Colonizing Trappist

Fiction - Science Fiction
432 Pages
Reviewed on 11/07/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Chris Shockowitz discovered science fiction at age ten when he read the Lensman series by E. E. Doc Smith. He instantly fell in love with the genre.

After graduating from San Jose State University with a business degree, he worked at Intel for twenty-five years, starting as a software developer and retiring early as a Director of Application Development. At Intel, Chris was recruited to participate in many projects designed to envision future products or services. One of his favorite phrases is, “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”

He and his wife Carolyn are blessed with two wonderful children. He loves the outdoors and goes hiking or mountain biking every week. He is currently writing two science fiction series.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Amanda Rofe for Readers' Favorite

Colonizing Trappist by Chris Shockowitz is the first book in an epic science fiction saga called The Outward Bound trilogy. It chronicles the human colonization of a planet in the Trappist star system situated many light years from Earth. The forward party, headed up by the very capable Commander Eugene Hamilton, arrives in a ship called the Exo-1. They have only four months to decide which planet to inhabit and to prepare for the 5000 human colonists who are already on their way in a ship called Atlantis. Unfortunately, when Hamilton and his crew arrive, they find others have already made the star system their home. However, this new alien civilization known as the Marzon has been wiped out by another more aggressive race. Hamilton finds cities devastated by war and a number of warmongering wolf-like robots guarding the place.

Chris Shockowitz writes a well-crafted novel detailing the trials and tribulations of a new colony in the making, including the realistic portrayal of the human condition. I loved the action and adventure early on when Commander Hamilton was forced to wipe out the wolf-like robots. An air of mystery surrounds the friendly and not so friendly aliens they encounter during their mission. It is exciting to anticipate exactly how the relationship with all the different species will pan out. I loved the way the colony ship was designed, an entire city built around thousands of people sleeping in suspended animation. Colonizing Trappist is a solid science fiction novel with a lot of scope in the story line and I very much look forward to the next book in the series.

K.C. Finn

Colonizing Trappist is an exciting work of science fiction by author Chris Shockowitz, and the first book in the Outward Bound trilogy. In a struggle for survival, the Trappist of the story’s title is a star system that may be humanity’s last hope for the continuation of the species, except that another form of life has already laid claim to the system they desire. Our hero is Commander Eugene Hamilton, who begins his exploration of the system to discover an installation of robotic defence mechanisms, as though a brutal race is keeping the planet protected so that they may return to it someday. But with 5000 colonists already on their way from Earth, the human race has no choice but to settle, and await the repercussions.

The premise of the novel presents a really interesting dilemma, putting it all on the shoulders of a single human at the head of a team designed to secure habitable life. The pre-history of Trappist’s original inhabitants, the Marzon, was eerily described and really set the tone well for a sense of foreboding when the humans decide they must settle anyway. With both the humans and their unseen enemies laying claim to a planet that neither of them truly deserves, author Chris Shockowitz presents some really thoughtful questions about ownership and respect for other life forms, cultures and their ways. Overall, Colonizing Trappist is sure to satisfy science fiction fans looking for realistic human endeavors into space, and marks the start of what promises to be a very exciting series.

Kim Anisi

In Colonizing Trappist by Chris Shockowitz, humans want to colonize a habitable solar system 80 light years away from Earth. The crew of the preparation ship arrives a few months before the actual colony ship to examine the planets in the Trappist system and decide on which planet the colony ship should land. But when the crew starts their mission, they make not only one, but two shocking discoveries: someone lived in this system before. Some planets show signs of an advanced civilization. A civilization that is no more. The second shock: this civilization had been eradicated by another – they left some nasty surprises on the planets, and will very likely come back to lay claim to Trappist themselves. The humans find themselves in a difficult situation: how will they set up a colony, knowing that they might be attacked any time?

While I was reading, I often thought that this book would do very well if it was turned into a sci-fi TV series. It’s a very creative novel. The alien species the humans encounter are indeed alien, and not just copies of well known space races from other books, series or movies - at least as far as I know. There is a lot going on, but the goings-on aren’t random and make sense. I found it really interesting to see what it might be like if humans ever got to the stage where they could colonize a planet (or planets) in another solar system, and what it would be like to make first contact with friendly, not-so-friendly, and hostile alien life forms.

Chris Shockowitz clearly has thought everything through very well and must have some knowledge about the scientific background. At no point did I ever think: “Well, that’s totally wrong when you think about it.” Of course, right now, these things are impossible, but who knows what the future will hold? This novel is definitely a good read, and has a good ending, even though there’s much more to come. I love it when authors give you an ending that doesn’t make you want to murder them, but still makes you want to have more. This book is an example of how to do this: no annoying cliffhangers that make you want to throw the Kindle against the wall, but something unresolved to look forward to.