All of the North Star crew, regardless of their home planet, make reference to the God they serve; the Koreleans make frequent mention of the Missionaries who tried to coerce their people into giving up their own gods. I'm intrigued, of course, by the question of how Christians, leaving their homeworld to escape religious persecution, came to be such a dominant force in the stars (and how all other Earth religions managed to not take to the stars at all, if in fact there are no Jewish, Muslim, Wiccan, etc, colonies out there). I'm also intrigued by the fair look Schmidt gives us into the Korelean society throughout the book -- they may be militaristic, but they also seem to have a good point in saying that they don't want their homegrown culture overrun by these Christian forces.

I'm giving the book 3 stars because I'm intrigued enough to wonder how Schmidt is going to develop the story, and also to wonder what he'd be able to do with it if he'd rework the whole thing with the intention of it being a novel rather than a gathering of short stories, that I'm able to overlook the choppiness and repetitiveness of the storytelling.
Profile Image for Bethani.
4 reviews1 follower
May 3, 2012
This what afternoons need more of.
It is flash fiction so don't expect huge swaths of back story every story happens firmly in the immediate right now. Which considering the very heavy reading I've been doing, was a lovely breath of air.

Imagine if you will a very young captain Janeway fresh from the academy but in the middle of the TOS episode "Balance of Terror". So lots of tension and nail biting from the beginning. Also space pirates. (She gets less like Janeway after the first story this is just how I explain the first story.)

This is one of those books that you want to sit down withsomething to munch on. It's a quick clip all action. Popcorn fodder. In some ways feels a lot like a sunday matinee movie on network tv. You flip the channel and can't pull away.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
22 reviews17 followers
June 29, 2010
I received this book from a Goodreads Giveaway. It was a quick read, something I would recommend for pre-teens who are just getting started in sci-fi. I think it was too short and would have liked the story to have been filled out more fully, but it does keep the storyline simple and it is easy to follow.
Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 reviews

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