Contact email: mesreads AT
###Winner Announcement Posts are linked here.###

GIVEAWAYS ARE NOW LOCATED ON THEIR OWN PAGE - CLICK ON TAB ABOVE; Giveaways also linked on right sidebar.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Book Review: Gift From The Stars by James Gunn

This is interesting, hard science fiction with the requisite element of irony.
Gift From The Stars
by James Gunn
File Size: 903 KB
Print Length: 154 pages
Publisher: Reputation Books (December 30, 2013)
Genre: Hard Science Fiction
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0

The age-old question about alien existence and human contact is explored in a new way in this collection of six novellas, previously anthologized in ANOLOG magazine. When disillusioned aerospace engineer Adrian Mast buys a book at a remainder sale, the last things he expects to find in its appendix are alien spacecraft designs. With the help of the bookstore owner, Adrian tracks down the author—only to find him in a mental institution anguishing over the intentions of the aliens who sent the designs to him. By bluffing a bureaucrat intent on thwarting their progress, the two friends continue their quest for the stars and go ahead with the spacecraft designs. Having successfully launched their ship 15 years later, the questions that remain are: What were the intentions of the aliens? and Is mankind ready to face what's out there?

This is an interesting look at man’s quest to reach and explore the stars. It did not strike me as six novellas but as a continuing work.

Adrian Mast is a disillusioned aerospace engineer who left his ‘going nowhere’ job and opened his own consulting business. He comes upon a strange book at a local bookstore he likes to browse. The title is “Gift From the Stars” and in the appendix are what Adrian believes to be viable spacecraft designs. He questions the bookstore owner, Frances, about the author and publisher and her research reveals more mystery.

Adrian and Frances set off to find the author whom they locate in a mental institute. Peter is brilliant but paranoid as a result of his view of the alien ‘gift. Adrian and Frances trick a government bureaucrat into pursing the ‘alien’ plans for a remarkable energy source. The result ushers in a worldwide era of peace with free energy. From there, Adrian and Frances, joined by a young woman who was sent as a spy but becomes caught up in their quest, continue the goal of building the spaceship. They pull together a small team who build the ship and head into space. Although they hope to find the aliens they think invited them through the gift, they are a little surprised when they discover that Peter has programmed the computer to take the ship on the alien path. Along the way they are caught in a wormhole time warp which they have to escape. When they arrive to the apparent destination, there are many other ships, but no welcoming committee. Again they must explore to uncover the puzzles of the mysterious planet.

The story is engaging although a bit strange. It has a certain believability and kept my interest. The ending might be considered a bit of a letdown but it seemed an appropriate ‘landing’ for the author’s apparent purpose. The author manages to present differing views of man’s fear and boldness when faced with the possibilities of exploring space. Through the adventure there are different reactions, reluctance and dreams. I felt the ending left me, the reader, contemplating my feelings about the opportunities and experience of space exploration. I would recommend this to readers who enjoy hard science fiction with an appropriate amount of irony and humor.

I received this through NetGalley and it qualifies for my 2017 NetGalley and Alphabet Soup Challenges.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments are always appreciated!


Related Posts with Thumbnails