cover image Chasing Cold

Chasing Cold

Stephen Graham King. Hadley Rille (Ingram, dist.), $16 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-0-9839531-7-3

This awkwardly paced debut introduces Rogan Tyso, a mailman living a cramped life on the frozen planet Frostbite, one of the few places humanity can huddle on after the alien Flense rip all Earthlike planets away from human control. A romantic pen pal on a distant world invites Rogan to join a secret research project that will change everything for humanity. As Rogan ships out aboard a supply starship on the long and meandering journey, the novel evokes golden-age SF with dated language such as “gravs at full power” and “ship’s chron” but never supplies the optimistic energy of the pulps. The sedate feel is exacerbated by Rogan complaining about “the monotony of space travel” as he visits the oceanic planet Flood, the volcanic Hellhole, and the overpopulated space station Tin Can. Older SF readers might enjoy the nostalgic vibe, but most will find it out of step with the modern genre. (May)