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Tillabooks: Will's Book Blog

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Spindrift by Allen Steele

Spindrift by Allen Steele. New York: Ace Books, 2007. ISBN: 978-0-441-01471-2

If you're a fan of genuine “hard” science fiction, then this is definitely a book for you. Allen Steele is one of those newer SciFi authors who has kind of slipped in under my radar, so to speak. He's won the Hugo award twice, and I've hardly even ever heard of him before. Shame on me!

This novel is set in his pre-existing “Coyote Trilogy” universe. It's a classic first alien contact novel, an old story, that's been told many times by many authors, but Steele gives it his own unique twist, with more than a few unexpected turns along the way.

Humanity has settled just one other system outside our own solar system, and has barely achieved “hyperspace” technology which allows for FTL (faster than light) travel, via wormholes. At least, I think that's how they do it.

By the end of the novel, they've made contact with that ever suspected, but ever elusive galactic civilization, after first almost accidentally discovering an alien artifact almost in humanity's back yard, so to speak, meaning, just a paltry few light years away.

Definitely recommended in the strongest possible terms for all hard science fiction fans. Now I need to go out and read the rest of his novels, starting with the Coyote Trilogy, but there are five books listed in his “Near-Space Series,” as well, and I imagine I'll want to read them all!

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