Perax Frontier

Perax Frontier


Fiction - Science Fiction
212 Pages
Reviewed on 03/22/2017
Buy on Amazon

Author Biography

Alistair Potter writes Fantasy, Science Fiction, short stories and poetry. His work has been read on the BBC Radio4, Scottish Shorts series, and he is former recipient of a Scottish Arts Council New Writer's Bursary.

"Perax Frontier" started as an idea about eight years ago, when I was on a family holiday on Lismore Island off the coast of Scotland. Our hosts 'Davie and Gill' let us set up tent, along with some others, in their garden. During a long walk, I discussed the idea of the Interface with Davie. Because of his interests, he saw it as the gate to Valhalla, but I saw it as just how it is in the novel. Regardless of our differing opinions, it was great to bounce ideas about surviving in a world without electricity. In many ways Lismore and much of the West Coast of Scotland was an example of how societies manage without electricity. Power cuts were not too frequent, but they did happen often enough for folks to be 'ready' to cope. From cooking to lighting, entertainment to transport, and the sense of community that existed on the island, it was a loose 'blueprint' of how a community gets by in these circumstances.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite

Perax Frontier by Alistair Potter is the story of a tiny asteroid, shaped just like a doughnut, that floats alone in interstellar space. It being such a small place, you wouldn’t think it needed an Imperial Ambassador, but it seems it does. You see, the center of the asteroid is hollow, home to a gateway between two universes, home of the Interface. So, why does each Ambassador only serve for a few months? And how long would you be able to live where there was no electricity, no computers, communications or anti-gravity transport? Praxton and Millaki are two townships lit up by the constant glow of the Interface, neither with any technologies based on electricity. Sheriff Perax is investigating the murder of one of the ambassadors while trying to keep some kind of order among the scientists, visitors, and everyone else who keeps the trade going across the Interface. Who murdered Ambassador Madam Lintsa Kroft and can Sheriff Perax find out before it’s too late?

Perax Frontier by Alistair Potter was something very different and unique and that makes a refreshing change, given that so much in this genre is alike. It is a book that will keep any fan of science fiction, and indeed some that may not be, hooked, unable to put it down until the end. Mr. Potter has a real command of language and that shows through in his writing style, his descriptions that bring the story to life, and his character development which gives every character in the story their own identifiable personality. Science fiction meets murder mystery in this scintillating tale of life in interstellar space, with a touch of humor added to make this one of the best books I have read in this genre. I'm looking forward to reading more from Mr. Potter.

Dinah Roseberry

Perax Frontier by Alistair Potter is a combination of science fiction and murder mystery in which Sheriff Artur Kovel Perax, the sheriff of Praxton, must solve the murder of the Imperial Ambassador to Perax, Madam Lintsa Kroft. The Perax Frontier is a small doughnut-shaped asteroid in interstellar space, at the center of which is a gateway between this and another universe, hence its importance and thus meriting an Imperial Ambassador. This novel was an excellent trek into immersion therapy like no other. Potter is a genius at taking readers and plopping them down into a new, expansive world and then immediately acclimating them to a place that they could not imagine under normal circumstances. I was comfortable right away in a time and place that could only be described as magnificent—sights and settings were genuine and solid. There wasn’t one thing that was out of place, and I believed it all without thinking. The fact that the frontier townships of Praxton and Millaki (on the Atlathian side) worked without electricity in such positive ways seemed only a minor backdrop that had been there all along—it just fitted. The coupling of two races (humans and Atlathians) and their varied disciplines involved in criminal investigation techniques is perfectly executed, including the relationships between the varied characters. The people in Perax Frontier are so well-written by Potter that I didn’t even realize that I was meeting individuals, but instead was absorbed into their personalities and how they blended so perfectly into the storyline. As Reven (a close associate of Sheriff Artur) says: “Have you ever been in one of those relationships where you wished you could start again by not starting it in the first place?" I found myself nodding to answer her question. (I was there, you see…)

Artur Kovel Perax, the local Praxton town sheriff, has his job cut out for him as he tries to solve one mystery only to end up in the middle of another. Of course, having to do this while keeping the town safe from the lurking Interface is unnerving—not that the Interface is actually lurking, but the idea of stepping from one place into nothingness—or possibly heaven?—well, that’s what had me really thinking of the dangers of such a place. Suicide or mind/body/spirit, who can say? The idea was to separate which parts of this strange environment would be conducive to the murder of the well-loved Imperial Ambassador. And what of this new ambassador taking her place and his bizarre likes and dislikes? I like him. He has pizzazz. Artur sails through the duties of sheriff like you would hope it would really happen in our own world, but he has the added stress of being so well known in the town that he is on stage continually. He knows how to use that circle of personalities, though, to navigate through the case and eventually solve the mysteries at hand. Perax Frontier is a compelling and welcome world and sports a set of characters that deserves a book 2.




Melissa Tanaka

Perax Frontier by Alistair Potter is an exciting science fiction adventure about a man named Artur Kovel Perax, the local Praxton town sheriff, who works on an asteroid called Perax Frontier, a small doughnut-shaped asteroid floating in the vast emptiness of interstellar space. It merits the presence of a full Imperial Ambassador because at the asteroid’s hollow centre is the Interface, the gateway between this and another Universe. When Imperial Ambassador Madam Lintsa Kroft is murdered by a mysterious assassin, Sheriff Perax sets out to uncover who is behind the attack while maintaining diplomatic ties and risking life and limb every step of the way.

Packed with high action stand offs and an air of mystery, Perax Frontier by Alistair Potter is perfect for any fan of futuristic space or science fiction stories. In addition, Perax Frontier is told from a first person point of view which allows you to get inside the mind of Artur Perax and gain a deeper understanding of the world he lives in, and all the treachery and danger he faces. I really enjoyed reading Perax Frontier and trying to piece together what had happened, just as Artur did in his investigation. Potter has created an incredible world that is rich with interesting, engaging characters as well as the technology and atmosphere needed for this unusual place. Although there are a lot of names of people and equipment used throughout the story that can make it feel like an information overload, Potter takes care to explain things or refer back to them so that the reader can more easily understand what is going on.


Liz Konkel

Perax Frontier by Alistair Potter is a science fiction mystery revolving around the Perax Frontier, which is a small doughnut-shaped asteroid floating in space. Artur Perax is the local sheriff, whose great-great-great-grandfather discovered the asteroid. When Ambassador Kroft's shuttle is blown up, Artur is thrown into an investigation that raises more questions than answers as another body is discovered. Torn between duty and family, Artur has to find a way to be the sheriff the people need to solve Kroft's murder, and the husband his wife needs him to be now that their family is growing.

Perax Frontier has an old-fashioned vibe in a futuristic setting. A place where everybody knows each other, Praxton is a small town in space with a local sheriff. Alistair Potter blends charm with science fiction and a murder mystery, asking the question 'what should come first: duty or family?' I love the old-time vibe through Artur Perax's dialogue, the names, and that delightful scene where he doesn't understand what a smiley face is. The setting may be space, but Artur's tone and personality are realistic to now. I would label this as light science fiction. The setting is hardly different, following daily normal life that just happens to be in space. When Artur stops to ask the postal worker about his soccer team, it showed the sort of person he is: friendly, charming, and endearing. He's easy to like and to relate to. Potter finds the perfect balance between science, murder, family, and humor. Perax Frontier is perfect for science fiction lovers!

Melinda Hills

The frontier town of Praxton is the outer space setting for the assassination of the well-liked outgoing Imperial Ambassador, Lintsa Kroft, in Perax Frontier by Alistair Potter. Praxton is unique because it sits beside the interface to another universe with a duplicate town on the other side. Although it was formerly known for lawlessness like many a frontier town of old, Sheriff Artur Kovel Perax, great-great-great-grandson of the founder of the asteroid, has managed to maintain order and a wonderful sense of community with the residents of Praxton. Coexisting with the Atlathians on the other side of the interface takes some cooperation so when violations to the treaty maintaining the peace begin to occur, Sheriff Perax has a lot of work to do, especially with a new Imperial Ambassador in town and special investigators in charge of the case. Just like any good, old fashioned lawman, Sheriff Perax manages to track down numerous clues that only lead to more questions. Fortunately, his relationships with the Atlathians help provide some information, but will the pieces of this puzzle get put together before there are even bigger problems?

Creative and highly entertaining, Perax Frontier by Alistair Potter is a terrific science fiction story that doesn’t overwhelm you with technology. Proximity to the Interface means that no electricity or combustion engines are possible so it is quite interesting to see how the people live and work around what most of us could not imagine existing without. The plot is well conceived with plenty of twists and turns and the characters are also fully developed with unique personalities. There is plenty of humor in between the serious business of catching the assassin, so this is definitely a book well worth reading and to be thoroughly enjoyed.