Reviewed by Steve Dean
There’s been an accident at CERN, and a black hole has escaped. No, come out from behind the settee, it’s not news, it’s the plot of this self-published novel. (In this case, it appears the author has started a company to publish his own book!) Anyway, people are drawn through this hole and into another world, and the earth is in serious danger.
Anyone who’s ever looked for advice about creative writing on the internet, or attended a course, or asked a friendly author (yes, there are some), will have been told about the show-don’t-tell rule. And while this rule isn’t seen as the iron bound golden nugget it once was, it is still rather important. Unfortunately, this author seems to have skipped, or even worse, ignored, this particular lesson.
What we have here is a stream of words describing the plot and what the characters are doing, more an extended pitch to an editor than a story. This also affects the speech, which is rendered as dull and lifeless as the prose. The characters are barely sketched, none of them are memorable, and overall might as well have stayed at home.
The second element of the novel, namely the science, is no better, the author falling into the unoriginal, and outdated, thinking that a black hole is actually a tunnel to somewhere else. It’s an easy mistake to make I suppose, but as we now know, ‘hole’ in this case means gravity well, not a literal hole.
Interspersed throughout the book are various pictures, drawn on a computer by, I presume, the author. While they might have looked good in colour on a computer screen, they look terrible here, and despite the poor quality of the book, it would have been improved by their removal.
In summary, the bad science is based on outdated thinking, the fiction is just a dull stream of words, and the pictures are appalling. I feel sorry for the people who’ve shelled out money for this bloated ego trip.
Now, brace yourself, because there’s a second volume, “The Time Tunnel”, which continues in pretty much the same way, and so really doesn’t need a separate review.