A hostile race has begun to cull the various alien races in deep space, destroying one home station after another. The few survivors of many races attempt to flee to planet earth. Among them are the last three members of the Aalana race whose pod crash lands in the middle of a snow storm near Pittsburgh, killing two of Een’s mates and leaving Een injured. They are bereft without their partners and wish for death, only to be found and rescued by a human who takes them home to his remote cabin to heal.
Serge Kosygin is barely living himself. Having lost his partner and love to cancer just a short time ago, Serge is grappling with grief and trying to find the will to get up each day and simply live. He has heard about the aliens coming to earth and dismissed it as a lot of poppycock until he spots the red streak in the sky and goes to investigate, finding an aircraft on fire, two dead aliens, and one injured but still alive. Deciding to hide the creature rather than give them over to the FBI, who he is certain will imprison and experiment on them, Serge brings Een into his home and his life—not knowing how much they will affect him and heal his wounded heart.
Author Angel Martinez has released Eating Stars, a science fiction morsel that is so very good. With alien life being threatened across the cosmos, the remaining survivors are of many different races and face complete annihilation unless they find a remote planet on which to live. They choose earth and flee just in time. What follows is the story of the survival of one of those creatures and how they adapt with the help of a musician who is grappling with his own grief. This is a love story and it is rich in emotion and pathos. It is a story of redemption and second chances coming from the most unusual of sources.
I loved Eating Stars. For me, it is an amazing piece of science fiction. Not only is the idea that both Serge and Een struggle with their grief over the loss of the one they loved a uniting factor, it’s also the healing of those heavy emotions that make this story so joyful. In a world where so often all we hear about is the negative aspects of governmental policing agencies like the FBI, it was refreshing to read a story where they ended up being compassionate, helpful, and actually advocating for the aliens now coming to earth. Alongside that idea is the aid of the medical and research folks who also added their dose of humanity to the novel. I loved how every person who came in contact with Een offered solace and help and not harm; that in itself is a huge deviation from the norm in this particular trope.
However, it is the love that grows between Serge and Een that is most breathtaking. It is one thing to offer up two characters who are the immediate balm to each other’s pain and loss, but another to see them create a place of safety and acceptance together. Perhaps due to the current state of affairs in our own society, this story struck a nerve and seemed more important than it might have been intended, but I venture that the author chose to give this story as a gift to those of us who often despair that humanity and goodness has become a precious commodity in this day and age. Whatever the motivations, Angel Martinez has written a beautiful novella—one that I will reread over and over again.
Note: Eating Stars was previously published as part of Meteor Strike: Serge & Een as a novelette. It has undergone extensive rewrites and edits with over 10,000 words of new content added.