Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A book review. KiTE by Bill Shears

Wow, it's been a long time since I posted, but I have another book I read that I'd like to share with you.

It's called KITE: A Novel in Earth Orbit.
written by Bill Shears.


This book is science fiction set at a time when Earth has advanced to the point where space travel is a common thing. They've built casinos in space, developed more advanced space stations, have space motels, and rich people can go cruising space in their own personal spaceships. With all of the space travel came lots of space debris and so KITE, and other Orbital Maintenance ships were created to clean it all up so some hapless space traveler didn't crash into the junk.

Kite is the last one up there, piloted by one person at a time for three month stints. Mason Dash is the pilot who we follow in this book. His wife Janet is a computer genius and Dash is more of a glorified garbage man, but he loves it. He even gets to shoot lasers at the junk that's too big for the sweeper so it can fit nicely into the compacter to be disposed of as it burns through earths atmosphere.

Dash is more of a happy go lucky kind of guy, who just wants to finish up his years and get that pension he's been working for so he can retire with no worries. He has a computer simulated woman named Sheila, who started out as a "toy" to keep him occupied and talk to on his long days, but when his wife Janet adds some of her own personal touches, Sheila begins to change. She gets a personality, and makes choices on her own.

Unknown to Dash or any other pilots or maintenance employees, the computer system on Kite begins to develop consciousness on its own. He_Ra as he finally calls himself (he changes names every time you read about him) begins a hostile takeover and eventually gains control of Kite. Sheila, who has actually stowed away this time instead of just talking to Dash from Earth is key to preventing He_Ra from making a mess of Kite. Dash is working on figuring out who is on the space station that has been empty for years, and what they are doing there so secretly.

I must admit that when I began reading this, it took awhile to get into. I didn't like Dash at first, because he just didn't seem likable, but as I progressed through the book, he started to become more interesting.
Sheila, though she was only a computer program was the one I really liked to read about as she began to change and morph into her own being instead of just a computer simulated woman.
The parts in the book where it talked about how things were progressing inside the main computer system on Kite were somewhat confusing, but eventually became easier to understand when I just let myself know I would never understand it fully, and just tried to get a clue as to what He_Ra was doing.

Anyway, to put it simply. It was an interesting book, but I did take longer to read it than many other books I've had in my hand. The second half moved much faster than the beginning. I wonder if it was because there was very little real life action happening. Just some speculation and wondering as Dash tried to figure out what was going on. Once things got moving, I finished it within the day.

If you're into entertaining Sci-Fi, and have some time to kill, I'd tell you to go for it. If you are looking for something deep and moving, this probably isn't the book you're looking for.

For the authors website click here

If you'd like to order it, click here

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