The Burning Dark

In Adam Christopher's (Empire State) new novel, the space station Coast City is being disassembled in the far reaches of space, right next to Shadow, a bizarre star that gives off creepy, communications-disturbing radiation, along with purple light. Military hero Captain Abraham "Ida" Cleveland has been sent to the decommissioned station, ostensibly to lend his expertise to the efforts, though it feels more like being mothballed himself.

Yet something is terribly wrong. Any mention of Ida's heroic battle with powerful alien entities is missing from the fleet archives. There's no record that entire space ships ever existed. Hardened soldiers are disappearing aboard the station, and the Commandant has departed unusually early. Even Ida's status on Coast City is questioned by the forces onboard. To kill time and avoid suspicious marines, he builds a radio that accesses subspace--forbidden frequencies of strange audio--which carries the voice of a Russian cosmonaut across space and perhaps time to haunt Ida's dreams. All the while, personnel continue to vanish into very thin air.

What Ida and his grudging allies find at the end of the known universe will test their resolve and abilities more than anything they've ever encountered before. This hard science-fiction horror story latches onto the imagination and never once lets up, with intense thrills set in the unforgiving reaches of space, exploring the depths of space, time and the human condition. Christopher weaves solid characterizations with spooky visual atmospherics, leaving readers with an engaging sense of dread. --Rob LeFebvre, freelance writer and editor

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