BOOK: The Tabernacle of Legion (2017)

The Tabernacle of Legion Year: 2017 Author: Kevin Schillo Length: 365 pages ***THIS BOOK WAS RECEIVED FROM THE AUTHOR*** The latest in a long line of science fiction novels I’ve read with titles that don’t give the reader any indication of what the book is about (see: Julia Dream, Tiger and the Robot, and Universe: Awakening), The Tabernacle or Legion highlights what’s wrong with the “hard science fiction” genre. When a book has so much unnecessary backstory and exposition that a reader could skip over 100 pages and still be able to follow the story, there’s a serious problem. I almost stopped reading after the 9-month jump in the timeline because the third of the book I had just read had no point. But unnecessary explanations aren’t entirely what’s wrong with the “hard science fiction” genre as it is right now. Everyone’s trying to be The Martian, but they fail to make the accurate science an integral part of the plot while also making the story entertaining. After all, part of science...
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BOOK: The Starchild Compact (2014)

The Starchild Compact Year: 2014 Author: Robert G. Williscroft Length: 396 pages ***THIS BOOK WAS RECEIVED FROM A GOODREADS GIVEAWAY*** With the popularity of The Martian bringing hard science into the realm of science fiction, there has been a bit of a resurgence of including accurate science in near-term speculative fiction. On the one hand, the book must remain readable to a wide audience, so the science shouldn't bog down too much of the exposition. On the other hand, if some of the science is not explained, it can leave less scientifically educated readers in the dark about why certain aspects of the plot are the way they are. The Starchild Compact manages to succeed at balancing these two elements while also introducing some strictly non-scientific plot development. First, let me address the science presented in this book. Knowing enough about general relativity and current space travel technologies, Williscroft certainly knows his stuff. The challenges and hurdles to travel to the gas giants of our solar system, as well...
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