This week I have been reading a variety of things, mostly non-fiction, and the fiction has been mostly comfort reads because I’ve been feeling in need of comfort. But I have grabbed one excellent piece of science fiction that kept me very happy for 48 hours or so.
Gravitational Attraction by Angel Martinez is a cracking romp of a space opera.
ESTO, an organisation that I imagine started off pretty much like the East India Trading Company but that has evolved into a military led dictatorship, is the villain of the piece and interferes in the life of hero Isaac Ozawa when he assists in the rescue from a wrecked space ship of the sole survivor of an attack by alien pirates. The survivor, Turk, a man of massive stature and scary mental abilities, is both the other protagonist and the Macguffin that ESTO wants to get its cold hearted exploitative claws into.
If that’s not enough to attract interest, Isaac is ex-ESTO himself, a highly trained tactitian and fighter pilot whose career was ruined when the brain implant required for flying the fighting ships was rejected by his body. Isaac has to cope with severe headaches and other symptom that reduce his efficiency. Turk on the other hand, comes from a secretive warrior race with a whole range of customs and behaviours that conflict with those that are natural to Isaac. The differences between them and the way a simple thing like a beaming smile can cause bloodshed is very nicely depicted.
They go from freighter – some lovely characters amongst the crew, to space station, to deep shit and back out again, and then to refuge on Turk’s home world, and that’s another joy.
This is immersive stuff and I’m very pleased that there are more standalone stories set in that universe. Very highly recommended.