Been doing mostly posts with reviews/promotions lately, but I have to with friends so active in the field. Channel Zilch is reviewed below, spoiler free for you. If it sounds like your cup of tea, you can get it on amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1940581907?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwgoodco-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1940581907&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2
Channel Zilch by Doug Sharp is a book that defies expectations all the way. It’s published by a small publishing house making a big push out of Northern California, where I live, and with the product they keep producing, everyone should see to buying their books so they succeed! And start with this one! I’ll try to do the best I can to give you a feel of what you’re going to come across without spoiling.
I’m not sure what my expectations were coming in, hearing a book about a shuttle heist and a space launch that parlays into more of a sci-fi realm in its sequels. I think I expected it to be stuffy, filled with technical details, a hard type of work that doesn’t come across.
Instead, what I read was part John Clancy thriller, part Spider Robinson wordplay, part Robert Heinlein wonder, part homage to geek culture mixed together with clever originality. From even the way one of the characters communicates with others, to the footnotes provided, Mr. Sharp took a lot of gambles and pulled out all the stops to give us a thrilling ride (kinda like flying on a rocket, I’d imagine). On top of that, he gave us a cliffhanger ending to force us to beg for the next book!
The plot sounds really simple: a shuttle heist to launch a reality tv series in space. It ends up being anything but simple, as Mr. Sharp did so much research into this that the shuttle heist could have actually been possible. The details he provides are perfect, but never bogs the plot down. It should excite both hard sci-fi readers, thriller readers, and casual readers alike, which is a hard tight rope to walk, but Mr. Sharp does so with unparalleled expertise.
More impressive is his use of comedy. At points, a reader almost thinks it’s going to go over a comedic edge to end the seriousness to the story, but the balance again is perfection.
And that’s the best way I can describe the story: a perfect balance of seeming contradictions. It’s impossible to categorize this story because there are so many different elements that one would think would conflict, but they all end up working well and forming a synergy that proves this piece to be jaw-dropping literature. If you like the truly unique and well written, then you will love Channel Zilch.