Tin Can

Tin Can


Young Adult - Sci-Fi
502 Pages
Reviewed on 06/22/2012
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

About the Author
Dr. Colin Noble


Colin Noble is married and the father of two boys. He works as an anesthesiologist in a large city hospital. Tin Can is his first full length work of young adult science fiction. He wrote the book as a dedication to the perseverance found within the countless realms of human experience.

Book Review

Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite

"Tin Can" is an exciting space adventure. Eight year old Billy, fourteen year old Jacob, Quincy a genetically altered Lemur, and their parents, Dave and Lucy Edwards, embark on a mission to Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons, hoping to find it safe to colonize. Storms and radiation caused by the sun’s instability have battered Earth, forcing people to live underground and destroying the food supply. Knowing the danger they are in, Dave drives Jacob to learn as much as possible about the ship, thinking Billy incapable of learning. A tragic accident leaves the boys and Quincy to survive on their own, and the crisis brings out the best in Billy. While Billy can barely read, he understands space from a unique perspective. And Quincy, bred for only simple tasks, in truth has a much higher intelligence and is capable of much more.

"Tin Can" by Colin Noble is a fascinating and entertaining space adventure. The tale is fast-paced, and Noble keeps up the pace until the very end. The lead characters have tremendous depth and it is fun watching them develop and grow. Jacob, Billy and Quincy have to learn to work together as a team. Each has unique talents that were never appreciated before. Suddenly these talents are essential. At the beginning I was reminded of the TV show “Lost In Space” of the 60s, but I quickly realized this space tale has more depth. Noble drew me into the story and made me part of the crew. I highly recommend “Tin Can” and the author Colin Noble.

LMN

Tin Can opens like a James Bond 007 movie - completely explosive! Its action packed sequences depict the Edwards family facing near death in the launch of their spaceship. Immediately, saboteurs attempt to derail their critical mission - to explore space in search of new planets to civilize as earth can no longer support human kind. Like the crew of Star Trek - the Edwards boldly go forward where no one has gone before!
The Edwards parents are scientific astronauts who have returned from space having survived radiation exposure just like the Fantastic Four. Their new born son Billy is a miracle child who survived gestation in his parent's contaminated ship, but now has a metastasizing brain with incredible supercomputing abilities.
Billy's best friend is Quincy. One might also find Quincy in a well written National Geographic exposé - everything you wanted to know on genetically engineered lemurs. Read to find out why Quincy is more than just the family pet!
Sacrifices have to be made in space, and the Edwards family is not immune. Sequences like those in the Armageddon play out.
At first, quietly in the background, is Mary - the ship's computer, observing all members of the crew. But she wants to help the family out, and they devise a way to telepathically communicate just like the Borg. But when other computers are assimilated, the Edwards family is put in peril.
Tin Can is a work of science fiction fantasy that is hard to put down!
Tin Can

RW

Science fiction at it,s
Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
Race with the Edwards family down the wormhole to escape oblivion.However escape is not possible until the essence of "self" is first melded with that of a super computer.
This novel can be read on many different levels. A rollicking adventure novel for the young adolescent.....or on a more philosophical plane a journey of personal self discovery .
All in all a good read and highly recommended for all ages.

RW

RW

Science fiction at it,s
Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
Race with the Edwards family down the wormhole to escape oblivion.However escape is not possible until the essence of "self" is first melded with that of a super computer.
This novel can be read on many different levels. A rollicking adventure novel for the young adolescent.....or on a more philosophical plane a journey of personal self discovery .
All in all a good read and highly recommended for all ages.

RW

Donna

Very interesting sometimes I just can't put it down it maybe a little to tek for me but a good read

Jen

This is the first science fiction novel that I have read in entirety, and it has left me wanting to read more. Tin Can's plot is highly imaginative, detailing the challenging adventures that two young brothers and a genetically-engineered lemur go through in space looking for another habitable planet as Earth demises. As the story unfolds, the engaging plot entices you to continue reading and wondering what will happen next. The optimism and creativity the characters have, despite great challenges, creates a feel-good vibe. Congrats to Colin Noble on his first book.

Pearl

Since the days of Neil Armstrong space flight has been on our minds, Tin Can takes us to the future where many new things are possible. Genetic engineering allows a lemur to become something more than just a pet and computers develop from Hal in 2001 to truly self aware machines that can help us. Colin Noble takes us into a fascinating future. It may start out like the Swiss family Robinson in Space but soon it is much much more..... I could not put it down until it was done.

Carol

Tin Can is a "feel good" read. You can sense the writer's optimism. I was confident that all would end well, but I was still drawn by curiosity to read to the end. I stayed up way too late glued to my computer screen. Prelude to a sequel, perhaps? Carol in Calgary.

crabb

Fantastic story loved the science and technology behind the mission. The characters were wonderful and uniquely imaginative. The story opened up my imagination and took me on galactic voyage of anticipation and intrigue

hmneuman

Tin Can is a great read. Both my children (14 + 16), who are not avid readers, enjoyed this book. There is adventure and interesting characters but what really hooked them was the scientific description. They enjoyed seeing astrophysics through the eyes of the main character, Billy. The physics is captivatingly described and shown to work during the voyage into deep space. Having teenagers leading the space mission and figuring out how apply new theorems is a perspective I haven't come across before in Young Adult fantasy and science fiction. The book is longish but worth staying with to the end.

Sacramento Book Review Sa


Although Tin Can seems to be a novel that relies primarily on science fiction motifs, these are only used in such a way to make the audience comfortable with some interesting character work later in the novel. The pacing fluctuates, slowing at times to delve into the mind of the younger brother, while speeding up in the last leg of the novel as the brothers get closer to their goal. Stranded in space, the brothers Jacob and Billy, along with a genetically engineered lemur named Quincy, work together to find the last hope for humanity.

Billy and his brilliant mind lie at the crux of the novel. It is explained that since Billy's long gestation took place in space, his brain developed in such a way as to give him a distinctly unique perspective of the universe. The slower pacing in places allows the reader to delve into his mind, see the world the way that Billy does. Although the story of a family lost in space seems like one that we already know, the attention Colin Noble pays to the fascinatingly layered mind of his character makes this novel a delightfully unique and more intimate reading experience.

Tin Can is great for winter reading and can be shared with the whole family – while your teens are restless during the holiday break – or as something to help tuck you in at night. All around lovely novel.

ForeWord Reviews

Tin Can, Colin Noble’s debut novel, rolls along as jauntily as its titular ship, introducing young readers to a fun and exciting futuristic world. Think Star Trek, but with kids in charge.
In 2048, the Edwards family—father Dave, mom Lucy, teenager Jacob, young Billy, and a genetically engineered ring-tailed lemur named Quincy—leaves the ravaged planet Earth in a spacecraft to seek a new home for humans on Jupiter’s moon Europa. The Edwards soon discover that Space Command, the government entity tracking the ship’s trajectory, never expected the voyagers to survive. Undeterred, the Edwards guide their tin can of a spaceship toward their goal while navigating through obstacles thrust upon them by other humans and by outer space.
Along with the human characters, even the ship’s temperamental computer possesses a personality. The relationship between Billy and Jacob is portrayed with a realistic mixture of rivalry and friendship. Much is made of Billy’s grotesque disfigurement, and his family suspects he is mentally impaired because of his appearance, with only Quincy knowing the true vastness of the boy’s intellect.
While it is heartening to see the love Dave, Lucy, and Jacob have for Billy, because of his looks, it is even more refreshing that Billy has the opportunity to prove himself early in the story. It is rare and wonderful to read a novel where a child with a disability gets to be heroic many times throughout the journey of the narrative.
The heroics of both boys can sometimes be problematic, though, because their maturity fluctuates with the needs of the plot; one minute, they act like boys readers can relate to, and the next they pontificate and display the maturity of seasoned pilots. When tragedy occurs, the brothers recover at a disconcerting speed, given the magnitude of the event. These blips in characterization, however,Tin Can, Colin Noble’s debut novel, rolls along as jauntily as its titular ship, introducing young readers to a fun and exciting futuristic world. Think Star Trek, but with kids in charge.
In 2048, the Edwards family—father Dave, mom Lucy, teenager Jacob, young Billy, and a genetically engineered ring-tailed lemur named Quincy—leaves the ravaged planet Earth in a spacecraft to seek a new home for humans on Jupiter’s moon Europa. The Edwards soon discover that Space Command, the government entity tracking the ship’s trajectory, never expected the voyagers to survive. Undeterred, the Edwards guide their tin can of a spaceship toward their goal while navigating through obstacles thrust upon them by other humans and by outer space.
Along with the human characters, even the ship’s temperamental computer possesses a personality. The relationship between Billy and Jacob is portrayed with a realistic mixture of rivalry and friendship. Much is made of Billy’s grotesque disfigurement, and his family suspects he is mentally impaired because of his appearance, with only Quincy knowing the true vastness of the boy’s intellect.
While it is heartening to see the love Dave, Lucy, and Jacob have for Billy, because of his looks, it is even more refreshing that Billy has the opportunity to prove himself early in the story. It is rare and wonderful to read a novel where a child with a disability gets to be heroic many times throughout the journey of the narrative.
The heroics of both boys can sometimes be problematic, though, because their maturity fluctuates with the needs of the plot; one minute, they act like boys readers can relate to, and the next they pontificate and display the maturity of seasoned pilots. When tragedy occurs, the brothers recover at a disconcerting speed, given the magnitude of the event. These blips in characterization, however, are easily glossed over because readers will become engrossed in the fascinating detail with which Noble describes the ship as well as the friends and foes the Edwards encounter.
Space Command is a well-thought-out, believable entity, and its dealings with a faction called the Anarchists creates fascinating conflict while simultaneously presenting government in a way that makes readers think while being entertained. Noble introduces all of his science- fiction concepts in such a matter-of-fact way that the audience never doubts his veracity. And, the fact that Noble’s book is set in 2048 makes this story a cautionary tale. The author never lets readers forget that the Edwards are out in space because Earth’s climate change has rendered the planet uninhabitable.
With its compelling themes and intriguing characters, young-adult readers will want to explore outer space with Tin Can.
Jill Allen





Kirkus Review


Two young brothers and a ring-tailed lemur journey through space in search of a new habitat for the world’s population in Noble’s debut novel.
It’s 2048, and Earth is on the brink—humans have ravaged the planet, and the mounting frequency of hurricanes, tsunamis, tornadoes and solar storms promises human extinction. Central Command, the last, imperious vestige of the world’s governing bodies, fights against the Anarchists for control of human civilization. Forgotten among the chaos are a spaceship, Tin Can, and its crew—Jacob Edwards, the 14-year-old captain; his 8-year-old savant brother, Billy, whose outlandish visions repeatedly save Tin Can from certain doom; and their genetically engineered, superintelligent lemur, Quincy. Their destination: Europa, Jupiter’s largest moon and humanity’s best shot at survival. Mix these elements with sentient supercomputers and a league of computer gamers turned hackers and you have Noble’s well-written, wonderfully imaginative and bloated space odyssey. Much of the book is set in Billy’s abstract dreams; the circuits of supercomputers; featureless, imagined rooms; and other such hard-to-imagine places. These reveries occupy too much space and provide too little propulsion to drive the narrative. Other missteps, like some of the contrived science, come close to plucking readers from Noble’s delightful fantasy world. It’s only in the last third of the book, when Noble finally gets Central Command, the Anarchists, the Gamers, the newly conscious supercomputers and the Tin Can crew on stage simultaneously, that the novel gains momentum. Then the book feels as it should—the last chronicle of the fight over a ruined Earth, all played out with human survival dependant on three unlikely heroes in deep space. If Noble cuts the chaff and revs the action earlier, this could be fun and clever sci-fi.
A capable, powerfully imagined narrative that needs trimming.

RN

Billy wasn’t supposed to be a beacon of hope for a dying world: he was just an awkward, misshapen boy. But then the Earth’s atmosphere grows toxic, and solar storms drive the population underground. In a desperate effort to save humanity, Earth’s governments agree to send the Edwards family on a discovery mission into deep space. Disaster strikes, stranding Billy in a retrofitted spaceship with only his brother Jacob and a bio-engineered lemur named Quincy. Survival means facing Billy’s fears and discovering how to use his unusual mind beyond the limitations everyone always said he’d has.

Written off by Space Command, these three, with the help of Mary, the world’s first conscious living computer, reach out to the fringes of Earth’s remaining society. Individuals from the fields of illegal supersonic skateboard competitions and the battle plains of the Gamers’ worlds, to those in the hidden computing stations of the Anarchist factions form a rebellion along side the crew of Tin Can. Together they innovate scientific theorems as they work to rescue Earth, and support one boy’s efforts to free his mutating mind.