What if, in the next few decades, humans start to return to the stars? If all the progress that was halted after the Apollo program ended that was restarted and we made tremendous strides? What would a world with faster than light travel, armed and armored space dreadnaughts, and exploration and colonization of the planets across the galaxy look like? And, perhaps most importantly of all, what if we found aliens on a distant planet, and what if they were hostile?
That’s what Into the Stars by James Rosone is about.
It’s difficult to write about such breathtaking novels well without giving the best parts of the story away.
I will say that the story is what makes Into the Stars such an amazing book. The writing is adequate, but not necessarily awe-inspiring. Similarly, the dialogue is fine, but certainly not at the level of some of the better novels out there. John Galt’s speech in Atlas Shrugged it is not.
But the strengths of the book more than make up for those weaknesses. The imagination behind it, the hair-raising action scenes, the masterful world-building, all of it creates a truly unique and amazingly fun-to-read work of science fiction.
In particular, some of the characters and ideas are beyond excellent and add life to the novel. There’s an Atlas Shrugged-loving pirate that, like Ragnar Danneskjold in Ayn Rand’s magnum opus, raids those that don’t share his vision and uses the proceeds to build his new world. There’s a race of fierce, brutal aliens that the world finds itself in a no-holds barred, existential conflict with. Musk Industries and Blue Origin have surpassed the wildest dreams of their investors and build ginormous shipyards within which armies of synthetic workers and humans work tirelessly to build a fleet that can defend Earth. Space elevators shoot up from the surface of Mars, colonized planets are covered with flora that creates oxygen, faster than light drives give us the ability to find and conquer distant worlds, and Earth itself must unite or face extinction.
And that’s just a touch of the imaginitive genius in Into the Stars; there’s much more you’ll have to read to find out about.
But many novels are fun to read and imaginative. What sets Into the Stars apart?
The spirit of wonder and deep yearning for exploration it creates.
Since the end of the Apollo mission, Earth has been stuck in low-Earth orbit. Sure, robots explore some of the other planets in our solar system and telescopes scan distant stars. But, despite their being more efficient than humans, robots just don’t spark that same feeling that astronaughts walking on the moon did. Humans are meant to venture out and explore the frontier, wherever it may be. Robots can and should be by our side of course, but human boots must make Marian soil our own. When advances come in propulsion technology, it must be humans that explore the outer worlds. To be the next Sir Francis Drakes, Captain Cooks, and conquistadors, the explorers of the future must do so themselves.
That’s why Into the Stars is so exciting; each of the characters in it reminds the reader that doing so is possible.
And make no mistake, it’s not a Star Trek-type story about peacekeeping and peaceful exploration. It’s a tale of conquest; Captain Hunt, the main protagonist of Into the Stars, is far more Cortez than Kirk.
If we are to succeed in galactic exploration and conquest, however many centuries from now that is, that spirit must be the one in the breast of each astronaught. They are there to plant the flag and make whatever beautiful, habitable worlds there are our there ours.
It’s a great, exciting, imaginative novel. I can’t recommend Into the Stars highly enough for those of you interested in science fiction.
By: Gen Z Conservative.