source for free and affordable eBooks


Powered by FreeFind

Site search
Web search

    Review of BOUNDARY by Eric Flint and Ryk E. Spoor

    Baen, March 2006

    It started with an archeology dig and a strange fossil parked right on the K-T boundary (where dinosaurs went extinct). Some help from super-imaging guru A. J. shows more--it isn't just a dinosaur, it's a whole circle of dinosaurs surrounding an anomoly--a fossil tha has no apparent relative in the fossil record--a fossil that, to paleonthologist Helen Sutter looks more like an alien than anything from space. But archeologists and paleonthologists are conservative and the alien theory would have been dismissed or ignored if an unmanned probe hadn't sent back signals (again interpreted by A. J.) that show exactly those aliens on one of Mars's moons--together with a long-destroyed base. Mankind might ignore the evidence of a couple of archeologists, but it certainly won't refuse to check out what might just be a treasurechest of technology.

    Because of their early involvement, A. J., Helen, several others from the dig, along with beautiful spy Madeline Fathom, become part of a manned Mars probe--a group of the best scientists, linguists, archeologists, and engineers that humanity (especially but not exclusively that part of humanity represented by the United States) can muster. Virtually unlimited resources are poured into the exploration with the smart money being that these investments will repay themselves thousands of times with technology advances left behind by aliens who can cross stellar distances.

    The discoveries on Mars's moon are monumental, but one of these discoveries points to an even larger--and more intact base on Mars itself. But can the crew cobble together a spacecraft capable of descending to a planetary surface--and allowing its passengers to survive?

    Authors Eric Flint (see more reviews of novels by Flint) and Ryk E. Spoor (see more reviews of novels by Spoor) team up to create an homage to the Science Fiction stories of the 1960s, where technological progress was key and where the central conflict was that of man against the inplacable universe (rather than the typical man against man of the earth-bound novel and man against society that is so popular in the Science Fiction of the 1990s and 2000s). Flint and Spoor are entertaining writers and BOUNDARY is easy to read and enjoyable.

    Flint and Spoor go out of their way to explain the technologies used to propel the Nike to Mars, to allow A. J.'s scanning magic, and to deliver packages to Mars. I was a little confused, however, by the energy solution for Mars, which involved adding hydrogen to carbon dioxide in order to create methane (which would then be burned for fuel). Flint and Spoor described this as if it were a perpetual motion machine, with no need to add energy. If only it were so, we'd have the solution to global warming without having to leave earth.

    I would have liked to see more of a twist for the ending, and perhaps Flint and Spoor could have been a bit less true to the 1960s-model SF stories they're emulating in the romance department (1960s romances were invariably superficial and uninteresting). Still, BOUNDARY makes for fun reading and is a pleasant change from the militaristic SF that seems popular these days.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 2/17/07

    Ready to buy it? Click the button:

    Want to learn more?
    Click this link and see more reviews, similar books, and other Amazon information on BONDARY from

    Rather buy it from Barnes and Noble?
    Click this link for BOUNDARY from Barnes and

    Too generous? Too stingy. Or did I miss the whole point? Send your comments to I'll publish the best letters I get so let me know if I can use your name. Banner Exchange