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OutsiderTHE STORY: "Outsider" by Jim Francis (W & A)

WHAT IT'S ABOUT: An action/sci-fi story that follows Ensign Alexander Jardin — the sole survivor of a human exploration ship destroyed by an unknown alien force — as he is thrust into the middle of an intergalactic war, light years away from home. To further his isolation, he is the only male on a ship of female alien warriors known as the Loroi.

WHY IT WORKS: Francis places the audience on equal footing with Ensign Jardin, by letting the reader discover important information at the same time that he does. Jardin's internal monologue is also extremely compelling and depicts a man who is struggling to find his way through a truly alien situation. Likewise, the Loroi are shown to be a convincingly alien culture that is at least partially telepathic, which often leaves Jardin completely out of the loop as they communicate directly with each other. Read More...

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