“Who, Father. It has to do with who is down there,” Heth Stephen said. “Otherwise the restrictions would have been removed years ago.”
“I had heard a few things,” Father Ruiz murmured. “Only rumors. Gelens…” The name had ugly connotations. There were dark hints and scraps of unsettling lore tucked away in semi-restricted government reports. But Father Ruiz had been inclined to dismiss much of this as either propaganda or native folklore translated into psychological jargon. The Star Brothers had given him all the information they had, which was plainly not enough—and he had chosen to take the assignment.
“Whatever they are, they have souls,” Kurt said now. “Just as the Drayaks have souls.”
“Gelens are Drayaks,” Heth Stephen told him. “At least Drayaks produce them. But souls? That remains for you to determine, I suppose. I believe they look human enough.”
On the planet Fen, the Haveks have always worshipped the sun. Drayaks have the moongod—or the nightsun as it is called. The gulf between them is that stark—like night and day. Making a few converts among the Haveks has not changed things too much.
The bishop of Havekgerem has been told to leave the Drayaks alone. The fight throughout the universe between the Freewarders and Net Central could soon disrupt daily life.
Father Ruiz, a Star Brother, is assigned to the missionary planet, where he soon meets Elerek, a gelen and former mindbreaker. This is the story of Fr. Ruiz, Elerek, and the gelen council, culminating in a dramatic battle for freedom, Fen, human souls, and the fate of the universe.
Gelen is not only a triumph for the author, but a gift to any science fiction fan seeking more in a book than Star Wars type action and mayhem.
~Pierre V. Comtois, author of The Way the Future Was: An anthology of Science Fiction Fables
An intriguing journey through the interplay of faith and culture in a rediscovered lost human colony in remote space, with “aliens” who are both distinctly alien and deeply human.
~Rob Fabian, editor of Infinite Space, Infinite God
Gelen is an intricately patterned and rewarding novel; a welcome and worthy addition to the ranks of Catholic science fiction. Adults and young adults alike will find much to ponder in this enthralling tale.
~Andrew M. Seddon, author of Saints Alive! New Stories of Old Saints
"Gelen! is an intricate, complex, well-written, and rewarding novel by a talented writer...." Read the full review at CatholicFiction.net, posted January 4, 2015.
"In Gelen, Fr. Ruiz is a Star Brother, an order whose focus lies in missionary efforts to long lost Earth colonies. Sent out across the universe to colonies who have been without contact from the outside sometimes for hundreds of years, the Star Brothers, like the Jesuits of our past, place themselves in perils St. Paul would admire. ..." Read the book review by M.R. Zapp, posted July 31, 2014.