Thursday 23 July 2020

The Old Man and the Void - Karina Fabian

The Old Man and the Void
Dex Hollister Book 1
Karina Fabian
Laser Cow Press
ISBN 9781733447126
ASIN B08619XMH8 

I find it hard to believe that it has been 8 years since I read a book by Karina Fabian, but when I check my list of books read. That is what came up. I have read her contributions in a couple of anthologies. And had picked up a few of her books. They were just all still in my ‘to be read pile’. After reading this excellent work I have already bumped a couple of the others to the top of my to be read list. This was an excellent story. It was the first story by Fabian that I have read that was not religious themed. It is pure science fiction. And in a very classic style. The story is written in homage to The Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway. But set in space, and with Fabian’s unique twist on the hunter prey quest.

The story reminds me of some of Frank Herbert’s on Dune books, like The Eye's of Heisenberg and The Green Brain. It also brought to mind the works of Alfred bester, specifically The Demolished Man or Tiger, Tiger. The story is well written and deeply moving. You find yourself rooting for the hero, and the AI on his ship. The story follows Dex Hollister as he hunts relics in the accretion disk of a black hole. He has set his eyes on a battleship. It will it only be his biggest score, but the biggest yet. But As the battleship pulls them across the event horizon it becomes a battle not only to land the ‘catch’ but one for life.

Follow Dex across the event horizon. Watch him battle with an automated defense system. Restore his own ships AI. And in conjunction with the AI try to survive. He is caught between automated ships from two different ancient civilizations fight a never-ending war. He must outwit the automatic systems, and escape this place where time is warped.

Something that makes this story so great is the dialogue. The Dialogue between Dex and the AI, and Dex’s internal dialogue. His remembrances add an interesting element. The dialogue reminds me of Doc Holliday in Tombstone, and I cannot help but picture Dex as a younger Val Kilmer. The interactions the god and his consort add an interesting twist to the story. Much like the movie 12 Moneys and the book A Scientific Romance there is a point where we question what is real, and what is not. And even the epilogue leaves us with more questions than concrete answers. And that is part of what makes it such a great story, I know I will be thinking about it for days to come.

The story is not implicitly Catholic like many of Fabian’s other works I have read. But it does deal with questions around the meaning and purpose of life. It is a great story and I highly recommend it. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan!

Dex Hollister Series:

The Old Man and the Void
Dex's Way

Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator Series :
Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator
I Left My Brains in San Francisco
Shambling in a Winter Wonderland

DragonEye PI Series:
DragonEye PI Novels:
?.0 Magic, Mensa and Mayhem (Revised edition)
?.0 Live and Let Fly (Revised edition)

DragonEye PI Short Stories:

DragonEye PI Original First Editions:
Live and Let Fly

Space Traipse Series:
Space Traipse: Hold My Beer, Season 1
Space Traipse: Hold My Beer, Season 2
Space Traipse: Hold My Beer, Season 3
Space Traipse Stories

Mind Over Series:
Mind Over Mind
Mind Over Psyche
Mind Over All
Hearts Over Mind

Edited by: Karina Fabian:
Infinite Space, Infinite God I
Leaps of Faith
Infinite Space, Infinite God II

Contributed to:
Firestorm of Dragons
The Zombie Cookbook
The Book of Tentacles
Twisted Fayrie Tales
FRIGHTLINER: And Other Tales of the Undead
Mother Goose is Dead
Word by Word: Slowing Down with the Hail Mary
Image and Likeness Literary Reflections on the Theology of the Body
Corrupts Absolutely? Dark Metahuman Fiction
Weird Noir
The Complete Guide to Writing Paranormal Novels
Manifesto UF
Avenir Eclectia
Planetary Anthology: Jupiter
Planetary Anthology: Pluto
Planetary Anthology: Luna
Planetary Anthology: Uranus
FlagShip Science Fiction and Fantasy v2i5
My Little Book of Headdesks
To Be Men: Stories Celebrating Masculinity

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