Let’s talk about Zero Limit, by Jeremy K. Brown. Definitely a high-stakes read. In a story in which everything that can go wrong does go wrong. Disaster after disaster. Failure after failure. But that’s every space disaster story I’ve ever read or written. At some point, you get this almost “disaster fatigue,” where the scene is set, and you’re like, “who’s gonna die in this chapter?” The first disaster was all “Whoah!” but then subsequent ones were less and less “Whoah,” until they were commonplace.
I’m not sure when this story was written, but as with many scifi stories, Zero Limit critiques the current political brouhaha, and takes it to the next level. The xenophobic actions of the U.S. president sever all travel between the Earth and the Moon, setting up the protagonist for the dangerous prospect that tips over the first disaster domino. And oh boy, do those dominos fall. Did I mention disaster fatigue? There are definitely correlations with current U.S. border policy, and the issue is played out to a conclusion, but, and this is the most important part, the author doesn’t hit us over the head with that plot point. It’s there, and the reader is allowed to draw whatever conclusions they wish. Science fiction allows us to explore the topics of our time, and for many people, U.S. policy is in the forefront of their minds.
The writing is solid, and the writer did enough research that nothing jumped out at me, and I mostly had no problems suspending my disbelief. I did find the constant “stuff going horribly wrong” aspect a little hard to swallow, but what is a space disaster without disaster? All in all, I give Zero Limit 3.75 stars. It’s a good read. I’ll probably check out Ocean of Storms, co-written with Christopher Mari. It, like Zero Limit, are free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers.