York August Sixteen was abandoned as a baby, abused and molested as a child, beaten and harassed as a teen, and had his rightful place in the Republic's Space Navy stolen from him. Fighting back against huge government systems was useless. Dispensing justice on an individual, case by case basis was more to his liking, yet even that was taken away when he was stationed on a lonely communication space station. York's life would change when he decided to seek justice for people even less fortunate than him.
©2015 Alan Black (P)2015 Podium Publishing
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"In space, no one can hear you kill"
Alan Black's Empty Space is a futuristic, semi-dystopic vision of a society divided into the "haves" who can do anything they want and the "have-nots" who must suffer with it. York 16 is an orphan and a poster child for how magnanimous the wealthy can pretend to be until he begins to outshine his betters.At that point, the machine takes over and he is relegated to 3rd shift on a deserted space station orbiting a backwater planet with a three man crew. What no one realizes is that society has forced York 16 into becoming a sociopath with cunningly deceptive homicidal tendencies that he uses for justice and vengeance.
The sci-fi elements are minimal with advanced space flight and little else. Life and society is pretty much traditional. The twist to the tale is an endearing character whose life has been miserable from childhood molestation, to beatings, frame-ups, and anything else society can throw his way. All along, he handles himself with class and dignity until he goes stone cold diabolical, ruthless killer with no mercy or empathy. He manages to sublimate his tendencies mostly for good with a sense of cosmic justice, but he's still not the guy you want to walk into a bar with unless trouble is headed your way.
The narration is well done with a good range of voices and nice pacing. The opening foray has the potential for a longer story arc with similar type adventures, but whether he will ever succeed in dislodging the dominating power structure is unclear, but it would be fun to see him try.
"different space Opera"
This story is compelling, sensitive, and well narrated.
A sociopathic but well intentioned lone ranger type hero keeps you listening to the story.
Sort of like the Dexter sociopathic character a few years ago on television.
It is a must read yet dark story.
Character-driven storyline in a sci fi setting. I appreciated the protagonist's viewpoint, and there were many likeable characters. My only complaint is that it was wrapped up a little too neatly. I was a little disappointed that the author went to the effort to write a complex character, but failed to explore those complications in an effort to wrap up the story.
"Dexter in Space"
OK, I loved it and want to hear more of this character. The pace was quite brisk and there was a lot of stuff going on. It definitely ended leaving me hanging and wanting to hear more.
"Interesting concept - variable execution"
In many ways, this is more a libertarian wish-fulfillment yarn than science fiction. The characterization is inconsistent, the story requires acceptance that everyone in a position of authority is corrupt and varying degrees of highly incompetent, and that only the antihero protagonist is capable of long-term strategic planning. There are times when the protagonist is sympathetic, and others where he is sadistic and sociopathic. Not a bad read if you can handle the inconsistencies.
""Heinlein writes Dexter""
I found it entertaining in much the same way Heinlein can be entertaining. No deep, complex characters, but I was still able to enjoy the story, and want to know what would happen next.
First book I've seen of his.
Good pacing, nice job of using different voices for each character.
Nope. I found it a relatively obvious, shallow treatment of the crimes & criminals involved in the story.
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