Light Speed

A Galactic Odyssey

Fiction - Science Fiction
562 Pages
Reviewed on 09/01/2019
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

Light Speed by F. Rob Dorsey is an interesting science fiction novel that covers multiple grounds while doing them justice. The novel begins on a USS Resolute spacecraft that is taking its first journey into the vast and mysterious space. Aboard the ship is a team of humans who may seem ordinary, but appearances can be deceptive. The captain of the ship, Colonel Richard “Rick” Corbett and his first officer have a curious relationship. The first officer, Alice, is a sentient Generation V Artificial Intelligence that becomes his friend, his companion, and then something a little more.

The already complicated life on the ship is further complicated when Dr. Traube, a NASA scientist, creates a human replica of Alice, one that Rick cannot resist. But things get serious when the ship and its occupants make a startling discovery. They discover a humanoid species living thousands of light years away. This is where things start to get a little suspicious. When a tragedy occurs, there is nothing that Rick can do to save the people he loves or find the culprit who caused him pain. How come they happened upon this species? Can they really trust some humanoid species that appear like humans?

Finding love and acceptance in the most unlikely places is among the common themes of the novel. Of course, Artificial Intelligence is another theme that the author, F. Rob Dorsey, explores very deeply. I loved the complexity of the story and how the author gave it time and page space for the characters and the story to flow. The characters are developed well. Rick is given time to grow, expand his horizons and enjoy life. Alice was a real enigma, but that only made the novel more interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed it. A truly exceptional story.

Christian Sia

A wonderful meld of sci-fi and an unusual element of romance, Light Speed by F. Rob Dorsey takes readers into space travel with the spaceship USS Resolute that travels faster than light. The story is set in 2095, against a backdrop of advanced technology, and at a time when human beings have advanced in artificial intelligence. We encounter the captain of the ship, Rick Corbett, in a strange connection with Alice, a Generation V Artificial intelligence creation, the computer that “was the crew and controlled everything from the environmentals to the navigation to the temperature of the coffee.” The bond between the captain and Alice grows stronger as they navigate through space, encountering all sorts of challenging situations, from pirate aliens to monsters ready to cause havoc on the ship. Things change when a leading NASA scientist creates a human replica of Alice, which allows the couple to move from a platonic relationship to something real.

Light Speed is sci-fi at its best, but what readers will enjoy the most is the originality of the concept and the dynamism that is felt amongst the crew. The characters are real and relatable — even the artificial Alice who eventually finds a body. This is a novel that explores what the human mind is capable of accomplishing, a plot that is deftly written. F. Rob Dorsey has succeeded in weaving a story with an intricate plot, offering different levels of entertainment to readers. What had me engrossed was the relationship between the captain and Alice, the strong elements of the setting, and the compelling characters. It takes a lot of skill to write fiction that reads so realistically and that feels like a movie, and Dorsey has that gift.

Kathryn Bennett

Light Speed by F. Rob Dorsey is a science fiction tale that takes us into the world of the USS Resolute, a spacecraft that is faster than light. Nothing in life is cut and dried and the lives of those on this spacecraft are no exception; they are complex and, like us, have to make choices every day. The only difference is they make their choices amid alien attacks, new planets and a variety of other science fiction adventures.

I love good sci-fi and this book, first and foremost, is a good sci-fi read, but it is also unique. What would you do if you fell in love with a different form of life? With an AI that could become more than an AI? That for me was the most interesting part of this very layered book. With the advances we see in technology day after day, AI is getting smarter and it may not be long before we see these types of situations. I really love a book that makes me think while I am reading and asks, “What would you do?” If you aren't keen on those sorts of story lines, don't worry because there are a lot of other things going on in this book. It is really a 'something for everyone' kind of read and I enjoyed it.

There was a great deal of adventure and excitement within these pages as well. Like the fantastic discovery of intelligent life on another planet that is similar to us. A theme handled by many, of course, but still author F. Rob Dorsey manages to make it seem unique and fresh. I mean, what would you do if you found life similar to ours but more peaceful? Would you want to stay? What would you do if things then went wrong? These were things I asked myself throughout as I read this book. I don't want to give away the great plot lines of this book, but you should read it. You will be interested in this story, and it will keep you entertained from the first page to the last.

Ray Simmons

I liked Light Speed by F. Rob Dorsey. It is a great old-school style science fiction story that takes place at the end of this century. This is a little easier for me to imagine living in than say two centuries from now. Dorsey doesn't go into the political situation around the world at the time. The space traveling efforts of countries like China and India are hardly mentioned. How the world is dealing with climate change doesn't seem to be a major concern. For whatever reason, the United States has again made space a priority and the results are spectacular. Man is changing the surface of Mars, there are several colonies on the moon, and we have built the first faster than light spaceship. This ship and the man and the AI that pilot her are the crux of this novel.

I like the characters here. They are nice personalities with sharp intellect. They are on the cutting edge of space exploration and the very important field of artificial intelligence. The plot is good, with four major avenues going on at the same time. There is the mission itself. There is the relationship between Alice, the latest generation AI who runs the ship, alongside the human pilot Rick Corbett. This is the plot thread I enjoyed the most. The writing is good. The characters are interesting and the future that this story takes place in looks pretty good to me. If you want to read an excellent science fiction novel with a very traditional feel, try Light Speed by F. Rob Dorsey.

Arya Fomonyuy

Light Speed by F. Rob Dorsey is a great treat for fans of sci-fi tales involving space travel and artificial intelligence; a tightly knit and sophisticated story with compelling characters. The plot revolves around the spacecraft USS Resolute and her first voyage into interstellar space, a spacecraft with a speed faster than light. The captain of the ship develops a powerful connection with Alice, the sentient and Generation V Artificial Intelligence and the first officer of the crew. The reader will follow their story as they overcome great challenges, but then the scientists create a human replica of Alice, giving her a body that allows her and the captain to consummate their love. This is an interesting story that features great and challenging encounters with unfriendly aliens that prey on the crew, and a lot more.

F. Rob Dorsey is a great storyteller and he has the ability to create powerful images in the minds of readers. It is interesting how the author explores the limitless possibilities of the human mind. The setting is well-defined from the very start of the novel and in a way that the reader’s curiosity is aroused immediately: “In the last quarter of the twenty-first century mankind reached new heights of space exploration. There were five self-sustaining colonies on the moon engaged in commercial mining and three fully autonomous colonies on Mars with over ten thousand hearty colonists in residence.” The author’s imagination comes out powerfully in this narrative and readers will love its creations, including the developed AI minds that slowly replace computers. Light Speed is a fast read with many intense moments to keep the reader intrigued. The author’s gift for descriptive prose is unique and readers can actually feel like they are part of the incredible journey.