Posted by : June 15, 1999
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Moonfall by Jack McDevitt
The discussion of Moonfall drew eight participants. This is a near-future SF disaster novel where scientists discover a comet on a collision course with Earth’s moon. Earth’s leaders have a little over a week to figure out how to save the people of the heavily populated moonbase and in an orbiting space station. Then the Earth needs to be saved from the effects of the tidal changes and large debris that result from the collision.
We found this to be a well-written, fast paced thriller. McDevitt established tension and suspense well, and he used the time deadline effectively. The characters were well drawn and interesting. We particularly liked the US Vice President, who is visiting the moon when the trouble starts and thus finds himself
Posted by : June 1, 1999
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Forever Peace by Joe Haldeman
Eight people attended the discussion of Forever Peace. This novel, which won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards, combines elements from several literary traditions: hard SF, cyberpunk, and war. While this book has a similar title to Haldeman’s earlier book The Forever War, the two books are not related. The story, set in the near future, involves a group of American soldiers who operate remote-controlled military robots. The main character, a soldier who works as a physicist when he’s not jacked into a robot, is involved with an experiment to build a supercollider in orbit about Jupiter. These story elements converge in a fast-paced thriller.
We found this to be a book full of good ideas. The military robots (called “soldierboys”, “sailerboys”, and “flyboys”) were a fascinating premise. A side effect of the mind-controlled robots is that the platoons of robot operators can