Symbiota Sapiens, by P.T. Dean
A tour de force of imagination
Story blurb: This is the story of Jeremey, a young man who is chosen by an ancient society to join their ranks to guide humanity to its destiny. Ancient technology and enhancements in his body can make him powerful, and immortal…but his new duties will require him to leave his friend Julian to fend for himself.
What happens when Jeremey and Julian run away from thefuture that has been planned for them? And what happens when other, less idealistic immortals take notice of Jeremey and begin making plans of their own?
This fanciful tale explores the nature of love, loyalty, and human nature as the two are caught between two factions in a silent struggle for the future of humankind. As they run, each time they fight for each other’s lives, they discover a deeper truth about their love for each other.
Available in Kindle format – 580 KB
About the author: P.T. Dean has a long established interest in speculative fiction, with a particular weakness for epic tales that wind several intricate plot lines together. Since coming out of the closet his stories have pulled on the paranoia and fear of his past, but also on the emotional richness of his own relationship. His romantic subplots also draw from his personal experience, and have covered a spectrum from overt heterosexuality with homoerotic overtones to explicit same-sex passion. His rule of thumb is that every character, no matter how minor, is the protagonist of some novel somewhere. A little piece of that novel should show through whenever that character makes an appearance. Even the villains are the hero from their own perspective – if you hadn’t already fallen in love with the protagonist, you might want the villain to win instead. Bibrary Book Lust
Review by Gerry Burnie
“Symbiota Sapiens” [Amazon Digital Services, 2011] is the epic debut novel of author P.T. Dean. It is an ambitious work to cut one’s teeth on, but Dean does a remarkable job of just that with only a few exceptions.
The story line is a complex one, almost as if the author was challenging himself, but I never had a problem following it throughout. He also uses some literary devices I have never come across before, i.e. the use of italics, bold face and regular type, to differentiate between the various voices. It is an unorthodox method—at least it is to me—but it worked.
The premise is that Jeremy has been chosen by a mysterious clan of ‘immortals’, survivors of the lost city of Atlantis, who style themselves “Guardians.” It is never made quite clear why Jeremy is chosen, but this is only a minor issue. Jeremy is then told that he must divest himself from all mortal connections, including his orphaned step-brother, Julian. However, having been Julian’s de facto guardian for several years, Jeremy refuses to do this and they both run away to New York.
The Guardians also have counterparts, known as the “Fallen”, who possess the same powers as the Guardians but use it for cross purposes. Jeremy and Julian find this out when they encounter the leader of this faction, a smooth-talking but sinister character by the name of Damion, and only escape with the help of the Guardians. However, they are then pursued by Damion’s minions, zombie-like characters called “autonoids”, who are trying to get at Jeremy through Julian.
P.T. Dean also unfolds a fantasmagorical array of technological gadgetry, including a super computer known as an “A1” that operates both internally and externally inside Jeremy’s head. It is also assisted by a veritable host of microscopic “caretakers” known as “Esserons”, that can cure any ailment or injury that befalls him.
In that regard, this story challenges the 1970s all-time zany “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams. However, while Hitchhiker’s Guide was written as a spoof, “Symbiota Sapiens is a serious adventure and love story with zany overtones.
Journalistically the writing is solid throughout, and Dean’s handling of some very complex scenarios is masterful. However, there are some continuity problems. For example, in one scene Julian is kidnapped by a pair of autonoids using a stun gun. At the time Julian had been using his laptop computer in a cyber-café, and when Jeremy finds him missing he immediately takes off in hot pursuit, rescuing Julian and running (at a record pace) until they are well away from the area. They then take a hotel room where Julian continues to work on his computer. However, as far as the reader knows it is still back at the cyber café.
This oversight didn’t interfere with the over all enjoyment of the story, but I can’t call it perfect, either. I can recommend it as a highly original story, though, and if you are a sci-fi fan I think that you will enjoy this one. Four Gerry Bees.
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I have added three, newly discovered vintage photographs to my Coming of Age on the Trail, Related Photos site. These are photos from the 1890s era that illustrate various aspects of the story, along with a description. These photos are of interest in their own right. Check it out.
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