Arkwright

Allen Steele. Tor, $26.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-7653-8215-3
Golden-age science fiction writer Nathan Arkwright, along with a select group of friends, has a dream of sending humanity into the far reaches of space. His vision plays out across generations in a story that focuses too much on family dynamics and too little on the incredibly cool concepts in the background. When discussing the practical science used to ground the efforts of the Arkwright family, Hugo Award–winning author Steele (V-S Day) shows off his strengths. However, he hamstrings himself by insisting on repeated variations of the girl-meets-boy trope while a colony ship is being built. That leaves important discussions such as “What if something goes wrong?” and “Should we even be doing this?” by the wayside. Similarly, difficulties on the road to progress are dispatched without significant conflict, and all of the opponents to the project are ridiculous buffoons. The final pages offer an intriguing look at space colonization, but there’s not enough room to explore the concept, leaving readers wanting more than this meandering, name-dropping entry provides. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/01/2016
Release date: 03/01/2016
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 978-1-4668-8643-8
MP3 CD - 978-1-5318-7648-7
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-7653-8216-0
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