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Dark Space (Dark Space, #1)
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Discuss Books *SPOILERS Likely* > June 2017 group read: Dark Space by Lisa Henry

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message 1: by Charming, Order theorist (last edited Jun 01, 2017 10:11AM) (new) - added it

Charming (charming_euphemism) | 787 comments Mod
Reading schedule for Dark Space:

Chapters 1-6; June 1-7
Chapters 7-11: June 8-14
Chapters 12-16: June 15-21
Chapters 17-22: June 22-30


We have a reading schedule to promote discussion and so we can talk about the book without spoilers once we are scheduled to have read that part of the book. Obviously people will read ahead. :-)

Spoilers: please put spoilers in tags until the end date for that section of the book. Thus:

Spoiler tags for chapter 7 to the end of the book until June 8
Spoiler tags for chapter 12-end until June 15
Spoiler tags for chapter 17-end until June 22
No spoilers needed after June 22

Note: schedule changed because I think the one orginally posted were for a different Dark Space. Probably the one by Jasper T. Scott. So my apologies - I didn't realize it untill I started reading the Lisa Henry book. The Jasper T. Scott book doesn't appear to have any gay characters so no point reading that.


Kaje Harper | 45 comments :) I enjoyed this one, and the sequel is very good too.


message 3: by Charming, Order theorist (new) - added it

Charming (charming_euphemism) | 787 comments Mod
image:

216 pages

Brady Garrett needs to go home. He’s a conscripted recruit on Defender Three, one of a network of stations designed to protect the Earth from alien attack. He's also angry, homesick, and afraid. If he doesn’t get home he’ll lose his family, but there’s no way back except in a body bag.

Cameron Rushton needs a heartbeat. Four years ago Cam was taken by the Faceless — the alien race that almost destroyed Earth. Now he’s back, and when the doctors make a mess of getting him out of stasis, Brady becomes his temporary human pacemaker. Except they’re sharing more than a heartbeat: they’re sharing thoughts, memories, and some very vivid dreams.

Not that Brady’s got time to worry about his growing attraction to another guy, especially the one guy in the universe who can read his mind. It doesn’t mean anything. It’s just biochemistry and electrical impulses. It doesn’t change the truth: Brady’s alone in the universe.

Now the Faceless are coming and there’s nothing anyone can do. You can’t stop your nightmares. Cam says everyone will live, but Cam’s probably a traitor and a liar like the military thinks. But that’s okay. Guys like Brady don’t expect happy endings.


Patrick (bubbapat) | 4 comments So which Dark Space are we reading? Sorry..missed some comments. I see a Lisa Henry post and the J Scott


message 5: by Kaje (last edited May 30, 2017 09:46AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kaje Harper | 45 comments Patrick wrote: "So which Dark Space are we reading? Sorry..missed some comments. I see a Lisa Henry post and the J Scott"

The Lisa Henry. Dark Space The cover is posted but doesn't show on phone apps I guess. (Cover links vanish on the app.)


message 6: by Charming, Order theorist (new) - added it

Charming (charming_euphemism) | 787 comments Mod
Patrick wrote: "So which Dark Space are we reading? Sorry..missed some comments. I see a Lisa Henry post and the J Scott"

My fault. I copied the chapter list from someone and didn't realize it wa for the wrong book until I started reading it. As far as I can tell Jasper T. Scott doesn't even have any gay characters.


Angela I just re-read this and the sequel, Darker Space. Loved them so much I might have to follow along with everyone here!


message 8: by Charming, Order theorist (last edited Jun 04, 2017 10:50PM) (new) - added it

Charming (charming_euphemism) | 787 comments Mod
OK; I have finished the first six chapters of Dark Space. It isn't quite a dystopian novel, but close. Noir science fiction maybe. Here's the set up:

The earth was attacked by aliens (called the Faceless) 60 years prior to the action of the book, and millions (including our first main character, Brady Garrett before he enlisted) are living in refugee camps turned slums. Brady, like the rest of the enlisted men we meet, was conscripted at 16 and is on a defensive space station for a ten year term of service. It doesn't sound like there is any home leave.

There also aren't any women on the stations, ostensibly because they want to keep them safe for breeding purposes. This doesn't really make sense, given that the Faceless are just as capable of killing people on earth at will as on the stations, but whatever. The Faceless haven't been around for a few years, except for one occasion, where they captured and boarded a shuttle, and killed eveyone on board except for our second main character, Cameron Rushton four yers before the story starts.

Now Cameron has been returned, but because of reasons he has to have Brady within reach to stay alive. Also they have a bit of a psychic connection. Cameron tells the officers on the station that he is an envoy from one of the Faceless, a Battle Regent named Kai-Ren, and Kai-Ren will be visiting the station soon. Cameron thinks Kai-Ren wants peace, but no one else believes this.

That is where the plot stands at the end of Chapter 6. The author did a good job of world building without it feeling like an info dump. I feel like I have a good sense of the defense station (grim), and the camp where Brady is from (really grim). I also feel like I know him pretty well - never good at school, which he left at twelve, but smart enought that his supervisor, the chief medical officer, thinks he could be a doctor. A good medic - caring and tough - but hates space and is terrified of aliens. I don't know Cameron well yet, but then he was unconscious for a lot of this part of the story. He's an officer, a pilot, and well off. He's pretty messed up from his captivity, but doesn't hate his captor. Stockholm syndrome, or is he right? We don't know yet. Unlike Brady, he's gay.

So far I think the book is well written and interesting, but rather a downer. I do want to know what happens next, but I am going to try to stick to the reading schedule.

How is everyone else liking it?


Sandra I've read through chapter 3 so far, its a decent intro. No info dumping but I got the gist of the world and the aliens. Reminded me of Starship Troopers in that everyone has to put it a set time in space/military (although here women can't be front lines).

The introduction to Cameron is cool and I'm interested to see how that develops. The Doc's explanation about Brady having a good bedside manner seems like a ridiculous reason to have a newb in a high-clasification situation like that, but maybe there's another reason for it that'll come out.


Angela Sandra wrote: "I've read through chapter 3 so far, its a decent intro. No info dumping but I got the gist of the world and the aliens. Reminded me of Starship Troopers in that everyone has to put it a set time in..."

Didn't Doc say something about how Brady's accent would be comforting or familiar to Cameron when he woke up since they were both from the same area?


Sandra Yeah but that seems like a streeeeeeeetch. If I've been kidnapped by aliens and held hostage for years, I don't give a rats ass if the people rescuing me have a Jersey accent. Right?!

Unless they knew there'd be some connection. They did seem clueless, but it just seems unlikely.


message 12: by Sandra (last edited Jun 05, 2017 08:02PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sandra Just finished chapter 6, I like that we're learning more about Cameron and what happened to him.

Although this is all I can picture every time they say Kai-Ren's name!




Erica | 12 comments Six chapters in. I've read this before, but it was clear back in 2013, so I'm able to enjoy it as if it were entirely new.

My thoughts so far:

I don't get the homophobia (and not just in the sense that I don't ever understand homophobia.)

For one thing, I'd like to think that we would have moved past those attitudes in the future. I understand that, over time, there's a certain amount of ebb and flow about such societal customs, and there may be some forthcoming explanation (a religious government or a taboo due to population shortage or something) but so far it comes across as standard, off-hand bigotry. And, to be fair, no one has actually called them names yet, but there's:

A faint look of disgust passed between our armed escorts. I didn’t need telepathy to read it: faggots.


And:

I hadn’t touched him the whole time we’d been in the shower because I wasn’t a faggot, and Rushton was too much of a nice guy to force the issue.


So it does seem as though this future society is just as casually homophobic as our current one. Is there a reason for it? Maybe there will be an explanation later in the book.

But even if society as a whole still has a taboo against homosexuality, I don't see why it would hold up under these conditions. Even now there's a long history of turning a blind eye to men engaging in sexual acts together in situations where there are no women present for long periods of time. Boys boarding schools. The Navy. Prisons. These kids are conscripted, kept against their will, on a space station with no women, for ten years. During their sexual prime. There's no way their little micro-society hasn't developed a custom of either condoning or at least ignoring same-sex sexual practices. In prison it's called "gay for the stay."

So whether or not its origins are explained later, I wonder . . . What's the homophobia for? What purpose does the taboo serve in the narrative of the story? Is it just a wedge to drive between the two MCs? Will it inspire some actions later, perhaps by the officers or the crew, which are necessary to drive the plot forward? I guess we'll see.

Other than that, I am enjoying the story so far. I think Garrett's intense fear of the Faceless is very well done, and his fear of space reminds me of McCoy in the new Star Trek movies. Too early to get a good handle on Cameron yet, especially with the first person POV from Garrett. I suppose we'll understand Cameron when Garrett does.


message 14: by Charming, Order theorist (new) - added it

Charming (charming_euphemism) | 787 comments Mod
Erica wrote: "For one thing, I'd like to think that we would have moved past those attitudes in the future. "

I was abit startled too, but unless I missed it, we don't know when the Faceless attacked. If it was in our present, then I can see why attitudes froze or even regressed over the period since. The technology we've seen so far isn't particularly advanced - we have a space station now, and if violent aliens attacked I can see us putting a bunch more up and adding weapons in short order.

I think that even in the all-male situtations you mention there is "giving a buddy a helping hand" (OK) and "being a fag" (not OK). So maybe it was the holding hands thing - that is a relationship indictor, not just getting off.


message 15: by Charming, Order theorist (new) - added it

Charming (charming_euphemism) | 787 comments Mod
Did anyone else get the idea that Brady was sexually assaulted in the shower? He is so casual about being beaten up later that I don't think it was just that. And it sounds likes it's common. And then no one cared or investigated when Brady dropped the attacker off the wall. All this is part of why the station seems so grim to me.


Sandra Yes he was definitely assaulted in the shower, and implied this is a very common occurrence. They all prob said the guy "fell" off the wall. Like someone said, prison rules. You don't rat.

I agree and I was also startled by the homophobia, I guess the push for procreation would be the best "explanation". This world is clearly very big on propaganda, that's all Garrett really saw about Cameron Rushton and going to space. They want people to be terrified of the faceless, it gives them more power like in a military state.

Maybe the homophobia is so Garrett has more to overcome in his feelings for Cameron, but I would have preferred him just thinking he was straight and dealing with the change in perception/internal confusion. I get annoyed and exhausted sometimes having to deal with homophobia and books, it sucks enough in real life.


Erica | 12 comments Okay, I went back and re-read that part about getting "rolled" in the shower by Wade, which I had assumed meant getting beat up, but now I see that it did mean sexual assault. I was a little confused the first time through . . . Why drop some guy off the climbing wall for beating you, and then shrug it off when his comrades beat the hell out of you for it later? But as a sexual assault it makes more sense.

And, not to be too spoiler-y, but (view spoiler)

So even though I don't (yet) get the homophobia, that at least allays my concerns about the idea of 16-26 year-olds being celibate for ten years and brings things more in line, in my head, with what we know about how people really act in these situations. Like the Navy. And boarding schools.

And prisons. Which brings me around to agreeing with Charming about how grim the world is in this book. Because being conscripted into some kind of space army with no way out and no possibility of seeing your family for ten years just seems cruel. Like being sent to prison for ten years when you didn't commit a crime. I just feel really bad for these guys.

Seems like governments justify doing all kinds of horrible things to people in war-time.


Sandra Erica wrote: "Seems like governments justify doing all kinds of horrible things to people in war-time. "

It'll be really interesting to see once we meet Kai-Ren how much of the faceless's actions have been accurately reported, and how much was propaganda. Oftentimes stories/books like this have a large Big Brother government who lies about an enemy to keep people in line.


Erica | 12 comments Sandra wrote: "It'll be really interesting to see once we meet Kai-Ren how much of the faceless's actions have been accurately reported, and how much was propaganda.

I completely agree. I also think it's possible that Garrett's extreme fear could be an interesting barrier later on, making it hard for him to accept any kind of proposed peace.


Erica | 12 comments Ugh. I didn't realize how hard it was going to be to pace myself, to read this book so slowly. I want to know what happens! I want to know right now! LOL


message 21: by Bruce (new)

Bruce | 8 comments I agree with the majority of the comments posted. I have to say that I find the general tone of the book, so far, to be more than grim...it's depressing! This feels like a typical sci fi storyline that begins after an alien attack. Earth goes into a "we're all one big unhappy family " against the external threat. It's an overused plot device to avoid the natural cultural evolution by throwing in a big game changer. We don't have to address homophobia, or misogyny, or racial equality, because the external threat has taken all of those issues of the table...for now.

Okay, now that I've purged, I do have some hopefully insightful comments to offer up. First, regarding the homophobia. It's getting old FAST! I think it's being used to slow down the relationship between the two MCs. If it wasn't present, by this chapter they would already be screwing constantly and we'd be focusing on a romance novel. I have faith that the story will progress, and it's tied to the gay issue resolution.

Second, the use of the "Faceless One" introduces not only a villain, but a mechanism to bring in new, "alien" perspectives (gay is okay???) or maybe even solutions to societal problems that have yet to be fleshed out in the book? I'm hoping we're going to some depth about the nature of being human (or alien) that resounds for us readers. That is the reason we read sci fi isn't it?

Finally, I am impressed with the quality of the writing and editing. It's a well-written work. It doesn't meander of track and the first perspective writing maintains a consistent narrative that keeps me involved. I'm looking forward to reading more, and hopefully finding more depth to explore. If I'm blind to already existing depth and content please, educate me NOW!


Richard Derus (expendablemudge) | 31 comments placeholder post


message 23: by Daniel (new)

Daniel | 4 comments I found the tone/atmosphere to be very grim, depressing indeed. It's billed as an emotional response, irrational. You can't reason with it, everyone's mind is already made up. Always disliked that in a book.


Richard Derus (expendablemudge) | 31 comments For my part, I was surprised by how much I approved of the ending. I'll read the second one based on that alone.

I found myself wishing I'd seen a bit more of the lead-up to the ending, I sensed a lot of good solid drama there and felt a bit deprived by the shortness of the authorial shrift, but a solid four-star read. Thanks for introducing me to this author!

My review is here. It's not spoilery.


message 25: by Daniel (new)

Daniel | 4 comments I agree about the ending being nice, but it also felt abrupt, like the author ran out of word space or time, and just slapped a quickie on the end to make the readers happy. There definitely felt like there should have been a bunch more development before the ending occurred, so the reader could understand the though processes that went before the actions that we saw. Truthfully, I was disappointed at the lack of thought processes being revealed, as prior in the book, that was pretty much a "hall-mark" of the writing style (deep dive into the characters though process).


Richard Derus (expendablemudge) | 31 comments Daniel wrote: "I agree about the ending being nice, but it also felt abrupt, like the author ran out of word space or time, and just slapped a quickie on the end to make the readers happy. There definitely felt l..."

I mentioned in another review of a gay SF romance that we're spoiled in today's SF world. The scope of a typical SF novel is, nowadays, pushing 400pp on average and much much longer books are not uncommon.

These books, being in the romance category, are hard-limited at 100,000 words or about 250pp. This novel is about 85,000 words, by far the most commonly mentioned length on publishers' websites describing what they're looking for.

That's about the same length as Golden Age SF novels. And re-reading those today, they are very, very light on world-building and character development by our standards. Now require that the author bookhorn in two or three in-character sex scenes and it's no wonder things feel rushed!


Richard Derus (expendablemudge) | 31 comments Erica wrote: "Sandra wrote: "It'll be really interesting to see once we meet Kai-Ren how much of the faceless's actions have been accurately reported, and how much was propaganda.

I completely agree. I also think it's possible that Garrett's extreme fear could be an interesting barrier later on, making it hard for him to accept any kind of proposed peace."


The interesting thing to me about Garrett's character's arc is how closely he mirrors everyman. Gay is NOT okay because he's never been in close contact with a gay guy before; the Faceless are really alien aliens, not relatable at all, users of a geometry that doesn't follow the Golden Ratio and thus is "ugly" therefore the Faceless must be too.

Then he's thrust into uncomfortable intimacy and proximity to Rushton, a gay guy and a returning PoW with four years of unknown suffering at the hands of the Faceless. He has no frame of reference for this, any of this, and add to that the class gap between the two...they would never have seen each other's face on earth...and he's in adolescent overload.

So all his barriers are down, overwhelmed. He's beyond overwhelmed. And largely due (I suspect) to his enforced emotional resonance with Rushton, he re-sets his barriers much farther out from the original ones but much more firmly. Gay is okay now, it's inside the new line, but the fearsomely powerful, overwhelmingly superior Faceless are more than ever objects of revulsion and terror. He's seen under the mask, the face of the Facelesss, and to his utter horror it is a refined, superior version of his own. The dream sequence on pp63-65 in chapter 7 of the print version is all anyone would need to have the everlivin' shit scared out of them for good and ever!

So while Garrett's expanded his world of acceptance, he's also made its boundaries harder. I've seen similar, less dramatic, changes in homophobes I've known when their boundaries have shifted under challenge and stress.


message 28: by Greg (new) - rated it 5 stars

Greg Rothenberger I just started reading this today (sorry, I missed the start of the group read). I have to say, I'm impressed so far. Well written, a fast-paced plot, and so far very likeable main characters. I'll be back when I've read more.


message 29: by Charming, Order theorist (new) - added it

Charming (charming_euphemism) | 787 comments Mod
Some thoughts on chapters 7-11. This felt like a quiet interlude where Cam and Brady get closer physically and emotionally -I suspect a lot of harrowing action is around the corner.

We're getting to know Cam better, and there're hints of things going on below the surface. Brady can't hide his thoughts or feelings in their telepathic bond, but Cam can - and does. He apparently doesn't lie to Brady, but he does keep secrets.

We also find out what Faceless look like ,and how Kai-Ren communicated with Cam (ugh). Cam is tough and determined given what he has been through.


Erica | 12 comments So . . . POV.

In chapters 7 through 11 there's more explanation of "the Wade incident", the details being doled out in bits, slowly filling in the story there about this incident in Brady's past. This is a writing tactic which doesn't always work for me in first person. Often when authors are being stingy with details about past events in first person POV I get annoyed. I think, "Quit beating around the bush already! There's no way he'd think about it like that in his own head!" But in this book it isn't bothering me. The bits are coming out in Brady's inner narrative at times that make sense: keeping something from the Doc reminding Brady of another time that had tried to keep something from him.

First person doesn't always work for me, but here it feels both appropriate and deftly executed.

We also came to the part with the sex, which was fine, but honestly, for me, could have taken up less page space so we could hurry up and get to the part with the Faceless. Character development, inner musings, a growing closeness between the two MCs, blah, blah, blah . . . show me some aliens! Lol.


message 31: by Greg (new) - rated it 5 stars

Greg Rothenberger Ok. I finished this book last night. Enjoyed it immensely! The plot seemed a little contrived at points, but the writing was excellent. I could feel Brady's anger, and Cam's concern. I could even see why that concern would irritate Brady and, to a certain extent, how Brady got where and how he was. At this point, I don't want to go into too much detail about the plot, since so many people are still reading it. Suffice to say, I'm really looking forward to getting Darker Space, the second book in the series.


Sandra I thought the pacing of their sexual relationship was done really well, it was believable and hot without taking over the story.

I was starting to get a little nervous at 96% that we wouldn't get our HEA, so things did wrap up a bit suddenly. A few questions about that ending:

(view spoiler)


Erica | 12 comments The end of chapter 16, and still no aliens? Sigh.

We did get to meet some a-hole officers, though. That was fun. Why do officers always have to be jerks? Don't we have enough of an antagonist in the Faceless?


Richard Derus (expendablemudge) | 31 comments Sandra wrote: (view spoiler)

So about that: (view spoiler)


Richard Derus (expendablemudge) | 31 comments Greg wrote: "Ok. I finished this book last night. Enjoyed it immensely! The plot seemed a little contrived at points, but the writing was excellent. I could feel Brady's anger, and Cam's concern. I could even see why that concern would irritate Brady and, to a certain extent, how Brady got where and how he was. At this point, I don't want to go into too much detail about the plot, since so many people are still reading it. Suffice to say, I'm really looking forward to getting Darker Space, the second book in the series."

I've just finished DARKER and, without spoilering anything, can say it continues exploring the Brady view of the Universe quite thoroughly.


message 36: by Charming, Order theorist (new) - added it

Charming (charming_euphemism) | 787 comments Mod
Intense chapters this week. What happens to Brady's father and sister just defines helpless fury.


message 37: by Sandra (last edited Jun 22, 2017 08:43AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sandra Richard wrote: "Sandra wrote: [spoilers removed]."

Yeah I got all that, I'm just not sure how it's justified from a plot perspective, given how strict the military has appeared up until this point. (view spoiler)


Sandra Charming wrote: "Intense chapters this week. What happens to Brady's father and sister just defines helpless fury."

This is the point in which I labeled the book a "tearjerker"!


message 39: by Erica (last edited Jun 22, 2017 12:33PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Erica | 12 comments Well then. All finished.

So much stuff happened in these final chapters, that it's overwhelming, which is why it feels, to me, a little rushed. I also feel like there are some unresolved questions. Luckily, there's another book.

The ending just seemed . . . incongruously chipper. Especially considering how bleak the rest of the book is. I understand that you don't want to have it end badly, but . . . what happens now? Do they just ride off into the sunset, whistling and holding hands? Lol . . . Luckily, there's another book. Which I'll be reading, pretty much now.

Overall, I really enjoyed it, but I'm hoping there's a little more resolution in the next installment.


Richard Derus (expendablemudge) | 31 comments Sandra wrote: "(view spoiler)"

Answering those questions are pretty much the entire first 50% of the second book. In some detail.


Sandra Fair nuff.


message 42: by Bruce (new)

Bruce | 8 comments Finished the book up a few days ago, but wanted to take some time before commenting.

The story line, pacing, even specific events can be discussed when everyone's finished, but there is one thing I felt was relevant for everyone. Do you REALLY feel that a totally different world was created in this book? I say that because I think good sci-fi is based on the author creating a believable world with alternate beliefs, actions/reactions, and context. For myself, I can only say that I didn't feel that the author took the time to truly create a new world. (S)he seemed to just take our current society and plopped a science fictiony story on top of it. I agree with the comments that could explain why the society might not have progressed much, or even regressed. The problem is that we were never given any information to explain it. Also, the creation of the new reality should be making a comment on our current society; that's kinda what sci-fi is all about. For me, this wasn't really a sci-fi book; it was a current military gay romance story slapped into sci-fi set (so to speak). The pacing was fine, until the warp speed (couldn't avoid the pun) ending. The characters were interesting, and I still plan on reading "Darker", but I would have liked a little more homework by the author to make the book relevant in some way.


Sandra Good point, and now that you say it, I kinda of agree that it's just a military romance in space. Normally a sci-fi book like this would be commenting on humans poor and "inhumane" reactions to aliens, but it seems the faceless attacked without provocation, so there goes that. I mentioned previously that I was expecting it to come out that our gov lied about the faceless attacking first or some such thing.

I pretty much assumed this was our current world, just with the addition of an alien attack.


message 44: by [deleted user] (new)

So, I was pretty interested in the premise of this one, and it seemed promising enough with the interesting world building, characters, and big baddies, but this book overall was just okay. I really enjoyed the first 25% of the book, which is probably why I kept reading.

Things I liked:
The aliens: Yes, I thought they were probably the most interesting and under-explored part of the book. The build-up to meeting Kai-Ren was fun in that suspenseful-horror type of way.
The world-building: Mostly the ideas of classism that Brady and Cam represented. I found this to create an interesting power dynamic between the two characters that I would have liked to see expanded upon.
Some interactions between the main characters: I mean, the telepathic-type link was pretty fun to read, and I think it's what kept me interested through the rest of the book.

Things that weren't so great:
Using homosexuality (or at least gay-panic and homophobia) as a driving plot device: It got a little tiring; the same thoughts, the same conversations, the same homophobic thoughts and words... repetitive.
The rape: ehhh, this is just a personal preference, maybe, but when rape, alien sex, and gay sex are tied together so closely, it makes for a difficult and somewhat uncomfortable read.
The setting: It was basically one room. I wanted to see SPACE! :(
The end: The plot was finally coming back into play, and then... it was brushed over quickly in a couple paragraphs. Rushed and neatly packaged HEA. meh.

Overall, a well-written piece that's just missing a bit too much plot to keep it interesting.


message 45: by Charming, Order theorist (new) - added it

Charming (charming_euphemism) | 787 comments Mod
Bruce wrote: "The story line, pacing, even specific events can be discussed when everyone's finished, but there is one thing I felt was relevant for everyone. Do you REALLY feel that a totally different world was created in this book? "

I guess I would disagree here. I found the world of the reffos to be unusual and quite chilling. The way Brady's father dies of industrial poisoning at 40-something - and it's apparetnly quite common. The way the neighbor couldn't afford to keep Brady's sister even with Brady's entire military pay going to help. In a country that has space stations.


message 46: by Charming, Order theorist (new) - added it

Charming (charming_euphemism) | 787 comments Mod
Richard wrote: "I've just finished DARKER and, without spoilering anything, can say it continues exploring the Brady view of the Universe quite thoroughly."

Would you say that Darker Space wraps the story up nicely? I'm curious in view of how many people found this one to be a bit hurried and full of loose ends.


Richard Derus (expendablemudge) | 31 comments Charming wrote: "Would you say that Darker Space wraps the story up nicely? I'm curious in view of how many people found this one to be a bit hurried and full of loose ends."

It's been my observation that all the m/m SF stories I've read are hurried. I reviewed Chaos Station with the caveat to readers that these books are about the length of Golden Age SF novels...not much above or below 200pp...and so demonstrate about the same level of world building and plot completeness as those celebrated books did.

Read with a modern sensibility where we're trained to expect 400-plus pages with that much more room for character development and world building, most of those greats from the past don't come off quite so well as they might have 50-plus years ago.

That said, Henry's use of the time she does have with us is not as focused or as varied as it very well could be and should be. (view spoiler) When she kicks the story up a notch it's very good, much as it is here. And the ending of DARKER SPACE is as rushed as the ending of this book is.

For all that, I'm not inclined to kick these stories to the curb despite the irritations and annoyances. I found them fun and the world they posit all too probable, minus the murderous aliens. The Faceless are the bit of the story that makes it SF, after all, instead of cli-fi.


Angela Charming wrote: "Bruce wrote: "The story line, pacing, even specific events can be discussed when everyone's finished, but there is one thing I felt was relevant for everyone. Do you REALLY feel that a totally diff..."

I've said this before, so apologies to those of you who have already heard me say this, but I think one of Lisa Henry's strongest talents is the ability to create something that is unique enough to be fascinating but not so unique as be unrecognizable. The "unique" was enough to contrast nicely with the "familiar." I don't find the world building done in this book to be lacking in the slightest, however I am also a reader who does not particularly care for science fiction books that go so in depth with the world-building as to require a glossary for the writer's created language and/or terminology.

Then again, I also do not see this book as primarily sci-fi and I did not read it as such. I see this first and foremost as Brady's story - a story about his fears: about wanting to hide from them, about how he faces them when he knows he doesn't have any other choice, about facing them when he knows he does have a choice, about doing what he knows is right even when it is the most difficult thing he could ever imagine doing - this is Brady's story (complete with all the angst of someone his age). It is set in a unique world created by the author but for me, it's the glimpses of humans living in slums, the poor dying due to lack of healthcare, the rich living in relative ease, abusive step-parents, and yes, homophobia; I enjoy these glimpses of familiar issues when viewed next to the unique world of aliens and telepathic communication.


Richard Derus (expendablemudge) | 31 comments Mike wrote: "https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/..."

Mike's review is really interesting and I hope everyone gets a chance to read it.


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