The Explorer

The Explorer

2.8 6
by James Smythe
     
 

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When journalist Cormac Easton is selected to document the first mannedmission into deep space, he dreams of securing his place in history asone of humanity's great explorers.

But in space, nothing goes according to plan.

The crew wake from hypersleep to discover their captain dead in his allegedlyfail-proof safety pod. They mourn, and Cormac sends a beautifully

Overview

When journalist Cormac Easton is selected to document the first mannedmission into deep space, he dreams of securing his place in history asone of humanity's great explorers.

But in space, nothing goes according to plan.

The crew wake from hypersleep to discover their captain dead in his allegedlyfail-proof safety pod. They mourn, and Cormac sends a beautifully written eulogyback to Earth. The word from ground control is unequivocal: no matter whathappens, the mission must continue.

But as the body count begins to rise, Cormac finds himself alone and spiralingtoward his own inevitable death . . . unless he can do something to stop it.

Editorial Reviews

Lauren Beukes
“Beautifully written, creepy as hell. The Explorer is as clever in its unravelling as it is breathlessly claustrophobic.”
Charles Yu
“This is a remarkable book: a state-of-the-art spacecraft constructed from ideas, and propelled by a powerful story. Gripping, terrifying and audacious—an exploration in every sense of the word.”
Romantic Times BOOKclub (Top Pick!)
“Science fiction is best when it does what we least expect, when it transforms narrative into something you don’t see coming….It’s a trick not every writer can master, but Smythe makes a marvel of this world, and these characters, and makes this reader want the sequel now.”
Lloyd Shepherd
“The Explorer is smart, scary and seductive. Like its protagonist, it explores the queasy strangeness of space-time, and puts the reader at the heart of a tale of watching and fearing that comes off like a collaboration between Hitchcock and Heinlein. Excellent stuff.”
Adam Christopher
“Dark, cold, claustrophobic, and oh so very scary. THE EXPLORER is literary science fiction at its blackest best.”
Chuck Wendig
“A brilliant book — funny, desperate, desolate, sad, all in equal measure.”
Daily Telegraph (London)
“Unsettling.”
Financial Times
“The Explorer has the dreamlike detachment of an Ishiguro novel…. reminiscent of a 1970s space movie, where the darkness of the void mirrors the darkness of the human soul.”
SFX
“A wonderful examination of coping with loss, time and death.”
FHM
“As if Philip K Dick and David Mitchell collaborated on an episode of The West Wing. Unsettling, gripping and hugely thought-provoking.”
Romantic TimesBOOKclub
"Science fiction is best when it does what we least expect, when it transforms narrative into something you don’t see coming….It’s a trick not every writer can master, but Smythe makes a marvel of this world, and these characters, and makes this reader want the sequel now."
SF Signal
“A] mind-bending, heart-wrenching, avalanche of a reading experience… an oasis for readers thirsty to find an engaging book… books like this are the kind that create fans, and I’m proud to be one.”
SFX (UK)
“The first person perspective and unpretentious prose style are enhanced by accomplished pacing.”
io9.com
“The Explorer by James Smythe is quiet, dark book which focuses on the dark and quiet of space….It may not be a flashy…but it is a fascinating character study that could only exist in a science-fictional world.”
Romantic Times BOOKclub
“Science fiction is best when it does what we least expect, when it transforms narrative into something you don’t see coming….It’s a trick not every writer can master, but Smythe makes a marvel of this world, and these characters, and makes this reader want the sequel now.”
Tor.com
“The Explorer is essentially exemplary: a short, sharp shock of a story from an author who deserves to do as well for himself as he does by us. It’s perfectly plotted, smartly characterised and rife with insight and excitement.”
New York Post
“There have been teachers in space, senators, and the wealthy who buy tickets. But never has a journalist been launched over the atmosphere. Until Smythe’s gripping novel.”
Booklist
“A challenging and stimulating read.”
Kirkus Reviews
Space disaster yarn that bears only a nominal resemblance to science fiction, from the author of The Testimony (2012). A group of highly trained astronauts journey into the farthest reaches of our--or possibly another, it isn't clear which--solar system. Among them is ambitious journalist and first-person narrator Cormac Easton, selected to document the trip. When they emerge from hypersleep, they discover the captain dead, the apparent cause a malfunction in his supposedly fail-safe sleep pod. The mission must continue, but one by one, each of the astronauts perishes in a series of bizarre incidents until Cormac is alone, with no means to turn the vessel around, a rapidly dwindling fuel supply and only a single enigmatic error message for company. So much for part one. The rest resembles a sort of highly embellished instant replay with flashbacks, bringing the characters to life and filling in the details via an imaginative literary (but not science fictional) device. Unfortunately, the devil's in the details. It's a voyage to nowhere, with no defined goals, for which the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has stumped up a bunch of money without expecting any return on its investment. Smythe's concept of space travel seems to be something like a giant locomotive sliding through space on invisible rails, so that if you turn the engines off and gently apply the brakes, the ship will coast to a stop. If you step outside while the ship's in motion, you'll be torn off and flung away into space. While the engines are on, there's no gravity; turn them off, and gravity reappears with a bang. A couple of references to "warp" merely compound the confusion. Readers looking for character-driven fiction and prepared to forgive the ridiculous setting will be gratified; science fiction fans will not.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062229410
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
01/02/2013
Pages:
266
Sales rank:
1,240,167
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.66(d)

What People are saying about this

Lloyd Shepherd

“The Explorer is smart, scary and seductive. Like its protagonist, it explores the queasy strangeness of space-time, and puts the reader at the heart of a tale of watching and fearing that comes off like a collaboration between Hitchcock and Heinlein. Excellent stuff.”

Lauren Beukes

“Beautifully written, creepy as hell. The Explorer is as clever in its unravelling as it is breathlessly claustrophobic.”

Chuck Wendig

“A brilliant book — funny, desperate, desolate, sad, all in equal measure.”

Adam Christopher

“Dark, cold, claustrophobic, and oh so very scary. THE EXPLORER is literary science fiction at its blackest best.”

Charles Yu

“This is a remarkable book: a state-of-the-art spacecraft constructed from ideas, and propelled by a powerful story. Gripping, terrifying and audacious—an exploration in every sense of the word.”

Meet the Author

James Smythe has written scripts for a number of video games, and teaches creative writing in London. His previous novel was The Explorer.

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The Explorer 2.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
teloiv More than 1 year ago
Stuck in a time loop with no way out of it and everyone else dead. The idea was good and without trying to give too much of the story away, you find yourself reading about flashbacks the main character keeps having. There is enough of a story line to keep it moving but when a flashback does come up it at times drags the story down to a stop. The ending however does keep you guess as to what happens, does the main character get out of the loop he is stuck in or was it the same thing he was doing every other time before.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good premise at the start but fails to keep interest. Slows down to a crawl and becomes overly repetitive. Nice try, but a fail.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I forced myself to finish this book. What a waste of my time,stupid ending which really did,nt end, nor explain anything,
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