The Kestral Voyages: The Lens


cover of The LensThe Kestral Voyages: The Lens

Can Kestral’s crew outwit a planet?

THE SECOND KESTRAL VOYAGE: Planet Shura Dva seems to be deliberately resisting and sabotaging the terraforming work of the Oan Engineers. A local workers’ leader claims to be able to “feel” the planet’s anger… but the Engineers are positive he’s really a terrorist leader secretly orchestrating the attacks.

And in the midst of local labor squabbles and strange planetary phenomena, Carolyn Kestral and her crew, flush after a lucrative cargo run, arrive on Shura Dva to help out a friend in need… and discover that the planet itself may not allow them to leave!

Kestral’s back, by popular demand! And in this second adventure, Carolyn and the crew of the Mary find themselves caught in the crossfire between Oan terraformers, fanatical workers, and a planet that may actually be sentient— and angry!

“Outstanding is my rating for the second book in the Kestral Voyages series… Trust me on this, old Steven Lyle Jordan can tell a story, and in my opinion, that’s what counts.” (Read the full review on

Yes, the crew of the Mary are back, due to popular demand from the readers! And in this story, they’re dealing with something more mysterious than viruses and uppity aliens.

This second story in the Kestral voyages delves more into the personal lives of ex-Ranger Captain Kestral and her crew, who have learned to work together and trust each other as they go about their business delivering cargo hither and yon. Among the characters we are introduced to are a new person in Carolyn Kestral’s life, and a person from fellow ex-Ranger and pilot Mark O’Bannon’s past.

But more notable than that may be the planet that they find themselves on—Shura Dva, a planet undergoing terraforming—that has some bizarre aspects of its own.

Terraforming is an idea that has been kicked around in science fiction literature for years, and more recently in television shows and movies.  The idea of applying various tools to alter the composition and biosystem of a planet to make it more like another (generally the Earth), suggests a time when scientists and engineers can make worlds on demand, given enough time and resources for the effort.  The universe of The Kestral Voyages is built around the admitted conceit that someday, far in our future, we will have conquered terraforming to some extent, and can make new worlds for ourselves as we require them.

But the story is also a warning that even the best-known processes may have undesired side-effects…

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