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The Big Yellow Book

Seeing the World from Both Oculars-- a Bananaslug's Journal

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Book Review: Into the Black-Odyssey One by Evan Currie
Into the Black: Odyssey One is directly in the "Earthman Uber Alles" school of science fiction. Earth is still, after WWIII, caught between the western powers and the eastern "Block." The first starship is launched, and immediately finds itself in an interstellar war between some colonies of aliens who turn out to be human to 99.999% genetically and some implacable cyborg arachnoids. The Odyssey immediately inserts itself into the war, and essentially wins it single handedly, because the alien humans have embraced "peace" for millennia and don't know how to fight.

Ridiculous plot? Sure. But it works! After the first couple of chapters, when you settle into the readers' trance, everything makes sense, and works. This book (and the obviously forthcoming sequels) reminds me of the Eric Frank Russell stories, the Star Trek spinoff books, the reboot of Star Trek, and lots of other military science fiction where the good guys (us) fairly easily triumph over the really bad guys (them) with the help of good aliens (and it is a plus that we will probably be able to interbreed).

The Maguffin in this book is the question of where all these other humans came from, or, from their point of view where did the Earthlings come from. There's some mention of "Oathbreakers" or something...which will clearly be a continuing subplot in the series.

The description of how the star drive works is novel and amazing. The scene where the starship appears to disintegrate from the bow aft and the captain can see the tachyon wave moving toward him... What a scene!

Will I buy and read the obviously upcoming novels in the series? "Obviously upcoming" because the book ends at a clear continuation point... Heck yes! I enjoy a good Humans Win Big story as much as the next MilSF geek does.

Should you buy the first one? Heck yes, because if you don't there won't be a second, and a third and so forth, and I won't be able to find out how it ends.

Walt Boyes
Active Member, SFWA

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Glad to read a good review of this novel - the ones I've read so far obviosuly keep referring to the first verison of the novel that apparently was covered with typos. If you're really interested, I know that a great AM radio show, The Book Report, will actually be reviewing "Into The Black" this weekend along with several other popular sci-fi books. The show is on Saturday afternoons here in Miami on WIOD610, but The Book Report also streams shows directly from their website as well.

This sounds right up my alley! I also heard the review on The Book Report this week, go have a listen - http://bookreportradio.com/

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