The Stark Divide: Not your granddad’s hard sci-fi

The Stark Divide
(Liminal Sky: The Ariadne Cycle #1)

by J. Scott Coatsworth

This is classic science fiction in the vein of Heinlein and Asimov – minus the misogyny, homophobia, racism, transphobia, etc. It also reminded me of Greg Bear’s Eon. Coatsworth paints us a world not unlike our own, but one where hope, ultimately, prevails.

Colin, Jackson, and Ana are the lone crew on a mission to Ariadne-43. The asteroid will be sort of terraformed into a generation ship that will carry future generations of humans away from the dying Earth to find a new life elsewhere.

Although I didn’t love this one as much as I did Dropnauts, that one set a pretty high bar for me. The narrative wasn’t quite as tight as in Dropnauts. Given that this was written several years earlier, I think that highlights how his skill as a writer continues to evolve.

Coatsworth excels in his imaginative world building and complex plots. The characters were diverse and interesting.

This one’s a sold 4.5 stars from me. I have no qualms about rounding up. If you love diverse and inclusive science fiction, give this one a go.

Content warning: deadnaming

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