One Way

One Way

by S. J. Morden


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316522182
Publisher: Orbit
Publication date: 04/10/2018
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 554,477
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Dr. S. J. Morden has won the Philip K. Dick Award and been a judge on the Arthur C. Clarke Award. He is trained as a rocket scientist with degrees in Geology and Planetary Geophysics. ONE WAY is the perfect fusion of his incredible breadth of knowledge and ability to write award-winning, razor-sharp science fiction.

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One Way 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous 15 days ago
Anonymous 24 days ago
An essence of a compelling story undermined to some degree by a limited characterization of almost every character other than the lead, a very slow development of the story, and a slightly underwhelming conclusion telegraphed many tens of pages ahead of the characters realizations. This is an immersive take on the environment of Mars, with considerable thought on the functioning of the base, and believable problems. The italicized memos from Earth at the start of many chapters don't really go anywhere, and add little background.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Enjoyed it.
CaptainsQuarters 7 months ago
Ahoy there me mateys! I received this sci-fi eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. So here be me honest musings . . . This book was a fun and entertaining read. To save money, a corporation decides to train convicts to be the first exploratory crew on Mars. It is a one way trip. Their purpose is to build and set-up the living quarters for the NASA scientists that follow and then be the maintenance crew for the station. Except that once they get to Mars, they start to die one by one and it doesn't seem to be an accident. The good: - Frank - I very much enjoyed Frank as the primary perspective. He does not always make the best decisions (i.e. why he went to jail) but he is intelligent and likeable. I was certainly rooting for him. - Concepts- I loved the idea that the subcontractors are trying to save money and use the convicts and other horrible ideas to stay under budget. - Characters - In general, I liked all the other convicts. They are not really fleshed out at all but I enjoyed all of them in various ways. - Mars - I liked the descriptions of the planet and the science of the set up of for the dwelling fabrications. It makes me realize, yet again, that I am not meant to ever be a space explorer. I will stick to the sea! - Build-Up - this is a slow build-up book with a lot of training and introduction. It takes a decent amount of time to even get to Mars. Now I love this kinda start but others may not. It was a fast read even with the slow build-up. - Writing Style - I enjoyed the author's writing and manner of speech. The not as good: - Mystery - The book claims to have one. It is no mystery. Even though I didn't know it was supposed to be a who-dun-it tale, the bad guy and the set-up were obvious from the start. - Bad-Guy - A boring cookie cutter two-dimensional figure. So very stereotypical. - Characters - I would have liked more insight into each of the characters rather than just seeing them as generic "types." But as they are only seen through Frank's eyes, it wasn't a major problem. - Mars - There is not much description of the planet itself or really what it feels like to live there. The danger of oxygen loss is the most prevalent danger. Besides murder of course! - Epistolary Prologues to the Chapters - These were short segments like transcripts, documents, etc. from the XO Corporation that were interspersed between chapters. I enjoyed some of them but they didn't appear to be in order and were such small snippets. Many were just confusing. I did want the information about why and how XO made its choices but don't know if it would have been better served in their own chapters or as an appendix or short story or something. - Ending - an abrupt set-up for the sequel. It annoyed me that it stopped there but I still want to know what happens next! This is a light thriller read with very little mystery but is fluffy good entertainment. A very quick, likeable read but nothing earth-shattering (Hardy har har!). I will likely pick up the sequel.
Just_Bob 11 months ago
_The Martian_ meets the hardboiled crime story. And it's a read, but it could be better. First, if this book was not read carefully by an American editor before being committed to print, then it has a number of Britishisms that will not ring true with an American audience. For instance, Yanks do not refer to your stuff as "kit." This reads like a British author trying to sound American, but missing a few. Second, it also desperately needs some maps and diagrams. To envision the movements of the characters around their base, and over the larger area, we need, at the least, an area map of where the ship and all the cylinders landed and the first trips to collect them; a diagram of a single "hab", including airlocks; and a diagram of the finished base. And we need more technical detail: things that would seem very complicated, just... get done. There even seems to be a technical howler or two: when Frank considers running low on water for the base that includes an extensive hydroponics facility, he reasons that it can be replenished by "a couple of shovelfuls" of the frozen Martian soil. Even if the soil were pure ice, that might amount to a couple of gallons at most. The idea of a realistic _The Martian_ tale, with an evil corporation and psycho killer thrown in is interesting, but it misses the "realistic" mark.
Yzabel More than 1 year ago
[NOTE: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley.] An enjoyable read—it has elements that reminded me of both “The Martian” (which I loved) and of investigation novels in general—, although I found myself able to predict the twists (the deal comes to mind, but it’s not the only one), so the mystery part wasn’t 100% a mystery for me. I enjoyed the preparation parts: how Frank gets “recruited”; his training; meeting the other convicts/astronauts (as well as the crushing realisation that he wasn’t going to be “a real astronaut”, just a prisoner sent to Mars and not necessarily considered as a human being). I tend to enjoy the hard science/technical details in such novels, so I was glad that some was included here, and that it made sense. Then there’s the Mars ordeal itself, of course, with this little group of ragtags and misfits having to face unexpected shortages and various problems before their base can even start being built. I expected a story where things go wrong, where the planet itself will kill you at the first opportunity, and I wasn’t disappointed in that regard. Also, the XO company had been cutting corners, and it shows; and it makes more sense, in a twisted way, the further you keep reading. The main character, Frank, was likeable enough. He’s a murdered, but he “only” killed once, to save his son, and his reasons were more born from despair than from any twisted desire to kill for the sake of killing. At times, I found him perhaps a little “passive”, in that I thought he’d get to wonder about the deaths of his fellow inmates sooner than he did; on the other hand, he’s an older man who’s spent several years in jail and learnt to keep out of trouble there, so it also made sense that he’d want to keep out of trouble on Mars, too, by putting on blindfolds and focusing on his building and maintenance jobs. I believe his lack of curiosity was more an instinct of self-preservation, an ingrained desire to keep his head low in order to survive, rather than get interested in things that could put him in danger much sooner. I was less satisfied by the rest of the cast, though, mostly because we don’t get to know them very well. They were defined more by what had sent them to jail (the cyber criminal, the ex-Neo Nazi, the doctor who euthanised her patients, etc.), than by what made them as human beings. As a result, I didn’t feel invested in them, and when they started dropping, I founder myself not really caring; they were plot devices, rather than characters. I don’t approve of padding a novel just to sell more paper, but in this case, I’d have gladly taken some 100 extra pages to get to know the whole crew better. Conclusion: 3/3.5 stars. Not a novel I loved, but I still enjoyed it, and would still recommend it to readers who don’t mind a bit of jargon, and are interested in the struggle on Mars as well as in the murder mystery aspect.
T_Knite More than 1 year ago
I went into this book thinking that it would be an atmospheric murder mystery set on Mars. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite live up to that expectation… Frank is a man who received a life sentence for killing his son’s drug dealer. In a stroke of “luck,” he receives an offer to be released from prison in exchange for taking on a dangerous mission to Mars to set up a long-term colony. While he’ll technically still be a prisoner, working and living on Mars is a better opportunity than spending the rest of his life in a jail cell. So he agrees. This setup, I thought, was pretty good, and as a result, the first portion of the book excited me immensely. Problem was, after this good opener, the story took a sharp turn toward slow and tedious pacing. Instead of immediately jumping to Mars, the book spends a great deal of time showing us Frank’s training regimen for his preparation to become an astronaut, introducing the side characters, and focusing on a character who’s clearly set up to be a main antagonist. When we finally get to Mars, a great deal of the book’s “run time” has already gone by, and the murders mentioned in the blurb haven’t even started yet. But they do start, at last. Now if only they were more interesting… One of my major problems is that all the characters besides Frank are woefully underdeveloped, and seem more like simple archetypes than fully fleshed-out people. This is problematic because it greatly diminishes the impact of the murders, which are the main plot twists throughout most of the book, and that lack of impact made it really hard for me to care, or feel any real sense of tension. The fact that I also guessed very early on what the “big twist” was going to be also brought down the overall impact of the plot, and by the time I reached the end, it was nothing more than a foregone conclusion. I wasn’t shocked. I wasn’t surprised. It was just all very bland to me. So, while I certainly appreciated the setting of the book, and the underlying ideas about a Mars colony, the obligatory evil corporation element, and even Frank as a character (sometimes), I have to admit I was left underwhelmed by this book. It just wasn’t exciting or unpredictable enough to make for a totally enjoyable SF murder mystery.