I'm a science fiction blogger (http://androiddreamer.blogspot.com) and musician, working on my first science fiction novel. It is a dystopian near-future story with cyberpunk elements, set in Chicago, following a journalist who travels to the city to investigate a place called the factory which is providing assisted suicide for all people. He gets thrown into a revolutionary group who wants to know the truth about the factory.
Where to find Matt Heckler online
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Smashwords book reviews by Matt Heckler
- Forbidden The Stars (The Interstellar Age Book 1)
on Jan. 10, 2011
With all of the garbage in the world of science fiction that manages to get published and give the entire genre a bad name, it astounds me that a novel as excellent as Valmore Daniels' Forbidden The Stars would have to be self-published. It is a wonderfully constructed novel, full of ambition and great ideas.
The plot in its basic element is reminiscent of Arthur C. Clarke's classic 2001: A Space Odyssey. A group of astronauts set to be the first to visit the dwarf planet Pluto stumble upon an ancient artifact of alien origin, and a stir washes over everyone in the know on Earth.
Meanwhile, a terrible disaster leaves the ten year old son of a pair of astronauts dead on Macklin's Rock, an asteroid in the belt between Mars and Jupiter. Alex Manez somehow survives the disaster, but there is something strange about him in the aftermath.
Forbidden The Stars is a perfect example of when multiple threads in a story can be woven together for excellent effect. It is not a straight space travel romp; it has a much bigger scope than that. There is some political intrigue, some subtle commentary, strong characterization, and an abundance of fun.
What I found most impressive about the book is the way Daniels perfectly shifts between different modes of story telling. It is not straight third-person prose throughout; it includes a section that is the captain of the Pluto mission's journal, several other interludes told via computer logs, and scientific information that gives the novel a unique style that is entirely Daniels' own.
Although this is hard sci-fi, I myself would be useless at trying to assess if the science is good. Frankly, I'm not one to care. This is a brilliantly entertaining novel, and written wonderfully. I plan to buy myself a physical copy soon, and will recommend it to everyone I know who shows even the vaguest interest in science fiction. If you are a Hugo voter, take heed: Valmore Daniels is the real deal. I can't wait for his next novel.