By: Dennis E. Taylor
My Rating: Three out of Five Stars
Best for: 16 and up
Before there was Bob, there was Outland.
I’ve loved reading Dennis E. Taylor’s Bobiverse and The Singularity Trap, especially because of the amazing way he creates believable science FICTION that’s based in science FACT. His books are smart AND fun!
Outland is his first novel–originally published in 2015. It’s been given a new shine and republished just last week. Instead of a nerdy space science thriller like his other books, this story is a nerdy physics and geology science thriller.
Yep. A geology thriller.
Turns out America’s favorite national park is actually an active supervolcano.
Nope. Didn’t know that. Had no clue.
Should the Yellowstone supervolcano erupt…well. We don’t want it to erupt. If we’re spared immediate death because we didn’t get blown up, we’ll probably die within a week when we literally suffocate as ash particles fill our lungs instead of oxygen. If we survive that, we’ll probably die within the year because the plants will die, the rivers will clog, machines will stop working, food can’t grow, and a new ice age will begin. And if we survive all that, we’ll have to deal with collapsed governments and world economy sent back to the pre-industrial era. So no, we don’t want Yellowstone to erupt.
Unless some brilliant college kids figure out how to use quantum physics to open a portal to an alternative version of Earth and we can all escape through it.
Welcome to Outland!
Like Dennis Taylor’s other stories, I enjoyed the plausible science fiction. This story is a little rough outside of that, though. Awkward dialogue, dimensionless characters, stuff like that. The strong language was disappointing as well, considering the absence of it in his other books. All forgivable though if this is the winding road that leads to The Bobiverse!
Best for 16 and up because of the language.