Sunborn (Chaos Chronciles Series #4)

Sunborn (Chaos Chronciles Series #4)

by Jeffrey A. Carver


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In this breathtaking science fiction thriller by the Nebula Award-finalist author of Eternity’s End, John Bandicut and his ecclectic band of aliens and A.I.s must find the cause of stars prematurely going supernova. Because these aren't natural disasters... someone or something is murdering stars.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312864538
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date: 10/28/2008
Series: Chaos Chronicles Series , #4
Edition description: REV
Pages: 432
Product dimensions: 8.48(w) x 5.72(h) x 1.38(d)

About the Author

JEFFREY A. CARVER's most recent novel, Eternity's End, was a finalist for the Nebula Award. He's written more than a dozen novels, including his critically acclaimed novelization of Battlestar Galactica. He lives in Arlington, Massachusetts.

Read an Excerpt


By Carver, Jeffrey A.

Tor Science Fiction

Copyright © 2009 Carver, Jeffrey A.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780812571202



The company sped across the light-years for what felt like an eternity, enclosed only by a faintly glimmering force-field bubble. Behind them they had left an ocean world; ahead was the unknown. Inside the star-spanner transport, John Bandicut felt a distinct sense of time and space passing by as a physical stream—stretching ahead of them, flowing around and behind them. He watched as the stars outside the bubble streaked past against the backdrop of space.

Ik, the Hraachee’an, was the first to notice the gradual appearance of a ghostly, rose-colored nebula ahead. Soon after Ik pointed that out to the others, Bandicut observed the star field crinkling, as though someone were rippling the fabric of space like clear cellophane. A moment later a shock wave rocked the star-spanner bubble. "What—" rasp rasp "—was that?" cried Li-Jared, several of the Karellian’s words dropping out in translation.

Whatever had hit them blazed golden around them, and for a moment they all seemed to turn transparent and luminous. Bandicut could scarcely breathe.

*Entering new flight regime. Approaching interstellar waystation.*

Bandicut blinked at the words of the translator-stones embedded in his wrists. Interstellar waystation?

"Something’s changing ahead,"said Ik.

Bandicut pressed his face to the front of the bubble. "I think I see it—some kind of shadow ahead, between us and the nebula."

"Hrah. It looks like a channel of some kind."

Antares pressed close behind Bandicut, her breath warm on his cheek. "How could there be such a thing in space?"

No one had an answer, but what had looked to Bandicut like a patch of shadow grew larger quickly, then abruptly wrapped around the bubble like a tunnel. Suddenly they were flying like a high-speed train through a not-quite-solid tube, which began to glow with a pale blue light.

They felt a series of soft jolts, as though the star-spanner bubble were decelerating in discrete increments. With no further warning, it glided into a platform that reminded Bandicut of a subway station on Earth. The bubble softened and vanished with a twinkle. Bandicut and the others looked at each other. "I guess we’re invited to get out," Bandicut said. His two robots went first, clambering out onto the surface and pronouncing it solid and apparently safe. Together with his companions, Bandicut followed them onto the platform. It was a strange and wonderful sensation to feel something solid beneath his feet again. /What do you think, Charlie? I mean Charlene?/ he asked silently, speaking to the quarx—presently female—in his head.

/// I think we’re about to meet someone. ///

/Oh?/ He turned. A new robot was floating toward them. Or perhaps a holo-image of a robot. It was tall and vaguely humanoid. A silver band encircled its head where eyes might have been. Small clusters of sparkling jewels floated independently along the band—apparently the robot’s eyes, moving to focus on all the members of the company at once. "My name is Jeaves," it said in a deep voice that sounded both human and familiar. They had heard that voice during their passage in the star-spanner. "Welcome to the Cloudminder Interstellar Waystation. I have been asked to serve as your host, though I am a visitor here myself. The station is largely uninhabited at this time."

"Hrah," said Ik. "Where are—?"

"I’ll explain everything once we’re inside, and do my best to make you comfortable here," Jeaves continued. "Including servicing your robots, if you like."

"Yes, we—"

"I have many questions for you, as I’m sure you do for me. But before we can enter the station proper, I must ask you all to stand by just a little longer. I believe you are familiar with the normalization procedure?"

"Of course," rumbled Ik. The others muttered agreement. On Shipworld, the vast structure outside the galaxy where the four had met, each had gone through normalization—a mysterious application of alien technology that adjusted their physiologies for local food, air, and so on. It had happened again when they’d gone to the ocean world.

/// John, I get the feeling

this isn’t going to be just a pit stop . . . ///

Bandicut missed the rest of the quarx’s words. He suddenly felt light-headed, and was enveloped in a cottony glow. He started to call out to his companions. But the glow blurred not just his vision but his thoughts and his balance. He felt himself falling, his thoughts leaking out into the light . . .


Preliminary debriefing of the newly arrived company is complete. I performed the procedure during a light trance-state induced during normalization, with the assistance of the translator-stones each member of the company carries.


The company includes representatives of four organic species, each from a different homeworld (John Bandicut, Human of Earth; Ik, Hraachee’an; Li-Jared, Karellian; and Antares, empathic Thespi Third-female). In addition, there are two robots of Earth manufacture—Napoleon and Copernicus—enhanced to the point of sentience (but not by their original makers). They seem to share a personal bond with John Bandicut. Finally, there is one noncorporeal symbiote—Charlie (or Charlene) the quarx—resident in John Bandicut’s mind.

The group came together on Shipworld, and by all accounts, distinguished themselves during the crisis brought on by the boojum incursion. (Report on boojum crisis available in Shipworld archives.) Due to urgent need, they were dispatched immediately afterward to assist with a situation on the ocean world known as Astar-Neri, in the Sagittarian arm—where they prevented a deep-sea entity known locally as the Maw of the Abyss from destroying an undersea civilization. Their discovery of the true nature of the Maw—a damaged, near-sentient stargate—is recorded separately in a detailed report.

The success of this just-completed mission owed largely to their exceptional teamwork and negotiating skills. The broad spectrum of their intelligences, empathy, courage, and problem-solving abilities make this company a formidable agent of change. Compared with other operatives who might be called into service in the Starmaker crisis, this company in my judgment offers by far the best hope for success. Plus, of course, they are here now, and available. With the instability in the Starmaker Nebula growing at an alarming rate, time appears to be critical.

All members of the group emoted a desire for extended rest and relaxation—hardly unreasonable, given their recent service. I can certainly allow them a day to rest and adjust to their new surroundings, which I have attempted to shape for their comfort. However, given the urgency of the situation, I have little choice: I must move quickly to persuade this group to join us in the Starmaker mission. The consequences of failure could redound far beyond the nebula . . .

Excerpted from Sunborn by Jeffrey A. Carver.
Copyright © 2008 by Jeffrey A. Carver.
Published in January 2010 by Tom Doherty Associates.
All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.


Excerpted from Sunborn by Carver, Jeffrey A. Copyright © 2009 by Carver, Jeffrey A.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Sunborn (Chaos Chronciles Series #4) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
Hercamus More than 1 year ago
I have read all four books in the Chaos series and have found them to be delightful reading. The series follows the adventures of a group of futuristic "Musketeers" out to save the universe only they are not really sure what it is they are supposed to do, and how they are to do it. It is well written and makes a great read!
Curyll More than 1 year ago
I love the Chaos Chronicles series, and this book is the best one yet. It's a solid story, keeping up the non-stop pace of the previous three books but never repetitive. The author took me on a wonderful ride with his remarkable imagination--I could taste and see and feel these exotic places in deep space and time, riding along with the wonderful cast of characters (human, alien, robot, solar, energy beings...) It's not just adventure, there's a winsome loveliness to some of the characters, and deepening friendships and some intriguing new characters as well. I love that our hero Bandicut isn't just a magical superhero but someone who has greatness thrust upon him and does his best, depending on his friends even as they depend on him to lead. A real gem!
harstan More than 1 year ago
Earthling John Bandicut is bone tired after being exiled from his home planet, saving his world and subsequently two others. World saving is a tiring vocation. He currently travels through interstellar space with other exiles including one residing inside his head; they are a band of aliens from all sorts of orbs. John looks forward to rest when they reach their destination, a space station in the Orion Nebula sector.

However, he and his cohorts soon learn of a pandemic conspiracy to eradicate the sentient stars residing in this part of space. Struggling with communicating with the intended victims, John and his friends put off R&R to prevent genocide at a time when his homeworld also faces a major threat.

This is a superb outer space thriller starring a misunderstood hero and his alien peers. The cast is vast so except for John none seem more than two dimensional yet those key players provide keen perspectives as point of view changes inside of the non-stop action. Jeffrey A. Carver returns to his Chaos Chronicles universe for the first in a decade with an exciting throw back science fiction thriller.

Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great read, but you must read the first series 1 - 3 as this ia a continuation. Leaves you wondering what the next adventures will be.
piggytess More than 1 year ago
Jeffrey Carver writes with imagination, fast action, vivid imagery and fully developed characters. The Star Rigger series was throughly entertaining and the Chaos Chronicles are even better. I highly recommend both series but also recommend starting from the beginning to get the full benefit of Carver's talent. Please Mr. Carver, don't make us wait so long for #5!
reading_fox on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Failing to hit the highs of the previous volume this is still better than the first two - once it finally gets going.The inital third is a very slow recap of events to date. I don't know why this is suddenly become necessary, the previous books managed fine without it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great characterization; read all of this series and live it with them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Liked the story and the characters. Could not put down. Waiting for the next in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great followup to series waiting on book 5 the reeds of time,
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read all four of the Chaos Chronicles and loved the stories as well as the characters. I look forward to the next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Chaos Chronicles was great, fun and exciting.....but Sunborn on the other hand I found very hard to get into. I found myself skipping paragraphs at times when the action changed just to keep the story going because it felt like the author was just trying to fill space and that it stopped the story dead. The Julie Stone chapters now, I found them to be more interesting then the main story line its self and I wont say too much but I did like the way that everything and everybody came full circle at the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found the first three books in the series interesting but this one was too far removed from humanity that relating to the characters and events was impossible. It was also too much to be asked to believe that an antogonist responsible for the destruction of stars and planets wouldn't have easily killed our heroes. I'm all for cosmic plots but at least make them somewhat believable.
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