…SF addict …

Friday, April 21, 2017

Pushing Ice-Alastair Reynolds

This is an epic space opera by british SF author Alastair Reynolds, and is the first novel of his that I've finished (I partially read it years ago but stuff happened...and it has to go back to the library before I'd finished)
Anyway the book concerns itself with a crew of comet miners aboard the ship Rockhopper;the economies of the future are fuelled by ice mined from near-Earth comets. Anyway the crew receives a message calling them away from their current assignment. It seems one of the moons of Saturn has moved from its normal orbit, and the crew aboard Rockhopper is diverted  to investigate. As they approach the rogue moon, called Janus,  it becomes apparent that it is leaving Saturn orbit and is in fact heading towards a distant star...

The book has some cool concepts as you would expect from Reynolds and although it's quite a chunk of a book the action moves at a good pace.
The edition I read had a really cool holographic cover which I only noticed when the flash on my camera phone revealed it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Player of (not fun) Games

Some books are fun to read, interesting, engaging,with likeable characters. This isnt one of them, which is odd because I enjoyed Consider Phlebas
That earlier book was fun, exciting and very accesible. This book however is like reading a book in a foreign language when you only know a few words of said language . Didnt finish.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Titan by Stephen Baxter

This is quite a book written in 1997 but set between 2004 and 2016 (and beyond...) Not only is the book quite big at 580 pages but it presents a big concept. In some ways it's like his earlier book 'Voyage', which describes  a prospective trip to Mars. Titan is similar with all its politics and logistical wrangling.  Two thirds of the book deal with the discovery of possible life on Titan discovered by the Cassini probe (which arrived at Titan in 2004/5, the time period in which the book opens) followed by a manned mission to the Saturnian moon and the struggles to get a mission profile. There is a lot of infighting between NASA and the USAF, but eventually a mission to Titan is begun. Once the mission is on its way Baxter deals with the struggles aboard a cobbled together space ship and how its crew learn to live together on a 6 year mission. Eventually they get to Titan, and when Baxter takes us somewhere we really know about it! Good stuff.