The world is in a state of panic. Massive earthquakes are wracking the planet and it seems to originate deep under the Himalayas, where the Pacific plate crashes up against the Asian plate. In Cosmic Swan by Bill Copeland, USGS (United States Geological Survey) geologist Mark is dispatched to Tibet to try and figure out just what is happening underneath the Himalayas. Once there, Mark discovers a strange, but beautiful woman, high up in a cave on Mt Kailas, Kusoom. Kusoom is the leader of a religious cult gathered on the mountain to protect and ensure the safe birth of an alien creature, the Cosmic Swan, whose egg was buried deep in earth’s magma, some billions of years ago. Initially dismissing Kusoom as just another religious fanatic, Mark soon comes to realise that there is indeed something growing deep within the bowels of the earth and it is close to breaking out. What Mark doesn’t understand is he is about to learn of a potential extinction threat for earth and he will embark on a journey across the galaxies searching for a way to save his beloved planet.
Author Bill Copeland has presented us with a fanciful scenario in Cosmic Swan that allows the reader to embark on an adventure across interstellar space with Mark and his compatriots. The premise was an unusual and original one and the reader is quickly caught up in the race to save the planet. The author’s writing style is clipped and simplistic, with short, pithy sentences which leads me to believe this story would lend itself more to the teenage Science Fiction market rather than the adult one. The end was too abrupt and unexpected for my liking which leads me to believe there is more planned in this series. I did enjoy the relationship that developed between Mark and Kusoom and kept wondering when it would transform into as full-blooded romantic relationship. This sense of heightened tension certainly added well to the narrative. If I had one complaint about the writing style it would be the author’s tendency to overuse the main character’s name, as opposed to a personal pronoun. I did become repetitive at times and showed characteristics of a high-school essay – “Mark did this, then Mark did that and then Mark did this, again.” That apart, it was a novel read and as I said perhaps one more aimed at high-school students rather than adults.