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Temporary Duty

Temporary Duty [Kindle Edition]

Ric Locke
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: £1.92 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Product Description

Product Description

A pair of enlisted sailors are assigned to an alien spaceship, to clean and prepare quarters for the real human delegation. Once there, they find that there's a little more to it...
Alien worlds, exploding spaceships, IRS agents, derring-do, and a little sex. Oh, and mops, brooms, and dustpans. Truly there are wonders Out There.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 933 KB
  • Print Length: 554 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00531CPHC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #289,160 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story 18 Feb 2012
By Ktesis
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book so much so that I had to read it in virtually one go.Like the previous reviewer I thought the ending was bit rushed. Nevertheless I would recommend to anyone who likes a good yarn. I do hope that there is more to come!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read 28 Aug 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Great book! I do not write reviews but this book was such a good tale that I could not resist. The author brought to life his main characters and made them real. I did not like his "wives", I think he reverted to a male fantasy with these characters and they were not developed into real people like other characters were. Also, the ending seemed rushed and not as flushed out as the rest of the book. However, I loved the book and could not put it down.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great sci fi 1 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
great story could not put book down hope he writes another book good as any top authors about sci fi is his thing
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  230 reviews
142 of 152 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great irreverent fun 3 Jun 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I came upon this while browsing around during a slow time of day. At first I was hesitant due to the fact that the Product description is incredibly useless, but I took a chance with the book and thoroughly enjoyed it.

The book is about two enlisted men going to space. Their interactions with the officers who command the rest of the detachment and the alien crew. This is not a military action book, while there are some action scenes they are short and mostly used as ways to meet new people. This is more a book about peaceful trade and exploration.

The main character is interesting and it was fun to watch his development throughout the book. The supporting characters were enjoyable and fulfilled their roles being easy to dislike if that was their role.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone that enjoyed books such as The Solar Clipper Trader Tales.
76 of 83 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars first book by an up and coming writer 11 Jun 2011
By Philip D. Long - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As the other reviewers have said, i picked this book not knowing exactly what to expect (there is an incredable amount of sci-fi sh** on kindle). while a little slow in spots, he does a fine job. The characters are believable, the science is good, and he writes a believable near future of the U.S.
As the others said, i will not give away the storyline but I do say, buy it and read it. I have been reading sci-fi since the first Ace double book and have a very low cut-off for bad writing. This is good. Buy it, The auther is on my buy list and I wait for the next in the series.
53 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New for me Author Great book. 10 Jun 2011
By L. Barclay - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As with others I was not sure about buying this book as there was only
a one line decription. If this was changed I think alot more would sell.
This is an interesting story of a young low rank Navy guy assigned
to a spaceship from afar after first contact. He and his friend were sent
to prepare for a flight group. They were to learn the language and get
things ready.
Meeting new aliens at each new stop adds interesting folks. The whole
trip is 2 years and does not turn out as everyone expected. I don't
want to give away any of the plot.
As an avid SciFi reader I applaud the author and wait for Ric Locke
to add another to the Amazon list. I don't do 5 star often either.
Thanks Ric.
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great Idea, Wasted Potential 6 Sep 2011
By Jonathon K - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The premise of Temporary Duty is interesting. It tells of humans in contact with aliens, but from a point-of-view of the lower-echelon worker-bees, in this case, enlisted sailors. However, the potential of the story never really develops.

John Peters and Kevin Todd are two lower-ranking sailors who are suddenly sent to an alien ship which has appeared over the US and has invited humans to board in order to create trade for whatever humans can offer. The two sailors are ordered to prepare the ship for the arrival of a Navy squadron of Hornets and Tomcats, which will be the main human offering.

Peters and Todd have no real briefing on what they are supposed to do, but they get on with the tasks, getting to know the alien crew as well as prep for the arrival of the squadron. For the rest of this rather lengthy story, the ship travels to various planets where most are amazed b the prowess and technology of the humans. A few battles ensue, Peters and Todd try to deal with buffoonish officers while endearing themselves to the aliens, and interspecies sex abounds.

But the tale just has too many holes in it to be believable.

One glaring example is that the aliens are almost human, as are most beings of the "kree." The various peoples of this section of space are very similar in looks, what they can eat, how they think, how they live (every planet has resorts with bars which serve beer, for example), and using gestures like using a thumbs up. The different beings are barely more different than say a Japanese factory worker and a Brazilian lumberjack. This is really beyond belief, but taking the "kree" origin to heart, it could be almost accepted. However, then there are huge differences. Despite the traders and the humans being so alike, they have huge diversionary differences such as the trader's gender roles. The "males" have very human female-like bodies and accept the "female's" eggs being deposited into their bodies where they go through pregnancy and give birth, then probably nurse the children. The "females" have human male-like genitalia which deposit the eggs. Yet, even with this difference, the "males" of the traders and the males of the humans seem to enjoy sex together.

Another huge problem for me is that while the traders use ships provided for them by the "Makers," they have no concept of radios nor computers. A radio is a very simple concept, so I doubt very much that a ship which can travel between stars cannot communicate other than by shouting at each other. When the smaller shuttle craft or Navy planes leave the ship, they navigate by sight to and from the ship as there are no computers, radar, or other means to get around. Yet the ships can navigate between stars, and without computers?

Characterizations are very primitive. All the Navy officers are arrogant idiots who have nothing but disregard for the enlisted sailors. I know many, many Naval aviators, and while many have that swagger, almost all have a deep respect for their enlisted crews (it doesn't pay to get the sailors who keep your plane in the air upset at you.) None ignore enlisted sailors when that sailor has experience in a certain subject as every officer in the book save one does. And no officer who has just been taken off flight status to be made an Landing Signal Officer is going to try to learn the space version of the landing gear while disregarding what the existing crew tells him.

You can summarize the book as officers, bad; chiefs, bad; enlisted, good; aliens, good; IRS, bad.

For a mission of this importance, the US government would have vetted the humans very closely. Both Peters and Todd would have been vetted instead of just being sent up to the ship. And the squadron would have been vetted, too. Only the best of the best would have been selected, and they certainly would not have come onboard a spaceship telling the traders just what they would do and not do. And a mere commander would certainly not have been the senior person sent, and as this was a trade mission, the senior person would not be a pilot but a diplomat.

I have problems with the Tomcats and Hornets as well. Why pick 100-year-old aircraft unless it is because that is what the author is familiar? With the alien propulsion system installed which makes the plane viable in space, you could have picked a Chevy SUV and at least flown around in comfort. Why pick a plane whose wings limit the number of aircraft in the spaceships hanger bays? And why keep touting the aerodynamics when that mean nothing in space?

Sex, while never graphic, is constant in the book, and rather teenager-like. When the enlisted see a female officer in a tight flight suit, they get erections. All the aliens seem to be sexual opportunities. Pretty much all the female characters, human and alien, are "hot" babes. And Peters had two human-like aliens fall in love and move in with him, where to Peters delight, one likes to run around his stateroom nude. It is all a 15-year-old boy's fantasy.

The protagonist was weak as well, poorly developed. Speaking with an exaggerated West Virginia banter, he sounds dumb, but is evidently very smart. We know that because we are told he is smart, not because he demonstrates it. His successes are mostly due to blind luck.

With a multitide of trips to the mess hall, and too many officers with a "rictus of rage," I thought the repetition of certain things was mind-numbing. The book could have used some serious editing to cut the length and make it a more concise story.

The book isn't all bad. And at $2.99 for the Kindle version, it certainly won't break the bank. It is just that the book could have been so much better.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Locke is off to a good start...but not a great start 25 July 2011
By Ernest Lilley - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Alien traders, frustrated with dealing with politicians and officers, hire on a pair of enlisted sailors to see if regular folk have more sense than suits. Peters and Todd, both US Navy enlisted personnel, are sent "TDY" to help set up spaces for the Navy squadron that an enterprising Captain got the traders to take along.

The alien spaceship, our boys realize, is a surplus carrier, and while the aliens may be pretty good traders, it's clear that they don't know much about maintenance, nor do they have any microelectronics technology. Though its obvious from the start that the two groups have a lot to offer each other, the military hierarchy can't get out of its own way long enough to make it happen.

Fortunately Peters and Todd's orders are just vague enough to give them enough rope to tie things up in a nice package for both parties, if they don't hang themselves first.

Temporary Duty is a pretty good read, and considering the price it's a great value. With a bit of work this could have been an excellent first book, or actually, it could have expanded into a very solid trilogy, but as it is the story lurches sideways halfway through the book rather than resolve the very real conflicts that the author has set up.

Temporary Duty is self published, and its rough edges make that no surprise. If Ric had worked with an editor, or more seasoned author, he would have come out with a book that hung together better, but even as it is, there's a lot of good there.

Keep writing Ric!

Ernest Lilley
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