When is putting a lot of science in science fiction too much?
Well, it depends on the reader.
I picked Gravity by Tess Gerritsen to read in 2013 because it dealt with a crisis on a space station and that’s what I’m currently writing about. I wanted an author who was unknown to me and maybe to my readers, so that they might discover a new favorite author and find a hidden science fiction gem unfamiliar to them. Also, Tess did a lot of research with NASA and once had a successful practice as an internist before leaving to write and raise children–so she had the medical credentials for this story. Finally, the reviews said that it was “a page turner.” I always look at the lists of suggested novels and read through the reviews to see other reader’s comments.
And I wanted to read a hard science fiction page turner by an author I didn’t know.
If you liked Michael Crichton, specifically The Andromeda Strain, then you will like this one.
The story: Dr. Emma Watson has been training to study living beings in space. When she is substituted unexpectedly for an astronaut on board the space station , she encounters a single cell organism that begins to regenerate out of control in the Space lab–with catastrophic results.
Emma struggles to contain the deadly virus, working with her estranged husband, Jack McCallum, who is back on Earth at NASA desperately trying to bring her home so that he can save her.
But the strange organism becomes too dangerous, and the contagion threatens Earth’s populace, so NASA refuses to return anyone from the space station. Emma races against time to find a cure while one by one all on board start to die, and Jack fights the forces of a frightened government well beyond the power of NASA.
This is a near future story that contains very believable science and lives up to its page turner reputation. The relationship between Emma and her estranged husband brings a human emotional element into the story along with the action and science. The clock is ticking and the spread of the virus could contaminate the entire world. As accident and mishap, coincidence and ignorance, blend together to fuel a crisis, readers who like science fiction thrillers will enjoy this.
So how near a future is this? We already have the International Space Station, but I discovered an interesting article that suggests that NASA is looking to place a hovering moon base in the near future. I thought my blog readers might be interested. If we do this, it means that after forty years, we will be exploring the moon again and possibly using it as a jump off place to go other places…Mars…Titan…
And finally, I ran across this through a LinkedIn blog, and since I’m a fan of Colin Firth, I just had to pass it along. It’s how I feel about certain stories too.