April 1st, 2010



SLOW TRAIN is out in paperback (I think it came out yesterday, but there seems to be a bit of a breakdown in communications about the when of these things). If you've been putting off buying it until the cheaper version (and trust me on this - I understand 100%) it's now available as such. This is probably my most serious (but of course funny too) book. It is a combination between a serious look at the problems of slower-than-light space travel (1: it's slow, 2:if the place sucks when you get there, well, either you're stuffed or it's very slow again to get going to the next place. 3: A small enclosed biosystem is VERY fragile - and the smaller it is the more fragile. 4: Isolation does funny stuff to societies. As far as I know this first sf book to actually try and write about those basic problems, and offer some possible ways out. I've kept it accessable to a wide readership, but tried to come up with really within present science possible concepts. If you're interested in space you ought to read this book. Being me I was not prepared to just leave it at that -- bright ideas with no story -- so there are another two layers to this book. It's a satire (gee - what a suprise. Dave write a satirical book?) looking both at societies and pre-conceptions about them. From the alien point of view it also deals with sex (which, if you aren't human must seem really bizarre. If you are human it's only bizarre.) And of course there is fast moving race against time story woven through these aspects (I think Harriet Klausner just about managed to grasp the last part). And romance, idealism, and that sort of thing. The book might throw out some ideas to you, to make you think and make up your own mind (if you are capable of thinking, that is) as well as entertain you. But it will entertain.
Let me know what you thought of it.