Saturday, 10 August 2013

Review: COSMIC ENGINEERS by CLIFFORD D. SIMAK

This had been on my shelf for a while and the time felt right to give it a try. I'm really glad I did, too. I've enjoyed Simak's work for years now, and this 159 page novel was a fantastic read, packing so many thrilling ideas into the mix that it feels far more epic than its scant length could possibly allow.

Yes, it's pulpy and has an absolutely frenetic pace, but I lapped up every page. Considering its origins lie in a serialised version that emerged in 1939 via Astounding Science Fiction, the ideas and execution remain fresh and wholly addictive. It has its moments of silliness and some hokey dialogue, but I enjoyed it massively.

A woman is awoken from a thousand years of suspended animation by some unsuspecting guys working in space in the far future, and together they must team up with the mysterious Engineers of the book's title in order to save this universe when another is about to collide with it.

Intent on the destruction of everything are the insanely violent Hellhounds, a race of war-obsessed beasts desperate to utilise the universal collision for their own ends, and they must be dealt with too.

The sheer scope of some of the ideas on display throughout Cosmic Engineers had me zipping through its pages in a flurry of relentless entertainment, and while it will certainly not be to the taste of some modern era fans, the book absolutely thrilled me from start to finish. One of Simak's best? Possibly not, but still a wonderful read for the classic science fiction fan.

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