Review

Breathless

Shane Lindemoen is an award-winning novelist from the Midwest. He has written many short stories. He is the author of sci-fi novels Artifact and Breathless.

When Earth loses contact with a ship near Saturn, Fenroe and her crew are sent to search for survivors. But deep into their journey, cut off from support, their mission unravels.

And so it was.

The travelers went into the darkness.

And dreamt with the stars.

Breathless is a journey through inner and outer space. Introspective sci-fi about loneliness and feeling lost while gazing into the abyss. In the vein of films like Alien and The Thing, a fusion of hard science and cosmic horror, blended by a common theme: what humanity finds in deep-space is its unconscious.


 

Breathless is one of my all time favourites. Breathless first keeps knocking your breath out of your lungs until you realise breath isn’t the only thing it’s affecting–it’s suffocating your very soul itself.

Though the scenes are absolutely brutal, the feeling is so intense that you don’t want it to stop. It’s like an adrenaline rush, You want to know what happens next, you want to feel the hope turning into despair, the helplessness; you want to be breathless, as the story branches out into a number of twists and turns.

This is sci-fi horror done well. The hard sci-fi elements are especially captivating. Things are described in so much detail that they become real for you. And the descriptions are truly awesome. You will want to reread some passages just because how beautifully they are written. Every small thing is connected to something big, and it all makes sense as they are explored later in the book.

Breathless follows the journey of the crew of a spaceship approaching a grand space station some distance away from Jupiter, which is supposed to be the farthest boundary humans have been able to reach. The pinnacle of human endeavour rests near Jupiter. But something shrouded in mystery hides near Saturn, and their mission is reassigned to answer the distress signals of a spaceship that had ventured this far.

Things go wrong, then seriously wrong, and then catastrophically wrong.

This isn’t just a story where the crew members die one by one because of some unexplained anomaly. Everything is explained, and with great passion, without much info-dumping. Everything that happens happened because of a reason and the mystery is revealed by the time we reach the end.

There’s space, the abyss, spaceships and black holes, and AI. An absolutely beautiful combination. While the plot is interesting, I enjoyed Breathless more because of its well-crafted characters. It’s been months since I read Breathless, but I still remember the characters, their pain, their drives, and the stellar conclusion of their story.

Hard sci-fi horror fans will definitely enjoy Breathless.

My very first short story collection of dark fiction stories BREATH OF THE VOID is now available! It’s a collection of nine stories, and each story comes with a haunting illustration. Please try it if you like dark stuff : )

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