Thursday, October 11, 2018

Five plausible sci-fi books in the spirit of "First Man"

Jeff Somers is the author of Lifers, the Avery Cates series from Orbit Books, Chum from Tyrus Books, and the Ustari Cycle from Pocket/Gallery, including We Are Not Good People. At the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy blog he tagged five "mundane sci-fi books in the spirit of First Man"--"mundane SF eschews the deliriously futuristic in favor of the possible and the soon-to-be"--including:
Arkwright, by Allen Steele

Like Robinson’s, at first glance Steele’s story seems too big to be mundane: a dying sci-fi author, convinced the Earth is ultimately doomed, uses his wealth to set humanity on a path towards colonizing a distant planet, setting off a chain of events that unfolds across centuries and light years. But Steele keeps his technology realistic, imagining that the colonists eventually set off in a ship powered by a microwave beam—a technology that’s already theoretically capable of slowly accelerating a ship to about half light speed, which would get it to a planet dozens of light years away in a difficult but manageable amount of time. The rest of the logistics are dealt with in a similarly realistic manner; while the book’s overall scope is a bit outside the strict parameters of the mundane, it’s definitely there in spirit, and like First Man conveys a sense of epic effort and heroic sacrifice that would be required to turn such a project into a reality.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue