Daniel Suarez has been near or at the top of my favorite authors ever since I read Daemon and Freedom. I enjoy how he combines action and suspense with believable near-term science fiction concepts.
In his latest novel, Delta-v, Suarez explores the topic of space exploration and the various options that are currently under evaluation such as colonizing Mars, asteroid mining, and space hotels. Around this backdrop, he creates a techno-thriller around the first team that is selected and sent to space to mine an asteroid in hopes of providing a method to sustain the human race.
In typical fashion, Suarez does a deep dive, in-depth technical analysis of the different options on the table for exploring space. Some people may be turned off by the details, but I found them interesting. Sure, some things are obvious and well known, but there are a lot of details and facts that Suarez spent plenty of time researching. It’s these details that, while they may slow the pace of the book, make it more believable.
Suarez also had some fun with the book portraying today’s space titans. He doesn’t call out Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Richard Branson by name, but it’s pretty obvious which fictional characters in the book correspond to each figure. There’s also a few subtle political undertones woven throughout the story, but I didn’t find them overwhelming nor did they distract from the book’s primary story line.
In summary, Delta-v encapsulates everything that I enjoy about a Daniel Suarez novel. For his fans, it’s an obvious Must Read. But I’d also consider it a Must Read for anyone who is interested in how humans will explore space in the near future. It looks at the trade-offs among the various options and explores how and why one option may be a better path than the others.