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The Dark Colony (Asteroid Police Book 1) by [Penn, Richard]
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The Dark Colony (Asteroid Police Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Length: 298 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

About the Author

Starting with a degree in Ergonomics, I moved into the High Tech world in the seventies, emerging relatively unscathed twenty years later. I was around when the profession of User Interface Designer had invented itself, and it provided me with a decent living in Canada. I left that business in the late nineties, before the tech bubble burst, going freelance to write custom software for a number of small firms. Now I've retired from all that and moved back to England. I live in the summer on my narrowboat "Delta Vee" (for the uninitiated, that's the rocketry term for a "change in velocity", many narrowboat names refer to slowing down). The winters, I live in a up north, near Hexham. I have two lovely daughters, one a psychologist and the other a veterinary nurse. Since reading early science fiction as a teenager, especially the books by Robert Heinlein, I have been obsessed by humanity's future as a space-dwelling species. The non-fiction book "A Step Further Out" by Jerry Pournelle revealed the serious challenges to this idea, and got me thinking about ways of overcoming them. Several ideas and years of calculation later, I had a detailed simulation of the colonisation of the Solar System, with named individuals travelling about under the control of a realistic simulation of the motion of the various lumps of rock that fly about up there. Turning the simulation into anything other than a vastly expanded virtual train set was the challenge. This book is an attempt at that. If you spend all your spare moments in a complex imaginary world, you can be considered insane. Unless you share it with some other people, then you are an author. The big questions people ask when I talk about this world are: why would anyone want to go, and why wouldn't it turn into wild-west chaos. I've found there is no short answer to these questions, and fiction seems like the best way to address them. The "why" question seems so obvious to me I can't assemble arguments to it. The "peace" question is so broad, it's going to take several books for me to answer it to my own satisfaction.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3843 KB
  • Print Length: 298 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1500357251
  • Publisher: Richard Penn; 2 edition (25 Jun. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00LAZVF58
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #183,976 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A page turning police procedural set in deep space. This is well paced and gripping and I can honestly say I haven't read anything else quite like it. Instead of allowing almost 'magical' tech, this is based on very real practicalities involved in space travel. Time and distance really mean something - no lightspeed, no WARP drive, no teleportation...no one to call for help when the situation spins out of control...

While I may have liked the paranoia of having a killer aboard an enclosed environment, like a space station, with no hope of outside help, explored a bit more fully, Penn does and admirably job of steering us through some very dark waters in an action packed space thriller that also bows to the laws of hard sci-fi.

The characters are well drawn and engaging. The pacing is fairly tight. I definitely would read a sequel and I recommend it to all fans of the genre. An impressive début and who the hell cares that it's self published. Cream rises to the top as well!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A near-future hard-science view of solar system colonisation, of the kind that hasn't been done this well since the sixties. Also to some extent a Scandinavian detective novel, an interesting combination of police procedural and moments in life in space. There are a few quibbles - maybe sensational murders involving a fugitive billionaire ought to have attracted the attention of the billions on Earth rather than the hundred-thousands on Mars - but it was a fine read.
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Enjoyable hard SF action... erm.. police procedural? In the absence of much established procedure? I might quibble a bit with some aspects of the world building (what is the economics driving the survival and expansion of the asteroid colonies?), but it is refreshing to see SF which seems to respect such concepts as "rule of law", "human rights" and "democracy", as opposed to assuming all government in confined, hostile environments will automatically devolve in to neo-feudal autocracies. Good stuff!
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Format: Kindle Edition
This thirty seven chapter, 271 page novel is intricately constructed, with the author's imaginative abilities leaping straight out at you from every page. It is pure science fiction but comfortably set in our own Solar System. In fact it could easily translate to a local community here on Earth. A good read, but the book also possesses two valuable additional features. Firstly there is the author's explanatory note, which elucidates clearly what he has set out to do. Secondly, and perhaps most uniquely, the author has included a massive forty five page, vividly illustrated glossary. Both of them are included at the end of the book.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I've only read the sample so far, but I'm loving it so far. Having been thrown into the world of this book (a colony in space) I'm finding the writing is very matter-of-fact, and the tone is one whereby the writer expects me to keep up with the detail.

It really is my sort of book, I love being fed breadcrumbs to follow the clues, and absolutely hate it when the foreshadowing is predictable. Based on what I've read so far, this one is going to be a gem of a read.
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