Mark D. Owen’s Impact

Impact by Mark D. Owen

Amazon’s description

“We’ve found something here, something game-changing…” The explosion at the International Space Station (ISS) forever changed the direction of inventor Tamarind Chase’s life. His life mission was to mine asteroids, but when the accident triggers an expanding debris field it strands the scientists at Moonbase Verity including the friend that once saved his life. He must find a way to rescue them and empower the secret they have discovered.

“Impact” is the first book in The Pan Nationals series about a group of leaders trained to solve intractable world problems. But what happens when the problems come from beyond our world?

Impact is engaging, well-written, and offers a compelling story set in the near future. 

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The Death Gate Cycle

It has probably been twenty years since I last read The Death Gate Cycle, a seven book series written by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. I recently reread the series and here my quick impressions and past remembrances about each book. This is less of a review of the series (which as a whole is good and worth a read) and more just my musings of each book, ala Harry Potter Movie Marathon Highlights.

Dragon Wing:

The Air World. Definitely the book I remembered the most about, although that isn’t saying much for everything I forgot. The world building is great and the mystery around the Sartans and the Patryns really kept me going. In hindsight, the renaming of dwarves to dregs was pointless, as all the other books refer to them as dwarves, and even when they come back to this planet, they have started calling themselves dwarves. 

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Andy Weir’s Project Hail Mary: A Novel

Amazon’s description: 

Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission—and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish. Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it. All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company. His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, Ryland realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Hurtling through space on this tiny ship, it’s up to him to puzzle out an impossible scientific mystery—and conquer an extinction-level threat to our species. And with the clock ticking down and the nearest human being light-years away, he’s got to do it all alone. Or does he?

Andy Weir’s novels always end with the subtitle “: A Novel” I don’t know why but it seems redundant. 

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The Alpha Protocol

Alpha Protocol cover

Naval Officer Jack Samson thought a posting to the frontier of human inhabited space was the death blow to his career. He couldn’t have been more wrong. A routine inspection of a small merchant vessel leads to devastating loss and the discovery of strange, fascinating objects. As astonishing discoveries unfold, a mysterious and hostile ship proves that Samson has a competitor in unlocking the secrets of an ancient alien civilisation, and that humanity might not be alone in the galaxy after all.

This is one of those rare times that Amazon Kindle recommends something to me that ends up being good.  Written by Duncan M. Hamilton, this appears to be his first science fiction book. The antagonist, Jack Samson, and his crewmates make for an interesting hodgepodge of characters as they are thrust in a series of crisis. The book bears some similarities to the TV show Firefly. Primarily that you are on the edge of space colonization and things are a lot more cowboy than lawful. Although Jack being part of the Terran Union places him on the other side of where we would often see the characters from that show. The major plot components are completely different. 

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