- Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Baen Books; Reprint edition (26 Mar. 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1416591575
- ISBN-13: 978-1416591573
- Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.5 x 17.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,523,577 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
One Day on Mars (Tau Ceti Agenda) Mass Market Paperback – 26 Mar 2009
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About the Author
Travis S. Taylor--"Doc" Taylor to his friends--has earned his soubriquet the hard way: He has a doctorate in optical science and engineering, a master's degree in physics, a master's degree in aerospace engineering, all from the University of Alabama in Huntsville; a master's degree in astronomy, and a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Auburn University. Dr. Taylor has worked on various programs for the Department of Defense and NASA for the past sixteen years. He's currently working on several advanced propulsion concepts, very large space telescopes, space-based beamed energy systems, and next generation space launch concepts. In his copious spare time, Doc Travis is also a black belt martial artist, a private pilot, a SCUBA diver, has raced mountain bikes, competed in triathlons, and has been the lead singer and rhythm guitarist of several hard rock bands. He currently lives in Alabama with his wife Karen, and their daughter.
Top Customer Reviews
I've read his books with john ringo and thoroughly enjoyed them! The problem, as I see it, is that he is a hard science fiction writer with serious emphasis on the science. His charectors are one dimensional patriotic parodies and do little to endear themselves with the reader.
The over the top explanation of detailed procedures gets annoying with one scene of a combat jock loading into his fighter being copied and pasted in three separate instances in the book.
When I read scifi I want to imagine weird and wonderful places and events not get lectured on the fluid dynamics of over pressurised liquid metal cooling systems on super-carriers, he needs to give his readers the benefit of the doubt that when he writes something, we will accept it without his needing to mount a doctoral defence of a thesis!
The unending use of military and scientific acronyms gets wearing after about 30 pages even the old reliable BFW (Big. F***ing. Wrench)
The story of the battle between the "separatists" and the United States is set at a frenetic pace and uses machines that could have come out of a SiFi comic but the author assumes we know all about there capabilities. The rate at which the casualty numbers increase would make poor reading for any recruiting officer of the period.
The weakest point of the story is the hero senator who after many years in politics takes up arms to out Rambo, Rambo.
I think this book should have been kept for the US domestic market as the political implications of the use of United States to mean the whole of earth and some planets, with all the ships styled USS sticks in the throat of a non US citizen.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
One physical problem was extra pages were inserted to fill the spine. At least ALL the pages were there though.
As to the story...
The action is pretty one-dimensional, and non-stop, and.. in many place, either unbelievable or contradictory.
I don't recommend this book, nor the series.
The drip drip drip of critical background facts is frustrating, too. It feels very manipulative, and it gets in the way of the already mediocre character development.
Overall not awful, but not stellar either.
In both books, Taylor tries very hard to capture, almost minute-by-minute, the action in a major military engagement and gets bogged down in trivial detail. The reader doesn't need every grunt and groan from the mecha pilots. In fact, the reader doesn't need a transcript of the radio transmissions. And I would bet very few readers cared about having the serial number of every AI implant. If the Captain's AI is "Uncle Timmy," that's fine: I don't need to have its official identifier spelled out in military phonetics. But what I do need is some idea of why the battle is taking place.
The main complaint I have with Taylor's writing (I've read three of his books to date) is that character and plot development are apparently completely foreign to him, as is context. There's strife between the United States, which apparently runs the entire planet in Taylor's universe, and the Separatists, but we don't have the events leading up to this battle. We don't know why, other than from some vague references, the Separatists are so bloodthirsty. I guess it's because they're bad guys with no redeeming features, but that doesn't really seem to be the case.
Alexander Moore, who is the actual protagonist in both "One Day on Mars" and "The Tau Ceti Agenda" is utterly flat. Taylor makes him out to be so wonderful, you almost expect him to walk on water, but you don't really learn much about him. Elle Ahmi, the Separatist leader, would be a very interesting character if we knew more about her. In spite of the fact they're nasty, bad and evil, I found myself wanting to know more about the Separatists who seem to be a force for human exploration and progress.
Whether you agree with the politics or not, there's too much of it. I don't mind a conservative viewpoint (or a liberal one, for that matter), but it shouldn't run the story. As it is, the "Republicans good and strong, Democrats bad and weak" comes across as jingoistic hooey.
Incidentally, those reviewers who complain about the use of titles in the military should know that is fairly accurate. A Master Chief Petty Officer really is addressed as "Master Chief Petty Officer" and the Chief of the Boat is addressed as such. One thing for which Taylor can't be faulted is his knowledge of military usage, slang and love of acronyms.
As it stands, "One Day on Mars" would make a good TV show or comic book for pubescent boys and those who avoid challenging reading. Which is sad because Taylor has a vision of a fascinating future and an epic struggle whose outcome might have a great impact on the future of humanity and that's the story I wish he was telling.
The whole mecha thing where fighters are in armoured suits that can assume different shapes like frigging transformers just irritated the living dung out of me. The use of callsigns for everyone and the repetition of people's names and callsigns and the cast of 1,000's became too much for me. I was relieved when it ended.
The thing is, I have read this author's work before and I am a great fan of military SF, but this was not a favourite.