Countless science fiction novels have been written about humans making first contact with alien species. The difference with Kelvoo’s Testimonial is that the story is written from the perspective of a non-human whose planet is visited by the humans and whose life is changed forever as a result.
The editor who first evaluated the manuscript of my novel pointed out the unique perspective of Kelvoo’s testimonial and briefly researched to look for similar stories. It turns out that “Nor Crystal Tears” by Alan Dean Foster (1982) was written from the perspective of the insect-like “Thranx” after their initial encounter with humans. Of course, I had to read the novel! Nor Crystal Tears differs from Kelvoo’s Testimonial is it was written in third-person form and describes the Thranx's initial reaction to humans as paranoia and revulsion instead of friendship and curiosity. Nor Crystal Tears is a prequel in a series about the “Humanx Commonwealth” – an alliance between species once they overcame their mutual distrust.
I have also just finished reading the first two novellas in a series called “The Murderbot Diaries” by Martha Wells. The themes are similar to Kelvoo’s Testimonial since they are written by a non-human in first person form, however, the non-human is not an extraterrestrial, but is instead a human creation that blends robotics with organic components. The Murderbot Diaries is a bestselling series and has won Nebula and Hugo awards, among others.
At its core, Kelvoo’s Testimonial is about human nature as much as it is about the kloormari and first contact with humans. By employing the perspective of a being that has never observed humans, Kelvoo’s Testimonial challenges our notions about ourselves, our beliefs, and our core values while Kelvoo leads the reader through a series of suspenseful and dramatic adventures.
Another aspect that sets Kelvoo’s Testimonial apart is the degree of emotion. Most of the time, my reaction to a sci-fi novel is along the lines of “that was interesting”. I usually enjoy some of the technical aspects of the story along with any clever twist that a story may end with. I’ve done my best to intersperse Kelvoo’s Testimonial with humor and I haven’t shied away from the raw emotions of tragedy as I explore the aftereffects of seemingly benign human first contact on Kelvoo and the entire kloormari species.
Chapter 7: Getting to Know
In a remarkable coincidence, Bertie strode onto the scene at that moment. Bertie was carrying Sam’s midday nourishment. When she saw us gathered around the panel showing two unclothed figures she offered, “Ha ha! Look at you scamps gettin’ yer jollies gawkin’ at nekked people! Hee hee, what a bunch a pervs!”
This time I understood what Bertie was saying with the exception of “scamps”, “jollies”, “gawkin’”, “nekked”, and “bunch a pervs”.
Chapter 23: Exploring, Grime, and Punishment
As Torm started to unfasten Brawn, the crew got up and left in silence. The two uninjured women assisted their companion to her feet. They passed behind Torm and Brawn on their way out, walking through a pool of blood. The injured woman had only one of her feet touching the ground, leaving half a set of bloody footprints across the deck.
On his way out of the room, the captain touched my shoulder. He motioned toward the blood and footprints and said with a smile, “Do have your team clean that up. There’s a good chap!”
Blog posts in chronological order
What is Kelvoo's Testimonial?
A bit about me
The publishing process - Editorial Evaluation
Who or what are the Kloormari?
What's the twist that differentiates Kelvoo's Testimonial?
Which issues does Kelvoo's Testimonial address?
Where did the idea of Kelvoo's Testimonial originate?
Is Kelvoo's Testimonial intended to reflect the experiences of native people in the Americas?
Book cover - Initial concepts
Depicting Kelvoo - My work with an amazing artist
Book cover - Final selection
Kelvoo.com website launch!
Original Song #1 - The Boys of Jezebel's Fury
Original Song #2 - Home on the Yangtze
Original Song #3 - Flying Away
My First Printed Copy
My First Review and Bookstore Order!
Now Available at Bolen Books!
Kelvoo's Testimonial gets a Kirkus Starred Review!
Official Launch Day!
A Sequel to Kelvoo's Testimonial?
Come Visit Me on Mastodon
Phenomenal News from Kirkus Reviews!
First Draft of Kelvoo's Terra Completed!
Kelvoo's Terra - Cover Reveal!
Kelvoo and Kindle Unlimited
Kelvoo's Terra - Official Launch!
Kelvoo's Books in your Local Bookstore
Kelvoo's Terra - First Amazon Reviews