It's wonderful to hear from readers, all readers. The wide variety of people who've enjoyed the Distant Cousin series is hugely gratifying, and a heartfelt thanks to all who have taken the trouble to send their comments.
It's a different kind of pleasure to hear from other successful writers--by no means better, but gratifying in a special way. It's like an auto mechanic whose work is not only appreciated by his customers, but also by other mechanics. Knowing the machinery from the inside out like they do, well, there's an extra little lift in their feedback.
Here are some comments on Distant Cousin by writers who've been around the track many times themselves:
1. "I'm sorry to say I've hardly read any science fiction, so I cracked it open with low expectations. How quickly that changed! What I most admire is the way you keep the story moving. That's always been the challenge for me in writing fiction. You clearly don't have that problem. All through the book I kept watching you go off around a bend and wondering how the hell is he going to write his way out of this one? And you always did, with a grace that kept the ancient eyelids open and the pages turning as they seldom do. Through all this I cared about the characters and worried about them in their vicissitudes, which seems to me remarkable in that I cared about Darcy the space being early on as real enough to care about."
2. "A couple of huge successes that are excellent movies, although outside the realm of my top ten favorites, are E.T. and Close Encounters. All of these have a strength of character and plot that pushes your intellect forward while engaging your heartstrings at the same time.
Few movies can really reach this pinnacle, but these, and I am sure many others, have done just that. Distant Cousin does it, too. I can tell you that Distant Cousin is easily the best fictional iU book storywise that I have read. It is also about the tenth or twentieth best fiction novel I have ever read. Wolfen made that list. So did several of the books by Anne Rice, Harold Robbins, and Robert Rimmer. All of the ones that have made the list have that special quality I described. I am holding my breath to the end."
3. "This sequel to Distant Cousin is, like its predecessor, more mainstream literature than science fiction. Readers will find the science fiction elements kept to the background in a storyline that is more about character and society than about the arrival of extra-terrestrials on Earth. We continue to learn more about the culture of our "distant cousins," the humans transplanted on planet Thomo, but the focus is more on our own culture. It is not difficult to believe in the astonishing charisma of Darcy, since we, the readers, are charmed to the point of wanting to read anything that the author cares to write about her. Don't get me wrong--Repatriation has its share of suspense--but the fact is, this novel's allure exists primarily in the depth of characters and also in the nature of the 100-pound demure and spitfire little heroine, our distant cousin, Darcy."
Other opinions: "You suck!" You sort of suck! Brides, commuters, subway riders, students of theology, etc., etc..