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Fortress on the Sun
Paul Cook
Roc Books, 347 pages

Fortress on the Sun
Paul Cook
Cook is the author of the novel, Halo (1986), along with such short fiction stories as "Master of the House" (1990), "The Character Assassin" (1991) and "Just in Time" (1993).
Past Feature Reviews
A review by Marc Goldstein

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Aboard Sunstation Ra, a giant space station anchored to the sun and protected by powerful energy shields, a group of more than 100 prisoners harvest solar plasma for their captors. Despite having their minds wiped to erase any memory of their crimes -- regressing some back to childhood -- the sunstation prisoners have managed to carve out a peaceful existence during their three years of captivity. That is until a strange sleeping sickness spreads through Ra. The arrival of a new batch of prisoners complicates matters, initiating a series of events that reawaken the residents' memories and endanger their lives.

Fortress on the Sun is an engaging yarn, full of mystery and suspense. Cook moves the plot along briskly, filling it with clever twists. On the down side, Fortress on the Sun suffers from the weakness of most plot-driven adventure stories: thin characterization. More disappointing, the novel's denouement feels hurried -- Cook anti-climactically strips away the last few layers of the onion during the closing exposition of the epilogue. But while certain events stretch the limits of plausibility, Fortress on the Sun's fast-moving plot and engrossing hook make for an entertaining read.

Copyright © 1997 by Marc Goldstein

Marc has been a science fiction fan as far back as he can remember. He holds a degree in English Literature from California State University, Northridge. He has worked as an instructor of English composition and as a reporter. Currently, he pays the bills editing web pages. He is the principal contributor to the SF Site's Role Playing Department. Marc lives in Santa Ana, California with his wife, Sabrina and cat, Onion.


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