Near Future Military Sci Fi

47 Echo  – 4 stars

Shawn Kupfer

First let me just say that the word smirked is not a synonym for said. It was absolutely jarring how often the dialog was spattered with “he smirked” in place of “he said.” Probably 20 or 30 times in the book. That’s a lot of smirking.

Barring that I really liked this near future military thriller. The main idea of using convicts for cannon fodder was really interesting. The setting of a war with China was plausible. The future tech seemed a rational extrapolation of current technologies. The story was faced paced and intricate enough to be interesting but not so convoluted that you couldn’t keep track of what was going on. There weren’t really any dragging spots and the story was told through action not character introspection. There were no big info dumps. My only real complaint is that the convicts straightened up so quickly and easily after Nick took over. Some of the gritty feel was lost once they became a well oiled and highly functioning military team.

Still a quick fun read for military thriller enthusiasts.


This book was provided to me free from the publisher for review.


Sci Fi I Wish I’d Liked Better

Hull Zero Three – Greg Bear

This is the story of a space ship from Earth on a colonizing mission. It seems as if the passengers have arrived and have been woken from cold sleep and are ready to go down to the planet. Then the book switches into first person present tense point of view. We find out that the ship hasn’t actually arrived but that there has been some sort of malfunction and a man who is called Teacher has been woken up mid flight. The ship is damaged and there are few others alive aboard but there are plenty of monsters trying to kill him. The story mostly involves Teacher trying to stay alive and figure out what is going on before something eats him.

The information dribbles in in a very vague way. This was the kind of writing that I really don’t enjoy. It was so vague that you had to guess what was going on. For example it was full of complicated descriptions of corridors and cables that were ultimately unimportant because you never saw them again. You had to guess what was going on. There were dream sequences and surreal happenings. Nothing is ever actually explained. I guess I finally figured out basically what was going on but I like my stories more straight forward.

My first try at this author. I might crack open another but if the writing style is the same, I won’t be reading it.