SF Reviews background image SF Reviews logo image
Contact SF Reviews   |   Get the Newsletter 

Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

Spin State

Copyright 2003 by Chris Moriaty

In Association with Amazon.com In Association with Amazon.co.uk
SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Good (3/5)

I first read this in 2004 and most recently on the 13th March 2010

The United Nations controls an interstellar empire, powerful and vast. But it's the FTL jumps that hold it together. Without FTL, the empire would fail. The sole source of the Bose-Einstein condensate that is the fuel for FTL engines is from a coal mine on the planet Compson's World.

Catherine Li is a major in the UN armed forces. She very tough, unrelenting. She does the dirty jobs for General Nguyen Now the General wants he to go to Compson's World to investigate the death of the scientist that invented FTL and more importantly bring back the data that the dead scientist should have handed over before he so inconveniently died.

But the one place Catherine really doesn't want to ever return to again is Compson's world. It's where she grew up and their are some murky secrets about a certain Caitlin Perkins hidden back there.

Meantime Catherine could expect support from Cohen, the powerful AI. They've been friends for years. However they're currently not speaking and perhaps she could never have trusted him anyway.

It's a murky plot and a murky, dirty, grimy world.

Fabulous. Well, not entirely. I got a bit confused over worm holes in spin foam and never quite worked out if we we talking about FTL or teleportation, telereplication to conjure a word. Is it wormholing through spinfoam or destructive replication at a distance of multiple light years? It's important to get this stuff right.

But apart from some technological confusion on my part. Oh, and the odd appearance of the IRA on Compson's World, (but again there's probably more going on there than I realised) it's a fab book. Top notch.

What's it got? It's got greatness. It's got babes and big guns, AIs and aliens, faster than light travel, dirty deeds, betrayal. A real joy.

Loaded on the 23rd March 2011.
Cover of Spin State
Cover art by Stephen Youll

Reviews of other works by Chris Moriaty:
Spin Control