Children of the Comet

Donald Moffitt. Open Road (openroadmedia.com), $15.99 trade paper (332p) ISBN 978-1-4976-8294-8
The final novel by Moffitt (1931–2014), set six billion years in the future, envisions humans being forced out of the Milky Way by an alien race known as the First Ones. Fortunately, this eviction takes place only after development of the Higgs drive, which makes travelling near light speed possible. Humans can travel unimaginable distances in the course of a single lifetime, while millennia pass outside the ship. Unsurprisingly, scientific advancement is no indicator of social progress, and the crew of the starship Time’s Beginning is riven by factions that variously want to return to Earth’s solar system, find a hospitable new planet, or search for the beginning of time. Meanwhile, another group of humans has been forced to take up residence in a collection of giant space trees rooted in comets, where they devolve into a primitive culture and manage to survive in the harsh vacuum of space until catching the attention of the Time’s Beginning crew, which lavishes upon them the blessings of recivilization. The premises underlying this book are inventive, and the science is sound but long-winded. Alas, Moffitt (The Jupiter Theft) is not as talented with narrative and characterization as he clearly is with astrophysics, and the result is a fascinating scientific essay still in search of a worthy literary framework. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 07/20/2015
Release date: 06/01/2015
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