Ebook review: Ghosts of the Void by Timothy Burns

About the author: “I am an avid reader whose primary interest is hard science-fiction. I have read and loved that genre all my life and have always dreamed of writing books that others would enjoy reading as much as I myself enjoyed those of the great S/F masters. I am very interested in high technology and try to impart accuracy and plausibility into my work.”
From the dust cover: “Dark matter makes up the vast majority of the cosmos, and it is not uninhabited. When the solar system passes through a vast cloud of dark matter, strange things start to happen. Electronics go haywire, unbreakable materials suddenly break, and enigmatic, ghostly creatures are sighted. To the inhabitants of Earth this is bad enough, but on Mars, where properly-functioning technology means the difference between life and death, this spells disaster on an unimaginable scale. Jared Miller, a psionically talented problem solver, barely survives his journey to the Red Planet on his mission to discover just what these mysterious ghosts of the void are and what they want. There, he meets Bo Greene, a prospector who scours the barren wasteland in his six-legged walker in search of mroom, the only life native to Mars. Along with Bo’s ex-wife Anissa, Anna the witch and several others, Jared and Bo find themselves transported to the distant future where Mars is green and vibrant but the inhabitants are under the domination of alien overlords and their sadistic psionic henchmen. Survival becomes their primary goal as they seek to save two worlds, but in the end they face the terrible dilemma of having to choose which to save and which to condemn to non-existence.”
My Ebook review: This is not the first science fiction dealing with the exploration of space and the difficulties of logistics and the perils of discovering what is staring back from the black ’emptiness’. Importantly it does convey some interesting new ideas, combining ancient mystery, modern physics and basic human drives and ambitions.

Burns uses Mars exploration as background for a new age ‘gold rush’. When this extreme environment throws up opportunity and coincident recurrence of fundamental forces, the characters are put to the test.

There is good description and meticulous scene setting combined with a reasonable level of scientific details. The author captures the spirit of adventure, greed, personal gain and anguish that surely would exist. Whether it has the spark of uniqueness is the question that I felt unable to properly answer.

Definitely a good read for lovers of space adventure and Burns does manage to do what he sets out to do and add plausibility and accuracy. It will be very interesting to hear from those for whom this work absolutely clicks because there surely will be absolute fans amongst its readers.

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