By Joe Hill
81 pages (Novella - 22,600 words)
Gunpowder is an aptly named unstable planet out on the galactic fringe. It is a cold, bleak, desolate place selected for terraforming. The technicians, however, are not your run-of-the-mill scientists but a group of not-quite-human children who have had their DNA manipulated. They have been created to breathe and live in the atmosphere without mechanical means and, more importantly, they have psychic abilities that will help them achieve their goal. But they are outcasts from Earth and the hope is that they may one day save it from a future devoid of resources.
Then war comes to the galaxy and the boys’ unique psyforming capabilities are enlisted by a mysterious stranger sent by the military. With nothing more than the power of their imaginations they can create the raw materials for missiles powerful enough to destroy moons. They can dream into existence spacecraft strong enough to fly through a supernova without being damaged. They can give the universe a military force so powerful that no one would dare defy it. And the military wants them as weapons. The question is… do they want to become soldiers for a society that has cast them off?
And one child, the deficient boy, without a psyforming ability and with the word VOID imprinted inside his glowing eyes, holds the key. What sacrifice might he make… for love?
Joe Hill’s first published venture into the realm of Science Fiction rates a resounding YES! If Gunpowder is a prologue to more stories set in this same multi-verse I can only hope that they are published soon.
4 ½ out of 5 stars