For the past few years, I’ve been slow to write or publish new fiction. It’s time for that to change. Late last year I was part of a team of talented individuals who published Crypto Bizarro, an illustrated horror story collection for adults. I’m just getting started.
I wrote this one a long time ago. Many of my works have touched on science fiction, but few have flown so far as to reach space opera territory. I ended up writing a novel in the genre, and while I felt like it had a large scope and a lot going on, it ended up being one of my shortest novels yet. That story is focused on a small set of characters on a very specific mission, but the world I found them in had a lot of other stories going on. The Forever Earth is one of them.
In the distant future, humanity has reached the apex of space travel, finding themselves alone in a dark and quiet solar system. Then the Navigators appear, a species of aliens capable of bringing mankind into a new frontier via teleportation.
Cody is one of the first settlers to uproot his life and move to a space colony orbiting a habitable planet half a universe away. People from all walks of life make their way to the colonies, hoping to earn a shot at one day living on a new planet’s surface.
But half a universe isn’t far enough to escape humanity’s demons, and Cody and the rest of the colonists soon find themselves cut off from Earth, stranded in the silence of unfamiliar stars. Culture shock, separation anxiety, and lawlessness collide, and Cody’s only hope for peace rests with his dreams of the little blue planet he left behind, and his ability to find his way back.
The Forever Earth will be available on May 10th, 2019, from most eBook retailers. Pre-order links can be found below:
Amazon ⋅ Smashwords ⋅ Barnes & Noble ⋅ Apple iBooks · Google Play (Coming Soon)
The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It’s hard to assign a star rating to this one. On one hand, “it was amazing” is an understatement. On the other, “I liked it” is accurate.
The Dispossessed features sprawling moments of brilliance, pure genius word after word, big ideas delivered one after another. The book doesn’t preach; the characters and even some of the ideas are wrong or don’t pan out at times, it’s as critical of itself as everything it else it criticizes, which is quite a lot. It’s easy to say some of my favorite quotes going forward will have been discovered here. My mind was blown again and again.
It’s not a philosophy book but a work of fiction, and Le Guin has, as always, done a good job keeping the story in front of its moral. As far as her Hain books go, however, this one isn’t all that physically exciting. The page-turning comes from a yearning to take in all of the ideas happening, while the actions of the characters are sometimes downright boring. There are (in my copy at least) an unfortunate amount of typos, and certain areas where the writing itself feels like a rough draft. Some things read more as a summary of events than actual events, there are a lot of lists given, and the chapters are too long for their own good. The decision to split each chapter between past and present is smart, but the chapters are so long it can be difficult to remember where the last time frame left off. Shorter chapters would’ve been easily accomplished without breaking the pattern. Too often things are explained as soon as or even right after they’re relevant to a conversation or action; Chekhov’s gun kept firing before it was hung on the wall or, sometimes, even assembled. More things are placed exactly as they should be than not, but the ones that weren’t are noticeable.
It’s a long read, and sometimes a hard one. There’s a lot to take in. Lots of philosophy, lots of symbolism (the last line blew me away). Less physical action yet more lore than any other Ekumen book, it’s possibly the most important in the series, as well as being an important work of American literature.
It’s amazing. I love the book, even if I only like the story.
View all my reviews