Orbs by Nicholas Sansbury Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Review of ORBS (ORBS #1)
by Nicholas Sansbury Smith
I found the work of Nicholas Sansbury Smith through reading TRACKERS and TRACKERS 2: THE HUNTED and was so enrapt that I committed to reading all his titles. ORBS is the first of a series which deftly combines apocalypse and science fiction (though I think everything here could potentially occur). One of the apocalypse scenarios that doesn't receive sufficient conjecture and analysis is danger from the Sun: solar flares; solar storms; Coronal Mass Ejections (CME). For decades scientists have mostly insisted that the Earth's atmosphere is sufficiently dense to block dangerous rays; but with a century plus of ozone depletion, that may no longer be the case. In ORBS, a solar storm in 2055 erupts in a massive CME, which irradiates much of Earth, causing serious population decline and collapse of the infrastructure.
In 2061, remaining scientists are tasked to operate a Biosphere, constructed by NTC, the private corporation contracted by the U.S. Federal Government for security and technology issues. Once in the Biosphere, the five scientists quickly discover that their mission to prepare for a voyage to Mars, in order to preserve the human species, is much more urgent than already assumed.
Author Nicholas Sansbury Smith has a true gift for narrative of apocalyptic, post-apocalyptic, and science fiction. He vivifies the narrative landscape, and drawing on his own extensive research and decade in disaster management, he brings forth settings which are realistic, despite the fact that no human has ever actually experienced these events—yet.
ORBS is a story I could not put aside, and cannot forget. It impels me to think critically about the present—and the potential future, not only for me, but for my progeny.
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