Sunday, May 8, 2016
Freeze/Thaw - by Chris Bucholz -A well-constructed thriller with a touch of sci-fi.
Every now and again I like to divert from my heavy diet of horror. Too much of a good thing and all that. When I read the description for the new novel from Chris Bucholz, I decided it might be a good time to read something outside my favorite genre.
Well, I'm glad I took this little side trip. I enjoyed Freeze/Thaw more than I did Chris' first novel, Severance, the story of a deadly conspiracy about a multi-generational spaceship.
Freeze/Thaw is the tale of a desperate attempt to turn off The Shade "the common name for the array of coin-sized disks floating at Earth-Sun L1 point, where it blocked a significant percentage of the sun's light. It had been placed there by a group of Dutch eco-terrorists almost thirty years earlier in an attempt to limit the effects of global warming. It worked. Though maybe, just possibly, a little too well."
Gabriel Alfil was left a quadriplegic following a hiking accident a number of years ago. Not being able to do much else, he spent his days learning about things that struck his fancy, one of those was quantum computing, which lead to his being one of the few people on Earth with a working knowledge on the subject. Fitted with a computer enhanced exo-skeleton, Gabe is now mobile and sent with a team to a remote lab where a number of quantum computers may hold the answer for disabling The Shade.
Most of Freeze/Thaw is about the journey and and the obstacles to be overcome in getting to their destination. In all, it's a solid story with exceptional character development which, despite it's science fiction themes, I found to be totally believable. It's a tale of double-crosses with a number of excellent twists. Not exactly what I expected, but a completely engaging story nonetheless.
Freeze/Thaw is available for pre-order as a trade paperback from Apex Publishing.
Chris Bucholz is a video game, humor, and third type of writer. His first novel, Severance, was published in November of 2014, and his weekly column on Cracked.com contains a mix of historical curiosities, short fiction, and spectacularly bad advice. He lives in Vancouver, BC, with his wife and son.