The Darwinian Extension: Initiation, is the first volume in a trilogy of novels from author Hylton H Smith.
The Darwinian Extension begins in 2033, with a planned mission to populate Mars. The mission is not one of simple habitation however, but one of true colonisation including terraforming, research and a feasability study on human migration, as earths resources are being stretched to the limit and there is a real fear over the planets ability to sustain the human race.
The choice of Mars was a forgone conclusion, as the only serious contender in the solar system that would be theoretically capable of supporting a sizeable human colony.
The first space craft is hastily assembled and led by commander Magnusson, with his first officer Banjani, a Doctor of mathematics with a specialisation in Spatial Mechanics. They soon make a startling discovery that could change the course of human history forever.
Science fiction novels can generally be seperated into two quite distinct types, general sci-fi and "hard" sci-fi. "hard" sci-fi tends to deal with the big ideas but also goes into a depth of detail that can set it apart from other general sci-fi. Initiation is very much "hard" science fiction, and is in many ways quite uncompromising in it's approach to explain the science in detail.
This does mean that it can be a little more difficult to read than a more general science fiction novel, however it really shouldn't put you off, Initiation is a very interesting novel with many ideas and a fertile imagination which is brought to life well by the author.
The science appears faultless and the plot involving, overall a good solid book and reccomended to anyone who wants more than a "light read".
Written on Wednesday 1st July 2009 by Antony.
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