Three science fiction thrillers that are the perfect antidote to the post-holiday doldrums.
Echoes of an Alien Sky by James P. Hogan
Colonists from Venus have just begun settling on the mysterious planet Earth as Kyal Reen, a Venusian scientist, leads a team of experts to discover the truth behind the disappearance of the races that once inhabited Earth. This hard science fiction story doesn’t try and obscure its central mystery, but instead gives us enough cultural differences and twist to make everything wonderfully alien. A cerebral book that thrills with science rather than action and the perfect read alike for fans of Larry Niven, David Brin or Jerry Pournelle.
The Cassandra Project by Jack McDevitt and Mike Resnick
In the near future, the public relations director of NASA uncovers a nearly forgotten conspiracy that threatens not only the future of the organization, but the very foundations of how we understand the universe. An intriguing book about a conspiracy to keep the public from knowing that Neil Armstrong was not the first man on the moon. It’s hard to sum up why I liked this book so much. It could be the slow reveal of the conspiracy, the great twist at the end or the sure-footed way these two veteran authors make the science in this fiction come alive.
Apollo’s Outcast’s by Allen Steele
Jamey is woken up in the middle of the night by his father to board a space shuttle leaving for the moon as a political refugee from the United States government thrown into havoc by the death of the president. Jamey must learn not only how to walk for the first time, having spent his entire life in a wheelchair, but also uncover the truth behind the political subterfuge that has put his family on the run. A book that will cause unbridled joy in fans of early Heinlein, Apollo’s Outcasts does a superb job of updating the sense of adventure and discovery that made old science fiction “juvies” so much fun.