four-stars
Bookmarks Issue: 
15-Mar-Apr-2005
By: 
Bill DeSmedt
user_rating: 
0

A-SingularityIn the post-Cold War world, a secret U.S. government agency, Criminal Resources Oversight Mandate, works to stop talented Russian scientists before they sell WMDs to the bad guys. As CROM agent Marianna Bonaventure and analyst Jonathan Knox search for a disappeared Russian industrialist, they uncover a terrible secret. As theorized by scientist Jack Adler, the meteor that destroyed Siberia’s remote Tunguska tundra in 1908 was really a submicrosopic black hole that never left the Earth. Only a small group possesses the technology to stop its destructive quantum effects—and this group will subsequently hold the world captive.
Per Aspera. 502 pages. 25.95. ISBN: 0974573442

Plain Dealer 4 of 5 Stars
"Singularity … is a slam-bang first novel where the science is as important as the fiction. … James Bond would have loved to star in a story such as this." John R. Alden

Kansas City Star 4 of 5 Stars
"… DeSmedt has managed a neat trick: Conversations are lively even though they’re peppered with accurate physicist’s jargon. … Like excited electrons, the action moves along with increasing momentum." Robert Folsom

Seattle Times 4 of 5 Stars
"DeSmedt’s clear descriptions of everything from the core of a typical star to the sinister device an assassin uses to mimic a wolf’s bite make it easy to follow his swiftly swooping story line. … So there’s an extra depth of intimacy to his writing …"
Nisi Shawl

San Diego Union-Tribune 3.5 of 5 Stars
"Verifying the conjecture is an early part of the story. What a villain could do with such a thing, and why, is the thriller part." Jim Hopper

Critical Summary

Publisher Per Aspera Press took a gamble—their debut is DeSmedt’s first novel—and it paid off. In this scientific technothriller, DeSmedt fictionalizes the possible implications of the bizarre explosion in Tunguska, Siberia. It didn’t result from a small meteorite, his protagonists speculate, but rather from a tiny black hole crashing into Earth. It’s a convincing, if farfetched, interpretation, made more realistic by DeSmedt’s believable "what if" scenario. The scientifically accurate dialogue, unpredictable plot twists, and characters (Bonaventure is a real, breathing woman with emotions) give the book surprising depth. The verdict: move over Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and Arthur C. Clarke for the new author in town.