Battlestar Galactica 3: The Tombs of Kobol (1979) – Robert Thurston, and Glen A. Larson

The journey towards the mythical planet known as Earth continues for the lone battlestar, Galactica, and the ragtag fleet of humanity that it escorts, in Thurston’s next novel which adapts the epic two-parter The Lost Planet of the Gods, which was the first pair of episodes following the series three hour opener, Saga of a Star World.

There’s a lot going on in this story, and there are some fun differences between the episode and the novel; the continued representation of the cylons as strange alien beings under their armour, the introduction of Lucifer, a walking, bipedal computer that was created by the cylons who has more of a personality in this novel than he did in the entire series, Boxey being the adopted son of both Serina and Apollo, and this time the novel has asides with Apollo’s betrothed, Serina instead of the Adama Journals.

We also learn that it was Lucifer who halted Baltar’s execution, ordered by the Imperious Leader, and got him fit and healthy before being commanded to take the human traitor’s orders, something he bristles under, and creates a number of programs to deal with him and humanity in general.

On the run from the cylons, a long range patrol is infected with a virus while exploring a remote asteroid, and upon return to the fleet, collapse, even as the infection spreads through the pilots of the fleet, having gathered for Apollo’s bachelor party.

This causes anyone with even the smallest amount of flight training to be called up to an impromptu flight academy run by Apollo, his sister Athena, and the flippant, ace pilot, Starbuck. And Serina becomes one of the new cadets.

Ahead of the Galactica there is a void, an absence of stars, planets, perhaps even hope, but Commander Adama seems to recall the stories of the legendary planet of Kobol, the place from where the thirteenth colonies went out into the universe, and hopes that perhaps there he will find a clue to the location of Earth.

There really is a lot going on in this story, but Thurston works to keep it all moving and balancing the narrative with the characters while providing us insights into Lucifer, Serina and Apollo, who is listening to Serina’s recordings.

As much as I love the television series, and the impact it had on my childhood, and life, I am really enjoying the novels, they aren’t restricted by the budget of the show, and they open up the universe a little more, though it has a number of differences to its on-screen counterpart. The characters are a little fuller, the story more expansive, and though the novel series doesn’t seem to follow the order of the television show, it’s a great adventure to take anew.

Fleeing from the Cylon tyranny, the last battlestar, Galactica, leads a ragtag fugitive fleet on a lonely quest: a shining planet… known as Earth.

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