Review of "Godspeed, Inc." by Vincent Maskell

Never one to let the moss grow under my keyboard, I offer another book for your perusal.

 

For minutes, my mouth hangs open, silently screaming just like my aft monitor yesterday. Slowly, my overheated haywire brain cools down and reorders itself. I force myself to think objectively. The good news is that two of the five paths show the black hole careening close to Uranus, and then heading out Wild, Wild West into deep space. Unfortunately, in the other three, Uranus actually boosts it East toward the Sun, brushing Mars a little tidally. But the worst is that it then captures the Earth and Luna—swallowing them for lunch or dragging them along for a snack later as it sweeps out West past the Sun. Serenely, I determine that such results may be very bad for Godspeed’s business profile. All my retirement stock, for example, will be worth less than the aneurysm that’s probably shaping up now in my brain. Calmly, I scream, “YOU STUPID BASTARDS!” Referring, of course, to the bubble heads at Godspeed.

Naomi Kinder gave up her personal life and any chance at romance when she took the job as sweeper pilot in the wilds of deep space.  Her responsibility:  to mend space-time rifts with specialized particle beams.

Life is as normal as it gets while spinning through space, until she suddenly finds Something Really Big on her tail.  And that Really Big Thing could spell the difference between losing her job and losing her life.  Either way, she can count herself out of a future.

All she wants is an early retirement, and what she gets is a black hole chewing up space in her wake.  So does she tell the head honchos at Godspeed?  That sort of publicity is not their favorite.  But if no action is taken, there wouldn’t be anyone left to care one way or another.

Between Naomi and the lab on Mars, the decision is secretly made to fly to a distant moon, where another ship with “other” capabilities has been hidden  There she would transfer goods and necessary equipment to it, and set into motion a string of processes that will deflect the oncoming monster.

Plans change, however, when a UN security agent joins her on the little moon, but not with an interest in alliance.  At least not at first.  Once he is convinced of the actuality of the situation, he dives right in to help Naomi “fool” the black hole into its final destruction.

 

I don’t usually read science fiction, but this was a great little novelette.  A precursor to the larger book, “Rescuing the Future”, it is jam-packed full of sci-fi terms that a techie person would love:  holovid, gelpaks, Q-drive, and MHD fission drive, to name just a few.  The humor with which Mr. Miskell writes makes all that science stuff palatable to non-techies, too.  We have a little romance in there as well, which always makes for an interesting read.  Something for practically everyone.

Mr. Miskell has a wonderful gift for storytelling, and for helping the reader get into the minds of his characters.  The story flowed well, and was a very enjoyable escape into the wilds of space.

It came as a pleasant surprise that, even with its brevity, “Godspeed Inc.” made a complete story on its own.  In fact, I didn’t realize it was a lead-in to a larger book until I came to the end of it.  I hadn’t read a synopsis, and didn’t know what to expect.  So, even more fascinating adventure awaits!

Now that I’ve read this, it only follows that I will be reading “Rescuing the Future” as well.  And I hope Mr. Miskell has more Naomi Kinder adventures up his sleeve.

 

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