Delta-v – Daniel Suarez

The premise of The Expanse, as it was told to me, was a lie. It was sold to me as a series of books about humanity transitioning from a solar system sized civilization to something larger. I don’t think that is the case. Certainly, that was the setting of a those stories, but the books were about the standard intrigue of a lot of other people. If you began with the question ‘I wonder what it would look like to watch humanity go from a solar-system bound civilization to something larger’ no one in their mind would recommend you look at those books.

Daniel Suarez, on the other hand, might have a chance at being the work of fiction that outlines what a future space mining operation might actually look like. Certainly, with Delta-v, the ambition is there for us to read. The story follows one character who goes from whose life of adventuring plants him on one of the first asteroid mining expeditions. But while I was mean enough to call the premise of The Expanse mere setting, in Delta-v all that is much more central to the plot. The novel shows all the problems that the push to begin asteroid mining will actually have, beginning with the difficulty in actually finding people who want to do it when everyone else seems to want to do different things with the space industry. I will leave it at that, as I don’t want to spoil too much.

It might have been that I was reading this on a new device (a Kobo) that makes a point of telling you how many pages were left in each chapter, but I seemed to be aware of the fact that Suarez writes short chapters, short than most of the other books I was contemporaneously reading. That seemed to be in line with a lot of other thriller writers. I am not saying that is a good or bad thing, but it did become noticable. Once I was aware of it, it became a lot easier for me to sneak in a chapter here and there between doing other things.

As always, I took a peak at the Amazon reviews after I finished reading this. And as usual, they were a bit of a hellscape, with one even accusing Suarez of having ‘an anti-capitalist screed’ (something that Andrew Yang was also accused of) in the book. But the common factor seemed to be accusations that Suare didn’t do his homework. I am be no means an expert, and I doubt anyone else who posted there is either. Certainly, no one there bothered to list their bona fide. But for what it is worth, I had the opposite impression. I felt that Suarez did put in the work, as this seemed to match a lot of what I have heard other people say about this subject.

Frankly, I have no idea. And I am happy this way.

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