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The Frozen Sky: The Novel by Jeff Carlson

The Frozen Sky: The Novel (edition 2012)

by Jeff Carlson

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456256,992 (3.61)2
Title:The Frozen Sky: The Novel
Authors:Jeff Carlson
Info:Candlemark & Gleam (2012), Paperback, 346 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:science fiction, high tech, space opera, aliens, first contact

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The Frozen Sky [Short Story] by Jeff Carlson



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The Frozen Sky is about the first manned mission to Europa. A group of archaeologists are exploring Jupiter's moon and the governments of the world are waiting to see what materials from Europa can be used back on Earth. The crew finds more then they bargained for when they find some hieroglyphs and other signs of life. Europa is indeed inhabited and the natives don't like visitors.

The story is mostly told from one of the crew member's point of view; a 36 year old woman named Alexis who the rest of the characters see as being childish. Alexis has to run for her life through frozen ravines and canyons of rock while being chased by creatures that resemble starfish. To make matters worse her spacesuit has a mind of its own and has its own plan for handling the situation.

There is a lot going on in a short period of time in The Frozen Sky. A lot of the story is told through flashback as the crew fights for their lives, the back story unfolds and you learn why the mission is taking place, what is at stake and what the crew hopes to get out of the trip. I liked how Jeff Carlson started the story in the middle of the action and then back tracked to tell how we got to where we are. I think if the story was told from the beginning it wouldn't have worked as well.

You could tell Jeff Carlson did his homework and did a lot of research on what Europa was like. I loved how this alien world was described. I also enjoyed watching Alexis wrestle with the question of how she will escape the creatures or is it possible to communicate with them without causing them harm. Another good thing was how the aliens were presented in the story, at first you see them as monsters but you start to learn about the conditions that they live in and how that shaped what they are. Europa is a harsh environment to live in and there is another surprise in the story that makes the moon's inhabitants lives even harder.

This novella will probably best be enjoyed by hard core science fiction readers. It has a good mix of science and politics set in the 22nd century and quite a bit of action as well. The Frozen Sky was a really fun read that can be enjoyed on many levels and it really gets you thinking on what may be living on Europa. ( )
  dwatson2 | Jun 9, 2012 |
A great little hard sci-fi story. Told in an inside out fashion. ( )
  jefware | Sep 13, 2011 |
One of the first short stories I bought on Kindle, and a pretty good hard sf one. I'll try some others of his and see. ( )
  iceT | Aug 23, 2011 |
...The Frozen Sky is a well written novella, looking for a reader not afraid of a generous helping of hard science fiction. As with many shorter pieces, some readers will feel it should have been longer and that is leaves a lot of the background of the story rather vague. Personally, I feel Carlson gets the level of detail right. It is after all, as much a story of Vonnie and how, despite the hostility she meets on Europa, she's still able to defeat the impulse to blindly strike back and realize what must be done instead. When Vonnie reaches that point, the background, fascinating as it may be, has served its purpose. To me at least,The Frozen Sky is a very satisfying first contact story. Recommended for hard science fiction fans in particular.

Full Random Comments review ( )
  Valashain | Aug 20, 2011 |
This is a great little novella! I devoured it in two sittings, once I actually got a chance to start it. Exactly the kind of hard SF I like: human beings exploring the solar system in the near future. The alien life described seemed plausible and interesting. The few characters — even the central, point-of-view character — were one-dimensional and completely forgettable, but I don't read hard SF for the character development.

Highly recommended to anyone who likes science fiction :) ( )
  ghimmelmann | Aug 6, 2011 |
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NB: This short story is a different text than "The Frozen Sky: A Novel" by the same author. The two should not be combined.
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