Astronomical by K. G. Bethlehem is a science fiction novel in which Earth is separated into two separate provinces run by the X-Police and Space Core who attempt to keep the peace. Colonel Harrison is given the mission of exploring the outer reaches of space to find allies in the war against Jupiter, and attempt to locate his predecessor, who is missing. While on the mission, his craft travels through a wormhole and comes upon a civilization in the midst of an uprising, putting the entire crew in danger. Meanwhile, back on Earth, things are disintegrating in a similar fashion, where tyranny is reigning supreme.
The novel is based on characters created by Leonard Taylor III, a relatively unknown comic artist, which gives the novel the feeling of fan fiction – especially since it owes a lot to the technology and mythos of “Star Trek” as well. As in “Star Trek,” the “alien” civilization Harrison comes upon is quite similar to the human race, creating interesting parallels not only with the future Earth of the novel, but our present-day situation.
While the ideas in Astronomical are inventive, the book is in need of an edit. A lot of intellectual energy has gone into crafting this novel, and it shows a lot of creativity and ambition, but sometimes the reach exceeds Bethlehem’s grasp, so a clean edit would clear up some confusing sentence structure and make the novel more enjoyable overall.