Steven Burguaer’s latest novel takes us to the moon in the not too distant future. It is a sci-fi thriller which uses the off world dimension to add layers of interest to a tale of unhinged vengeance.
Having largely exploited the rich seams of resources that planet earth has to offer, attention turned to the less accessible but equally attractive deposits found on the moon. Technology has advanced sufficiently to enable such enterprises to be viable ventures but, as ever, businesses are keen to keep expenditure to the minimum and are on the lookout for ways of using new technology to cut costs. The potential for a ‘moonbeam’ is such an enterprise – still partly theoretical and so in the hands of the scientists but if successful then access to the moon would be greatly advanced and profits maximized.
However, there are more problems for the newly arrived moonbeam team to deal with than they had anticipated. Shortly before their arrival, a mysterious explosion had led to one man losing his life during a risky rescue operation. Ill-tempered accusations and a growing sense of unease among the moon’s residents followed as they feared further attacks. We learn a lot about the history of the technological advances that had led to the founding and development of the colonization of the moon and the numerous problems it continued to face from waste disposal to the damage inflicted by high speed microscopic dust. These sections are packed with strong scientific knowledge, both factual and theoretical, and provide a solid base for the development of the novel.
The pace of this sci-fi thriller is maintained well; new characters enter halfway through the tale and provide impetus as well as some of their own problems to add into the already volatile mix. While the climax to the story may lack originality this doesn’t stop it from being genuinely tense as you fear for the lives of the central characters as they grapple against the clock with the protagonist before an impending solar flare is due to erupt.