Ian Sales is a fascinating man. He reads a LOT and it shows. His blog posts on science fiction are well worth reading. Perhaps more importantly he helps show that there is a fantastic array of amazing books that are hiding away from the supermarket shelves and waiting for us to read. Sales as a reader is always keen to explore new writers and more importantly he is an advocate for people actually getting the chance to read some of the great female science fiction authors. So much so that as a reaction to SF Masterworks he created a blog called SF Mistressworks. It is well worth a look. This may sound like an aside but it does give you some background about why the author took this story in the direction he did. I say the story. What I really mean is one of the stories. There are two stories intertwined. One story plumbs the depths whilst the other is flying high. Both are about explorations and are weaved together in a way that is surprisingly gripping.
This book is written in such a way that it feels like you are watching a documentary on the History channel. I had to remind myself at several points that it wasn’t historical fact. Everything written is feasible. More than that though there was a palpable sense of tension. If had that feel of watching a real life drama being played back after the fact.
After the story has finished this book talks you through what actually happened and how easily things really could have been as portrayed in this book. The final section contains references and links to allow the reader to go and find out more. I for one found myself clicking through several of the links to find out more.
Sales really nails it with this book. I think it is his best work yet. You should go and buy it now.