Reach

Edward G. Gibson, Author Doubleday Books $18.95 (334p) ISBN 978-0-385-26150-0
An interesting, often provocative blend of techno-thriller, science fiction and horror story, this first novel reflects Gibson's years of experience with NASA, culminating in his selection as the scientist pilot of Skylab 3. In 2032, the World Space Federation sends manned ships beyond the solar system. The first of these, Wayfarer 1, has run into trouble and shut down. A second mission is organized and dispatched to find out what happened. Those on the voyage of Wayfarer 2 discover a black hole that is a gateway to another universe, one where mass repels rather than attracts, one sustaining a kind of life that draws nourishment from data--including the data of human experience. Although Gibson includes more technological information than some readers may want, his depiction of the alternate-universe entity as an undifferentiated appetite shredding and digesting the very souls of its victims is compelling. While the characters are unremarkable and the narrative is often more competent than exciting, Reach nevertheless establishes Gibson as an author to watch. (July)
Reviewed on: 04/30/1989
Release date: 05/01/1989
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