Monday, June 24, 2013

Off the Bookshelf: OXYGEN

Ever feel like you're jumping on the bandwagon so late, you almost missed and ended up face-down in the dust?

People have been talking about OXYGEN by John B. Olson and Randy Ingermanson on various Christian writing loops for what seems like YEARS. When the book was re-packaged and re-released by Marcher Lord  some time ago (don't ask me how long, but it was near the bottom of the list on my iPad Kindle reader, meaning it was one of the first books I got) I decided to get it.

Wish I had read it sooner! Yeah, I sometimes had a hard time with all the astronaut lingo and acronyms (occupational hazard when dealing with the government/military/sciences) and wondered when the promised romance would gain speed (the tagline proclaims it a science fiction romantic suspense), but the book kept me reading. Even when I should have been doing something else, like meeting deadlines for my own publishers!

The story: A manned mission to Mars (say that ten times fast!), all the prep work, personalities involved, politics, paranoia, and all the soul-searching and struggle for survival that takes place when things go very, very wrong with life support, when there's no chance of turning back or help reaching them in time.

What can I say? Wow. Thoroughly thought through, grabbing at your emotions, and threatening to give you a sore throat from holding back vocal arguments with or warnings to the main characters while reading in public. I'm just not into the space program -- I prefer my stories where we're already "out there" -- but this held my attention and interest. Good job, guys.

Interesting side note: At the back of the book is lots of bonus material, talking about how the book was written and sold, the collaboration between the two authors, and how they came up with the sequel. I haven't read all that material, but from everything I've heard about Ingermanson and Olson, definitely something a serious writer should read, just to learn from them.

Should you read OXYGEN? You better believe it.

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