Cover image for The arrival
The arrival
Saberhagen, Fred, 1930-2007.
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Tor, 1999.
Physical Description:
315 pages ; 22 cm.
General Note:
"A Tom Doherty Associates book."
Added Uniform Title:
Gene Roddenberry's Earth--final conflict (Television program)
Format :


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Jonathan Doors. A man at the head of the world's largest corporation, Doors International. A man of wealth and power, with the resources to change the world. A man whose life is about to change forever.
In the early days of the twenty-first century, The Earth stands still to hear the message: "We are the Companions...."
The Taelons have arrived from beyond the stars on mission of mercy, to help humanity claim its destiny. Contacted by these Companions, Jonathan Doors helps introduce the aliens and their fantastic technology to the world. but there is a dark shadow behind the Taelons' bright promises, and when it is revealed to Jonathan Doors, he will become their greatest enemy.

Author Notes

Author Fred Saberhagen was born in Chicago, Illinois on May 18, 1930. Before writing full time, he served in the Air Force, worked as an electronics technician, and wrote and edited for the Encyclopaedia Britannica. His first novel, The Golden People, was published in 1964. He has written science fiction, fantasy, alternate history, and historical fantasy. The novel Berserker was published in 1967 and became the first book in his popular Berserker series. His company, Berserker Works, Ltd., has produced several computer games based on his characters. He died on June 29, 2007.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

The first book tie-in to TV's Gene Roddenberry's Earth: Final Conflict deals with the arrival of the Taelons, the series' humanoid aliens. They present themselves as earthlings' beneficent companions, which appeals to billionaire Jonathan Door because the Taelons claim to be able to save his wife, who is dying of cystic fibrosis. Jonathan's father, Jubal, reveals the truth, however, by telling the gripping story of his own abduction by the Taelons from William Randolph Hearst's San Simeon estate in 1936. Jubal learned that the Taelons are capable of enslaving humans and using them in interstellar warfare. Jubal's memories take up nearly half the book; thereafter, father and son face the Taelons together in a well-done action sequence ending with a costly, temporary human victory. Now, recognizing that the Taelons are interstellar con artists, Jonathan intends to lead resistance against them. Echoing the classic This Island Earth, Saberhagen verifies the potency of late Star Trek creator Roddenberry's inspiration and his own sure touch, especially in handling historical material. --Roland Green

Publisher's Weekly Review

With this enticing novel, the prolific Saberhagen (Ariadne's Web, reviewed above) offers a prequel adventure to Gene Roddenberry's popular television series Earth: Final Conflict. Multibillionaire Jonathan Doors is the focus of this account of the first visit to Earth by deep space Taelons and of the formation of the human Resistance. The Taelons come bearing "many wondrous things," including a possible cure for Doors's wife, Amanda, who is dying of cystic fibrosis at the dawn of the third millennium. Despite the Taelons' apparent goodwill, Doors struggles with his distrust of the aliens, especially when they evidence a sinister curiosity about his recently purchased Hearst estate, the art-filled San Simeon. While Doors puzzles over the real motive of Taelon emissary Va'lon, Doors's father, Jubal, shows up with a tall tale about a high-profile party that took place at San Simeon in 1936. Jubal, then 16, was invited to the party to accompany a young Marilynesque starlet, but while there he stumbled into some intergalactic trouble. Jubal's detailed account of his "trip of a lifetime" picks up the novel's previously dragging pace, and his descriptions of a space station where "re-adaptation" occurs convey a vivid sense of aural and spatial disorientation. When the Taelons' actions confirm his father's story, Doors goes into action. The ensuing excitement includes a miniwar, a cleverly disguised superpower entity that gives the Taelons a run for their money and, in the novel's frantic conclusion, some old-fashioned knuckle-sandwich work: in other words, space operatics enough to satisfy any fan. (Dec.) FYI: In February, Tor will release the second novel in the Earth: Final Conflict series, The First Protector by SF veteran James White. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

The beginning of the third millennium brings with it the arrival of the alien race known as Taelons. At first, multibillionaire Jonathan Doors welcomes the seemingly peaceful extraterrestrial visitors and uses his influence to introduce them to Earth's movers and shakers. When he discovers the true purpose of their visit, however, Doors disappears, becoming a fugitive bent on the destruction of the Taelons. Based on the popular TV series originated by the late Gene Roddenberry, Saberhagen's latest novel explores the dark secrets behind the Taelons's arrival on Earth. The author of the Beserker series demonstrates his skill at bringing depth and insight to the story of one man's bitter confrontation with the truth. Media fans will welcome this first installment in a continuing series. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.