cover image Zero-G: Green Space

Zero-G: Green Space

William Shatner and Jeff Rovin. Simon & Schuster, $25.95 (368p) ISBN 978-1-5011-1158-7

Shatner and Rovin follow Zero-G with this rousing tale that combines espionage with two of science fiction’s greatest tropes: artificial intelligence and first contact. It is the year 2050, and something has gone drastically wrong with an experiment combining botany and nanotechnology on the U.S. space station Empyrean. Samuel Lord, the director of the Zero-G FBI presence aboard the Empyrean, finds a connection between the agent responsible for the seemingly intelligent nanite vine and the Russians, so he arranges to transport the spy to their station. Once onboard the Red Giant, Sam discovers that the Russians have a sample of a Venusian microbe that exhibits some intelligent behavior. Back on the Empyrean, Carlton works with Lord’s second in command, Adsila Water, whose Cherokee heritage primarily manifests as a generic Native American spirituality. Adsila is also pangender and has the ability to change body shape to reflect different genders; this talent may be key to controlling the nanites. Shatner and Rovin’s fictional science is detailed, lending it an air of reality, and their characters’ awe at their surroundings and philosophic musings give them depth. Action, science, and politics mix in this enjoyable second outing. Agent: Ian Kleinert, Objective Entertainment. (Sept.)