Thursday, May 30, 2013
Review:Forbidden The Stars(The interstellar Age Book 1)by Valmore Daniel
This is one of those stories that has to grow on you slowly.
It might often be abandoned before it ripens enough for the impatient. I know I almost let this one go. It took me a while to get into it. There was a lot of extra building going on in the first several chapters that was rather drawn out. I'm glad I persevered because this was a very good story- in the long run.
There were several elements that were annoying to frustrating about some of the names of things and acronyms and such.
At the beginning of the story there are some oddities mentioned that have me baffled. Probably because I've not been keeping up with modern terminologies.
One of these is the Septaphonic ear-mask::(sounds cool but what is it?)
Now I know that pink floyd had contemplated something they started calling hyperbole coordinator and they wanted to use eight speakers but finally decided on seven. They would put two in front of the audience two behind one above and one below- they never did come up with a place for the seventh. Anyhow this was the ideal for the Septaphonic sound system and if this is what is being nodded to in this story then the ear mask would have to be something that would shroud the head and ears like a sort of helmet enclosing the head in the experience. In the story its tossed around like we toss the word headphones around these days. I suppose that it may just be quadraphonic speakers but then why not say quadraphonic speakers. Sometimes I wonder about putting words together just because they sound cool.
Last I knew Septaphonics fell flat on its ear-face so I'm not sure what this is and it's not really explained- once again I might have missed something in the etymology of this word and some few other seeming inventions of language in this book.
After all of this and much further into the book the story starts to take off and all that hand-waving goes away for a while.
This is largely the story of Alex Manez- with a supporting cast of thousands- well not that many but a few extra hands.
Alex is a ten year old who is in space with his prospecting parent who are about to make the big score for the company they work for. What really happens is his parents die and he's left an orphan. He also goes on a trip that rivals what happens in Carl Sagan's Contact.
While this is going on a mission to Pluto uncovers an artifact that is reminiscent of Arthur Clark's 2001 Space Odyssey. Captain Justine Turner, a woman pilot and commander of the Pluto flight is in charge of the mission that makes this great discovery.
Michael Sanderson is on earth doing the political and fundraising thing for the company that is funding Alex's parents.
All these elements are going to come together to begin to unravel the great mystery of anchient Mayan history slash myth.
Alex is propelled from the asteroid belt to the location of the artifact on Pluto in a matter of hours. Going close to the speed of light and riding in a habitat on a meteor he survives but he's been greatly affected.
The independent (secret) lunar government finds out about this and kidnaps Alex in order to gain control of space travel which they control minimally already by controlling the moon base. Near Speed of Light travel could ruin them if they don't control it themselves.
What no one has figured in this is what has happened to Alex and what he might want to do about all of this.
This story has a lot of Science like stuff that sometimes sounds like hand-waving and it contains enough fantasy elements to qualify as SFF or Sci-Fi Fantasy.
Anyone who like Science Fiction and who enjoys a lot of technical jargon will enjoy this one once they hack through the first bit of world building.
Those Septaphonic ear-mask seem very important because they sure are mentioned a lot. Maybe the next book has an in-depth explanation of how they work and whether they are four seven or more speakers.
I really did enjoy this novel despite my confusion and look forward to checking the rest of the story in Music of the Spheres.