Monday, 16 June 2014

Book Impressions - Acid Sky by Mark Anson

This is the prequel to the author's book 'Below Mercury' and provides an entertaining and more importantly, fascinating look at operation on Venus in the future. Like his earlier book the author demonstrates a sound technical knowledge of the technology and procedures and this creates an authentic feel for the story. From the opening lines you get a strong feel for what life must be like for the astronauts involved.

Unfortunately the book doesn't quite match the high standard for the first story, the main issue here is the overall story. It lacks the punch of the events on Mercury and to be honest uses a few cheap shots to carry it. The horror movie sequence near the end kind of spoiled it for me.

Although it didn't spoil it too much! While it's fair to say the story isn't anything special it's still a damn fine read. The main reason for this is the vision of it. I was enthralled by procedures and the day to day life on one of the big carriers permanently based in Venus's atmosphere. This does raise a more minor complaint, the author creates an interesting world, backed up with solid technical details. However the wider concerns seem to be missing. I would have loved to learn more about how the world economy supports such extravagant operations in space.

So there's a couple of gripes with the story, but if you enjoy a technical and plausible science fiction read then this is well worth checking out.

Click on image to buy from Amazon

The exciting prequel to BELOW MERCURY ...

Venus - second planet from the Sun. In the crushing depths of its atmosphere lies a hellish, dimly-lit world of baked rock and furnace-like temperatures, forever hidden beneath thick clouds of sulphuric acid.

But high above the clouds, the sky is blue and clear, and a fleet of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers circle endlessly on the high-altitude winds, providing a welcome staging post for crews on long space voyages.

For Clare Foster, a newly-promoted lieutenant in the US Astronautics Corps on her first tour of duty on board the carrier Langley, flying on Venus brings new challenges to be mastered. But the endless blue skies of Venus soon darken with an approaching menace, in which the terrifying fury of the planet will be unleashed …

With spectacular vistas of imagination, original line drawings and a richly-detailed background, ACID SKY forms an exciting prequel to BELOW MERCURY, and forges new standards of realism for the SF thriller.

Click here to buy Acid Sky from Amazon (and it's a decent sci-fi read)

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