Rating: 5 stars out of 5
The Earth is in a state of collapse, with wars breaking out over resources and an environment pushed to the edge by human greed.
Three living generation ships have been built with a combination of genetic mastery, artificial intelligence, technology, and raw materials harvested from the asteroid belt. This is the story of one of them—43 Ariadne, or Forever, as her inhabitants call her—a living world that carries the remaining hopes of humanity, and the three generations of scientists, engineers, and explorers working to colonize her.
From her humble beginnings as a seedling saved from disaster to the start of her journey across the void of space toward a new home for the human race, The Stark Divide tells the tales of the world, the people who made her, and the few who will become something altogether beyond human.
Humankind has just taken its first step toward the stars.
Every now and again, a story comes along that you wish you could give more than the allotted 5 stars. The Stark Divide by J. Scott Coatsworth is one of those novels. A science fiction saga, the first in a series, it’s giant narrative footprint calls to mind some of my favorite science fiction authors, from Arthur C. Clarke in it’s clear, forward use of science and up to the creator of Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry, in it’s all inclusive outlook on humanity, the sweeping scope and incredible imaginative flair of the author makes this story one of the true highlights of my reading year.
Even more amazing after reading the foreword and discovering how close The Stark Divide came to never even being published at all. What a journey for both author and novel. That’s also an author’s note not to be missed.
The Stark Divide is separated into three sections starting with Seed, each transitioning with huge steps in human generation (a family), huge growth (an alive IA earth world/ship), and a vision for the human race. The Earth is an ecological disaster, the humans left barely surviving on the populated livable land masses after the event known as The Burn which killed millions, leaving the rest scrabbling for their existence. The hope for the human race lies among the stars and the three living world/ generation ships planned for space, of which the 43 Ariadne, or Forever is one.
Coatsworth takes us through the incredible birth of Forever in Seed, the introduction of the people so important to the beginnings of this saga and the foundation of the story. Everyone and everything in The Stark Divide grabs at your heart, and your mind, engaging both your curiosity, your imagination, and yes, pulling at our own fears at the potential for ecological disaster going on now. Beautifully thought out as well as soaring on the author’s on creativity and extrapolation, don’t be surprised to feel yourself wanting to be a part of this Utopia and then beginning to fear for it when all the ugliness that killed the Earth finds it’s way to Forever.
As I said, this is only the first story in a series. I can scarcely wait for the next one to be released. I need to know where the saga goes next. You will too once this saga has you hooked as thoroughly as it does me. If you love science fiction, grab up a copy now and prepare to sink yourself into a world unlike any other. It’s incredible, thought provoking, highly imaginative, and easily one of the best books of 2017!
Book One of Liminal Sky
Cover art by Aaron Anderson is perfect, a wonderful artistic rendering of parts of Forever.
ebook, 284 pages
Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by DSP Publications
Series Liminal Sky #1