Reviewed by Charles Remington for Readers' Favorite
Erebus by S.D. Falchetti is a thrilling novella and the fourth in the Hayden’s World series. It opens with a beautifully described sequence where two space crafts are speeding and performing aerobatics through the cloud layers of Saturn, eventually docking at a space station located under one of the planet’s rings. But the story really gets going when, failing to convince a congressional hearing about the benefits of a new ship capable of achieving 99.9% of light speed, James Hayden decides to take matters into his own hands. Deciding that an exploratory trip to Erebus, the newly-discovered ninth planet in our solar system, would promote his vision of space exploration and inspire confidence in his plans, he takes off in Bernard’s Beauty, an existing vessel capable of only a measly 98% of light speed! But when his reports come to an abrupt halt, an urgent rescue mission is launched. Using the new, faster ship, the rescue crew must race against time to try to locate both Bernard’s Beauty and James Hayden before the ship’s life support systems begin to give out - a mission which brings danger and surprises in equal measure, and culminates in an astounding denouement on a distant moon.
Erebus is classic science fiction. As a fan of the genre, I appreciated the research and careful detail, along with the technical specifics, employed in the tale (even if the discussion the crew had on time dilation went a little over my head). In this well-written story, boasting a cast of solid and believable characters, Mr Falchetti has produced a worthy novella that will not disappoint sci-fi fans. Erebus is the fourth in a series, but it stands well on its own; you will not need to have read the previous stories to enjoy this one. I hadn’t, but will certainly make a point of reading the others now.