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Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson Check out the new novel from one of science fiction's most powerful writers. Brilliantly imagined and artistically written, Aurora tells the story of our first voyage beyond the solar system. Learn more | See related books
Born and raised in Western Europe, Ralph Ewig immigrated to the US in 1992 at the age of twenty. He has lived in both the Seattle and Los Angeles metropolitan areas, and holds three degrees in the field of aeronautics and astronautics from the University of Washington. To date, he has worked as a musician, a roadie, a lumberjack, a vineyard apprentice, and with many government and commercial space organizations; he is currently a Mission Operations Engineer at Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX).
Ralph currently lives in California together with his wife, continuing his pursuits of space exploration, creative writing, motorsports, martial arts, and sailing. He maintains an active blog on ralphewig.tumblr.com, the most recent posts are shown below. He is also the driving mind behind OpenAerospace, an open source engineering project to advance human space flight.
I highly recommend this book. I couldn't put it down!
On one level, this is pure space opera. It's an exciting adventure with a flawed hero who is so very human that I couldn't help but root for him, a heroine I could really identify with, and a truly villainous villain who would surely have been twirling his mustache if he had one. A couple of times at the beginning of the book, I actually found myself hoping the hero would be even more of an arrogant jerk pilot than he already was, just to get the villain's goat. Before long, with the help of his super cool mutant sidekick, our hero is foiling villainous plots.
On another level, it's hard science fiction, and a lot of serious thought has been put into making the world a believable extension of the real world, and the real world's science and social development. The descriptions of how the starship's jump drive works were epiphanous. Many science fiction books present FTL stardrive as requiring a human mind to make it work, usually shown with cyborg implants, but this novel actually presents a theory of how a human mind is necessary to the process, a theory that makes perfect, elegant sense and at the same time is presented in the form of incredible fight scenes on alien worlds that are sure to get your blood pumping. The mutant and biomech cultures both evolved in a way that will please fans of hard sf who might not normally read space opera. This society's political and legal systems were original, well-thought-out, workable, and logical extensions of how democracy might develop in the future. This book is in the hard sf tradition of science fiction written by scientists, the author being an engineer in the space industry.Read more ›
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I wasn't sure what to expect from this novel as I dove into the opening Prologue. Clearly there were big ideas at work here.
And then you turn the page and the story immediately grabs you. Many stories try to immerse you in a distant future Earth and universe, while getting bogged down in the process. I can tell you Ralph Ewig's Eleuthera creates and immerses you in this new future universe very effectively. However, this new world building doesn't detract or slow down the character development, intimate personal relationships, or the exciting science fiction tale that he wants to tell. In no time at all you are following the new pilot named Rascor Griffin as he begins piloting the liner SANSSOUCI. Before you can catch your breath the world of "jSpace" becomes a central focal point of the novel as we begin to learn how it allows humans to travel nearly instantly around the universe.
This is the kind of hard science fiction story that successfully makes you care about its characters and protagonists in a way that fans of Clarke, Vinge, Asimov, Heinlen and other classic science fiction writers should really enjoy.
Rascor gets himself caught up in a complex and deadly plot involving jSpace and the potential for a form of life after death. Intricately woven together, these futuristic and seemingly fantastical plot elements are made quite believable and realistic, allowing the story to move toward its very exciting finale.
Eleuthera is a novel I can unreservedly recommend to readers who enjoy their science fiction loaded with cool, believable, futuristic concepts and an exciting and fun story to read. I highly recommend this novel.
Brad Blake Author: Blue Third - Citlalli and the Destroyer Blue Third - The Cocoa War
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Ralph Ewig's Eleuthera is a novel of ideas. Ewig created a universe, as many SF writers have done, to explore human potential and the strangeness of the cosmos. The ideas here are better than the execution, but the trip is still worth your time.
In Ewig's universe, faster than light travel through "jSpace" is possible only with a pilot whose highly trained mind can focus enough to direct a course through the void. One of Ewig's most interesting notions is that humanity has become dependent on a technology that not even its makers really understand. Rascor Griffin, a new pilot on the liner SANSSOUCI, finds that jSpace travel is even stranger than he expected. Pilots' minds normally imagine details to cope with the total emptiness of jSpace, but Rascor seems to be interacting physically with "nonexistent" places. Without intending to, he actually brings other beings back to the ship with him when he "wakes up."
Rascor is also an unknowing pawn in a scheme of the tycoon who owns the space liner. Alexander Trenton's company controls the jSpace technology and is working on an offshoot that will be even more lucrative: the preservation of human consciousness after bodily death. Trenton is ruthless in this pursuit, willing to order his own daughter's death at one point. Can the ragtag group that gathers around Griffin expose Trenton's criminal activities and solve the mystery of jSpace? I won't detail the ending, but suffice to say the book concludes with its heroes about to embark on an even greater adventure.
Eleuthera has its flaws. For one thing, the idea that the SANSSOUCI's captain would allow a being who should not even be on the ship to work on its computer system isn't believable.Read more ›
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