Saturday, June 24, 2006

Book review: Gibraltar Sun by Michael McCollum

As a child the first set of books I read for fun were those in the Black Stallion series by Walter Farley. Next I worked through the Hardy Boys and Tom Swift books. The Tom Swift books transitioned me into Science Fiction, and for close to ten years almost all of the books I read for fun were Science Fiction.

Around the time I was twelve or thirteen I realized there was a treasure of science fiction books up in the attic. As a teenager and young man my father had collected science fiction books and magazines. He had boxes of books from the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. He also had a fairly complete collection of Astounding, which later become Analog. Often I would come home from school, go up into the attic, and read a book during the afternoon.

As an adult, later as a husband, and especially as a parent I've not been able to keep up that pace. I still greatly enjoy science fiction, but I tend to read one or two books a month.

Recently I read Gibraltar Sun by Michael McCollum. Gibraltar Sun is the second in a trilogy. Most stories have the hero struggling against overwhelming odds. Sometimes the hero is outnumbered two to one, or five to one, or greater. In the Gibraltar series humanity is outnumbered about a million to one. The Broa has conquered every alien race they meet. Earth has learned of the Broa and survives as an independent race only because the Broa don't yet know about Earth.

Gibraltar Earth (the first book) sets the stage as humans learn about the Broa. While out exploring another solar system a human space ship rescues the lone survivor of a space battle. Humanity finds out there is a huge civilization of a million solar systems, and this civilization is run by the Broa.

Gibraltar Sun is the story of how humanity decides to fight the Broa. The first half of the book is mostly focused on the various factions on Earth that are pushing for different responses. Some want to hide. Some want to fight. A few want to contact the Broa and surrender. Our heroes are not willing to be slaves, or hope to hide forever. They recognize they can't win in a straight head on war, so they decide to see if they can trigger rebellions and help the thousands of races who are slaves to the Broa break their chains.

The second half of the book is about our heroes sneaking back into Broa space to do some scouting. Before taking a step in their war on the Broa humans need to find out exactly where the Broa systems are located. There is great excitement as negotiate with a conquered race.

I enjoy Michael McCullum's world building. The two Gibraltar books paint an interesting universe. Michael does a good job of making the Broa universe seem real.

This is a fun book. I read it in one sitting. A lot happens, but there is so much more hinted at, that I wonder how Michael McCollum will be able to wrap up everything.

If you like classic space opera, then I think you'll enjoy Gibraltar Sun.

You buy Gibraltar Sun through Amazon. But I encourage you to order directly from Michael McCullum. Most authors go through a publishing company. The publishing company gives a fraction of the sales for a book to the author. Michael McCullum is self publishing. He has created Sci Fi - Arizona, Inc. His sales may be less, but he gets all the profit when he sells directly to the reader. You can order from here. Michael makes the book available in both eletronic form, and in hardcopy.

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Anonymous said...

I agree with your review of both Gibralter books. Enjoyed readin' your post.


Henry Cate said...

You might be interested in knowing that Michael McCollum has finished the conclusion.

I knew he had been working on it, and when I just checked now, I was pleased to learn it is available! I'll order it tomorrow.

r2lf.nga.s said...

Muy interesante, yo lo traduje al español GIBRALTAR EARTH, para quien lo desee descargar aqui, dejo mi aporte, ya que no lo encontre en español

Oja la sea de ayuda!!!