The Explorer by James SmytheThe Explorer by James Smythe

The Explorer

byJames Smythe

Paperback | January 2, 2013

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about

When journalist Cormac Easton is selected to document the first mannedmission into deep space, he dreams of securing his place in history asone of humanity's great explorers.

But in space, nothing goes according to plan.

The crew wake from hypersleep to discover their captain dead in his allegedlyfail-proof safety pod. They mourn, and Cormac sends a beautifully written eulogyback to Earth. The word from ground control is unequivocal: no matter whathappens, the mission must continue.

But as the body count begins to rise, Cormac finds himself alone and spiralingtoward his own inevitable death . . . unless he can do something to stop it.

James Smythe has written scripts for a number of video games, and teaches creative writing in London. His previous novel wasThe Explorer.
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Title:The ExplorerFormat:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.61 inPublished:January 2, 2013Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062229419

ISBN - 13:9780062229410

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting premise Pros: interesting premise, interesting examination of perceived experience vs the larger reality, quick read Cons: scientific errors, protagonist gets irritating at times Six astronauts are on a voyage to explore space, going further than any manned mission in the past. But almost immediately things start going wrong, and as the crew die - one by one - their reporter, Cormac, the least skilled among them, wonders if their mission will succeed. This is an interesting novel about the worth of exploration and what it takes to leave everything you know for such an opportunity. There's a twist at the quarter mark that propels this novel from a simple exploratory mission into an examination of how we perceive events based on limited knowledge, memory vs reality and causality. We get to know Cormac the most, as it's his POV we follow, but through his observations and experiences we also get to know the other crew members. The story alternates between what's happening on the ship and the process of being chosen for the mission back on Earth. Cormac's experiences are interesting but his personality gets a bit grating as things break down and he can't do anything but wait for death. Twenty or so pages before the end of the ebook, the climax hits. I eagerly turned the page to find out what happened only to discover that the novel was over and the final pages were an excerpt for Smythe's next book. This was incredibly jarring and meant I didn't appreciate the open style of the ending as I otherwise might have. I enjoyed the book enough to pass it along to my husband. Turns out it was a good thing, as the first draft of this review stated the science was accurate. My husband is a huge hard SF fan and he pointed out several errors the book makes with regards to space. There's a scene that mildly irritated him where water didn't act the way it would in zero gravity. But the main problem is that the ship is brought to a halt on several occasions for checks and repairs. Not only would this waste their fuel, both to stop and to start up again (having killed their momentum), each stop would alter their course, which we're told has been pre-set. These errors made it harder for him to enjoy the book. It's an interesting novel, and a very quick read, but those of you looking for hard SF might want to give this one a pass.
Date published: 2013-10-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book Enjoyed this very much, read it in just a few days. Thought provoking and rich, layered story.
Date published: 2013-01-30

Editorial Reviews

“As if Philip K Dick and David Mitchell collaborated on an episode of The West Wing. Unsettling, gripping and hugely thought-provoking.”