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Warp Speed-- Travis S. Taylor
-review by Nic Brown-

Someone once said that if you want to be a good writer you should write what you know. Warp Speed by Travis S. Taylor shows that not only does he have a good eye for story telling, but also that he knows a lot! The book is written in the first person perspective following Dr. Neil Anson Clemons, Physicist, Engineer and a University Professor. Anson, as his friends call him, is working on developing alternative propulsion systems for the space program. In other words he’s trying to find a way to make space travel more practical than strapping people to giant rockets and shooting them into the sky. Specifically he is working on developing a warp drive to allow faster than light travel.


The book takes a lot of interesting turns. In most science fiction that I’ve read the technologies are more of a back drop that facilitates the plot. “I want my character to fly like Superman so he has the Dyson 3000 anti-gravity belt”, or even more simply, “my character has a sword made of energy, never mind how, he just does”. In Taylor’s book, the technology he uses starts almost with where we are today. It’s set a few years in the future, but nothing seems extraordinarily out of place, no ray guns or teleportation. As Anson’s work on the warp drive progresses a number of new technologies are brought into play besides the warp drive but the reader is not asked to simply accept them, rather, they become a part of their logical development. In fact it all was introduced so realistically that I’m surprised we haven’t already developed many of the things Anson and his team discover.


The focus on the technology in Warp Speed doesn’t mean the characters are skipped or glossed over. The character of Anson Clemons is brought into very clear focus as a “renaissance man” with a number of talents and interests that blend together to complement each other and help explain his motives and thought processes. The other characters are well rounded, but they are seen through Anson’s eyes which colors them more to how he perceives them. One does pick up on an endearing bit of absentmindedness from Anson, as he “forgets” to mention significant developments in his life, only to have them pop up in the story with an “oh yeah, did I mention that…”.


Don’t let me fool you, Warp Speed isn’t just a book about the development of a new propulsion technology. This is good science fiction with plenty of action to keep the reader hooked. In fact, at times the action comes so fast you almost can’t get your breath as the characters are thrust from one situation to another with no breaks. One minute they are in space, then they are in a forest with tornadoes, then they are facing terrorists, it almost makes a person dizzy, but it still manages to flow well.


I recommend Warp Speed by Travis S. Taylor. It is a real page turner that makes some of the science behind science fiction come alive. This is the first in a series with the second book “The Quantum Connection” due out in paperback soon. To quote author John Ringo “Flubells away!” which will make much more sense if you read the book. Check it out!


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