Book Review of EARTH ESCAPE by author Victoria Ichizli-Bartels
“Gripping, surprising, and a very thoughtful story. A very memorable read.
It is obvious that the author had put all of him into this story. Although the story is fictional, it is extremely close to the current state of events and especially the nature of the conflicts around the world. We see every day how easy it is to be drawn into a narrow-minded thinking. We all want to define everything concretely and once and for all. The ever-surprising life events shake all those beliefs and definitions profoundly and this is very scary. Slipping under the duvet of judging others or other-minded people can be so comfortable. We’ve all been there and probably be drawn into such traps again and again. The clue is to remain open-minded and compassionate, both to ourselves and to others.
And exactly this was the main message I read again and again both between the lines and directly inside “Earth Escape”.
But even the best message would be nothing without strong writing and I definitely can confirm this for this book. The thorough research about the theories of where we all come originally from are cleverly woven together and with author’s imagination, and this makes the story sound very believable. What I also liked very much was the clearly visible intention behind and careful forming of every scene and every element in the book.
I highly recommend reading this book. You might find yourself chuckling at Jim Tale’s language and spicy dialogues and scenes, but you might also discover yourself looking at the world differently during and after reading this story. You might discover that you want to make a positive change in the world.”
EARTH ESCAPE, released in September 2016, although a fiction novel, which is only to say that the technological advancements depicted in this story are still on the drawing board, but not far from becoming reality, is so much more than what it appears to be. While it is classifiable as a scifi thriller, it is weaved with a contemporary thread about our current world and the geopolitical and environmental factors and threats which we face today, which will make the reader feel as if this very scenario could be happening.
It is also a philosophical thriller, because the main character, and his Ai (Artificial Intelligence) companion, in the course of their urgent mission to find a new planet to colonize as home for mankind, are also in search of the answers to existence. How was the Universe created and how did we come about – and moreover, and more importantly, who are we?
Was it the Big Bang, was it God, or maybe there is another explanation, one which defies reality to such an extent that few, if any, speak of it. Jim Tale, the captain of the star ship Evolution, wants answers. Rock-solid answers to existence. In their search, they encounter amazing and thrilling new horizons, alien races and more, and all the while the puzzle begins to unravel.
This epic space journey will not only entertain the reader but it opens up doors to fascinating and intriguing concepts which challenge the accepted theories of modern day mediocrity.
“This author has the most inventive imagination ever put into words. I am hooked on his books, as different as can be from each other, like an addict seeking a fix! Once again i will say that i do not read Sci-Fi, not into TREK or such shows….but Real Laplaine wrote EARTH ESCAPE, so of course i jumped at the chance. Others have told the plot outline so i will refrain, but i will say that he makes the futuristic quite realistic…..quite believable. And his characters, in this case, Jim Tale, are as ‘REAL’ as you and I.” Linda M.E.
“An intriguing novel set in the near future with a great deal of reverence to our current world. The story takes you on an interstellar journey searching for a new world for the human race to inhabit as ours is on the verge of destruction. The main character exudes the persona of a street smart guy with unyielding courage enabling him to persevere in mentally taxing, as well as perilous situations. Ingrained in him is also an introspective quality that keeps him searching for answers in regards to life, creation, and purpose that have existed since the beginning of time which seem to be a constant quarry throughout the universe.” Albert H.
This is a wonderful piece of speculative fiction, inspired by the Masters of the genre – Asimov, Clarke and Heinlein. Real Laplaine brings us on an interstellar mission at faster than light speed… The urgency of the situation is palpable… Instantly likeable and relatable characters in transition to a new home for humanity transcend their mission parameters… Each new turn leads further out to the edge of the Universe and deeper into the unravelling mystery of existence. Exciting and intelligent, this is a really fun read and much more… I felt as though this book was written especially for me – It fits my personality. It’s an imaginative, philosophical conversation touching on some of the most relevant issues of our times. There’s so much more I could say about the parallels Laplaine has layered into Earth Escape but I will not spoil it for you – Discover them on your own… Enjoy ! Daniel D. (Canada)
This might be a rhetorical question for some, that is, do science fiction or sci-fi writers, change the future? As I write high-concept thrillers in several genres, including sci-fi, I am going to throw in my observations on this matter, because I do believe that sci-fi authors sometimes get the backseat on credibility awards, just because this genre, sci-fi, is viewed as “fictional” “imaginative” “futuristic”. None of those words are wrong or incorrect modifiers, but too often, I think, sci-fi is regarded as outside the realm of reality.
But what is reality? Rod Serling gave a good definition on the subject of sci-fi. He said: “Fantasy is the impossible made probable. Science Fiction is the improbable made possible.”
In early sci-fi, long before the space program or NASA or flights to the moon or even the first satellites ever existed, science fiction writers were depicting technology in their books which later become ultimate reality. Wireless communication devices were in common use by space travellers in early sci-fi. It took society about five generations to catch up with those creative minds.
Sci-fi writers, again, in my humble opinion, are and were the misfits, the pegs that wouldn’t fit into anyone’s square or round holes. These people envisioned a different reality, a new future, progressive cultural advancement – and to use an overly trite expression, they thought outside the proverbial box.
Given that so much of what sci-fi authors have expressed in their works, has become reality and is, as we speak becoming reality with missions to mars in the near future, civilian flights to space, satellites landing on passing asteroids, etc., shouldn’t we also pay attention to their insights when it comes to cultural and global events?
Most people have heard the term 1984, in reference to a dystopian society – based on a book by the same name, written by George Orwell in 1949, in the wake of the growing threat of nuclear war, as the West (America) and the East (Russia) deepened the divide with the Cold War and the terrifying growth of nuclear weapons. Orwell knew then, as did many, that the existence of nuclear weapons presented an entirely new mindset or zeitgeist, one which had never existed before on Earth and which was imbuing the world with a fear which it had never before known – the fear of annihilation. Never before did any individual nation, or for that matter, individual leader, one man or one woman, possess the power to unleash weapons capable of wiping out entire cities with just one bomb. That threat never existed until 1945 when America demonstrated the power of such weapons when it dropped two A-bombs on Japan – eviscerating over 200,000 people in just seconds.
Ten years later, when the Cold War was reaching epic proportions and the arsenals of nuclear weapons on Earth were already numbering thousands, Walter M. Miller Jr., released his epic novel, A Canticle for Leibowitz – a ground-breaking story which depicted a dystopian society in the wake of a nuclear apocalypse. That story, though sobering, brought home a whole new level of realism, the “what if?” scenario – if someone actually started a domino-effect, a nuclear war.
There are many authors, sci-fi and in other genres, who have taken the nuclear theme and weaved it into different scenarios – but the question remains, did such authors as George Orwell and Walter Miller, who clearly wrote their stories not just for entertainment but as an attempt to open the eyes of the world to a lethal issue which in fact could spell the doom of our world, did they accomplish change?
It took some 15 years after Orwell released 1984, and only six years after Miller’s book, before the nuclear race, already mushrooming out of control, was being reined in, at least perfunctorily-speaking, with attempts to set up treaties and accords on their use and development. It wasn’t until the early 1970s that we saw actual treaties and accords signed between developing nations, in particular, the two holding the largests arsenals, America and Russia (then USSR).
Although it is highly unlikely that exact records are public, and they certainly should be considering that it is public money being used to create these beasts of destruction, the current estimated number of nuclear weapons still stockpiled, mostly by less than 10 nations, is over 20,000 in number – most of those between America and Russia – the two nations who can’t seem to hold a marital contract intact without throwing aspersions at one another over something. Considering that one nuclear warhead today is capable of delivering a destructive force 40 times greater than the bombs dropped in 1945, or comparatively speaking, a destructive blast zone of 200 square miles versus 5 miles, capable of wiping out multiple cities in one blast, one can understand why these visionary sci-fi and dystopian authors burned the midnight oil to bring us those classic stories.
One could argue that they wrote the books for other reasons, but to anyone who has read such books, the intent, the message and the import of the themes are clear – the threat and fear of annihilation must disappear from our world – they said it then and that message has been resonated by many others over the decades to follow. We cannot live under a mantle of terror that some day, some questionably sane leader of some nation, would find provocation to start a domino-effect which would reduce nations to smoldering embers and eviscerate millions, if not billions from our world.
So what’s the conclusion? Do sci-fi writers change the future? It could be argued as a moot point, and yet, we see the seeds of change in their works years, even decades, before those seeds mature into something tangible. So maybe the answer is yes.
I personally believe that sci-fi writers plant seeds which do not necessarily see fruition for years to come, and for that reason, sci-fi remains an incredibly important part of our culture and literary genres – just as important as those genres which depict the narratives of times-past, and the lessons to be learned from history, sci-fi embraces what will happen, eventually, if we embrace it.
In QUANTUM ASSAULT, the 2nd in the Keeno Crime Thriller Novels, Keeno McCole and his team of Canadian crime fighters take on a sex trafficking ring which is injecting young girls with an experimental nano-virus, one designed to change their anatomy, and then selling them off to clients throughout Canada and the United States. When one fourteen year-old girl escapes their net, Keeno and his team declare war against the traffickers, and when the nano-virus breaks-out and threatens a global pandemic, the stakes become fatal as the chase takes them around the world. A crime thriller to the end.