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Approaching Omega [Kindle Edition]

Eric Brown
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

//~Mission to locate Earth-temperate planet for colonisation: failed …
//~1000 years out from Earth base, damage to colony sleeper hangars 1, 3 and 4 sustained … all lives lost … hangars 2 and 5 still operational …
//~Mission parameters adjusted: Augmentation of colonists to commence …
//~Request all drones and ’bots to medical units to begin experimentation …



"British writing with a deft, understated touch: wonderful" - New Scientist.

"SF infused with a cosmopolitan and literary sensibility... accomplished and
affecting" - Paul McAuley.

"One of the very best of the new generation of British SF writers" - Vector

"Eric Brown has an enviable talent for writing stories which are the essence
of modern science fiction and yet show a passionate concern for the human
predicament and human values" - Bob Shaw.


Product Description

Synopsis

Tells the story of a colonisation mission to Earth that runs into problems.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 312 KB
  • Print Length: 128 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: infinity plus (25 Sept. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005PR5PK8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #304,931 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Otherworldly Sci-fi brilliance 15 Sept. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
The Story

We all knew it would come to this. Earth is now approaching the point where it is beyond repair. War, disease and lack of resources plague mankind - and we aren't going to be able to pull through. The only option is one that pushes well beyond the boundaries of previous human exploration. The Omega Corporation have been working for years, and have finally reached the point where they are able to give us a viable option for the survival of the human race. No, no, don't be silly. They can't save all of us, but they can ensure that enough of the race make it out alive, to start future generations of humankind, on a distant world.

Everything has been building to this, it's easy really. Statistics say that there MUST be another viable planet out there. It is only a matter of time until it is found. We've got time. With cold sleeper states to get them through the light years between possible planets, they would be out 'cold' for 1500 years at a time. However, Omega have a secret, one that will change the game completely...

Latimer and the rest of the maintenance crew awake from their first sleep stage, ready to check stats after 1500 years, but they are devastated to find it has been a mere 1000. Something's wrong. With two hangers obliterated, one floating aimlessly and two attached, but questionable - the team jump to check stats, only to find that Central is down! They patch through enough to see that they have taken casualties, but there's no turning back. They are too committed, and have no idea what condition Earth is in, not to mention everything they know is long gone. So they set the bots to self repair and head to their second sleep stage, hopeful for the best.

They weren't expecting to be woken so soon. Was there another disaster? No?
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A novella in the vein of survival horror 20 July 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Approaching Omega is a short novella by Eric Brown released by Telos in 2005 and is a take on a fairly well travelled trope of science fiction, the colony ship. It's not a long story and is a story that has twists and turns while it takes you on its journey to its conclusion. While not entirely original it is well told, although had I read it when released I probably would have had different thoughts on it - all I seem to do is think of a couple of more recent examples that are similar to this.

Latimer is one of the maintenance crew, due to be awoken at various points during the journey to check on progress and ensure everything is running smoothly. When he awakes for the first time it becomes clear that not everything has gone to plan and the small crew discover that two of the five hangars containing the colonists has been destroyed but what looks like a collision of some sort, and a third is now floating away from the main body of the ship being kept from drifting off only by cables. Weighing up their options they decide to secure what they can and continue the mission, re-entering cold sleep again. Waking up again it becomes clear that things have gone from bad to worse, and the first look at what has happened is only the tip of the iceberg.

One thing I usually note about Eric Brown's work is that he makes the characters the focus of the novel and uses the setting as a backdrop for the story. While this is partially the case here, the setting is at the forefront much more and drives the characters to do what they must. We do get the human touch from the characters, especially from Latimer whose wife is one of the colonists and is still alive in the hangar floating away from the main body.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Decent story but way too short 16 Jan. 2006
Format:Paperback
Approaching Omega is a decent story about a group of colonists fleeing a dying Earth on humanities first (and last) interstellar voyage. The ship is mysteriously damaged and the plot evolves from there.
While the plot is OK and the writing is pretty good this book is far too short to be a stand-alone novel. At 120 pages I do not recommend buying this book but it is worth a read if you ever see it as part of a compilation of short stories.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.4 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Otherworldly Sci-fi Brilliance 15 Sept. 2014
By Natural_bri - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
The Story

We all knew it would come to this. Earth is now approaching the point where it is beyond repair. War, disease and lack of resources plague mankind - and we aren't going to be able to pull through. The only option is one that pushes well beyond the boundaries of previous human exploration. The Omega Corporation have been working for years, and have finally reached the point where they are able to give us a viable option for the survival of the human race. No, no, don't be silly. They can't save all of us, but they can ensure that enough of the race make it out alive, to start future generations of humankind, on a distant world.

Everything has been building to this, it's easy really. Statistics say that there MUST be another viable planet out there. It is only a matter of time until it is found. We've got time. With cold sleeper states to get them through the light years between possible planets, they would be out 'cold' for 1500 years at a time. However, Omega have a secret, one that will change the game completely...

Latimer and the rest of the maintenance crew awake from their first sleep stage, ready to check stats after 1500 years, but they are devastated to find it has been a mere 1000. Something's wrong. With two hangers obliterated, one floating aimlessly and two attached, but questionable - the team jump to check stats, only to find that Central is down! They patch through enough to see that they have taken casualties, but there's no turning back. They are too committed, and have no idea what condition Earth is in, not to mention everything they know is long gone. So they set the bots to self repair and head to their second sleep stage, hopeful for the best.

They weren't expecting to be woken so soon. Was there another disaster? No? Perhaps it was time to check on the colonists then. They pop down the chute, ready to have a look at the havoc that has been done to their ship. With a blinding light, burned flesh and a scramble - they realise that all is not what it appears. Have the bots really started to attack? What does this mean for the colonists? And who the heck was that shadowy figure, who seemed distinctly human. Oh god, what has happened? What hasn't Omega told them? Will they survive to save the human race????

My Thoughts:

This novella was very well written. In the first chapter, I started to wonder if it was just going to be the typical - leave Earth, get hit by virus, battle to survive sci-fi thriller. Don't get me wrong, I love those, but I enjoy something different. That's EXACTLY what I got.

This novella may be a short, sweet read to gobble up, but it is packed to the brim with action, fear, science and the ultimate battle for survival. It approaches the thing all humans fear (somewhere deep inside) and turns it into your worst nightmare - AI has turned against you.

I love that the story doesn't just take place out of nowhere. The crew are actually the ones who 'begin' the process. When the ship is damaged they make the effort to give Central and the bots the command to repair themselves. That, along with the original program command - survive (humans and bot alike) at all costs - led the bots to make the ultimate decision. They took the next ~1000 years to evolve, experiment and ensure that survival was possible for both, even if this meant moulding the two together.

The crew awake without a clue, but use their intellect to try and think of a way to do what humans are best at - obliterate the ones they see as the enemy and ensure human survival. Little did they know what they were doing may have been in vain.

I love that the story takes in human nature, fear, love and the capability of something/someone to be much more than expected.

The ending was also brilliantly written. It had a fantastic twist and ended at just the right time.

OVERALL: The characters were diverse and believable, making the story very easy to get engrossed in. The story was very real, in the sense of being just past the edge of where we can see science being soon and still takes into account the worries and fears that we have about science, machines and the earth's survival. It was brilliantly written, catchy and had surprises at just the right moment. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would suggest it to all ages from YA to my older readers.

Being a novella, it is perfect for commutes, train journeys, holidays or a few evenings' reads.
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Sci-Fi Short Story! 10 May 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Quickly got my interest and kept it up through the entire story! Also shares some really interesting thoughts on the future of the earth, and human survival, in the maybe not-so-distant future.
TJ in Seattle
3.0 out of 5 stars This is a good short story 20 April 2014
By freddy thumas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a good short story that holds your interest throughout. It is hard science fiction. Although the story may not always go in the direction the reader wants, the story remains interesting and exciting. I truly cared what happened to the characters, which usually makes for a satisfying read.
2.0 out of 5 stars Predictable and superficial 13 Dec. 2012
By Phil_T - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Weak character development, an overly action based plot. A relatively simple premise and best for those who enjoy action or younger readers.
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic hard science fiction 7 Oct. 2012
By Arjaydee - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a good short story that holds your interest throughout. It is hard science fiction. Although the story may not always go in the direction the reader wants, the story remains interesting and exciting. I truly cared what happened to the characters, which usually makes for a satisfying read.
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