Tag: Colony

Iris by Andrew Gates

Posted July 4, 2017

My Review

Iris is a character driven story that takes place entirely in the depths of the ocean. The last of mankind fled to the bottom of the sea after the land became too toxic for human survival. It begins with an explorative expedition with two navy personnel, charged with the task of testing out a new submarine, and I have to confess to being drawn into Iris midway through this first chapter.

Reading on, I found the pacing in the next few chapters rather slow, and very nearly put the book in my DNF (did not finish) folder. A good friend of mine loved this book though, so I persevered, skipping through the parts that I didn’t think really added anything to the story (mainly backstory and excess exposition, plus one whole chapter that could quite easily have been cut out with no detriment to the worldbuilding or characterisation). But, I’m glad I stuck with Iris because it really is a very good story.

It’s multi-pov, providing different perspectives and experiences of the people living in the underground habitat. Iris, of course, is the main pov character, and through her, our eyes are opened to the society around her (and the others). In many ways, there is little difference to the kind of society we know, but being underwater requires a more totalitarian style government. What may come across as necessary rules to some, is seen as oppression by others. As events unfold, and discoveries are made, it challenges everything these characters think they might know about their past, present. and potential future.

Iris is a page turner (once I was past the earlier chapters) and I honestly had a hard time putting it down in the latter part of the book and right up to the end. There are plenty of twists and turns and surprises, and I, for one, am looking forward to reading the second book in this series: Kholvaria

[goodreviews isbn=”B01LZA9CSN” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]

 

 


History Of Sol: Ouroboros by Chris Masterton & Steven Dutch

Posted November 18, 2015

Thousands of years after the Earth is destroyed in a war between belief and control, humanity is spread across the solar system, divided into four Colonies that seem to have achieved peace and order. Among them is a small group of people that find themselves plunged into the middle of a secret plot to rule all of Sol and destroy the remaining believers that hide on the outskirts of civilization. The crew of the MSF Galaxy unwittingly embark on a journey of self discovery in their quest for knowledge. During which they are constantly hounded by the Supreme Commander of the Martian Fleet in his attempt to suppress the unrest in the colonies. The only thing that drives them on is an ancient and mysterious Artifact, as they try to figure out its true value and where they fit in this grand scheme that seems to be laid out for them.

[goodreviews isbn=”0994178107″ buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


AL CLARK by Jonathan G. Meyer

Posted August 31, 2015

A thousand specially selected people leave a troubled Earth for a new start on a virgin world many years away. Their starship is state-of-the-art and entirely automatic; its passengers safely sleeping through the long journey. All possible scenarios have been taken into account except one. There is no way to predict sabotage.

Al Clark wakes to begin a new life, alone on a crippled starship with no memory of what transpired to place him there.

It is the beginning of a quest that will take him places he could not have imagined, manage feats he would not have thought possible, and teach him the true meaning of friendship.

Buy on Amazon


Blogging A-Z: J is for… Jupiter

Posted April 13, 2015

Jupiter

Which is another non-theme, but trying to find a theme for J proved quite impossible (though the odds are I’ll think of something after hitting the publish button…

jupiterAnyhow… Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system with a mass two and half times that of all the other planets combined (according to Space Facts). Its primary makeup is gas, and it is therefore known as a Gas giant.  Thanks to a visit to an observatory with the children the other week, I got to see Jupiter and four of its moons through one of their telescopes.

It has a total of 63 moons, but the main ones are: Europa, Lo, Ganymede and Callisto


Some fiction exists with Jupiter as a backdrop, although earlier works, such as Micromégas (1752) by Voltaire and A Journey in Other Worlds (1894) by John Jacob Astor IV take place on Jupiter itself, something discoveries since then have discounted as impossible, due to its having no solid surface on which to land, high radiation and high gravity.

A search of Amazon shows there are quite a few independently published science fiction books with Jupiter as a setting/backdrop, with titles such as The Jupiter Paradox, Jupiter Rising and The Lost Jupiter.


Jupiter_and_the_Galilean_Satellites

Jupiter’s Moons

In contrast to this, three of the four moons mentioned appear to be a far more likely place for mankind to reach out to (in science fiction at least).

A search on Amazon of independent books featuring Europa, Ganymede and Callisto turns up a search result in the thousands, mostly relating to a colonisation environment (well on the first page anyway), with Europa being the most popular destination. 


 


Spacetug Copenhagen (Steps to Space #1)

Posted April 7, 2015

My thoughts:

Another book quite unlike anything I’ve read before. Spacetug Copenhagen, in my opinion, is a better starting point if you intend to read Richard Penn’s series’ of hard science fiction books. Spacetug Copenhagen has a great premise, is an addictive read and is a gentle introduction into how real science and engineering can be incorporated into fiction.

As stated in the synopsis, there is a luxurious hotel on the outskirts of the atmosphere, providing wealthy guests with the ultimate holiday destination. The story takes place just fifteen years in the future, and wastes no time getting started. Main characters are introduced early on, key concepts and motives are explained through narration and character interaction, and by the end  of the first chapter the reader is heading through the stratosphere and into space.

The wealthy Peters family look suited to a trip up to the orbiting hotel, while Marius and Abbey – two Danish engineers – look completely out of place in their attire, and it doesn’t take the reader long to find out why.

I can’t really say anymore about the story without giving the details away, except to say that I finished this book feeling very positive about just how close to colonisation in space we are. What made this book for me was the descriptions of ‘how’ things could be done, especially when you consider one of Penn’s inspirations is the Copenhagen Suborbitals, an independent engineering collective running their own space program. Throw in an interesting array of characters, a little bit of politics, and lose yourself to the 64 pages on offer, just don’t expect to take a break – it really is a fascinating read.


Blogging A-Z: C is for…Colonisation

Posted April 3, 2015

Colonisation

There’s something about colonisation that fascinates me. I’m not sure what is exactly, but I just cannot get enough of it. I love seeing different writers perspective on what it means to survive within the confines of a colony, and I’m not all that fussed about the location either, be it underground, on land or in space.

Underground

colonyimage

colonyunderThese images are courtesy of a real estate article on Doomsday bunkers. According to the article, which was posted in April 2012, four of these apartments had been sold, allowing the purchasers to flee to a safe haven if a catastrophic event were to occur. It certainly looks appealing from where I’m sitting, but I can’t help but wonder what the ‘reality’ would be like after a few years – or decades – of being cooped up in such a confined space.

 

 


Space

asteroid belt

Dark-Colony-Cover1-253x380-174x280

The series I am currently reading is about as far away from Forge’s colony as I can get.  It’s in space, or to be more precise, the Terpsichore asteroid in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

Richard Penn’s Asteroid Police combines adventure and mystery with hard (factual) science fiction. In the first book in this series – The Dark Colony – we are introduced to Lisa, a young policewoman charged with the role of ensuring order is maintained, and it is, until she has the misfortune to make a rather unpleasant discovery.

As yet I am only part way through reading this book, but I’m finding the science in this book quite fascinating. Penn has clearly researched his subject matter well, and there is a good balance between story telling and factual information.

spacetug-copenhagenAnother book of interest from Penn is Spacetug Copenhagen, book one of the Steps to Space series.  I don’t know about anyone else, but as a child, I always imagined we would be living on other planets by now (I have an overactive imagination).

This book uses present day engineering and science to show just how close we are to that vision. It’s set just fifteen years in the future, has a luxurious hotel in orbit, and judging by the series title, will feature the birth of a space colony.

As with The Dark Colony, it’s a fascinating (and addictive) read, especially when the source of inspiration is cited as an amateur space program.

The Copenhagen Suborbitals are a non-profit, amateur based space endeavor, funded entirely by private sponsors and donors. They build suborbital space vehicles – designed to pave the way for manned space flight on a micro size spacecraft, and on a micro size budget (Copenhagen Suborbitals)


My thoughts on colonisation

Despite the distance, and very different placement of the two forms of colony, there are several elements common in both books:-

Limited Resources (and the need to use what is available)

Regulations and order

Restricted living conditions

Penn and Forge have colonies that have been established over a period of time, and both have a futuristic placement, although the Asteroid Police series is closer to our present timeline then Toys and Soldiers.

If you are interesting in reading these books, please click on the images and you will be taken directly to Amazon. I, in the meantime, shall continue to search through the masses of self-published books for a land based and underwater colony environment (please feel free to comment if you know of any).

Sources:

Ashlyn Forge: http:ashlynforge.com

Richard Penn: http://lockhand.org/

Copenhagen Suborbitals: http://copenhagensuborbitals.com/

 

Books featuring a colony:
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