Monday, November 2, 2015
Saturn Rising by John Sandford and Ctein
Frist off I am a big fan of John Sandford's Lucas Davenport novels and Virgil Flowers novels, which are police thrillers. And I am also a science fiction fan. So. . . I went into reading Saturn Run with certain expecations and much anticipation.
The verdict: is mixed. Basically this starts out as a tale of First Contact combined with a hard science focus. Both of these are well-established subcategories of the genre. Humans encounter aliens for the first time and a plot/setting built upon or extrapolating from real world scientific knowledge about the operations of the universe.
The story takes place some fifty years in the future, and the competition between the United States and the People's Republic of China has now migrated to outer space. When the U.S. accidentally discovers what appears to be an alien presence in the Rings of Saturn, this top secret classified news quickly winds up in the hands of the Chinese. And the race is on to see who can reach the aliens first and gain access to their advanced scientific and technological knowledge.
At this point the story flips from a novel of first contact with a hard science focus to a standard geo-political thriller albeit one with an exotic deep space near future setting. Nothing wrong with that, per se, and still an interesting read, but not really science fiction anymore.
Click HERE to see a video interview with author John Sandford from Kirkus Reviews.
Click HERE to read a review from the Minneapolis Star Tribine.
Click HERE to read a review from Publishers Weekly.