Relegated to a Fleetspace station after saving an Earth of the distant future, Captain Abraham Idaho Cleveland navigates hostile workers and persistent malfunctions before receiving a mysterious warning from thousands of light-years away. By the award-winning author of Empire State. 20,000 first printing. - (Baker & Taylor)
Relegated to a Fleetspace station after saving an Earth of the distant future, Captain Abraham Idaho Cleveland navigates hostile workers and persistent malfunctions before receiving a mysterious warning from thousands of light-years away. - (Baker & Taylor)
Adam Christopher's dazzling first novel, Empire State, was named the Best Book of 2012 by SciFi Now magazine. Now he explores new dimensions of time and space in The Burning Dark.
Back in the day, Captain Abraham Idaho Cleveland had led the Fleet into battle against an implacable machine intelligence capable of devouring entire worlds. But after saving a planet, and getting a bum robot knee in the process, he finds himself relegated to one of the most remote backwaters in Fleetspace to oversee the decommissioning of a semi-deserted space station well past its use-by date.
But all is not well aboard the U-Star Coast City. The station's reclusive Commandant is nowhere to be seen, leaving Cleveland to deal with a hostile crew on his own. Persistent malfunctions plague the station's systems while interference from a toxic purple star makes even ordinary communications problematic. Alien shadows and whispers seem to haunt the lonely corridors and airlocks, fraying the nerves of everyone aboard.
Isolated and friendless, Cleveland reaches out to the universe via an old-fashioned space radio, only to tune in to a strange, enigmatic signal: a woman's voice that seems to echo across a thousand light-years of space. But is the transmission just a random bit of static from the past—or a warning of an undying menace beyond mortal comprehension?
"Builds tension expertly. Claustrophobic in mood but with the scope of great space opera, this is SF you will want to read with the light on."—Library Journal, starred review, on The Burning Dark - (McMillan Palgrave)
About a thousand years from now, a heroic spaceship captain (he once saved an entire planet from destruction) is given a discouragingly less-than-spectacular assignment: he's in charge of the demolition of an old space station in a remote star system. Captain Abraham Idaho Cleveland—he goes by Ida—finds himself ostracized by his fellow crew members, who frankly don't believe his stories of planet-saving heroism, which aren't supported by official Fleet records. When Ida builds a space radio, taps into the subspace frequency, makes contact with an astronaut who died a millennium ago, and discovers some seriously troubling goings-on aboard the mostly deserted space station, well, nobody believes him about any of that, either. Like water turning to ice and then to steam, this novel changes its properties several times. It begins as a fairly straightforward sf yarn, shifts gears and becomes the story of a persecuted (and possibly delusional) man alone among a shipful of unbelievers, and then plunges full-tilt deep into horror territory. An exciting new novel from an exciting new voice in sf. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.
Library Journal Reviews
As his last assignment with the Fleet, Capt. Idaho Cleveland heads to the U-Star Coast City to assist with the space station's decommissioning. Put in place as a science station around an unusual star known as Shadow, the Coast City also served as a defensive outpost against an implacable and technologically superior enemy known as the Spiders. From Cleveland's arrival it's obvious that things are not quite right on the station and the strange purple light from Shadow seems to be making the skeleton crew aggressive and paranoid. Isolated, resented, and bored, Cleveland builds a radio that somehow picks up a signal from across time and space that might be a message—or a warning. VERDICT This dark and chilling novel from the versatile Christopher (Seven Wonders; Hang Wire) builds tension expertly. Claustrophobic in mood but with the scope of great space opera, this is sf you will want to read with the light on. Although the ending arrives quickly, this is apparently the first book in a new series exploring more of the world of the Fleet and the Spiders.
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