The Contact Episode Two by Albert Sartison
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The ascendancy of mankind is being decided on Jupiter
In the 22nd century, mankind assimilated the Solar System within the orbits of the inner planets, and was gradually moving further out, beyond the asteroid belt, onward towards the outer planets.
The recently discovered technology of remote manipulation gave people the capability of altering the orbit of celestial bodies of planetary size, which laid the foundation of a new era for the human race: the terraforming age. The colonization of space beyond the limits of the Solar System became only a matter of time.
Soon after the first successful test, changing the orbit of Mercury, a strange object moving from the depths of space towards the centre of the Solar System entered the field of vision of a telescope at an observatory in Chile…
Another solid four star installment of this nicely progressing story. We get some action in this one and it's not bad, and the plot makes a more dramatic turn. The steady ramping up of the story is good, and the action scene gives a quick blip in the pace before settling back into the familiar descriptive and informative hard sci-fi style. I particularly enjoyed the author's depiction and description of the medical procedures happening in the automated medical complex on the ship. I normally would gloss over such things but it is obviously well written because I liked it. I was however a little frustrated at the author's use of the word 'turbines' to describe his spaceship engines. I can't imagine that a turbine engine (ie. mechanically-driven compressor and/or propshaft) would be found on a space vehicle flying in the vacuum of space 200 years in the future. Surely a 'nuclear fusion generated plasma jet' or something along those lines would be more likely? Anyway, a minor point that does not detract from this fun read.
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