Monday, March 24, 2014

A great little find

The third book in Ian Sales’ Apollo Quartet, Then Will The GreatOcean Wash Deep Above, is a treasure.  Like a sunken chest you’d love to discover snorkeling in St. Croix.  It is compact and contained, feels like it comes from a different time and packed full of precious little gems and nuggets that aren’t for spending.  They are for keeping.  “Wash” is a work of hard science fiction – alternative history – love letter to the space age - making this book about as rare as pirate booty.  And just about as valuable.

As with the other two volumes in the quartet, “Wash” is meticulously researched.  Ian puts together the pieces so nicely that it feels very much like our real history, rather than one that diverges during the Korean War.  The coda in the book remarks on the true story of the characters you’ve just read about and rather than serving as a footnote, the end cap acts to make the whole work – fact and fiction – that much more poignant.  Positioning the real and imagined together serves to illuminate the time and people and culture that helped spur mankind’s last great stage of exploration, above and below.

Human failures amidst humanities greatest achievements – we need to look at history from different angles, which is what this book (and it’s siblings) does so, so well.  We can learn from it and leaning – at the risk of sounding like an afterschool special – is one of our greatest treasures.

I am very much looking forward to the final book of the set.

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