Travel Documents 38: The Quiet Ones

The Quiet Ones (The Transition Book 1)

Cheryce Clayton
Genre: Dystopian, terraforming, military

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The Dust Cover Copy

When the war is over the battle begins.

You can do everything right and still have everything go wrong.

The colonists on Rex Tyrol, a Designated Choctaw Emigration planet owned by the Kanto Corporation thought that the Pro-Gen Marines were there to save them.

The Marines dropped on the planet that local’s call Coyote’s Winter House were tasked with saving the Colony. At any cost.

The Transition. A series of stories set in the future, after the sea level rose and the ice returned. A world population fast approaching 80 billion, driven by politics and fear and a very forced level of deliberate politeness.

The Transition. A future Supreme Court ruling giving Native Americans back their land. All of it. Just not the ability to claim it. And old Japanese families offering to buy a person’s rights in exchange for cash and a one way ticket to a colony planet.

The Transition. An attitude of waiting for the other shoe to drop after you threw the first one. “We’re Still Here!” is the battle cry of desperate Nations as young people sell out and move away and slowly the people are lost to a new colonialism.

The Deets

The Scene


Old colonial injustice and new technological magic mixes together on the deadly world of Rex Tyrol, called Coyote’s Winter House by the inhabitants. The trees will kill you. The moogies in the river will kill you. The fungus will kill you. The bugs will most definitely kill you. And the other colonists…might kill you.

Get ready.

The world building is fascinating and intricate, giving technological approaches to telepathy, ghosts, and mind-reading trees. It’s a bleak but surprisingly magical setting.

The Crowd


Told with careful reserve masking deep, painful emotion, this is less a story about individual characters than about communities: the community of tribal people. The band of siblings that is a marine unit. The connections between lovers and between those in a small town. Individual personalities are less important than their overall web of connections.

This characterization style, in the manner of Bradbury, makes for interesting and accessible avatars for the culture and the setting. While individual characters in themselves aren’t much to interact with, the social interplay of a full community is powerful to see.

The Lingo

Writing Style

Spare and direct, the style is a classically American story of people resolved to survive, even as these true Americans start out on a new planet.

The Moves


The only true weakness of the story was the pacing of the plot. Moving in fits and starts through time, working to connect many disparate elements into a whole, the plot creaks a bit under the weight of its many elements. Each piece is fascinating, but pushed together, they seem a bit muddled. But the explanations of community survival over time, personal decision, eugenics and intergenerational trauma is powerful.

Overall Rating

A stark and powerful read. It takes work to stick with this one, but you’ll be rewarded for your effort. And above all, it’s wonderful seeing more First Nation-futurist stories.