Monthly Archives: April 2014

Sailing the Ocean of Night

In the Ocean of Night 1In the Ocean of Night
Gregory Benford
ebook $9.78 Kindle $10.99 Nook
paperback $22.99

This one has been around for a while. I read it in high school, which should tell you something right there, although it had been a few years when I first read it. I didn’t really connect with the book at that time. I think I had gotten it and the sequel, Across the Sea of Suns, as a combination deal through the SFBC. I never read the sequel.

I recently decided to reread In the Ocean of Night. I’ve been in the mood for some hard science space adventure. Bowl of Heaven only scratched the itch.

So how did the book hold up when returning to it after nearly 30 years? Pretty well, on the whole. Even though time has caught up with the novel’s timeline, so that it opens in what is now the past.The novel opens in 1999 and closes in 2019.

The story concerns Nigel Walmslely, a British ex-pat in the US astronaut corps. He’s sent on a mission to destroy an asteroid that has changed course due to a sudden gas jet erupting on the surface. The new course will result in a collision with Earth. Continue reading

Murder in Utopia: A Visit to Hollow World

Hollow World Cover 1200 x 1900Hollow World
Michael J. Sullivan
Tachyon Publications
trade paper $15.95,
ebook $7.99 Kindle, Nook
audio $24.49

I’m a sucker for a time travel story. After space opera and hard science, it’s my favorite subgenre of science fiction. So when Michael J. Sullivan contacted me and asked if I’d like a review copy of his latest novel, which involves time travel, of course I said “Yes.” I’d like to thank Mr. Sullivan for providing me with an ARC of Hollow World.

This is the story of Ellis Rogers. He’s discovered the secret to time travel. There’s only one problem. It’s a one-way trip.

Rogers doesn’t have the most ideal life. His son committed suicide some years ago, and he and his wife have been estranged ever since. They share a house, but not really a life. He has a best friend he hangs out with, a buddy from high school.

Even so, he doesn’t want to take that one-way trip. Then he gets a double whammy. First, it’s a terminal diagnosis from his doctor. Shortly after that he discovers that his wife had an affair with his best friend just after his son died.

And suddenly that one-way trip doesn’t seem so bad. Rogers sets the machine for 200 years in the future and throws the switch. Only there’s a flaw in his math, and instead of traveling two hundred years, he travels two thousand.

The world he finds is one that’s mostly underground, called Hollow World. There are occasional forays to the surface to various historical sites. Rogers comes out near one and stumbles onto a murder. Continue reading