Lightless by C.A. Higgins (Del Rey, 2015)

I haven’t figured out the reason for the title yet, but it probably has something to with physics. The author has a bachelor’s degree in physics and her main character is a woman engineer; each of the three main sections of the book is prefaced by one of the laws of thermodynamics. Whatever the title might mean, this is an excellent work of science fiction, with lots of suspense and a minimum of dry facts. It takes place at some point in the future when the solar system has been colonized. There is a strong solar system-wide government which offers the security of constant video surveillance of its citizens. The three officers on the top-secret military spaceship on which the story takes place seem to have accepted it, at least. Then a couple of anti-government terrorists invade the ship and mess with the ship’s computer.  In the course of trying to fix the computer (which is in fact prone to turn the lights off randomly), the engineer makes some far-reaching discoveries, and the terrorists eventually pull victory from the jaws of defeat. I predict that first-time author C.A. Higgins will have a successful career as a sci-fi writer.


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