Dark Matter By Blake Crouch Forges Great Sci-Fi

Dark Matter By Blake Crouch Forges Great Sci-Fi

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch forges great sci-fi, as a 21st century high point of transformative art continues the tradition of science miracles having a very good and very bad fallout.

Dark Matter provides a visceral thrill ride empowered by science the way Michael Crichton’s work has for decades.

I do not throw around the name of Crichton often, because no one is quite like the late author, the scientist-teacher-turned novelist.

But Crouch in his own brilliant way reminds me of him.

The Following Book Review of Dark Matter by Blake Crouch is Spoiler-Free.

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“Are you happy with your life?”

Those are the last words Jason hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious, and he wakes in another world, another reality, exactly like his own except for where he made a fundamentally different life choice that drastically altered his life and those of his loved ones.

Would the science he had given up come to change the course of time?

Or times?

These are not spoilers.

This is just how you get thrown into a story that is every bit as much an intimate lovers’ voyage, as it is a spine-rattling suspense thriller.

Genres are, like rules, made to be smashed, chopped up and baked into a wholesome and delicious culinary innovation.

And so too does the vision of Crouch cook up the best parts of sci-fi, thriller, fantasy, a sprinkling of horror, and a love story into a unique and infamous warning of what tampering with alternate timelines might be like for those equipped with dark matter in the near (or far) future.

I love this book.

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It evokes many of the best traits from what I consider to be the pinnacle of time travel fiction, Isaac Asimov’s The End of Eternity.

Most if not all of the time travel medium, in films, video games, comic books, and novels lift ideas and tropes from Asimov, but Dark Matter takes it all a lot further and also gets very specific with the fringe science theories and experiments with time and matter.

At the heart is a man who loves his wife, Daniela, has his reality and their life together taken from him, and must work with a future science he never invented to try and right the wrongs.

“Last night, I set out to answer a simple question: Where is Daniela . . . This is not my world. Even as those five words cross my mind, I’m not exactly certain what they mean, or how to begin to consider their full weight.” [DARK MATTER, pg. 118, B. Crouch]

Dark Matter continues to blow my mind after each read.

To give this extraordinary book the treatment it deserves, Suntup Editions strove to encompass this classic with a gorgeous signed-numbered limited edition.

The spine is goatskin and feels so soft and smooth.

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And since the story deals with alternate realities, what better way to show that than to have three different bradel-bound numbered versions, purple, green, and blue, and then randomly send them to the 350 owners upon release.

They are all great to hold, with a brilliant sheen to the thick cloth covers and the minimalism evokes less is more.

I wanted and was thrilled to get the purple cover.

Unique to the edition is an introduction by another favorite author and one of the most innovative voices of 21st century sci-fi Andy Weir, and he, crouch, and artist Clarcq each signed the book.

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All of these Suntup editions are so well made and fit Dark Matter’s story so well!

Suntup made a limited artist edition and a lettered edition as well, and the art that Hilary Clarcq brought makes this tale come alive in an exciting way.

 

The Forgotten Fiction Grade: YEA (read it!)


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“Dark Matter by Blake Crouch Forges Great Sci-Fi” Was Written By R.J. Huneke.

 

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Upgrade By Blake Crouch: A Thrilling Sci-Fi Masterpiece

Upgrade By Blake Crouch: A Thrilling Sci-Fi Masterpiece

Upgrade by Blake Crouch: a thrilling sci-fi masterpiece details a near future where examining what it is to be human is vital for survival.

In Upgrade, the writing flows smoothly and efficiently as the story hits the reader impactfully.

The world building, character creation, and science are all too real.

The pace is tremendous – Upgrade does not let up!

And the ending is both moving and realistic, painful in its beauty.

The Following Review of Upgrade by Blake Crouch Spoiler Warning.

Imagine sharing a last name with your mother who was solely responsible for killing millions, unleashing an unrelenting pandemic of genetic mutation in the world, and who also made so many geneticists and biologists very training an illegal act deemed so by the Gene Protection Agency.

Logan Ramsay is an extremely intelligent man, but one who grew up dreaming of being his mother’s equal of off-the-charts genius.

And then he stands trial for her crimes against humanity and goes to jail.

The jealousy is gone.

Once freed he starts a family, and Logan enjoys nothing more than playing chess with his daughter and being a family man, when he is not paying a personal penance for the blood his mother spilt.

Out of jail, Logan is working for the GPA to bust illegal gene labs and dealers of illicit genetic material.

This is a world where lower Manhattan is under water, and a Las Vegas confidential informant has his own lab where he makes new species for the wealthiest of collectors, including a new dragon, and he is allowed to, by the GPA, because he hands over those illegal scientists that come to him with more nefarious intent for material and supplies.

When a lab bust becomes a trap and an explosion of an ice bomb sends shards of genetic altering virus irrevocably into Logan’s system, he receives one of the first human DNA upgrades.

Logan learns how to dial down the emotional parts of his brain in order to think more rationally, or work less distracted.

He can read heart rates, blood pressure, and faces so well that he can discern the truth and lies and anticipate many actions before someone does it.

He is stronger than he has ever been.

He can remember every detail of everything he has ever read or seen in his entire life.

His sister is upgraded as well. The two of them learn that from beyond the grave their mother infected them with a Scythe program to alter hundreds of parts of their DNA and improve their overall state so that they will act to save the dying world.

It is Miriam Ramsey’s dying wish. Before humanity dies as a species in a hundred years, she has gifted it with the means to save it from itself.

But will humans remain humans when they are all upgraded, or will they be something else?

And what could go wrong trying to infect and convert billions of people?

Logan sees the need for the world to change but not at such a cost as homo sapiens becoming something else at his mother’s whim, and then his sister tries to kill him.

She takes their mother’s research and flees.

The only two upgraded humans on the planet nearly kill each other over their ideals, a point that is not lost on Logan as he does not see the upgrade as a final solution to the doomsday clock.

End of Spoiler Warning.

Crouch’s research into genetic markers, DNA, and myriad aspects of the human brain and its actions is truly remarkable, and he writes with ease, inserting the research in a way that is accessible to those who are not scientists and also in a way that is natural as it is shared by the characters in the story.

And the messages are not lost in the science or the riveting plot.

This is one of those things that great science fiction authors, like Isaac Asimov or Michael Crichton often achieve in their works.

You invest deeply in Logan’s character and those around him, while the story whips into a frenzy and all the while science is at the center of what is happening.

With Upgrade, Crouch has written a brilliant tale that goes deep into what it means to be human and whether or not being human at a genetic level can or should save the species.

 

The Forgotten Fiction Grade: YEA (read it!)


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“Upgrade By Blake Crouch: A Thrilling Sci-Fi Masterpiece!” was written by R.J. Huneke.