16 Following

Novel Tease

Random meanderings about the books I love—or don't. 

Interspersed with observations about my hobbies: Beer & Wine, Bridge, Bikes and Bow-wows.

Currently reading

The Book Thief
Markus Zusak
Pontypool Changes Everything
Tony Burgess
Forbidden The Stars (The Interstellar Age, # 1) - Valmore Daniels
I'd like to be able to give this book a better review — I enjoyed the story, but it's tagged as "hard SF" and it's not only not "hard" but it's scientifically very weak.

We're told "Scientists had estimated that the asteroid belt itself held hundreds of undiscovered new elements with attributes that could improve the quality of life for everyone on Earth." Why? There's a really good reason why scientists don't expect to ever find any new elements in our solar system: it's simply too old for trans-Uranic elements to have not decayed. The prediction of new elements would require a complete change in our understanding of physics.

On Pluto, the scientists are measuring temperatures in °C (e.g., "Minus 210.8°C" when they'd be using K [Kelvin]: -210.8°C= 62.35K).

Then, it just goes right downhill to fantasy land with "cosmic lightning"; a boy exposed to the mysterious Element X, who somehow controls the effects of the element; and outrageous coincidence (how is it that the first people to discover "Element X" do so precisely at the same time that the first expedition to Pluto discovers evidence of alien life?).

Ironically, the actual structure of Element X—admitted to be "impossible" but given a plausible hypothesis—is more believable than the science that's supposedly possible.

I don't require my SF to be scientifically valid, but don't pretend it is, and don't have scientists act out of character, and don't invent unnecessary complications (really, drop the paragraph mentioning the predicted hundreds of new elements & the cosmic lightning and nothing would be lost.