Friday, December 26, 2014

Severance - by Chris Bucholz - Epic Science Fiction with a touch of humor

3 of 5 Stars     Review Copy

Multi-generational space travel.  There are so many places to go with a story with that as your basic premise.

The journey to the third planet around the star Tau Prius has been in progress for close to 240 years, about as long as it's been since the United States declared it's independence from England.  Think of the stories that could be told.

The story Severance gives us, about the spaceship Argo and its denizens, really left me disappointed.  I've never read anything by by Chris Bucholz, but he's got some interesting credentials, by day, he works as a writer for video game developer Stardock, with his latest projects being Galactic Civilizations and Star Control.  Sounds cool, right?  Chris also writes for, an online humor site.  So I'm expecting Science Fiction with a touch of humor.  Well, it just never comes together for me. Thematically, it's sci-fi with some occasional lighthearted banter from two of the principal characters.

The story started with Laura Stein and Bruce Redenbach going to great lengths to prank a club/society/street-gang known as the Markers.  A group that would distinguish themselves from their peers by "pissing on things and off people."  The prank involved them using their skills and access, as maintenance workers, to "mark" the living room of of the leader of the group with the urine of an underling and let the chips fall where they may.  Problem is, that little story is never mentioned again.  I would have like to have known the outcome of this little incident.

What soon follows is a murder, a mystery, and a plot that could endanger some fifty-thousand of the ship's inhabitants.  On the surface it all sounds rather exciting, but I didn't find it terribly entertaining nor did I find any of the characters to be particularly likable.

From the Apex Book Company, Severance, is available in both paperback and digital formats from a wide variety of online retailers.  If you would like to sample the book, the first chapter is available online at the Apex Book Company's website.

For me, Severance was just OK.  As always, your mileage may vary.

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