Ribbon to the Sky - Doug Turnbull

***** An exciting story of hard science fiction

As I was reading this novella, I kept telling myself that it was just the sort of science fiction book made for me. It contains, in fact, all the elements that I prefer.
First, it’s set in a near future characterised by sufficient elements of the present to make it recognisable and plausible. Since the first pages you are able to perceive such a sense of realism to believe that everything that is told could really happen in a few decades.
The credibility of the narrative is also accentuated by the accurate scientific and technological content. This is hard science fiction at its best. The author shows to be extremely prepared in the theme of astronautics and space exploration.
The plot is compelling. On the one hand, it shows us a future where space travel is made easier by the existence of a space elevator (the title refers to it). It’s a subject very dear to lovers of this sub-genre of science fiction, but also and especially to those who are interested in space exploration and revel in imagining what benefit such technology could bring to this field.
One of my favourite aspect is the image of a positive future, despite the presence of intrigues, conspiracies and betrayals. A future in which technology allows mankind to do great things.
Beside to this topic is that of the asteroid. Could it be a danger to Earth? Or just something interesting to study? And what if it concealed some wonderful mystery? And here the author plays his cards in a truly original way (I cannot go into detail because I risk falling into a spoiler).
Added to this is the problem of how to handle certain information with the public. Turnbull shows us the ambivalent reaction of people in front of the unknown, where the fight against fear and its consequences can be a major barrier to knowledge.
The worst but also the best (including heroism) of human nature are highlighted.
All these elements are skilfully woven into a story made by the characters, so well delineated so that they almost come to life in the pages. Excellent dialogue, often witty and amusing, breathtaking action scenes, and skill in putting together the scenes and interrupt them at the right time complete the packaging of this little pearl in the science fiction scene.
It’s definitely a great way to taste this author and I think that I will soon read his other books.

Ribbon To The Sky on Amazon.