- Hardcover: 448 pages
- Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (November 3, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0765381958
- ISBN-13: 978-0765381958
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.6 x 9.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 85 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #765,456 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Solar Express Hardcover – November 3, 2015
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“A tale set a century from now that is unlike anything he has written before...This is a quiet tale of normal scientists working with a strange object... I found the tale fascinating.” ―Philadelphia Free Press
“Solid science and careful world-building.” ―io9
“Anyone that enjoys a rousing tale of action and adventure will enjoy this tale. There is also a vibe of classic space adventure with a puzzle waiting to be solved and human nature and curiosity is as great a threat as the natural forces and rival nations.” ―SF Revu
“A quick and enthralling read.” ―Daily Kos
“Tor/Forge Books and NASA created NASA-Inspired Works of Fiction (NIWoF), a series of books centered on the concepts pertinent to the current and future work of NASA. ... They are encouraging space exploration and potential resource discoveries that exist a bit closer to home. Modesitt has a great ability for weaving real-life science into compelling adventures and understands the technology needed to turn dreams into reality. I cannot say enough about the author's writing and skill in drawing the reader into this book.” ―The Nameless Zine
About the Author
L. E. MODESITT, JR., is the bestselling author of more than sixty novels encompassing two science fiction series and three fantasy series, including the Saga of Recluce (The Magic of Recluce, The Towers of Sunset, and The Magic Engineer) and the Imager Portfolio (Imager, Imager's Challenge, and Imager's Intrigue). He lives in Cedar City, Utah.
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Modesitt portrays a dystopian post-apocalyptic future created by the environmental destruction wrought by global warming. This is the backdrop for the appearance of a mysterious extra-solar object, which, as it turns out, has a fateful rendezvous with the Sun. Silly me -- I thought there was certain to be an unexpected tie-in between the sun, the object and the climatic catastrophe on earth, but they were just disjoint themes woven together to flesh out the narrative (and possibly to validate Modesitt's bona fides as somebody who cares about social issues, rather than somebody who writes artful revenge stories about killing villains using magic).
In a similar vein, Modesitt continued his recently apparent directive to create more 3-dimensional woman characters, which I think he does more credibly in Solar Express than any of his previous books. Alayna Wong is fully the equal of the male protagonist (Chris Tavoian), believable, and both are humanly engaging.
I know that hard science fiction requires more discipline to write than fantasy, but there is no shortage of intriguing new scientific results, and it would be beneficial to the genre if more SF writers made an effort to apply the imaginative thinking of their SF/fantasy novels to the fantastical possibilities suggested by actual science. Modesitt deserves credit for making the effort, and he's a more artful writer than most hard SF authors. I hope he tries again -- the Imager series must be getting tedious -- but I wish he would do more with the science than simply use it as a story-line prop.
I also love how he can leave you on the edge of your chair, waiting for the next conflict, surprise or plot twist.
Solar express has much of what I love, though, it did feel belabored just a bit through some of the dialogues and the passive aggressive message that came through on climate change.
This book had some very tense, exciting moments and was written in a way that seems unfinished.
Humans find their first alien artifact, boy studies it in space, girl on the moon worries about boy. Artifact hits the sun and explodes. Boy marries girl and lives happily ever after.
The whole time leading up to the end - I kept waiting for a new discovery, or some plot twist that would make the last 300 pages tie into -something-
Piff! Done. The end. Could have been a whole lot more - but instead, it just was plain disappointing. Of course, it is Modesitt's own fault I'm being so critical, look at all of his other wonderful works! :)
This isn't one of them. :(