Friday 26 August 2011

Ida by Tim Callahan

Official Blurb
Ida, one of the largest Asteroid in the belt between Mars and Jupiter, has finally been colonized. A group of engineers lead by John McVey, Craig Osborn, Gail Trabor, Andrew Dee and Jennifer McGee, occupy the largest space station every built to plan the future of the tiny colony. Sent there by Kennedy Lacombe, the richest man in the world, their only task is to find ways to mine the asteroid as efficiently as possible. John, however, has grandiose plans including riding a comet around the sun to obtain enough water for the colony to one day survive independent from Earth. His ambition quickly shifts when he discovers an accident with the station's birth control pills causes 20 women, including Jennifer, the woman he loves, to become pregnant. The rules on pregnancy are simple; a baby is a drain on resources and must be removed. John, his friends, and a large group of miners will do anything they can to prevent that, including declaring themselves the first independent colony outside of Earth.
My Review
This was one of Tim Callahan's first audio books.  He's since gone on to create and publish the "Arwen" series of books over at Podiobooks.  This book it not a part of the Arwen series, although it could conceivably belong in the same universe many many years before the Arwen.

I was given one of those "oh" moments when listening to this book.  I was a few chapters in when I realised that the sci fi part of the book is almost incidental to the human story at it's core. The characters are the focus here, Tim does not waste a lot of prose telling us about the working of some "flux capacitor" but focuses on people, what they think, what they feel and what they do when driven by those emotions.

That said, the last couple of chapters do hot up with non stop action. I really enjoyed this one, the characters felt real, they made mistakes and made choices that I could relate to.  The sci fi future described was interesting, worrying, and believable.

There were a few repeated lines in there, but no more than five or six spread out across the whole book and really didn't spoil my enjoyment.

Reading 2/3
Production 2/3
Story 2/3

Total Score 6/9

Download it from the Podiobooks

Listen to the first part