Dogfish Project Kindle Edition
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- File size : 914 KB
- Print length : 249 pages
- Publication date : February 3, 2010
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B0037265R0
- Word Wise : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1450575110
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,266,144 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The author doesn't seem to have submarine, or maybe even military experience. His fantasy submarine is to be manned by a small hand-picked crew. Except for the commanding officer and one enlisted type, the entire crew seems to have the rank of "Seaman First Class." This is an E-3 rate, and denotes someone who doesn't have a technical specialty nor much experience. A typical E-3 will have less than two years of service, and would NOT be part of an elite crew, especially when there are apparently thousands of top-ranked specialists available. The author also doesn't seem to know much about submarines or, in general, naval warfare.
The characters are very one-dimensional. With very few exceptions, they're either unbelievably good or very evil, with a touch of incompetency.
The writing style, I thought, was clunky. Sentences like "They had a few seconds before the electronic eye detected their intrusion into these dangerous waters" bring the narrative to a crashing halt. Words are apparently missing, or misused. Not much background research was done. One enemy character is introduced as a pure Russian going back for generations, but is given an Armenian name (Battarian). A large brown bear is a grizzly, not a "Grisly."
We have sentences that are hard to decipher. "As a child she would hold him on her lap and teach him." What would a child have to teach? How about "a sonar buoys will see it." Besides the misplaced "a," sonar buoys don't SEE anything; they HEAR it. And here's a good one: "Hammergren could bend a horseshoe with one hand." I find that hard to believe -- try to picture it. The automatic weapon is a Gatling, not a Gattling, and the deep Pacific ocean trench is the Mariana, not the Marianna. And there are lots more like these.
The author believes 16000 yards is "almost five miles." It's actually almost double that (nine miles) in statute miles. Submarines don't have observation decks and officers don't have private wardrooms (the wardroom is the dining room for all the officers). And I found it difficult to believe this submarine could launch nuclear-tipped missiles on its own authority. Real submarines don't have a morgue.
The enemy in this book, called NWO for "New World Order" is made up of Russia, China, India, some Middle Eastern countries,, perhaps some Scandinavian countries, and some African countries. We never learned what language they spoke, but at one point the very intelligent submarine is translating voice radio into English. Very soon afterward four of the officers from the submarine are strolling around a tightly guarded NWO base conversing easily with everyone.
Technical mistakes compound throughout the book. I finally got tired of noting all of them. I did pursue the book to the end to see it would include any interesting surprises. Unfortunately it didn't.
The main problems of the book are the complete predictability of the plot (there is no doubt whatsoever that the good guys will best the bad guys) and the submarine itself.
First, the plot. There is no plot. They go, they do, they conquer. The armed forces of the evil NWO consist entirely of one-dimensional morons and losers. The armed forces of the angelic AWF consist of one-dimensional supermen and superwomen endowed with a ten-fold dose of good luck. Oh, and by the way, most of the action takes place on a NWO military base in China where all the officers are non-Chinese. Yeah.
And then we have the most unsubmarine-like submarine ever to appear in science-fiction. A short quotation will suffice; NUMSUB (Nuclear Ultra Morphic Submersible) is the good guys’ submarine, whereas Orion is the name of a class of submarines belonging to the bad guys. A bad guy fires a torpedo at our NUMSUB:
The speed of the torpedo and the speed of NUMSUB meant that the torpedo was gaining at eight knots. The computer calculated the time to impact. Hawk announced in his calm monotonous voice, “Contact in fifteen minutes five seconds.”
Al thought quickly. “Dive to the bottom. Holographics up.”
NUMSUB dived steeply to the sea floor and came to a stop behind a coral reef. Rapidly the hull took on the characteristics of the reef. The holographic imager engaged and a replica of NUMSUB appeared to emerge from the camouflaged vessel.
“Image speed fifty knots. Let’s the torpedo catch up a little faster. Take a heading for the lead Orion. Make a collision course.”
The image headed directly for the lead submarine. The torpedo passed over the hidden NUMSUB. “Torpedo has locked on the image. It’s ignoring us,” said Hawk. “Time to impact, six minutes, forty-five seconds.”
I don’t know what’s more ridiculous: a torpedo locked on a holographic image, or a device capable of projecting a holographic image through water? Why would a torpedo even have optical sensors? How could a hologram be projected through an anisotropic, constantly shifting, light-absorbing medium? Not to mention that the wonderful NUMSUB has a silent and ultra-performant reaction drive which would put Red October to shame.
From time to time the book does offer interesting images, for example the idea of “resident personnel”, employees who live their lives within the confines of the future Pentagon in Montreal in order to reduce security risks. Or the idea that the exterior weather is duplicated in the underground city where the resident personnel live.
But such flashes of light are few and rare. Overall, the book is boring, and the fictional advances in weaponry are too often in direct contraction with plain old physics and therefore much too hard to swallow.
(Scale: * - unreadable, couldn't finish. ** - bad or very bad, but readable. *** - good work, well worth its price. **** - very good in its genre. ***** - timeless masterpiece.)
Top reviews from other countries
The storyline moves along at a brisk pace and as the climax mounts up the tension, there are quite a few twists and turns that have you impatient to find out what happens now!!
Once again a great read which I'm sure many readers will enjoy.