Thursday, September 4, 2014

Lieutenant Henry Gallant by H. Peter Alesso: Exclusive Excerpt

Lieutenant Henry Gallant
(The Henry Gallant Saga, Book 2) 
by H. Peter Alesso

In an era of genetic engineering, Lieutenant Henry Gallant is the only Natural (non-genetically enhanced) officer left in the fleet. Many of his superiors, including rival Anton Neumann, have expressed concern he is not up to the challenge. However, his unique mental abilities have proven essential to the defense of the United Planets in its fight against the Titan invaders.

Serving on the first FTL prototype, the Intrepid, on its maiden voyage to Tau Ceti, Gallant finds a lost colony on the planet Elysium. Cyrus Wolfe and his son, manipulate planet politics against the democratic opposition led by James Hepburn and his granddaughter Alaina. Wolfe has allied himself with an ancient Artificial Intelligence which had lain dormant on the planet for millennia, but is now willing to protect the colonists against the Titans.

With Alaina’s help, Gallant discovers the ancient AI has a sinister ulterior motive and he matches his unique and exceptional mind against the complexity of machine intelligence to escape the ultimate trap and prevent the extermination of humanity.

In Lieutenant Henry Gallant, one man pits the naked human mind against the perspicacity of machine intelligence.
Exclusive Excerpt: Rival

Gallant stood in the entrance to the wardroom where half dozen officers congregated around the dinner table. From the variety of their comportment—good-natured bantering, rapt debate, disgruntled complaining—they could have been young businessmen casually relaxing after a hard day’s work, yet the subtle tension of their body language suggested they were concealing a shared disquiet. Noting the absence of the captain, Gallant tried to further assess the tenor of the room, but his fellow officers’ temperaments were distorted by the executive officer’s presence. Such was his insight—garnered over the course of their interstellar journey, wherein he contrasted the inspiration of their amenable captain against the repression of their perfectionist XO, Anton Neumann.

Lieutenant Commander Anton Neumann let his perfectly even white teeth sink into a succulent piece of filet mignon. He chewed the morsel thoroughly before fixing his strangely penetrating blue eyes on Henry Gallant. For a brief moment their gaze met and exchanged a measure of their intense dislike.

“You’re late,” Neumann said mildly with a questioning nuance.

“My apologies,” Gallant replied formally. “Number two reactor’s criticality safety rods required recalibration.” He selected the seat at the foot of the table—the farthest from Neumann.

“Is there a problem, Mr. Gallant?” asked Neumann. He paused, waiting for a reply, and then added, “I trust you completed the realignment protocol.”

“No, sir, no problem, and yes, I completed the protocol realignment according to standard procedure,” said Gallant. While Neumann was strict about protocol and performance, he couldn’t be called a martinet; still Gallant resented being questioned by the XO in front of his peers.

“Very good,” concluded Neumann.

The son of a rich and powerful asteroid-mining magnate, Neumann had enjoyed a life of privilege, growing up poised and self-assured. “Winners always win,” was his favorite saying, and, having inherited his father’s ruthless competitiveness, he seemed to epitomize it. Tall with a powerful physique, jet black hair, and cold blue eyes, he was strikingly handsome. When he chose to, he could display a dazzling smile. He looked every inch the “winner” he professed to be. He had even represented the Space Academy in the 2166 Solar System Olympics where he had won two gold medals in track and field events, which were prominently displayed in his quarters. A product of advanced genetic engineering, he was, in every way, the prototypical example of Earth’s evolutionary aspirations.

In contrast, Gallant was born without genetic engineering, and, as an orphan, he had to struggle above his family’s poor circumstances to reach his current rank and position. Ironically, the lack of opportunity which had deprived him of the advantages of genetic engineering had resulted in his emerging with unique mental abilities—the result of a natural selection mutation. His goal of being the engineer on the first FTL spacecraft was the culmination of all his endeavors. Now that he had achieved the desired position, serving under Neumann cast a pall on it.
Midshipman Henry Gallant in Space
(The Henry Gallant Saga, Book 1) 

Past Reviews of Midshipman Henry Galant @2013

"The author has created a wonderful piece of work with his first novel in the Henry Gallant Saga. Between Henry Gallant beginning his new life on the United Planets' battle cruiser Repulse and trying to save the world the author has came up with it all. Henry Gallant is an admirable character with many wonderful features such as courage, intelligence, humility, kindness and special powers. ... the odds stacked against him pretty high. But maybe through it all, Kelsey will see the remarkable things about him." Ashley Patts, Teenage Rush

"This story moves along at a swift pace, with interesting character development and plot surprises. The characters are complete and engaging. This could develop into a good series." Rae

"Its style and flavor reminded me of The Lost Fleet series by Jack Campbell." - JJH

"Space Opera at its finest. Rousing read, introverted young man against impossible odds, a girl to win or lose, an enemy or is he? Way too much fun...can't wait for the next one." - vrzepka
As a scientist and author specializing in technology innovation, H. Peter Alesso has over twenty years research experience at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). As Engineering Group Leader at LLNL he led a team of computer scientists and engineers in innovative applications across a wide range of supercomputers, workstations and networks. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a B.S. and served in the U.S. Navy on nuclear submarines before completing an M.S. and an advanced Engineering Degree at M.I.T. He has published several software titles and numerous scientific journal and conference articles, and he is the author/co-author of seven books. 
You can visit his website here.


  1. Love the blurb and excerpt!

    Trix, vitajex(at)Aol(Dot)com

  2. I love the Excerpt, very interesting.

  3. Replies
    1. It WAS awesome! Good luck and thanks for stopping!

  4. great excerpt...blurb is interesting!

  5. Replies
    1. My pleasure! It's always fun to feature an author that's new to me!