Saving Paludis

Fiction - Science Fiction
369 Pages
Reviewed on 06/07/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

As a youngster growing up in the cobbled streets of Stockport, UK, Clayton Graham read a lot of science fiction. He loved the ‘old-school’ masters such as HG Wells, Jules Verne, Isaac Asimov and John Wyndham. As he left those formative years behind, he penned short stories when he could find a rare quiet moment amidst life’s usual distractions.
He settled in Victoria, Australia, in 1982. A retired aerospace engineer who worked in structural design and research, Clayton has always had an interest in science fiction and where it places humankind within a universe we are only just starting to understand.

Clayton loves animals, including well behaved pets, and all the natural world, and is a member of Australian Geographic.

Combining future science with the paranormal is his passion. Milijun, his first novel, was published in 2016. Second novel, Saving Paludis, was published in 2018. They are light years from each other, but share the future adventures of mankind in an expansive universe as a common theme.
The sequel to Milijun, entitled Amidst Alien Stars, is at the editing stage, with release scheduled for late 2019.

In between novels Clayton has published Silently in the Night, a collection of short stories where, among many other adventures, you can sympathize with a doomed husband, connect with an altruistic robot, explore an isolated Scottish isle and touch down on a far-flung asteroid.

He hopes you can share the journeys.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Deepak Menon for Readers' Favorite

Even a minuscule amount of information about our infinite universe would fill a storage device the size of our solar system. Saving Paludis by Clayton Graham is a superb thriller in which the author accepts that interstellar travel, constrained by the onerous limits imposed by Einstein, is only possible through the much speculated and hypothesized Einstein-Rosen bridges, more popularly called ‘gateways’ in space. The reader is spared reading volumes of explanatory pages and can jump right into the meat of this tale of the future of mankind. Set about 2000 years in the future, when mankind has spread its wings, this tale takes place on Paludis, a verdant planet situated 144 light years from Earth at the extreme edge of human colonization. Humans occupied this mineral-rich gem of a planet centuries ago by violent conquest, and they live in beautiful homes in fine cities, mining and stripping minerals from the planet. At the research labs in a university in Paludis, a breakthrough is made that promises to change the future of mankind forever. The subjugated remaining inhabitants - superstitious primitive aliens, the Muskans - are confined to a narrow little stretch of land named Musk. Tak-Elno, a Muskan, flouts Muskan tradition and the laws of the sea-god, Garn, and swims in the ocean, a crime. He lands illegally on the human side of the separating wall and is captured, though the humans have no fear of him or his kind.

Thus begins an incredible chain of events ranging from multiple scenarios on Paludis to exhilarating events and thrilling action on Paludis’s moon, Muskluna, Earth and other celestial bodies. Military spacecraft are destroyed without a clue. Earth blames the helpless planet of Paludis. There follows genocide, murder, war. People go missing, bringing together unforgettable protagonists: Stefan, a policeman, Clare, thrown into the fray by destiny, Pas-Elno, the Muskan son of Tak-Elno, Richard Vidmar, Michelle Sanson and Simon Sangster among others. A protagonist to be remembered is Serpentine, a seer from Muskluna. And there are mysterious presences hovering beneath the surface of Earth’s ocean itself. The plot is original and develops nicely, not an easy task for any author to weave together numerous seemingly unrelated threads, originating from multiple scenarios, towards the breathtaking finale. The cover is attractive and adds to the book's marketability. There is some reference to sex, necessary to preserve the plot, but nothing explicit. The flow is steady, with a rising pitch of mystery and a taut sense of doom enthralling any reader. A memorable quote is: “To sleep is not to live, and who says the future is better than the now?” Clayton Graham's Saving Paludis is definitely a great interstellar thriller and recommended to its targeted audience of young adults and older readers.

Romuald Dzemo

Cutting-edge technology from another planet, a powerful threat to Earth, a mysterious cult determined to acquire the technology, then a police agent who struggles to save Earth from ultimate extinction are elements that make the plot in Saving Paludis by Clayton Graham an engaging, engrossing one. The author crafts a story with an interplanetary setting between Earth and Paludis. Scientists from Paludis have shared a powerful technology with Earth, and by so doing have set off a series of events that brings Earth to the brink of war. While a dangerous secret society fights to lay hands on the new technology, police agent Stefan Lattanzis must work with two strangers, a seer and a botanist, to save the world from destruction.

Intelligently plotted, Saving Paludis is a science fiction story with great futuristic elements. The author cleverly builds a setting between Earth and another planet, with aliens communicating with humans in a very interesting way. The characters are ingeniously sculpted and each has a strong role in the story. The conflict is riveting and it isn’t strange that when a piece of powerful technology comes onto the market, there is infighting among powerful groups to take control of it. Clayton Graham exploits this aspect of the story to grab the reader's interest, build tension, and move the plot forward. The writing is compelling and there is a fluidity of expression that will delight readers who enjoy clarity in writing. I really enjoyed this novel.

Grant Leishman

Saving Paludis by Clayton Graham takes us far into the future and far out into the cosmos. Man has developed a device known as an Einstein-Rosen bridge, which finally allows him to conquer the vast distances of the universe. With this technological advancement, humankind has spread out across the cosmos and conquered many planets for their own resources, including Paludis. Paludis, which has mainly been used for mining bauxite, has now come up with a fantastic new invention, a sleeping pill that will allow humans to explore even deeper into the cosmos, whilst the pioneers sleep away the immense time and distance. When Earth is attacked and the source of the attack is pinpointed as Paludis, the logical assumption is that this is about control of the most important discovery of the generations – the sleeper. Nobody suspects the subjugated and technologically deprived natives of Paludis, the Muskans, to be responsible for the attacks on Earth – but could they be?

I found Saving Paludis to be good, solid, science fiction fare, with some interesting and relevant comments to be made on issues such as inter-species breeding, man’s natural arrogance, and indeed man’s inherent greed and sense of entitlement. Perhaps it's just me, but I could almost picture some of the characters wearing a MEGA (Make Earth Great Again) cap. I thought Clayton Graham presented us with a fast-moving, action-packed adventure that shied away from being too technical, or too geeky, which is exactly how I prefer my science fiction. At its core, this novel is an action/adventure tale and as such has a complex and twisty plot. The fast-paced nature of the story left less room for character development than I would have liked; however, I accept that is the nature of the beast. If you are a fan of science fiction, of strange worlds, with fantastic inhabitants and aliens, then Saving Paludis will be a really satisfying read for you. It is nothing pretentious, just a good old-fashioned space adventure, set on a foreign world.

Paul F. Johnson

Paludis is a planet almost one hundred fifty light years from Earth at the very edge of human colonization. Over 400 years before, humans invaded the planet, formerly known as Musk, and quickly defeated the indigenous population, forcing the survivors to live in a designated area of the planet divided by a giant border wall. Now, things on the once thriving planet are changing. Earth’s economy is stagnant and no longer needs the quantity of minerals mined on Paludis. Things are becoming dire until a discovery at the local university will change space travel forever. Paludis will one day be the center of the universe, or will it?

Thrown into the mix is the fact that Earth is being attacked by unknown sources. All evidence leads to Paludis, but Paludis doesn’t possess the technology to carry off the attacks, or do they? Earth gives them a warning, one more attack against Earth and Paludis will be destroyed. As interstellar war threatens, three strangers band together: a police agent, a botanist and a mysterious seer who must all work together if their world is to be saved. And where do the aliens fit into this, if at all.

Saving Paludis by Clayton Graham is a well designed and developed sci-fi novel. The cast of characters is a diverse lot and the author does a good job of showcasing their strengths and weaknesses. The author’s creativity is brought out with a plot that is well developed and original, and with natural sounding dialogue. The development of the story is well constructed and it flows along smoothly to a good, solid ending. Well done!

Barnseys Books

Saving Paludis is a wonderfully intelligent, creative and superbly written book. Quite often I struggle with the 'world building' element that accompanies this genre. But not in this case. The author is clearly highly skilled in bringing alien races, otherworldly technology and distant planets to life with such clarity that the reader cannot fail to be impressed.
The book deals with many issues but namely conflict, camaraderie, coexistence, tragedy and loss. The plot moves along at a good pace and each character is given depth and personality. Descriptions are detailed and beautifully written. In fact, by the end, I felt as if I'd witnessed an interstellar adventure of truly epic proportions.

The Haunted Reading Room

Immediately I was engrossed in this thoughtful and thought-provoking futuristic science fiction novel. My lifelong stance has always been to favor the underdog and cheer on the oppressed. Immediately, my attitude was total empathy with the "aliens," who rather than invading Earth, had instead been invaded by Earthlings - and not just invaded, but shuffled off to a single corner of the continent, confined and oppressed and despised. I found SAVING PALUDIS an exceptional novel with powerful and lasting impact. I happily noticed resonances of the late, lamented Arthur C. Clarke.

I read, therefore I am

Scrolling through the many sci-fi books on Amazon and spotted Saving Paludis. The cover pulled me in and then the synopsis sold me. I delved straight into it and wasn't disappointed. I was most intrigued by the character of Tak-Elno, but there are many strands of this story which will keep you turning the pages. A couple of times I put it away, tried to sleep. Kept thinking about it. Kelp huh? Who knew? Next thing you know I was reading again. I hope that's not a spoiler. Buy it, read it. You won't be disappointed!