- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 5303 KB
- Print Length: 422 pages
- Publisher: Primordial Press; 2 edition (9 August 2018)
- Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07FNRP9CF
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Customer Reviews: 246 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #47,383 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Primordial Threat (The Exodus Series, Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 422 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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About the Author
"Primordial Threat is a good combination of science and adventure fiction."
- Larry Niven, New York Times bestselling author
"... exciting sci-fi catastrophism ... call it The Day the Earth Certainly Didn't Stand Still.
Rothman (Perimeter, 2018), an engineer, tackles the hard-science/apocalypse trope of a 'Very Bad Thing' threatening Earth in the tradition of Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer's epochal When World's Collide and Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle's Lucifer's Hammer."
- Kirkus Reviews
"With Primordial Threat, Michael Rothman puts the OMG back in Science Fiction! Fascinating characters, an Asimov-sized plot, and lots of intrigue. Michael Rothman delivers. Chilling Science Fiction from a new Arthur C. Clarke. Movie-ready SF from a new master!"
- William C. Dietz, New York Times bestselling author
"Written by one who really knows the science, PRIMORDIAL THREAT zips along--a hard sf treat."
- Gregory Benford, New York Times bestselling author of TIMESCAPE.
"Michael Rothman's PRIMORDIAL THREAT is a big disaster novel -- maybe the biggest, with the end of the solar system in play. There goes the neighborhood! Filled with innovative science and big-scale action, it shows humanity in crisis, and humanity at its best."
- Kevin J. Anderson, New York Times bestselling author of BLOOD OF THE COSMOS
"For nail-biting science fiction thrillers, look no further than one of Rothman's stories. Sit back and enjoy the ride."
- Larry Correia, New York Times bestselling author.
"Who says hard science fiction is dead? The field is safe and sound in the hands of Michael Rothman. Real science from a real scientist -- and a thrilling page-turner, to boot. What more could one ask?"
- Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of Quantum Night
"Michael A. Rothman's PRIMORDIAL THREAT is a beautifully-conceived hard science adventure, with totally believable characters and events, and a truly satisfying conclusion."
- Mike Resnick, 4-time Hugo Award Winning author
"Michael A. Rothman's PRIMORDIAL THREAT leverages real technical expertise to find the human drama in a plausible near-future extinction scenario. This is gripping reading, one part Larry Niven and one part Michael Crichton!"
- D.J. Butler, author of WITCHY EYE and THE KIDNAP PLOT
"The Primordial Threat is the Next Level in Extinction Event thrillers. Rothman deftly navigates actual science with a taut edge-of-your-seat tension that will scare you to death. I wouldn't be surprised if he wasn't already gaming Worst Case Scenarios for the White House."
- Nick Cole, author of The Old Man and the Wasteland (Amazon #1 in SciFi) and Soda Pop Soldier (Publisher's Weekly Starred Review)
"M.A. Rothman has combined the high-frontier space realism of Kim Stanley Robinson, with the big ideas and cosmic scope of Larry Niven, and paced it all like a Michael Crichton adventure. A terrific roller coaster ride, which hits the reader on several levels. Highly recommended."
- Brad R. Torgersen, Multi-award winning Hard S.F. author
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Top international reviews
In a world very similar to ours yet slightly more advanced, space defence systems are in place and the threat from the rest of the universe is not ignored but instead tackled head on.
The problem is a black hole that’s on the way to completely destroy the earth, a situation which could easily arise in real life. This is what makes this book so great just how realistic it is and how much it feels like this disaster could really happen in the future.
It’s terrifying, made me feel slightly nauseous and now I just want to talk to everyone about it and what happens.
Anyway it’s a great read that I’d highly recommend if your into this kind of stuff.
It's clear that not only you have a superb imagination, but that your research is top notch.
Can't give this book too much praise.
I'm a follower now 😀.
I look forward to hearing more from this author, and given the ending of this book, perhaps a sequel?
And the actual solution isn't all that bad. It's almost as dramatic as something out of John C. Wright. And the last few twists and turns, such as those involving the Moon, were actually kind of exciting.
But everything else, everything apart from the central conceit, was just disappointing. The main characters almost came off the page, but not quite. The "street-level" subplot with the policeman either should have intersected with the larger story, with him providing something critical for the worldwide action, or else should have been enriched to be a larger part of the book. The attempts at romance were unmoving and stale.
Other reviewers here have rightly pointed out that the novel's view of Science (with a capital S) is quite unrealistic. Of course I don't mind FTL drives and captive fusion reactors found in CIA black sites--I'll suspend my disbelief on scientific details quite willingly. It's the human element that I don't buy. Advances of that sort don't happen from isolated geniuses, working in secret, developing fully functioning world-changing devices *and then still keeping them secret*. The author tries to make this believable by having his geniuses be pariahs who are forced to work in isolation; I can buy that for Frank's situation, but not for Dave's. Dave developed his FTL drive while he was famous and renowned, *before* being exiled by the scientific community.
The antagonists are absurd. I don't know if the author is himself religious, but the novel treats religion as though the author has only heard of religion in cartoons and the New York Times. A secret religious cult with millions of followers, who all act in unison with suicidal fervor to let the world be destroyed, drawn from all the world's faiths? No, I don't buy it. They can't agree on whether Jesus was God, whether to have one wife or many, but they all work together in perfect harmony without any defections? No way. Moreover, even the most fatalistic sects of Christianity never claimed that you shouldn't move out of the way of a rock falling off a hillside, or shouldn't eat to ward off starvation. I know less about other religions, but I've never heard of a religion espousing that much passivity. Perhaps the author simply thought, "Man vs. Nature isn't enough, my story needs human antagonists too. But who would oppose the efforts to save the world? No one is that stupid...aha! religion!" He tries to ward off the impression of being anti-religious with a scene of the president praying and a sympathetic if out-of-place scene with the Pope, but it just doesn't come off. Moreover, we learn that several key scientists were inspired with prophetic dreams of the coming black hole before its discovery. Are we to believe there is a supernatural actor in this drama? It's never followed up on...
The political aspects are also disappointing and naive. Why should the rest of the world so easily accept the American government literally taking their countries away to Tau Ceti? If anything is a violation of sovereignty, certainly that is! Why do they let the U.S. station its troops at the space elevators in their countries? A better novel could have explored the tensions that occur when good men disagree--with every nation wanting the planet saved, but not being willing to cede universal control to the U.S. president.
The author's sympathies seem to be with the philosopher-kings; if only the Right People could spend money freely, everything would be so much better! If only the Scientists were in charge--that would be so much better than people governing themselves! The closest he comes to actually addressing objections to these issues is when Congress questions the president--but the scene is a one-sided debate, where the president arrests her only opponent and promptly declares martial law, and the scene ends with its sympathies entirely on her side. Why not have some characters express doubts about that course of action? The novel has a naive faith in central planning. We see no downsides to the entire coastal U.S. population living in government evacuation camps, except that the food is so good they gain too much weight. The book's early chapters show that Americans won't fully trust self-driving cars, and yet no one seems to object to being rounded up into government-run camps. And at the end of the book, the happy ending is when the UN starts ceding control to a council of scientists. Perhaps it's just my political bias now, as someone born in the twentieth century when Scientific Experts gave us Nazi eugenics and Soviet economies, but I can't cheer that as a happy ending.
So if you love independent science fiction and are hoping this will be a nice hard-sci-fi break between installments of Galaxy's Edge or Brian Niemeier novels, I think you'll be disappointed. If you are willing to skim over talky dialogs, hamfisted romances, and eyeroll-inducing politics, maybe you'll like it.
What really made the book for me, over and above a good story, is that this is a very accessible hard science fiction story. Rothman clearly knows his stuff in this field and has a positive gift for making it easy to understand for those of us who are less familiar. He even helpfully includes an addendum at the back of the book giving an overview of some of the technology and concepts that are either theoretically possible or may very soon be practicable. Obviously some of the rules must be bent, else it would be science fact, not fiction, but it is done in a believable way that fits with the story.
All in all, I look forward to more of his work and apparently he has another book out that is along the lines of a thriller, I look forward to checking that one out as well.
I read the book over the thanksgiving holiday and my young nephew asked if I had ever read a book that has made me sad. I offered this book as an example of one that I was sad I had ever started.
For me, it's the small things that make a book either good or irritating. While any one irritating thing can (and should) be ignored, enough of them together will reduce my joy at reading to a chore. At which point, I generally quit reading the book. I can't be too specific about what I didn't like, because that would be spoiling the book. However, here are some general things that irritated.
Government being able to keep a huge secret for days or weeks. No that's not going to happen. An event of this magnitude will be public within a few days or hours. Also, it'll be discovered by many people at the same time, so word will get out.
The president is a brilliant and talented individual, whose chief advisor is an obvious idiot. Not buying that one.
The US government loses track of and can't immediately locate a famous, albeit disgraced scientist. Right... Remember 9/11. Every hijacker/terrorist was identified within a couple of days of the attack. You can't hide, not with that kind of profile. Not when the president wants you found. (Yes I remember Osama Bin Laden, I'm inclined to believe that the US government knew where he was, but didn't do anything because Pakistan was supposed to be our ally)
There are many other small little things that I felt the author got wrong. Any one, or even two or three, I can ignore. But he kept making these mistakes, one after the other, and for me, the story never really gelled. So, I quit reading it. I recommend that, before you buy this book, you should read the sample chapter first.
As a high-concept novel, the premise is interesting - whatever to do should a black hole descend on the solar system? Unfortunately, the execution of the "what if" scenario depends too much on wooden characters and Scooby-Do style evil elements trying to force an apocalypse.
Two example flaws that could have been written more tightly: First, you have a thousand-year-old religious cult (the bad guys) who are stupid enough to tattoo an hourglass symbol on every single devotee. Second, you have law enforcement and the military worldwide (the good guys) too stupid to check for this obvious identifier until about 85% into the book. Sigh.
Second, you have an entire planet (ours) zinging towards another star for several weeks/months, with apparently only a weak heat source to compensate for the lack of a sun for 99% of the journey. That means the loss of heat from the world's largest heat sink, the oceans; plus no tides, explained in the book but tossed off with no thought of what happens to the ocean's ecosystems. By the time our home arrives at the new star system, the oceans would likely be extremely cold, probably offing 75% or more of the life therein, and it would take a long time for the new star/heat source to get things back to normal. Not to mention the untold effects on land ecosystems.
The book also fails to explain how the earth's rotation is stopped for the journey and/or restored for the end of the trip. But we do get a lot of adolescent-style romance and easily solved conflict. Oh well.
The setup for a sequel at the end isn't compelling enough for me; I'm out.
Plot; Earth is facing extinction by being struck with numerous meteorites followed by being positioned directly in the path of a black hole on its way toward the sun. Literally, what is left of Earth after the rain of debris will be spun off into space to freeze or will be totally fragmented. There is only one person who possibly can save the world and he has disappeared. He had been a prominent member of the country’s most distinguished scientific research organization only to be forced out by the usual politically inclined members because of ‘impossibly insane ideas’. Fortunately, he is discovered to have been working as a miner on the moon when he returns to earth to obtain necessary materials. He is placed in charge and eventually, with a remarkable team of scientists and help from a most prominent North Korean whom he knew as a close friend and fellow student in his earlier days, eventually devises a means of saving Earth by moving it into another position within the universe. The tale is peopled with numerous interesting characters ranging from military types to savants.
Discussion: The author has produced a fascinating sci-fi tale containing many features that border on that thin cutting-edge of science that many believe eventually will be actual realities. The only somewhat disconcerting feature, at least to this reader, was the slow beginning as characters were introduced and the plot actually established.
Summary: A slightly slow starting, but thoroughly intriguing story provided in an enjoyably well-paced manner.