Frozen Orbit: a Compelling SF Thriller

The best thing about that huge box of Baen books I won is that the books inside were chosen by Baen, so they included lots of things that I probably wouldn’t have selected if left to my own devices. While yes, some of these books have not become my favorites, others are definite keepers.

Frozen Orbit, by Patrick Chiles, is a keeper.

This is a wonderfully mysterious hard SF thriller which keeps you reading to find out what the hell is happening out on the edge of the solar system while describing a plausible way to get there, not once, but twice.

The sense of dark foreboding creates the same sensations that you get when watching a deliberately-paced space movie. You get a sense of traveling through space, the tedium, but also the tension of knowing that death is held back by the thinnest of metal bulkheads.

The buildup was so strong, in fact, that I’d say it’s the best part of the book. The mystery’s reveal and the ending was not as strong as I’d hoped (possibly because the philosophical questions that get asked here are more relevant to those of a religious bent), but I still liked the overall book. I’d happily recommend this one, and will be on the lookout for more of Chiles’ work.

Gustavo Bondoni’s latest novel is a science fiction adventure entitled Splinter. Sequel to 2017’s Outside, this page-turner attempts to identify the limits between man and machine. You can check it out here.

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