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The Enceladus Mission: Hard Science Fiction

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A space odyssey that’s worth taking. (Kirkus) In the year 2031, a robot probe detects traces of biological activity on Enceladus, one of Saturn’s moons. This sensational discovery shows that there is indeed evidence of extraterrestrial life. Fifteen years later, a hurriedly built spacecraft sets out on the long journey to the ringed planet and its moon. The international A space odyssey that’s worth taking. (Kirkus) In the year 2031, a robot probe detects traces of biological activity on Enceladus, one of Saturn’s moons. This sensational discovery shows that there is indeed evidence of extraterrestrial life. Fifteen years later, a hurriedly built spacecraft sets out on the long journey to the ringed planet and its moon. The international crew is not just facing a difficult twenty-seven months: if the spacecraft manages to make it to Enceladus without incident it must use a drillship to penetrate the kilometer-thick sheet of ice that entombs the moon. If life does indeed exist on Enceladus, it could only be at the bottom of the salty, ice covered ocean, which formed billions of years ago. However, shortly after takeoff disaster strikes the mission, and the chances of the crew making it to Enceladus, let alone back home, look grim. From internationally best-selling hard science fiction author Brandon Q. Morris comes a new novel for hard science fiction enthusiasts. As a physicist and space specialist, Morris describes the journey of the international expedition through the hostile vacuum of space, using the latest scientific findings and technology trends as his inspiration. This isn’t a What If book, this is a When Will book.


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A space odyssey that’s worth taking. (Kirkus) In the year 2031, a robot probe detects traces of biological activity on Enceladus, one of Saturn’s moons. This sensational discovery shows that there is indeed evidence of extraterrestrial life. Fifteen years later, a hurriedly built spacecraft sets out on the long journey to the ringed planet and its moon. The international A space odyssey that’s worth taking. (Kirkus) In the year 2031, a robot probe detects traces of biological activity on Enceladus, one of Saturn’s moons. This sensational discovery shows that there is indeed evidence of extraterrestrial life. Fifteen years later, a hurriedly built spacecraft sets out on the long journey to the ringed planet and its moon. The international crew is not just facing a difficult twenty-seven months: if the spacecraft manages to make it to Enceladus without incident it must use a drillship to penetrate the kilometer-thick sheet of ice that entombs the moon. If life does indeed exist on Enceladus, it could only be at the bottom of the salty, ice covered ocean, which formed billions of years ago. However, shortly after takeoff disaster strikes the mission, and the chances of the crew making it to Enceladus, let alone back home, look grim. From internationally best-selling hard science fiction author Brandon Q. Morris comes a new novel for hard science fiction enthusiasts. As a physicist and space specialist, Morris describes the journey of the international expedition through the hostile vacuum of space, using the latest scientific findings and technology trends as his inspiration. This isn’t a What If book, this is a When Will book.

30 review for The Enceladus Mission: Hard Science Fiction

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lilyn G. | Sci-Fi & Scary |

    I DNFed this read at 30%. While the idea is intriguing, and the science aspects of the writing are interesting enough, the consistent telling instead of showing was enough to drive me bonkers. I truly believe that, at least up to the point that I stopped reading, if every one of the main character's thoughts that we are told were deleted from the book it would read much, much stronger. Right now they do the interesting portions of the book a huge disservice.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Koeur

    Publishing Date: October 2018 Publisher: Hard Science Fiction ISBN: 9783947283293 Genre: SciFI Rating: 4.2/5 Publisher’s Description: In the year 2031, a robot probe detects traces of biological activity on Enceladus, one of Saturn’s moons. This sensational discovery shows that there is indeed evidence of extraterrestrial life. Fifteen years later, a hurriedly built spacecraft sets out on the long journey to the ringed planet and its moon. Review: Reviewers on the down side of this novel said there wa Publishing Date: October 2018 Publisher: Hard Science Fiction ISBN: 9783947283293 Genre: SciFI Rating: 4.2/5 Publisher’s Description: In the year 2031, a robot probe detects traces of biological activity on Enceladus, one of Saturn’s moons. This sensational discovery shows that there is indeed evidence of extraterrestrial life. Fifteen years later, a hurriedly built spacecraft sets out on the long journey to the ringed planet and its moon. Review: Reviewers on the down side of this novel said there was too much info-dumping or too much hard science. Well la-ti-da. Hard science fiction is what built the genre. Remember Ringworld? It is really a waste of time to consider reviews that lack an awareness of the principal aspects that founded their current interest. If it is not romance slathered scifi or concepts that verge on Fantasy without explanation, then millennial readers quickly lose interest. Yeah, thinking is just soooo hard. Even if hard Sci-fi is not your cuppa joe, there is some really good character development and world building to ease the headache in your brain. Most of the novel is viewed through the eyes of Martin. Martin is a bit socially inept and lacks a certain depth in the compassion department. He grows emotionally through the rigors of a long journey and that is a testament to the writer’s skill. I am really looking forward to the next installment if only to see what happens to Marchenko. You can read all of my reviews, HERE.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Grubb

    "Willinger uttered a raucous laugh." Three paragraphs later... "He uttered the same raucous laugh, and Martin winced internally." I winced too. DNF. Interesting premise, but not very engaging. None of the characters felt like they exerted any influence over the narrative and the writing style felt unnatural and clinical. Edit: About half of the Goodreads review here are in German. Is this a translation maybe? Doesn't make me want to give this a higher rating, but it could explain some of my misgiving "Willinger uttered a raucous laugh." Three paragraphs later... "He uttered the same raucous laugh, and Martin winced internally." I winced too. DNF. Interesting premise, but not very engaging. None of the characters felt like they exerted any influence over the narrative and the writing style felt unnatural and clinical. Edit: About half of the Goodreads review here are in German. Is this a translation maybe? Doesn't make me want to give this a higher rating, but it could explain some of my misgivings.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bookworm

    4 stars for the hardcore sci fi aspect and impressive research that went into this story. 2 stars for the writing and plot development. A little too long in words and short in depth for my liking but perhaps sci fi enthusiasts might get more from it. Thank you to publisher and Netgalley for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jon Norimann

    The Enceladus Mission is a solid work of Hard Science Fiction about a human mission in the near future to go see whats below the thick ice on Saturn's moon Enceladus. The science is realistic enough, the story goes along at a nice pace from a to b and is rounded off fairly well for book one of a series. The length is about right at 7-8 hours of reading. I will be reading book 2 in the series. Although Morris could work some more on his characters it has become a good work of hard SF, well worth a The Enceladus Mission is a solid work of Hard Science Fiction about a human mission in the near future to go see whats below the thick ice on Saturn's moon Enceladus. The science is realistic enough, the story goes along at a nice pace from a to b and is rounded off fairly well for book one of a series. The length is about right at 7-8 hours of reading. I will be reading book 2 in the series. Although Morris could work some more on his characters it has become a good work of hard SF, well worth a read for anyone liking that genre.

  6. 4 out of 5

    John R. Goyer

    I wasn't sure if the somewhat poor writing was part of the buildup to the story or not - about a quarter of the way into the book, I was still waiting for something unusual and interesting to happen - and I think it started to, but by this point the writing style killed me... From what I can see, this is just another mildly interesting and not necessarily original story that's been stretched out to several books in the theory that more is better - it isn't.

  7. 4 out of 5

    I. B.

    The Enceladus Mission is a high stress science fiction novel that works perfectly for people who are die hard fans of space & space exploration. The story started off a little bit rocky, and a giant cluster frick of information dumping happens within the first quarter of the book that I found my eyes skimming over the paragraphs. But once you get over the original introductions and Martin finally secured his spot on the ISLE, the story picks itself up very nicely. Although there were still momen The Enceladus Mission is a high stress science fiction novel that works perfectly for people who are die hard fans of space & space exploration. The story started off a little bit rocky, and a giant cluster frick of information dumping happens within the first quarter of the book that I found my eyes skimming over the paragraphs. But once you get over the original introductions and Martin finally secured his spot on the ISLE, the story picks itself up very nicely. Although there were still moments of info dumping throughout the novel, and sometimes the descriptions for what was happening were very confusing to my no-knowledge-about-how-space-exploration-works self, I was still able to follow the plot line nicely. The characters also started a little bit rough for me, as I could never keep track of who was who, and I felt like all the faces were blending together. But as I continued to read, especially near the second half of the book, I started to become very fond of the characters, especially Francesca. Another thing that troubled me about this book is that I want to know more about the alien species on Enceladus. I know, I know, it’s all part of the ~mystery~ and I should probably just read the second book for my answers, but the novel was building up for the moment they came in contact with life, and I wish those scenes had been a little bit more epic. All in all, the author did not go into this blindly. I can tell hours of research was poured into this story. The characters were fantastic, and the plot line was intriguing, although the pacing could use some work. ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley

  8. 4 out of 5

    Alex Ganon

    What to say about Brandon Q. Morris's science fiction story, The Enceladus Mission? Alright, let’s see. When I say this is a science fiction story, I by no means am saying this is in the sci-fi category. This is in the SCIENCE fiction category. I never put too much thought into this but there is a difference. The Enceladus Mission is a reality based fiction story about a crew of realistic characters taking a road trip to Saturn’s little frozen moon...sorry “satellite.” This story, written by a guy w What to say about Brandon Q. Morris's science fiction story, The Enceladus Mission? Alright, let’s see. When I say this is a science fiction story, I by no means am saying this is in the sci-fi category. This is in the SCIENCE fiction category. I never put too much thought into this but there is a difference. The Enceladus Mission is a reality based fiction story about a crew of realistic characters taking a road trip to Saturn’s little frozen moon...sorry “satellite.” This story, written by a guy who knows his stuff (Brandon) is then proofed and edited by engineers and doctors. Me, being none of these things find myself reading along as if I am holding a historical biography of events. Basically, I may as well be thinking, “oh, okay that’s how we made it to one of Saturn’s moons.” The premise is, us humans sent a probe out to Enceladus and found a few clues that could possibly point to the existence of life there in one form or another. As humans do, we make a big scene, push some propaganda, and begin a worldwide fundraising campaign to start the process of sending some men and women to go in person and confirm or not, whether we are alone...or not. Seemingly, in the near future, Kickstarter no longer exists so countries got to pay up. The more you give, the better chance that one of your astronauts will get the honour of going. Martin, the main protagonist, is not an astronaut. Unfortunately for him though, while troubleshooting computer programming glitches during some equipment testing he puts a spotlight on himself. This leads to his superiors at the space agency volun-telling him that he will be replacing a crew member who was injured during training. There's something familiar with the way Brandon tells this part of the story. We see Martin in his element, troubleshooting and engineering his way through the problem. Cocky in a respectful way, mindful of his emotions with the stress of others' lives depending on him. As I enjoy the pages, I realize I’m starting to see a resemblance to the first few stories of Asimov's I, Robot and I’ll admit I get excited about what's coming. I shouldn’t have. As stated above this is a scientific fiction, and Asimov had always swayed to Sci. No matter! Martin is scared poopless for the first half of the story. I always fall for these characters, not because I relate...no definitely not that. It’s not until his mission is on the way that we see him take shape as an essential member of the crew. The crew of 6. The commander Amy, ship doctor Marchenko, biologist Jiaying, pilot Francesca, and engineers Hayato and Martin. Three Male and three female. Works out well for ship morale later. I’m sincerely curious if this would be standard procedure on a two year trip, or if it’s just something the author did on his own. Now, any other author that threw six characters in a metal tube for a year or two would probably make this crucible the main antagonistic force. There would be all the basic cliché cabin fever symptoms nagging us all the way to Saturn. Not this author. Faulty equipment and the vacuum of space is all we will contend with. I’m not saying I missed it personally, but I will say 9 out of 10 people I give this book to will use it as a sleep aid. (Though, I will admit that may also be the case because 9 out of 10 people I call friends are action mongers.) There was one slight bump in drama however, when commander Amy tells the crew that she is pregnant thanks to Hayato. Great job. Very professional. I wonder at this point if this will turn into some type of Lost in Space series but Amy does not end up naming the child Will. As events unfold, Martin watches from the sidelines; he is our accidental hero. The best kind in my opinion. All the action comes in the form of problem-solving and engineering on the fly, which adds to the realism. Whenever I start to question this realism, Brandon throws some math at me. Dumb me responds with "yup this seems right…science..." If you think you are comfortable orbiting a plot where nothing fantastic will occur—at least not until the end—then this may be a title for you. If you like the idea (as I definitely do) of going through a realistic yet impossible story of travelling to another world then download this one. I relish reading characters who use their wits to save the day because as I’m living vicariously through them, at that moment, I too am a genius. If you don’t gravitate to a story where it’s just one equipment failure getting fixed after an other, you may want to skip. I warn you there is an abundance of telling and not tons of feeling, if your expecting a beautiful description of the endless oppressive presence of the void for example you will not find it here. It may be reasonable to just over shoot this books mass. Now is there life out there? Could you imagine if you went through a whole bloody novel where every obstacle is a busted doohickey or doodad (over and over) and when the crew finally gets there they find nothing?! Well, If that were the case, I would lie my way through this whole thing with the intent to make sure as many people read this book as possible so that I would not be alone in such a cruel joke. Have a nice day! 5 out of 10 stars (Hey! I actually can use stars for this one. That’s kind of nice.)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Daryl Graves

    The story begins with a planned mission to one of Saturn's moon's, Enceladus. This is 15 years after a robot probe finds traces of biological activity, proving there's is indeed extraterrestrial life on Enceladus. The first opportunity we get to meet our main protagonist, Martin, is during a practice mission using the new valkyrie machine, built specifically for this mission. Martin works for NASA and is comfortable with his desk job and not at all envious of those who will be going into space o The story begins with a planned mission to one of Saturn's moon's, Enceladus. This is 15 years after a robot probe finds traces of biological activity, proving there's is indeed extraterrestrial life on Enceladus. The first opportunity we get to meet our main protagonist, Martin, is during a practice mission using the new valkyrie machine, built specifically for this mission. Martin works for NASA and is comfortable with his desk job and not at all envious of those who will be going into space on the Enceladus Mission. Well, fate comes into play and one of the pilots of the machine, Valkyrie, gets injured, leaving only one person who knows the systems and the machines inside out, Martin Neumaier. Martin is taken down to Texas to complete a fast track training program to get him ready for the mission to Enceladus. Here he endures gruelling training that most astronauts complete over years. Before he knows it, Martin is buckling up and ready to take off. Deep down, Martin knows this could be a suicide mission. I have massive respect for Brandon Q. Morris and his knowledge when it comes to technology and science. Early on you can see that the author has done a ton of research in preparation for this book. Although I enjoyed reading about all the future technology, I did have an issue with the amount of information dumping. The first half of the book (and this is a mountain of a book) is just information, most of the time repeating itself. For me, this slowed the story down. I found that as soon as the story got really good, the author tended to go off on another 5/6 chapters of nothing but information which becomes a bit frustrating. The actual story itself is good. Really good in fact. The characters were all interesting people with completely different backgrounds, ranging from a tough Italian pilot to a funny Russian doctor. My favourite character was definitely marchenko, hes funny but also quite strict, I found myself having a huge amount of respect for him. He also reminded me of my favourite school teacher. Now, theres a plot twist in this book that I can only describe as being marmite. You're either going to love it and think it's brilliant or you're going to hate it. For me it was a bit random and kind of threw me off. The reason I've given this book 3 stars is because although it was frustrating at times, I did enjoy the last 20% of the book, specifically the last part of the mission. Although this wasn't my cup of tea, I can see it being a hit with those who love hard science fiction with solid facts and a ton of information added to the story. I would like to thank Brandon Q. Morris, Hard-ST.com and Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa

    Hmm...2.5 stars. I liked the plot mostly...but there were issues. I'll probably read the next one to give this series a chance. My issues: -didn't feel like a complete story -most of the time if something went as planned, it was just glossed over. So if the writer went into detail, you knew something was going to go wrong. -a ton of time was spent on the protagonist at the beginning but you didn't learn much about him from it and the other characters weren't in that part. -wasn't a fan of the interje Hmm...2.5 stars. I liked the plot mostly...but there were issues. I'll probably read the next one to give this series a chance. My issues: -didn't feel like a complete story -most of the time if something went as planned, it was just glossed over. So if the writer went into detail, you knew something was going to go wrong. -a ton of time was spent on the protagonist at the beginning but you didn't learn much about him from it and the other characters weren't in that part. -wasn't a fan of the interjection of the protagonist's thoughts throughout. I'd prefer either a first person or 3rd omnipotent. -the prose could use some work. I get that the protagonist's thoughts are kind of off because he's on the spectrum but so was the rest of the book. Maybe this is a translation? Because it felt like one.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ron Clayton

    Great hard sci fi and an incredible vision of what could be. A probe discovers definitive evidence of life on Enceladus, the moon of Saturn with water oceans under kilometers of ice. A human mission is planned quickly, even though, with the technology of 2046, such a mission is considered highly likely to fail.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    To those who aren't aware...the author is German and since no translator is listed, I assume that the author translated his own novels into English. I think the translation accounts for the somewhat stilted language. It's technically correct, but not written as a native English speaker would write it. It's not horrendous, but it is noticable. The author is also a professor of physics in addition to being a space specialist which explains why the book becomes a little more technical in places. I t To those who aren't aware...the author is German and since no translator is listed, I assume that the author translated his own novels into English. I think the translation accounts for the somewhat stilted language. It's technically correct, but not written as a native English speaker would write it. It's not horrendous, but it is noticable. The author is also a professor of physics in addition to being a space specialist which explains why the book becomes a little more technical in places. I think it's also very cool that this bestselling author self-publishes his books. That's amazing! I enjoyed the book & would have given it 4 stars...up until page 322. That's when it got ridiculous. What they discover underneath the ice isn't sci fi. It's complete fantasy. I like fantasy novels. But I don't want fantasy in a hard sci fi book and certainly not when it's so improbable that it defies belief. So I stopped reading and did not finish. However, I will try other books of his as I enjoyed his Mars Nation book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ed

    The Enceladus Mission begins with a robot probe finding evidence of single celled organisms on Enceladus. A mission is then created to explore Enceladus and it's ocean, under the ice. The story covers the design of the mission, problems beforehand, the mission itself, as well as the protagonists's obvious personal problems. Although it seemed slow in places, I really enjoyed the science fiction based on current science. It also shows the people on the mission as people, including an unplanned ad The Enceladus Mission begins with a robot probe finding evidence of single celled organisms on Enceladus. A mission is then created to explore Enceladus and it's ocean, under the ice. The story covers the design of the mission, problems beforehand, the mission itself, as well as the protagonists's obvious personal problems. Although it seemed slow in places, I really enjoyed the science fiction based on current science. It also shows the people on the mission as people, including an unplanned addition. I liked the undersea exploration and the results. Overall, a good read! I look forward to more in this series. Thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for the advance copy in exchange for honest review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Great hard science fiction! Really compelling story based in real science. It’s crazy to think that this is all possible. Can’t wait to read more from this author.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tami

    Couldn't hold my interest, so I stopped early on.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

    Bland, not well visualized I dropped the book at 53%. I never thought I'd say this but there was too much science. The first 30 to 35% of the book involved engineering descriptions, materials science, orbital mechanics and little else. The characters and dialogue really aren't. They seldom speak and only the musings of the MC, give any insight into the rest of the cast. The mission and its supposed urgency is contrived. The characters all expect the crew to die and that includes the crew. No one Bland, not well visualized I dropped the book at 53%. I never thought I'd say this but there was too much science. The first 30 to 35% of the book involved engineering descriptions, materials science, orbital mechanics and little else. The characters and dialogue really aren't. They seldom speak and only the musings of the MC, give any insight into the rest of the cast. The mission and its supposed urgency is contrived. The characters all expect the crew to die and that includes the crew. No one believes the technology is sufficient to the task of delivering the study team to Saturn. No one is expecting the team to return. There is a reference to the first moon landing succeeding only because of luck. That was a ten year project created by a political timetable. This trip is launched with untested ship and equipment design in less than two years. The background is too skimpy to disguise the pointlessness of rushing the trip. The creation of both new power plants and exploration machines is conducted while the mission itself is being designed. The ship design and creation is not explained. Who built it and where was not answered. It simply appears in orbit. Before the manned ship is sent, an unmanned supply ship is launched but it isn't mentioned by the characters until About page 200 or so. The point of launching an unmanned ship is never made and the possibility of it failing is not even discussed. This is the supply source without which the crew of the manned ship will not be able to return to Earth. With that background the story consists of two parts. There are the hundreds of paragraphs dedicated to describing the engineering requirements, materials and power requirements, aspects of the ship's design, the suits the crew uses to minimize the damage from weightlessness on their health and every nook and cranny of their not too big spaceship. If that's the case, why not include actual specs, including length, width and height. The actual dimensions of the internal spaces would make it easier to understand the crew environment. The MC provides the POV which would be fine but all he does is brood and demonstrate a limited awareness of the people around him. There are scenes where the systems programmer demonstrates savant like maths skill and the engineering behind his spacecraft. He has no background in either. His detachment is so great that he observes his fellow crew but doesn't understand their very ordinary behaviors. About a third of the way through the story, a female astronaut announces that she is pregnant. The crew then voted whether she should terminate the pregnancy or further strain their limited life support resources. The biggest issue for the crew seems to be the lack of baby diapers. There is even a baby shower of sorts. The MC spends days wrapping his head around the discovery that the mother and her boyfriend having been having sex for months in their shared cabin. The MC is either intellectually or emotionally impaired but it's not clear which. The rest of the story is a stream of equipment failures, faulty mission planning, emergencies that anyone might have foreseen and so on. That the writer expects that a consortium would spend 80 billion dollars on such an ill conceived project is very optimistic but I don't see it. As a feasibility study of a multi-year intrasystem journey, it is a failure. He needed to include real financial, technical and political constraints. These would be spelled out as part of his argument, whether for or against it. The crew would only exist to demonstrate the ability to provide life support and other necessities in any ship design. Adding unplanned pregnancies is just immature writing and explains the lack of character development. He would have done better to do one or the other. Write a well researched feasibility study of the limits of near future launches to other planets or write a novel about the crew who is tasked with the trip and the process by which the crew and it's ship come into being. He has done neither. It wasn't so much hard science fiction as hard to read thin science in search of a fictional framework.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Michael Pompey

    I loved the premise of this book. However I had to force myself to finish it. The first half was sopping with too much exposition. Far too much telling vs showing. I almost quit this book twice. Characters felt very one dimensional with little connection to them personally. Felt like a novice author's first book. I hope the series gets better. I will definitely take a break before starting the second in the series. I hope the author's story telling talent gets better.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sofia Khan

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I could only make myself suffer though one-third of this book before I quit an threw it on the ground (something I have never done before to a book). The characters are really flat in this book. I couldn't even imagine faces or bodies for them because there was no character development that would give my mind an idea of how to shape them. For instance, the only thing I know about one of the two pilots of the spaceship is that Martin (the main character) is nervous around her because she is pretty I could only make myself suffer though one-third of this book before I quit an threw it on the ground (something I have never done before to a book). The characters are really flat in this book. I couldn't even imagine faces or bodies for them because there was no character development that would give my mind an idea of how to shape them. For instance, the only thing I know about one of the two pilots of the spaceship is that Martin (the main character) is nervous around her because she is pretty. That's it. No descriptions about what she looks like, why he thinks she's pretty, is she intelligent, is she strong, or fast, or has interests in anything? Nope! No characteristics. Oh, and the only thing we know that Martin actually likes is programming and code. There are so many passages where Martin has a hard-on for programmers, constantly thinking things like "I really must congratulate these programmers for doing such a thorough job." But, the thing that really did it in for me was the really really slow descriptions. For heavens sake, the author spent SEVERAL pages describing the walk from Martin's chambers to the chambers of one of his crew members. I just couldn't stand the extremely wordy snails pace.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sean Rassleagh

    This book bills itself as hard science fiction and that is what you get. It tries to extrapolate known science rather than invent physics to suit the plot and that places constraints on the story. The author clearly knows his way round the space industry and has a grasp of astronomy that he manages to communicate well. He's less strong on the computing aspects and willing to go a bit wild with regard to biology. For my taste commercial product and company names from today's tech and space indust This book bills itself as hard science fiction and that is what you get. It tries to extrapolate known science rather than invent physics to suit the plot and that places constraints on the story. The author clearly knows his way round the space industry and has a grasp of astronomy that he manages to communicate well. He's less strong on the computing aspects and willing to go a bit wild with regard to biology. For my taste commercial product and company names from today's tech and space industry are used a bit too often for a novel set this far into the future. The thing which is unusual and disappointing about the book is the writing style. The book is not written carelessly: it has been carefully edited, everything is grammatically correct and there are no spelling errors. But the writing is weirdly unemotional, the dialogue is wooden with no contractions, the vocabulary and sentence structure is unusually simple. At times I wondered if it had been translated. There is also an incredible level of introspection and distancing from others exhibited by the characters. They can be near death or having sex and it is all totally cold and unemotional, like Mr Spock on Valium. I actually thought there was going to be a plot twist and the main character would turn out to be a robot or be diagnosed with a psychological disorder. Plot wise there is a well thought out 'there and back again' story including regular peril for the characters and some interesting twists but the lack of pacing in the writing and continuous emotional distancing mean the book doesn't really work as a thriller. The real main characters of this book are Saturn, Enceladus and the spaceship and if you focus on them and take the story as a way of learning interesting things about our solar system and space travel it works well. I enjoyed reading it and went on to get the next book in the series straight away.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jim Doyle

    Big ideas: simple explanations This book is a perfect accompaniment to a couple of days lying on a lounger in the heat on hollidy. I enjoyed its no nonsense approach to space travel and it's effects on those doing the traveling. I enjoyed the way the author took some complex ideas, maths, geometry, geology etc. and explained them in a simple matter of fact way in a tense, exciting story. The book took me back to what excited me in my teens when I first started reading science fiction: spaceships, Big ideas: simple explanations This book is a perfect accompaniment to a couple of days lying on a lounger in the heat on hollidy. I enjoyed its no nonsense approach to space travel and it's effects on those doing the traveling. I enjoyed the way the author took some complex ideas, maths, geometry, geology etc. and explained them in a simple matter of fact way in a tense, exciting story. The book took me back to what excited me in my teens when I first started reading science fiction: spaceships, spacewalks; the vastness of the universe; encountering the unknown; in short the excitement and optimism of the space age driven by the Apollo adventure and the deployment of the ISS. I recommend this book to all teens with an optimistic outlook and awe of the universe. Fortunately we have also progressed from bug eyed aliens with big ray guns and metallic, squeaky voices, and Morris's space reflects this with enormous entities exhibiting appropriate gravitas and understanding. If book has a flaw it is that complicated issues and serious difficulties are overcome far too easily, by the smart alec hero individual and not the massive cooperative effort space travel has proved to be. The enormous difficulties and lengthy time periods involved are glanced over and resolved in the overnight sleep of the travellers or the space between the end of one chapter and the beginning of the next. However, not to end on a negative, I enjoyed this tale and on more than one occasion found myself excitedly turning the pages quickly to find out how a difficulty would be resolved.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    This is the best science fiction book I have read in a long time. It is well-researched and realised. Morris puts a great deal of care and attention into the details of the preparation, the journey through space and the mission once we get to our destination. The result is a book that is the hardest of hard SF. Here we are told the plausible story of the first manned mission to Saturn's icy moon of Enceladus. We known there is an ocean below the surface of the ice and we also know there is the in This is the best science fiction book I have read in a long time. It is well-researched and realised. Morris puts a great deal of care and attention into the details of the preparation, the journey through space and the mission once we get to our destination. The result is a book that is the hardest of hard SF. Here we are told the plausible story of the first manned mission to Saturn's icy moon of Enceladus. We known there is an ocean below the surface of the ice and we also know there is the interesting possibility of life. Markers for life have been found but to get the conclusive evidence that we all want to see, a manned expedition is mounted. Morris makes clear that spaceflight in his near-future is far from routine. There are risks, especially on a flight out as far as Saturn. The voyage is anything but plain sailing. Morris presents these risks in the narrative of his story in a manner I find plausible. All too often we see arguing and infighting to unrealistically introduce conflict rather than the various parties coming together to overcome problems. The story becomes far more speculative once we get under the ice of Enceladus but that is to be expected. Morris has certainly left the story open for further develoment. It is a sign of a good book when I, as the reader, am left wanting more. I am looking forward to taking a trip to Io in the next book in the sequence. As an added bonus, there is a section at the end of the book detailing our current knowledge of Enceladus.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nakita Allen

    Wow what an adventur!!! I was really impressed with what this book had to offer me, and shocked with how it continually kept me guessing :D. To be honest I have not read a space book in a vet long time. So I didn't know what was in store for me when I decided to give this one a try. Loved it!! All though this is a review so I guess I should tell you my exact thoughts. As I said before this book kept me guessing tell the very end hand had me hooked from the very begging. There were a few health c Wow what an adventur!!! I was really impressed with what this book had to offer me, and shocked with how it continually kept me guessing :D. To be honest I have not read a space book in a vet long time. So I didn't know what was in store for me when I decided to give this one a try. Loved it!! All though this is a review so I guess I should tell you my exact thoughts. As I said before this book kept me guessing tell the very end hand had me hooked from the very begging. There were a few health critasisms I have for it though. Like at the beginning it seemed to go from one section of story telling to the next to soon. In fact I found my self getting confused as to what was really going on lol. Soon after though I got right back into the story and mad spence of it! So it definitely wasn't a bad thing. When they were traveling to the moon it got a bit boring but then the whole baby thing came into play and things definitely got more interesting!! Kinda wish the book would have been more detailed into how a birth in space worked but what can you do lol :P also I thought the ending was a bit rushed but that's ok it left me wanting way way more!!! Over all loved the book like I said it always kept me on my toes. Right when. Thought things couldn't get more interesting it always did. And I am for sure going to purchase this book for my self and put it on my shelf !! I can see my self reading this over and over again!!

  23. 4 out of 5

    emily star ✨

    “The Enceladus Mission” by Brandon Q. Morris is the very readable beginning of the “Ice Moon” book series. The author writes Hard Science Fiction, claiming to only work with elements which are based on real, already existing, technology and latest scientific findings. This makes his works worth reading and very fascinating. “The Enceladus Mission” therefore unfolds its magic to all readers, not only to science fiction fans. The “Ice Moon” series already consists of five novels. All books are read “The Enceladus Mission” by Brandon Q. Morris is the very readable beginning of the “Ice Moon” book series. The author writes Hard Science Fiction, claiming to only work with elements which are based on real, already existing, technology and latest scientific findings. This makes his works worth reading and very fascinating. “The Enceladus Mission” therefore unfolds its magic to all readers, not only to science fiction fans. The “Ice Moon” series already consists of five novels. All books are readable without any knowledge about the other episodes but reading them is definitely more fun in the correct order. The author also wrote several other science fiction novels which are loosely connected to each other but placed in a different time. Hopefully, these novels will be published in English as well. At the moment, “The Enceladus Mission” is the first book translated from German. “The Enceladus Mission” is highly recommendable and should be read by all readers interested in space and space technology, distant planets and moons and contemporary science fiction writing inspired by newest scientific findings and developments.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Katrin

    I can't believe this book has such low ratings and so much complaining in the reviews. Besides the obvious great space adventure and the near future setting plausibility, my main appreciation was actually of the subtle musings on empathy and consciousness of various begins, the relationships and the little things. --- (view spoiler)[I have hoped that that this might turn out like Solaris in some parts and I wasn't disappointed! (I am actually excited to re-read it just to compare the feelings) A I can't believe this book has such low ratings and so much complaining in the reviews. Besides the obvious great space adventure and the near future setting plausibility, my main appreciation was actually of the subtle musings on empathy and consciousness of various begins, the relationships and the little things. --- (view spoiler)[I have hoped that that this might turn out like Solaris in some parts and I wasn't disappointed! (I am actually excited to re-read it just to compare the feelings) And can we just appreciate the part about the discovery of poetry and words and concepts? The curiosity, the longing, the solitude? Even though it was the smallest part of the book, I feel like it gave me the most to think over. (hide spoiler)]

  25. 5 out of 5

    Theresa

    The Enceladus Mission by Brandon Q. Morris Just the book for the times, with First Man in the theaters a realistic fiction story about space exploration is the key. The problems and frustrations in developing new technology and machinery that will allow us to explore other world is not simple. This book shows the personal struggles, and risks that explorers have face in every new endeavor. The personal story is enthralling, the dynamic scope and picture is astounding, what they find on Enceladus The Enceladus Mission by Brandon Q. Morris Just the book for the times, with First Man in the theaters a realistic fiction story about space exploration is the key. The problems and frustrations in developing new technology and machinery that will allow us to explore other world is not simple. This book shows the personal struggles, and risks that explorers have face in every new endeavor. The personal story is enthralling, the dynamic scope and picture is astounding, what they find on Enceladus is a Science Fiction daydream. I recommend this book to all explorers, adventurers and just science fiction readers.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Robert J. Hinz

    Wooden characters I wanted to like this book, but it was so hard to care about any of the characters, they’re we’re all so flat. The science fiction part was unremarkable. It wasn’t bad for the 2.99 I spent, but I won’t be reading any of the follow on books

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nikolay Krylovskiy

    A Wonderful Combination of Andy Weir’s “Martian” Meets “The Expanse” The hard sci genre isn’t for everyone but can be very engaging and satisfying, especially when reading very near future sci fi. The book is highly plausible and well thought out, which is the calling care of excellent sci fi. It takes hard work to do this, and this book doesn’t disappoint. Without going into spoilers, the “far out” parts of the book are also plausible and don’t feel cheesy in slightest, a great space opera!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Thomas James

    Did this really happen? Really? Probably not. Probably. It seemed realistic enough that astronauts could have discovered life on another planet. Not exactly what anyone expected, however. It is good to remain flexible with science fiction and the science was almost magical. But it was a fun story and certainly different from the majority of sci-fi thrillers where they fight yet another space battle. This was good I recommend it.

  29. 4 out of 5

    KHB

    I really enjoyed this book. If your preferred genre is near future,hard science, then you'll like this book. If you're a space opera, military space invasion lover, then it probably isn't for you. Real science explained well, along with some unique future possibilities. Definitely look forward to reading book 2 in the series.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rick Rider

    This is a good series. Seems well based in real science (but, I'm no scientist. Still, seems unlike overly creative science, and it is believable.) With a well thought out development of characters and plot line.

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