“Arkwright” by Allen Steele (Tor, 2016)

Bestselling science fiction author Allen Steele’s latest novel, Arkwright, is the science fiction equivalent of Colleen McCullough’s The Thorn Birds. Readers get to experience the saga of the family Arkwright and its friends through the centuries and across the distant reaches of space.

Nathan Arkwright is a successful science fiction author, considered one of the “big four,” along with Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke and Robert Heinlein. Arkwright begins a highly successful series called Galaxy Patrol that has him writing 18 books in the series. But in the late eighties he announces the last book in the series and that he’s done with writing. For the rest of his career he focuses his research and wealth on helping science projects looking to achieve interstellar travel.

At his death, he bequeaths most of his wealth to the Arkwright foundation, a nonprofit whose sole goal is to continue helping and funding these science projects to build a spaceship that will get a small population to a distant planet and set up a new colony. This is the story of how that is done through the years and generations of Arkwrights and their team. How they create a unique way to transport this population to the distant planet and what happens when the colony arrives on a distant, new world.

Steele clearly had fun writing this, taking a trip down memory lane to the early days of science fiction and then creating a colony ship unlike any that has been done before. There have been many books written about just this subject, and Steele himself has done a number of them before, but in Arkwright readers get to see everything develop through the eyes and emotions of its characters with ideas and technology that has barely been explored before in the genre.

Originally written on March 27, 2016 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Arkwright from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.