John Stiles's Reviews > Eden Burning
John Stiles's review
Sep 29, 2019
James Cameron would like this book and if you are a fan of the sci-fi genre, you may spot references to classic films like Avatar, Outlander, Blade Runner and the speculative imaginings of Philip K Dick. The notion of mining colonies in outerspace is not new, nor the idea of attaching a murder mystery to the narrative but the idea of talking about the costs of space is a first in my limited experience. We get a glimpse of ‘personality test’ failure Art Roesler’s sense of humour early on when the safety inspector complains about the cost of the amount of fuel leaked on the floor of the ship. The bleak view of cooped up men is preserved in canny observations between ship engineers; the ghost of Star Trek’s ‘Scottie’ is reincarnated in ever determined ‘Mike’ the ship tinkerer. The writing is at times poetic perhaps in a derivative way as the lunar cast stares at a ‘distant pinprick of stars in the endless black velvet of deep space’ and the dialogue is humourous and smarmy in the way that closely confined engineers and safety inspectors would be. ‘That’s the one Mate’ states another of the space ship’s engineers, ‘back to his cheery self, effecting (his) fake Australian accent’. A hint of menace is introduced to the story through virtual boss ‘Layla’ who commands the interstellar voyager through a ‘chime dart’ probing into her temples from a coffin deep in the catacombs of the hurtling ship. The story which involves the unlikely character of Roessler investigating the evil goings on in the mines of planet RH471 is a dense but thorough story of mores under siege by colonists at odds with their employer Orecorp.
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