Dark Constellation by Alex Random, a pseudonym for British author Donald S. Rowland, is his vintage standalone science fiction space opera adventure thriller, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press’ Venture imprint.
This was originally published in 1975 by Robert Hale as part of their Hale SF line. The story takes place in the midst of a war between Earth and reptilian alien invaders, starring a spaceship crew on a secret mission to destroy the alien home planet, which might not make it there as mysterious happenings befall them on the way, leading to strange behaviour and sabotage and possible doom.
Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.
Free for a limited time, available worldwide @ Amazon
Captain Greg Madison of the Trans-Solar Defense, is running a routine patrol with his crew when he has a strange encounter with the enemy.
The Deorcans were reptilian; ruthless invaders from beyond the Black Deeps, and they intended killing all known life forms throughout the Universes.
Then after thirty years of resource draining war, they finally lay down an ultimatum: Earth had to surrender or be destroyed by a missile that would cause the disintegration of the solar system!
While those back on Earth are navigating the surrender, Madison and his crew take aboard the Admiral with a secret mission.
They are making their way back to the Deorcan home planet to destroy it, or die trying, beginning a nightmare voyage to the Dark Constellation, home of the Deorcan home world.
When crew members start acting strangely and sabotage is discovered in the engines, Madison and the doctor begin to look for clues of this strange behavior. When crew members start seizing, they discover a connection between the strange behavior and physical ailments with an undetectable radiation, which literally causes people affected to go mad before dying.
As they traverse deep space and reach the edge of explored space, things continue to get more perilous and unexplainable.
The Dark Constellation sits in a place that they may not return from, but they push on in the hopes of their sacrifice saving those they left behind.