(SciFi) ISBN 1-934187-62-3 Star Books press Hendon VA USA 2009
Starting with a big bang The Long Way Round has a beginning that will take the reader to parts of the Universe. Like many Scifi stories there has to be science, aliens and of course space travel. We get all this and a little more. The twist is that the bog standard Zap the freaks and save the world so often found in many Scifi stories is not there. This is a story that deals with the ordinary, the matter of fact in a way that is quietly unnerving.
The reader is waiting for the sudden disaster which calls on the macho hero to rush in with all zap guns blazing. Instead the action builds slowly to a tense finish and a realization that it is ourselves we should be most afraid of. That the heroes are gay, and like all characters in any story, have conflicting emotions, difficulty dealing with relationships and eventually coming to terms with their resolution is expected. The reader is not disappointed.
The author’s style takes the reader through the technicalities of space travel using Brian’s amazing portal and if the method reminds the reader of the Stargate series on television it is only a brief memory. There is none of the grim, imperative, Hollywood heroics about this story. In effect the portal is a much more subtle way of dealing with rapid travel. In this story it is the ordinary people who become the heroes.
The only criticism to made of the story is that the relationship between the two young men could be steadily revealed as the story progresses, and like many good stories, leave the reader satisfied in finding out for themselves how well they had understood the characters presented. However, the subject is unusual and dealt with well and for a first novel a most enjoyable read.
Review by James Apps (Editor)