Saturday, February 10, 2018

Book Review: 'New Dawn' by Andrew J. Morgan

British author Andrew J. Morgan writes science-fiction (NOAH’S ARK, VESSEL), is a journalist and photographer. Trained and employed as a civil engineer, he set that aside to pursue his love of writing, working his way to editing a small horology magazine (for those unaware of this term, horology is the study and measurement of time). And from the photograph in his brief bio section it seems likely that this handsome young man could easily step into the role of modeling or movies!

This is a short novel and one that once started begs to be read to the end. That is a compliment. What makes a story so seductive? Many reasons. A heady Prologue such as the one Andrew offers for this book is successful on every level – well written, enough information to demand answers, and a comfortable manner in which to sink back into the chair and soak it in. ‘I don't know if I'll survive. I doubt it. By the time you read this, thirty-seven years will have passed. I think back to what happened, and even now, three weeks on, I struggle to believe it. So, I decided to write it all down. Hopefully this'll make it back, even if I don't. It should be enough. It has to be enough. People need to know what happened.’

Follow that with Chapter One as Day 0, Earth and we are glued: ‘My name is Jake Brooks, and I'm an interplanetary geologist, serving aboard the Planexus deep space tug Athena. It was supposed to be a seventeen-month mission to a small rocky planet called HD 85512 B, orbiting Gliese 370, a K-type star in the Vela constellation thirty-seven light-years away. We were going out there looking for a new home among the stars, to replace the decaying carcass of what we'd left behind. It was called operation New Dawn. Operation New Dawn turned out to be something completely unexpected.’ Science fiction, yes – but obviously much more. Andrew’s characters are palpably real, making the weird sci-fi shenanigans credible!
Andrew offers his own synopsis; ‘With mankind on the brink of economic collapse, a population growing at an unmanageable rate and a limited supply of natural resources, there is only one place we can look to for our future . . . the stars. A deep space mining tug is sent to a planet codenamed New Dawn to begin a mission to relocate humanity. The mission falls into chaos when a crewmember dies unexpectedly. Geologist Jake Brooks must keep his wits about him to uncover what really happened—but are the confines of the ship clouding his judgment? Is there really a sinister motive behind the death—and the mission—or is he letting his mind get the better of him? What really awaits him on New Dawn? He must push on to reveal the truth, no matter who or what stands in his way . . .’

The man has talent, solid talent, the kind that makes you reach back for previous books and anticipate the next one. Grady Harp May 16

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.