Starship Alchemon

Christopher Hinz. Angry Robot, $12.99 trade paper (432p) ISBN 978-0-85766-817-2
Hinz (The Paratwa Saga) leans heavily on familiar tropes in this by-the-numbers sci-fi novel. Gifted psionic LeaMarsa de Host is assigned to the crew of the starship Alchemon for an 18-month mission to investigate an “anomalous biosignature” on the planet Sycamore. There, she discovers an odd carbon-based organism which seems to be gestating a fetus. Once brought onboard the Alchemon, the thing, dubbed Bouncy Blue by LeaMarsa, shape-shifts and attacks the crew. This often predictable plot plays out against the backdrop of a universe in which planets are named after contemporary brands, among them Buick Skylark and Pepsi One, and celebrities are cloned with lowered mental capacity so they can be kept as pets by the wealthy. These nods towards a fully realized future with a complex relationship to the present go frustratingly unexplored in favor of archetypical characters advancing through a formulaic plot. Science fiction fans will find little to keep them invested in this competent but unoriginal space opera. Agent: Mark Gottlieb, Trident Media Group (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 09/12/2019
Release date: 10/08/2019
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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