Thirteen hours only from the Earth to Mars, and here was a growl at the length of the voyage!
- p. 68
I don't usually like ebooks, but I make an exception for Singularity & Co
. Singularity & Co find old, long-since out-of-print sci-fi novels, secure the rights if there are rights to secure, and then make a handsome new ebook (and, I believe, actual book) out of them. I jumped on their Kickstarter at the "free ebooks forever" option, because my (pretty intense, honestly) dislike of ebooks was trumped by "cool idea" and "free shit forever." (I haven't yet checked out their physical store yet, by the way, even though it is in the place where I dwell
I was very excited when they dropped their first book, and even moreso when I found out it was a little-known novel from the late 19th century about space travel -- and with an introduction by Jules Verne, no less! Well, in as many ways as Robert Cromie's A Plunge Into Space
lived up to my hopes, it also lived up to demonstrating why
it's largely forgotten. It is very much a mixed bag.A Plunge Into Space
has moments that are genuinely wondrous. It also has sections that are clumsy in a way that's funny and endearing, like an old b-movie or stories that you once didn't know were amateurish because you were a child. But there are stretches that feel actually, sometimes interminably, bad, and sometimes offensive. Like, even-after-taking-into-account-that-it's-from-the-19th-century offensive. When this book is at it's most enjoyable, it is also batshit crazy, and kinda charmingly incompetent.[The rest of the review is on my blog. I get into why human drama doesn't work if you can't write humans, and some scary colonial shit.]