The Observers - A Science Fiction Odyssey

… “If you, or any of your brainiac buddies return to Tau Ceti, rest assured there will be no close misses of the craft in which they will die—vaporized in the vacuum of space—with no survivors to mourn the loss of their pitiful lives! Remember, we have your DNA.”


There was a sharp click. Sepulchral silence crept in and filled the void.


“I don’t think our mission ended well,” Zerpall, the pilot offered after an appropriate interlude.


“Your gift of understatement is legendary,” Mxpan, the passenger retorted. “Why did you have to insult the leader’s companion?”


The Observers chronicles four missions of Supervisor Mxpan and his subordinate, Zerpall, two Observers from the planet Gliese. The manuscript begins as the pair ends their third mission as a team (the excerpt above). It is a portent of things to come. Glieseians are a telepathic species, with mollusk-like bodies and frail arms. They move on lubricated, muscular feet, like snails but have brains that equal nearly sixty percent of their body weight.


Over uncounted millennia, Glieseians have assumed the roles of observers, investigators, and interventionists, helping determine the developmental pathways taken by inhabitants of other planets in the Milky Way. As Observers, Mxpan and Zerpall are expected to perform only that role—contact with natives of planets to which they are assigned is unacceptable.


Unfortunately, Mxpan and Zerpall are the Glieseian equivalents of Frick and Frack. While they might complete a mission, it almost always seems impossible at some point!

Mxpan                   Zerpall

This book will transport you to the “Wild West” of interplanetary travel where you will be an active Observer for the battle of knowledge and technology while quickly stopping at Fuflox’s Fine Finger Foods for fries. With an underlying theme of Good vs evil in the pursuit of Technology, Mxpan will remind you of today’s human world, except they are not human. They are slugs on steroids dedicated to being the guardians of technology in a galaxy that might be near you. Albert Einstein would have enjoyed this book to see his theories proved. Captain Kirk would have loved to see “where no man but a slug has gone before” and Rod Sterling would have enjoyed the telepathic bantering between Mxpan & Zerpall. You can either read the book or have Mxpan telepath it to you….. fun either way!

-- Ari Schauder

Click here for a teaser from this book!

...this is a comedy book and the humour is well written: timing is everything in comedy, and Downing delivers witty punch-lines and well-paced gags that carry the reader through an often drawn-out experience. The banter between Mxpan and Zerpall is delightful and Zerpall’s child-like innocence is often laugh-out-loud material.

Nebula Books

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The images of Mxpan and Zerpall shown here are original art  by Marissa Kay.

I haven't gotten all the way through but I cant put it down! It is so intriguing. I am not a huge fan of sci fi but this is so connectible. Does that make sense? The humor and conversations are so normal people conversations with Glieseians mixed in!!! I cant wait to finish it!!

Cassy W

 I really enjoyed this book! It was fun to read and eventful. I don't typically read scifi. This is mostly because I feel like the the futuristic aspect are lacking and fail to really make that much sense. This author explains things in a way I find plausible and understandable. Like a scientist writing science fiction. He knows what my mind will notice missing.

Julie P

I loved his last book, Traveler's HOT L, so I wasn't sure I would like this storyline. WRONG! What a fun read! The character development of the Glieseians and their adventures are interwoven with wonderful layers of humor. It was a truly enjoyable read with a more than a few chuckles escaping now and then. Definitely five star!

Elena McC