From the Archives: Why Should I Read Geodesica by Sean Williams & Shane Dix?

You need to read Geodesica because there’s only one thing better than a good romance, and that’s a good romance set in space.

‘But wait!’ you cry. ‘How about a good romance in space that lasts one million years?’ Well, you’re right. That is better! And that’s why you really need to read Geodesica.

Williams and Dix have a flair for combining slam-bang adventures, intriguing characters and cutting-edge scientific and philosophical speculations, resulting in books that elevate your adrenaline and your intellect. This latest series is no exception to their reign.

That’s Paul di Filippo. Later he name-checks Stephen Baxter, Charles Stross and Cordwainer Smith (the list of greats just keeps on getting longer). Good Reading raises Vernor Vinge. Locus references Robert Silverberg, E. E. ‘Doc’ Smith and Olaf Stapledon, and concludes:

These are not writers who are content to let us curl up with a cosy tale of exploding suns or galactic empire-busters. They know that the winds between the stars probably blow cold and that the significant half of ‘post-human’ comes in front of the hyphen. It makes for an astringent kind of entertainment, but one that sticks in the head after the bubbles of lesser brands have evaporated.

Hard stuff, eh? Remember the romance. And there’s more. Haven’t you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a society where privacy is illegal and people like it that way? Haven’t you ever asked what people will fight interstellar wars over when shipping even a single kilogram from one system to another will cost seven squintillion dollars? Haven’t you ever thought that typical spaceship design is kinda stupid and something better lies out there, just waiting to be built? Or explored?

But it all started with romance, seriously. Neither Evergence nor Orphans is big on smooching. It took a romance writer calling Sean out for not playing the R (or X) card in his space opera to get both our boys on the bandwagon. And once that wagon started rolling, it never stopped. Because we’ve all had bad break-ups, right? Heart-wrenching gut-churning world-ending ruptures that no one ever really recovers from. Not even time can heal wounds like that. The hurt bubbles and troubles like some terrible brew, just waiting for you to bump into that old flame and boil you up all over again, but worse, because it’s totally fermented and evil now, and you’ve got to drop your defences sometime.

Imagine what it would be like to bump into one of those exes after one hundred and fifty years. Just imagine it. And then read Geodesica to find out just what it takes to get over something like that.

Or for the explosions. Either way!

‘Splendid fun, brimming with heroes, villains, chicanery, neat imaginative details, some seriously cool space battles, and one of the most mind-twisting alien artifacts ever imagined’ ~ Alastair Reynolds

‘Energetic and concise. The plot rollicks along, propelling the reader into the action. Plush with imaginative detail . . .’ ~ Cosmos


And now, the obligatory links: Geodesica: Ascent is available here and follow-up Geodesica: Descent is available here.

You can read more about Sean Williams and Shane Dix in their author entries at The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.

You can find more books by Sean Williams and Shane Dix on their author pages at the SF Gateway.



First publised 1st May 2013.