Staff Picks: Delta V

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Friday, December 20, 2019

Fast-paced and gripping from the beginning to the tautly suspenseful finale

Like your science fiction hard? Delta-V is as hard and technical as they come, yet also manages to entertain the reader with a thrilling adventure tale. If you are a fan of Andy Weir’s The Martian, you will love Delta-V.

The time is the mid-2030s, and human space exploration is at a critical phase. Government commitments are faltering and there is little political will to take the risky and expensive steps needed to establish a foothold in outer space. Private money is trying on various approaches, such as setting up settlements on Mars and mining the Moon. But quirky billionaire Nathan Joyce thinks that these approaches are too timid or doomed to failure. His preference is to set up mining operations in the asteroid belt, operated by humans. Humans, the right humans, can adapt to circumstances in ways that the robots proposed by some of his rivals can never do.

James Tighe, known as J.T., is a deep diving undersea cave explorer and one of his recruits for the mission. His crewmates, winnowed out from a large field through a grueling selection process, are uniquely skilled and able for the perilous voyage. They will need every gram of skill, intelligence, and stamina just to survive, much succeed at mining the chosen asteroid.

The human drama of the characters is as compelling as the technical challenges described in plausible detail by the author.  The plot is fast-paced and gripping from the beginning to the tautly suspenseful finale.

Highly recommended for hard science fiction fans. (Submitted by Jim)

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