I literally just finished reading a book from Jim Downey over at UTI. I'm not really sure where to begin, first off I have to highly recommend this book if for no other reason than it free. Yeah you read that right, just go download the PDF at Communion of Dreams and read the whole thing, how can I not love that? I'm freaking broke. The only downside being that I'm already finished reading it because I couldn't put it down. I'll also say that I've never considered myself a fan of Sci-Fi, and yet my favorite authors are Kurt Vonnegut and Douglas Adams and while I can't put Jim up on that level I will say there was a certain similarity at least in the way they all feel more grounded in reality then some of the more stereotypical Sci-Fi. I also realize that a big part of this is that I'm ok with sci-fi, I'm not down with fantasy, I don't like gnomes and elfs. If it doesn't seem possible then I get bored, notice it doesn't have to be probable just possible, or close to it. To be perfectly honest the whole sci-fi genre always seemed like something I wouldn't like so I haven't read much beyond what I've just mentioned, maybe I should give it a try... anyway onto the review now that the reviewers biases have been established.
Ok well I think I've made it clear that I enjoyed the book so I don't feel bad starting off with some of the problems I I had with the story. The biggest problem for me was simply the time line. Its supposed to take place about 50 years in the future. Now 50 years ago they thought we would be living on the moon in 2000, but we don't, and thats kind of how I feel about this. There is a huge amount of computer/communications technology which I'm fine with, that stuff is still changing at a dramatic pace. My problem is that in the book we have set up colonies on mars and the moon, we have a mining facility on Titan, a moon of Saturn which is actually the main setting for the book, the Titan and the station. I just don't see that happening. especially as another major part of the book is that a flu kills the majority of the population, and civilization nearly collapses. I just can't imagine how most of the worlds governments could fail, throwing the world into chaos as billions die, and still finding time to create several new generations of space craft. I mean hell we've been using the space shuttle for 30 years. Although there is a brief mention of Stephen Hawkins final theory which turns physics on its ear and makes most of this possible, so where I'm ok with it or not, at least Jim did realize this. Plus there's illegal cloning, which is viable, but there is also illegal genetic engineering that seems past what will be done given the other circumstances, especially as its illegal in the story and mush be done in secret. I'm sorry Jim but I would have pushed the time frame back to maybe 100 years. Really it wouldn't change much of the story, other than their wouldn't be anyone left from our time, which means you might have to lose the great reference to the 2000 election and George and the terror war. Or just make that character even older, eh no, that wouldn't work Or say he was remembering stories his parents told. Beyond that, um there were a few typos and a few times when I had to stop, say WTF? Then reread things although I'm not sure if that was due to writing or more likely due to the fact that I was still reading at 1am last night when I ran out of pages because I apparently hadn't printed the entire thing. For me though the very minor typos and what not made it more fun, like its not quite finished and its just asking for someone to help with the final wax job to really make it shine. I'm not claiming that person will be me. Although I'd be willing to try.
So thats pretty much all the negatives I can think of. Beyond that it was a throughly engaging book and if you read this site or UTI then you'll probably be amused by the fact that the greatest human danger is from a fanatical religious sect called the Edenists. This is where I stumble, I want to tell you more but I'm not sure what I can say without giving things away. Normally I'd be willing to mention more, comfortable in the knowledge that it will probably be a little while before you can pick up the book and will have forgotten the details and just know it sounded good. But with this book you can go right now and own the book for free in a matter of seconds. Ok one other thing I liked was that while it dealt with aliens, there weren't actually any aliens in it. I'm not sure why but I really liked that fact. I loved the early part where a team was trying to figure out what the thing could be prior to even seeing it and thinking about it from very varied view points. Honestly I think that's all I need to say on the subject, it was a great book and I highly recommend you go download it, unless you don't like to read in which case why are you here? go to youtube or find some porn this is a blog, its mostly words.
Why are you still reading my drivel? go click the damn link. geez.