In the beginning. What a notion. There is no beginning, no end. Time goes on, and on, into the past as well as the future. Truth: another concept with no meaning since there is no such thing as truth. There is only the physics of how things work, and how things work is arbitrary. If everything is arbitrary, there is no meaning. If there is no meaning, then there is no God, and we live in Hell.
One thousand years into his Rite of Passage, Gatc’hh’en, part machine, part living being is half mad with loneliness and despair. The only woman he has ever loved died horribly four hundred years ago largely because of her association with him, and he wants her back. It seems the only way. He settles on Emily, a young woman near death’s door. He cures her fatal disease - stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma - and begins the inexorable process of changing her into the lover he remembers by genetically modifying her at the cellular level. At first, Emily loves her new lease on life as well as her newly minted and beautiful body, but as she and Gatc’hh’en soon discover, there is a steep and unexpected price they each must pay.
Hundred of thousands of years ago Gatc’hh’en’s sun went nova. Unable to escape, his ancestors transformed themselves into a form that allowed them to survive in what was left of their solar system.
In his natural form, Gatc'hh'en is made up of high energy plasma held together by magnetic fields, powered by a small matter-antimatter source. He appears as a very bright sphere approximately one meter in diameter.
1000 years ago his Rite of Passage begins. He lands in France and meets his first person, and using her DNA as a template, becomes her twin brother.
400 years later, still in France, still trying to understand humanity, he meets Catherine and he falls in love. Nothing is the same after that.
March 22, 2017
When you marry literary fiction with genre fiction, sometimes you wind up with a miss which satisfies neither audience, and sometimes you wind up with something amazingly different and wonderful. Such is the case, the different and wonderful part that is, in a daring new novel – Gatc’hh’en’s Rite – by John Talisker. The author guides us on a cosmic journey involving space, time and dimensional travel while managing to graphically depict the latent suffering of an eternal being who travels to earth on a rite of passage and falls in love with a human in 15th Century France. After losing her in a tragedy of Homeric proportions, he returns six centuries later determined to reclaim what he has lost, at any cost. His anguish, guilt and regrets cause him to explore, on a physical, spiritual and philosophical plane, his motivations and actions and their likely inherent consequences for earth and its inhabitants. Without compromising the entire plot, let me just say that Mr. Talisker manages to take a cold, bot-like energy force and turn it into a sympathetic human-like creature while making the reader fall in love with his new, and yet old, love. As earth awakens to the dangers of his ministrations and seeks to find ways to understand and maybe even thwart his aspirations, Gatc’hh’en must once again save his earthly love and then choose between her and his cosmic roots. Interest, suspense and entertainment value off the scale. For this work to be ignored by major publication houses and literary agents is folly at best and professional neglect at worst. Readers should do themselves a favour and not miss reading Gatc’hh’en’s Rite!
April 8, 2017
The beauty of great science fiction is the platform it provides for serious consideration of life's big questions by joining science, philosophy, and religion in an exploration of what it means to be human.
This novel, one of the great stories I have read over the last few years--the other two being LIFE AFTER LIFE and ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE--is excellent, poor copy editing notwithstanding. It hits all the right notes, making me think, laugh, and reflect on my own humanity. I give it my highest recommendation. Well done.
March 12, 2017
Can love transcend time and space and exist between different species? This is the question asked by Talisker in his novel, Gattc’hh’en’s Rite. An alien with incredible powers and a desire to prove himself returns to Earth, after hundreds of years, to try to reclaim a long dead lover. His very presence shakes Earth and its inhabitants to the core and challenges the best and brightest of the scientists who are attempting to unravel his intentions.
Talisker's background experience at NASA provides this story with richly detailed descriptions of space that read like poetry. Beautiful, mysterious and fascinating. The lovers’ plight is compelling and the twists and turns in the plot keep us guessing. I’m looking forward to the next book in this series.
By Jane Dillons
April 7, 2017
We’ve all been there – love and loss and heartbreak. But for Gatc’hh’en, an alien unfamiliar with the love and cruelty of which humans are capable, efforts to recreate this seemingly simple connection end up complicating the lives of many others.
This is a story about love as I’ve never heard it described before. Exploring the emotional experience through astrological, biological, and political lenses seems counter intuitive for something so poignant. Yet the author navigates science and romance beautifully to weave a tale that we can all relate to on some level.
I particularly enjoyed how the author explored Gatc’hh’en’s journey from different perspectives – NASA, the doctor’s, Emily’s – to give a broader understanding of the impact of Gatc’hh’en’s actions.
I highly recommend Gatc’hh’en’s Rite to everyone looking for a new twist on a classic genre!
April 1, 2017
An excellently written science fiction story. Super read. The descriptions of the underlying science are solid and understandable. Both the character of the Alien and those humans he interacts with, are brought to life. The tale also ponders deeper questions, such as the use of power for good or bad. Well done! For anyone looking for a SciFi story with a new twist, this is worth buying.