Deep Crossing

Rated 4.79/5 based on 24 reviews
No one on Earth could ever convince Adrian Tarn to take an untested prototype spacecraft deeper into unexplored space than anyone had ever been, to retrieve a mysterious artifact never before seen by humans. No one on Earth could ever convince him, but someone did…
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Words: 118,230
Language: English
ISBN: 9780615649795
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Review by: Richard Lung on June 24, 2018 : (no rating)
Deep Crossing
by ER Mason.

ER Mason is a distinguished practitioner in the hugely competitive field of science fiction. Even before the Big Bang of independent electronic book publishing, it was practically impossible to read all the thousands of no doubt worthy paper publications in a genre that attracts more than its fair share of intelligent authors.

Talking of which, our author got more than a third of the way thru this digitised tome on little more than an intelligent appreciation of all the immensely complex technical preparation that must go into space travel, for the foreseeable future. Humans will have to be more like angels, if they are to wish their way to Mars etc, as in an Edgar Rice Burroughs fantasy.

In fact, Mason might have written the great SF anti-climax novel, in which the heroes are the over-worked ground staff, who turn away, from the fleeing spacecraft, that they have lovingly delivered, as the reader turns the last page.

Deep Crossing is the sequel to Fatal Boarding. Note the nicely understated titles. These are vehicles of the Adrian Tarn character. I envy the author this wonderfully evocative surname: a secluded body of still water in a mountainously inaccessible region. And this image reflects that somber first misadventure (also reviewed).

Deep Crossing is a sunnier tale (it could hardly be otherwise). Tarn seems less of a loner, as the captain in a company of other loners, as it turns out.
However, their friendship is a friendship of professionals. That seems to be the way an increasingly specialised society has been going for well over a century.
The Deep Crossing, between spiral arms of the galaxy, is side-tracked, at first, by stumbling upon a fellow space-craft in distress. I’m not going to give the story away. Suffice to say my sense of awe for the authors technological omniscience took a tumble, when it turned out that this stray was powered by a nuclear fission reactor suffering from loss of coolant.
How does that bit of 1950s military-industrial complex propaganda linger on in the souls of so many dedicated SF writers?
Of course, the course of a uranium fission chain reaction readily offers a bit of dramatic tension to a story. But that is precisely why no sane inter-planetary explorer would ever want to risk one. Consider that the twenty-first century nuclear submarine still keeps pregnant women off-board, because of the findings of Alice Stewart on x-rayed unborn babies. A veil of secrecy fell over the full role of radioactivity in the genetic degradation of life.
Not to mention that a nuclear steam engine would be a case of Around the Galaxy in Billions of Years.

Deep Crossing continues the first books theme of a hierarchy of more or less developed species, with humanity being obvious novices. This is the more rational estimate of the nature of life in the universe, than the assumption that mankind “only” has to get super-luminally mobile to have the run of outer space. But we really have no idea yet of what’s out there.

The rendezvous planet is a sleight of hand, in that the author avoids having to try to characterise what another habitable planet conceivably might look like. It defies the imagination when we have so little to go on. However, the scene is well enough set and turned into an adventure and a puzzle. It also makes what otherwise would not have been possible. For, the plot allows the most antagonistic character to morph into the most sympathetic, and intimates the power of love.
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Review by: Hannes Birnbacher on June 02, 2016 : (no rating)
Fun to read. Download it! Three stars from me for "very good SF".

Remark: In my system, five stars is reserved for the most important SF of world literature, e.g. "1984" from George Orwell, and four stars for those I consider all-time best, for example Michael Crichton or some novels from Larry Niven.
This leaves three stars for most of really good Indie SF, but as everybody else at Smashworts does rate a SF novel at five stars if he liked it, I was detoriating the average rating of Smashwords authors I like best! So I decided to change my previous reviews, one by one, and repost them without the smashwords rating. Watch out for my rating in the review text instead!
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Review by: Larry B. Gray on Dec. 08, 2015 :
If you like space opera and adventure then you need to get a copy of Deep Crossing by E.R. Mason and read it today. This book has all the elements of a great sci-fi read.

The author has done a great job of developing a storyline that is easy to read but deep enough to keep you hooked. With its changing plot twist and fast paced style you will find you cannot put it down. I really enjoyed getting absorbed into the tale.

E.R. Mason has put together a group of characters that are both real and believable. Their individuality and personalities make it easy to get into their life stories and place in the crew.

I really liked Deep Crossing by E.R. Mason and I highly recommend this book to all readers.
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Review by: Stephen1966 on Nov. 19, 2015 :
An exciting riveting read. Thank you. Starting the next in the series right now :)
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Review by: Earle Gardner on March 29, 2015 :
This is a good book to down load and read, as a content editor I like to pick books apart as I read them but after I was done with this book I only found that there are some typos here and there. It is a good book, Some of it may be predicable but for the most part it is not and will keeps you reading just to know what will be next. After you are done reading it you will be looking for more from this author.
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Review by: James Jenkins on Jan. 25, 2015 :
This reads like the second in a series, because it is (but I did not know that while I was reading it). There is enough back story that follows lines that are not unusual that I as I was pretty sure I had read the previous work if one existed. In either case it stood well on it's own.

Overall the plot and characters are not overly unique nor are they overly mundane. On the believability scale it runs pretty high but not 100%, a fun read I will be looking for other works by the author.
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Review by: TrellAndMaritzia on Nov. 05, 2014 :
Continues on from Fatal Boarding. As others have said it suffers a bit from grammar/spelling and the first part is a bit long winded but still ok. Then it really picks up. Given the price, it is great value. Mr. Mason writes entertaining stories and shares them with us.

Similar to our review for Fatal Boarding, we would still think it is a good deal even if there was a $3 charge for the book. It takes work and imagination and dedication to not just write a book, but a series. Thanks very much!
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Review by: ggrise on March 30, 2014 :
Excellent book. I am now reading the rest of Mr Mason's books. For a free book, I can not find any fault given the effort it represents. I was also very pleased with the ending. Thank you Mr Mason, looking forward to many more. If I ever meet you personally, I at least owe buyiny a round of drinks. Gary
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Review by: BattleCat on March 21, 2014 :
I love sci-fi; but the first half of this book read like sitting in your den watching your SO and his best friend playing Flight Sim while trying to be clever- and succeeding at neither. Cringe factor 10+.

The female characters were weird and one dimensional; bust-size with a name and wardrobe; or guys in drag. Obviously needs more work on that aspect. Definitely more typos than I like to see in a finished work. Once the story actually kicked in, it was interesting. The whole thing needs an editor to direct and help polish it.
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Review by: Nick Beingessner on March 12, 2014 :
Great read! Love this authors style hope to see more.
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Review by: George Burrell on Jan. 26, 2014 :
This was a fun book. It reminds me of the fun space operas I used to love as a kid. But with updated I'm off to read Fatal Boarding. A bit out of order, but I guess that's okay.

More typos than I'm used too, but I guess that's what happens when a publisher doesn't supply a copy editor.

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Review by: Camilla on Sep. 10, 2013 :
This was a really good read. A fascinating story. I hope there will be more books in this series.
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Review by: three 80 on Aug. 13, 2013 : (no rating)
this is a terribled book it takes too long to to get into the main plot, devices are put in then ignored, the main story is too short and the happy ending is absolute shit
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Review by: Harold Roberts II on May 04, 2013 :
Great read. I really enjoyed this book. Want to see more books about the griffin and her crew.
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Review by: Jay Gunter on March 15, 2013 :
found this book while looking for an ebook to fill some time. great read! I am glad to find out there is another Tarn book out there and hope to see more of them. I would recommend this book to everyone.
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Review by: Tim Hume on Jan. 13, 2013 :
I've just finished reading this book. Once I started, I couldn't put it down.

Having said that, some of the story lacks believability. For example, Earth 2 being almost the same as Earth. Also, the stuff which happened in the void was not totally believable.

However, I cannot complain given that ER Mason provides these books for free, and I will happily read more by him.
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Review by: Marcus Heimann on Jan. 08, 2013 :
Just finished this book and can just say wow another real good ER Mason :) I am more than glad he wrote another Adrian Tarn book and hope he keeps them coming. There is no doubt to give 5 stars as the story is well developed, full of suspense and you simply can't put it down. There are so many unexpected parts in the story that makes it even more interesting. Thank you Mr. Mason.

For the record, chapter 5 and 6 repeat themselves for a couple of pages at the end of the chapters.
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Review by: jhespe on Dec. 11, 2012 : (no rating)
Loved it, couldn't put it down, please keep writing!
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Review by: Frank Galan on Nov. 24, 2012 :
Excellent, enjoyable read. Looking forward to more! Tight plot and good character development. Highly recommended!
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Review by: Will Friend on Nov. 20, 2012 :
Fantastic follow-on to Fatal Boarding. I now anxiously await for the next in this great series ...
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Review by: catghost on Oct. 30, 2012 :
Thoroughly enjoyed this book More Adrian Tarn please.
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Review by: David Thompson on Aug. 13, 2012 :
Excellent follow on to Fatal Boarding. Hope there is more to come.
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Review by: C.J. Schmidt on Aug. 10, 2012 :
Great story. It seemed to get a little bogged down in the beginning with alot of in depth details, but as the story progressed it picked up the pace. The last third of the book was worth the wait, hoping to read more about Adrian Tarn and his adventures soon! Thanks for the free read!
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Review by: john fedrick on July 29, 2012 :
A great second adventure with this character hope to see more
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Review by: Ken Thompson on July 14, 2012 :
I really enjoyed this book. I had to download everything he has on Smashwords.
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Review by: Lori Rappel on July 14, 2012 :
Kept me up late reading
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Review by: ticup on July 05, 2012 : (no rating)
Great writer. This is by far the best "freebie" sci-fi that I have read to date. If it's "believable", the sci-fi author has done a good job. Thanks E. R. Mason......
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Review by: Grim Reader on June 22, 2012 :
Loved the exquisite details that made me feel I was there. A check of the grammar by a humana would be helpful, as 'two' many words 'where' mis-used.

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Review by: jstoc on June 02, 2012 :
Good story, easy to follow,a little surprise at the end, although I had a feeling earlier on.
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