In the Spotlight: Lieutenant Henry Gallant by H. Peter Alesso

Title: Lieutenant Henry Gallant
Author: H. Peter Alesso
Publisher: Video Software Publishing
Pages: 320
Genre: Science fiction space opera
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

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.

Book Excerpt:


The noise startled everyone.

The conference room door had been slammed against the wall with enough force to produce the loud bang—calling a halt to the proceedings and focusing attention on the arrival of a young slender blonde with a shapely figure, dressed in rugged outdoor hiking gear, who marched boldly into the room. She was about a year or two younger than Gallant, perhaps twenty.

She dominated everyone’s attention. It wasn’t because she was so shockingly belligerent as to require an immediate rejoinder, though she was clearly intent on being provocative—nor was she was so strikingly beautiful so as to inflame male passions, yet she was certainly attractive. No, she dominated the situation, despite portraying a rebellious joy of life, because of her defiant bearing, her air of resolution, and her dogged expression—all of which were so clearly evident—by marching, hands on hips, into the focal point of the room, thereby demanding the immediate and undivided attention of all present.

 “Alaina, you are interrupting important state business. What do you want?” demanded Wolfe, standing up to express his annoyance with her theatrical appearance.

Wolfe’s carefully crafted mask of self-assurance had slipped.

“My grandfather is unable to attend, so he asked me to take his place, which is his prerogative. Certainly that’s allowed? Isn’t it?” she asked with an authoritative voice, shifting her gaze from one council member to another, causing them to fidget in their seats as her stare met theirs.

Clearly internal politics were at play, but Gallant was wary of how he should interact with this new dynamic in the room.

Wolfe heaved a sign of resignation and sputtered, “Well—of course—under those circumstances, you’re welcome. Please sit. Here, sit next to me.”

Alaina brushed back her long flowing blonde hair and walked toward Gallant instead. “Well aren’t you going to introduce me to this officer?” she asked.

Again Wolfe heaved a sign of resignation, this time deeper and more sustained. “Lieutenant Gallant, this is Alaina Hepburn, granddaughter of Professor James Hepburn, a leading citizen, a member of this council, and our leading expert on cybernetics.”

“I’m glad to meet you, Ms. Hepburn,” said Gallant, standing and offering his hand.

“A pleasure, Lieutenant.” Alaina bowed her head slightly, but kept her hands clasped to her hips.

A moment later, to Gallant’s surprise, she flashed him a luminescent smile and took the seat beside him, tapping her fingers impatiently on the top of the table. With her hair pulled back from her face, the creamy beauty of her skin was exposed.

Gallant took his place beside her.

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