Fiction Reviews


(1999) Jack McDevitt, HarperCollins, £6.99, pbk, 544pp, ISBN 0-00-651170-8


After the films Deep Impact and Armageddon I suppose it was inevitable that a ‘disaster’ novel would make an appearance. Thankfully it was this one. And, as if to prove that there’s nothing that Hollywood can do that a competent SF writer can’t do better (and bigger!), McDevitt has written a humdinger. Forget an asteroid impact on Earth -- how about one that shatters the Moon and sends it crashing to the Earth! Hollywood eat your heart out. Most of the action here concentrates on the efforts to evacuate the Moon where, among others, the Vice-President is visiting the USA’s first ‘moonbase’, which has only been up and running for five days when news of the approaching comet reaches them.

Needless to say the physics in this book is much better than in either movie mentioned above, and McDevitt manages it in such a way as to increase the tension and drama, which is usually substituted by film-makers with special effects that look great, but make no sense. I haven’t, thankfully, come across any more disaster novels of late, which is something of a relief, but I’m happy to recommend this one.

Tony Chester


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