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on November 17, 2010
After reading Carlson's "Plague" trilogy, I was prepared for an exciting, hard-core science fiction adventure, and I was not disappointed. The description of the first human exploration of Europa and the first contact with extraterrestrial life forms was consistent with all we know about that icy moon, and entirely believable. "The Frozen Sky" describes a world beneath the surface of Europa which is alien, but plausible. The life forms which have evolved in this cold, dark world are different from those in any "first contact" stories I have read, and their behavior is not your average E.T. behavior. As shown in his "Plague" trilogy, Carlson has a gift of developing complex characters and relationships, so we can visualize ourselves in their shoes and feel their sense of wonder and terror as they explore this unearthly world.
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on November 21, 2010
I recently downloaded an anthology of the past year's best sci-fi short stories, and not one of them came close to comparing with Jeff Carlson's The Frozen Sky. Rich in action and suspense, we follow the main character through the icy ravines and caverns of Europa as she tries to escape her relentless, intelligent alien pursuers. The author fills us in as to how she came to be in her present state through a series of seamless flashbacks that take nothing away from the momentum of the story.
This is the first piece I have read by Jeff Carlson and I really enjoyed it, although it left me wanting to delve deeper into the intriguing mystery surrounding the intelligent alien beings and their world. Hopefully he will revisit this, as it has the makings of a great full-length novel.
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on October 20, 2010
I love this guy's writing!!! Like the Plague novels, The Frozen Sky is action-packed, cinematic, and intense. It's also intelligent. This story is like Aliens meets Pitch Black or The Thing in that it takes an old idea like First Contact and turns it upsidedown and sideways. It's unique, it's grabby, and I just wish there was a sequel.

This story would make an incredible summer blockbuster.
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on January 24, 2011
At 651 locations in length, I hesitate to use the word "novella" to describe The Frozen Sky. "Short story" would be more accurate. I did read it in a single sitting. I would like to see this story continued. As strong as it is in its current form, this only whets your appetite.

I think one of the great effects of the direct-publishing revolution is that it allows for the resuscitation of the novella as a viable art-form.... but this is, as I say, very short.

That said, I really enjoyed it. The imagination on display really impressed me. He created a well thought out and believable world with new ideas and drew me in completely.

I often get really frustrated with science fiction because it tends to simply repeat the same ideas over and over again instead of doing anything that's actually new. That's not the case here. He drew a vivid picture of a place I've never visited before. His style was clean and the tale was well-paced. He knows how to tell a story.

I will be checking out his other work.
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on January 17, 2011
I found the story engaging. However, this ebook edition has numerous formatting errors... and I mean numerous. It really needs to be vetted by someone who knows how to format for the Kindle. You should also be aware that this is a short story, not a book. That's fine with me, as I am a very busy person and don't have alot of time to read. I would have given it one more star if it wasn't formatted so poorly. I did enjoy the story and being a science buff, was very excited by the premise of the tale.

--Reviewed by Rod Redux, author of Menace of Club Mephistopheles
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on December 27, 2010
I enjoy first contact stories quite a bit, so I was excited to read this. The positives here are the quick pace of the story, and I also enjoyed the alternating chapters that took place in the present moment and just before the story took off. The author does a nice job of making it feel as if the climax is right around the corner, as well as conveying the dread of the main character as she moves through the tale. The one negative to me is that this tale could have easily been fleshed out more. It felt a little like the middle chapters of a much longer story, and I was curious to find out more back story as well as where the story would go from the end, as there is certainly room for more.

A fun, quick tale that left me wanting more but well worth reading.
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on March 1, 2011
The Frozen Sky is set on Jupiter's Moon Europe, and reads as kind of a companion to Arthur C. Clarke's novel 2010: Odyssey Two. Indeed, with some minor changes it took easily take place in the same literary universe as that book. The writing style reminded me of a cross between Arthur C. Clarke's classic Rendevous with Rama, and the more contemporary Rama II.

In other words, anyone who loves classic science fiction will love this inexpensive e-book.

What is surprising is how fascinating the story is for anyone familiar with John Boyd -- he of fast transients and the air force -- will love it too. The speed of observation, orientation [, decision, sometimes], and action is analyzed on multiple levels.

A fantastic short-story. Highly recommended.
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on August 20, 2011
Mix the frozen landscape of the moon Europa with digital ghosts and sudden death and you'll find your mind squarely in the setting for Jeff's Carlson's new novella THE FROZEN SKY. This latest offering by the author of the award-winning PLAGUE YEAR Trilogy delivers again the thrill-a-minute brand of sci-fi action that Carlson's fans have enjoyed with his previous works. Inspired by a honeymoon journey to Austria's Catacombs, Carlson gives us a First Contact experience that doesn't involve flashing keyboards or flying bikes. Fast, funny and totally engaging, you'll fly through this and wish for more.
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on April 12, 2011
The Frozen Sky is a flat-out good read. I enjoyed it the first time I read it and, on a second read, I enjoyed it even more.
A good SF thriller starts with good science and technology, and those are present in The Frozen Sky. Distant solar moon in our own solar system, rare material mining, remote surveyors, long transit times - all of the tech side is not just plausible, but actually likely. The geology of an ice moon around a strong-gravity gas giant is also entirely believable. Even the protagonists'' suits and AIs are easily projected from modern technology.
What turns a good story into a great story - and yes, I think this is a great story - is the human element. The Frozen Sky is about a clever way of escaping a perilous situation, but it is more than that. The corporate and political world that the main characters live and work within, and the decisions the main characters make to get themselves into trouble are just as realistic as the science and technology. What is most remarkable is watching Vonderach deal with ego, guilt, hope, compassion and fear at the same time she is working through damaged equipment and implacable aliens. Carlson pulls it off in this story, especially with his great closing line.
An added bonus was the $0.99 cost for the Kindle version of the story. This is the perfect use for my Kindle - good stories at a low cost, and not taking up any room on my bookshelves. I used my Kindle to buy several other collections of Jeff Carlson's short stories collections, and the results there are a bit more spotty (some good, much average, and one I wish I'd never read), but the Kindle makes these no-regret purchases.
My only regret with The Frozen Sky is that there's not more good SF like this out there.
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on October 25, 2011
The story narrated in the book is fast-paced, absorbing and thrilling. Shorter than I expected, so short that I've finished the book a single 3-hour reading session. The author gives you a view on a plausible future, with advanced technology and a bit of politics (that never gets better, not even in the future). Definitely worth reading.
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