Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Titan Books
Reviewer: Michael Griffiths
Have you read this book?
Netherspace by Andrew Lane and Nigel Foster is a Science Fiction novel with a huge imaginative scope. These folks bring in the concept of Netherspace, which is a method of traveling through another, and very odd, dimension in order to travel through space. It also allows truly strange aliens to visit Earth.
Aliens have been known to man and visiting Earth for a few decades, but humans are not much closer to understanding them. These bizarre creatures are too different from ourselves to really comprehend, let along have dialog with. Despite these barriers, the races have shared technology with us and we can also try these dangerous journeys through space.
Kara, an assassin, and Marc, a painter who became famous when an alien followed him around for three weeks, are forced into service when a group of humans is kidnapped on a far-off planet by aliens. Much of the book becomes how these two deal with the suspect ship crew as they attempt to reach these pilgrims. If they can make it there, the real test will be to try to be the first to really understand what these strange alien races really want.
As I said, this is a very inventive novel. I enjoyed the oddness of the aliens, which I found a lot more realistic than landing on planets with human looking creatures who we can talk to. I think they nailed how difficult it would be to second guess or understand a creature from a different world. The character development proved well done. By the time the action started to hit, you really wanted to see what these people could do.
The book shined, but did feel a little slow to start. The authors are very holistic in their writing. It gives you a complete picture, but also leaves you moving through a long journey without any fast-forwards. Some people might not enjoy how kept in the dark we are about the aliens and their motives. Many unanswered questions could be something you enjoy, but if you the type of person who wants everything wrapped up and explained, this book could frustrate you.
Overall a very powerful novel. I really looked forward to seeing how things would work out. I liked how bizarre the book was. The future is dark, but also weird. Titan Books strikes again.