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Losing Mars (First Contact) Kindle Edition
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★★★★★ - "So much of today's science fiction is dystopian, military, or excessively violent...so when I find an author who creates thoughtful stories or exposes the deeper meaning of life in our universe, I get excited," Douglas Phillips, author of Quantum Space
★★★★★ - "One notable feature of Cawdron's artfully crafted books is that there's no common denominator in plot development, or at least none I recognize," Claus Bernth
★★★★★ - "The most entertaining novel I've read this year... This is the type of book that introduces ideas that you will think about for many years to come," Edward Imbrie
★★★★★ - "Since The Martian and the Red/Green/Blue Mars saga I had not enjoyed reading a good hard science fiction novel as I did with Losing Mars," Andrés Meza-Escallón
★★★★★ - "A Chinese mission gets into trouble around Mars and that leads to one of the most truly original, and thought provoking sci-fi I've ever read," Al Phillips
★★★★★ - "I wish I hadn't read this book just so I could read it again for the first time," Louise Halkjaer
★★★★★ - "I feel like I have experienced being an astronaut on Mars, everything is told so engaging I feel as if it actually happened," Claus Stahnke
★★★★★ - "Not since Andy Weirs fantastic The Martian have I enjoyed a SciFi story as much," Dr. John Harris
★★★★★ - "One of the more original stories I have had the privilege of reading in a long time," James F. Bowerman
- ASIN : B07HH8BRXH
- Publication date : September 28, 2018
- Language : English
- File size : 1005 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 374 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1723747297
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #28,142 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Cawdron does similar with the Epilogue of this novel, giving us a preachy tirade by protagonist/astronaut Cory Anderson that just goes on and on. It could have ended with a subtle nudge to the point he is making, but instead, we're battered about the head and when it does finally end, I was more thankful than disappointed there was no more to read. In the afterward, Cawdron notes where he expects to be picked apart in reviews, but the Epilogue was not mentioned, which just goes to prove his view that we all carry biases we are not even aware of.
Anyway, this starts out on Mars, and I reckon many readers will be tuning in a 'The Martian'-lite vibe as they piggyback on Anderson's view of how arduous it is to survive on the red planet. Then it literally launches into orbit and the path deviates hugely from anything Weir apparently thought of, tipping into a trippy story that even Anderson struggles to keep straight, and he's living it.
The cast is small, but because it is POV Anderson, we don't get as good a read on the other characters. Their motivations and actions are always through Anderson's mental/emotional filter, but they are by no means ciphers, just not as developed as he is.
I enjoyed the technical aspects of this novel, including the detailed orbital mechanics that the author thought would trigger feedback. Anderson throws fact upon fact at you, as he talks his way through every situation, sometimes out loud, mostly just to himself (us). He knows a lot of stuff, and I appreciate the research piled into this novel, which is generally presented in a very accessible fashion.
And I especially liked the dilemma that Anderson finds himself in. Here is a secret worth the plot pivot. No spoilers, but most "big reveals" in sci-fi novels are actually ho hum affairs, that generally don't support all the to-ing and fro-ing that goes into getting you there.
So, this is an interesting, technically minded book that seems straightforward until quite a way into the story. Then it is a mentally challenging ride, with an Epilogue that I found too preachy, but you might not. I think a third person perspective would have helped with the trippy bit, which needs careful reading to work through. I'd likely buy a sequel, but as there is no obvious scaffolding that directly leads to one - well one that would make sense within the time frame of his story - I guess this is our first and only Cory Anderson outing.
I enjoyed it very much, much more than I do stories that leave me wondering, "What Did I just Read?", or thinking, "No WAY THAT could happen!" I recommend it to anyone interesting in sci-fi, space, time travel or a good adventure.
Top reviews from other countries
The writing is fine, but is too repetetive and labourious. There is no way anyone reading this will ever forget that Mars has a thin atmosphere - it's mentioned on most pages. Similarly, NASA are very careful with astronauts and take safety seriously. There is also just too much explanation - orbits, suits, spacecraft design etc. are all described in incredible detail, multiple times. I don't dislike the explanation in some cases, but the constant attempt to inject a sense of wonder and amazement becomes irritating. Everything is amazing, weird, odd, counterintuitive and on ad infinitum.
This probably makes it sound like I did not enjoy reading the book, and it is fair to say that as I was reading it crossed my mind a few times that it was frustrating. I would say the second half did not work as well for me, but it was perfectly acceptable. But... I wanted to read on, especially in the first half. I wanted to know what happened, so from that perspective the author is successful.
I mentioned comparisons to The Martian - I think Andy Weir's book is superior, and the main reason, I suspect, is an editor. I think trimming some of the repetition to remove perhaps fifty pages or so of description might help. That said, I'd recommend it still, so that suggests the author is onto something.
It is well-researched and thought out piece of hard SF. Things go wrong for our pioneering colonists on Mars and things are even worse for a capsule of taikonauts in orbit on a mission to study Phobos. A rescue mission is launched in the colonists' return craft. They could not have guessed what was awaiting them at Mars' moon.
The epilogue goes on for too long and suffers from needless re-iteration. In his afterward, Cawdron mentions that he enjoyed writing the epilogue; clearly he protected his baby from the ministrations of the editor. This is a shame, because it let down what was otherwise a particularly good book (except for the annoying use of the present tense).
While I enjoyed the book overall, my two problems with the novel has meant I shall not be exploring Peter Cawdon's work further.
Two editors are thanked in the afterword, they don't appear to be professionals and it shows. Despite not advising the author of his verbosity, they also missed some typos where it look like the spellchecker has 'corrected' a word and the replacement does not make grammatical sense.
All in all, this is good story, but should,be a third of its length
Nearly all the books available are written by apparently young Americans, whose grasp of verb tenses is uniformly excruciating, who cannot visualise three dimensions or open space, and who have clearly never heard of reported speech. Writing in the first person neatly avoided that last here.
Thanks to the author for writing in decent English.