After listening to Tam and/or Roberta talking about this book I finally broke down and bought a copy. It's not a great story, but it doesn't shoot itself in the foot either. It's well crafted, the story moves right along and there aren't any jagged holes or awkward corners that don't make any sense, but it's not compelling. It only took me a couple of days to read it, so it's not difficult.
The first half of the story is basically a retelling of Black Hawk Down, except it's set 100 years in the future and in Detroit instead of Somalia. It's entirely believable that things could get this bad if something doesn't change about the way this country is being run. But maybe that's okay with some people. Hateful people who want to kill other people, which seems to becoming more and more popular.
The second half of the story our hero is assigned to an interstellar Navy war ship. They are resupplying a colony on a terraformed planet some number of light years away. They get there by going through a wormhole of sorts. Now we've got another kind of combat and this situation is more iffy. Although the first combat situation was probably just as bad, it was in the first half of the book, so you know our hero is going to survive.
The more I think about interstellar travel, the less likely I think we will be able to accomplish it using spaceships and machinery. I think we can probably explore our solar system, and we may even be able to terraform Venus, which would be a real trick, but really cool if we could pull it off. But going to the stars, that's a different kettle of fish. I can see two ways of getting there. One, we build robots and send them in our stead. Cylons, by your command, conquering the universe.
The other would involve some kind of alternate view of the universe. All this quantum stuff is really weird. It might be that there is another universe that coexists with our own, it's just that all our atoms are in a different quantum state and form different things. They are constantly switching back and forth between one state and the other, so sometimes they are giving our universe the illusion of reality, and sometimes they are in the other place, giving that universe the illusion of reality. The two universes would have nothing in common except for being made of the same kinds of atoms. The other universe may have all its matter distributed equally throughout space instead of being clumped together into planets and stars.
Star Trek STNG Moments 06 Where No One Has Gone Before
Star Trek had a couple of episodes where they had a visitor from another dimension, the Traveler I think they called him. Pretty far out there, but some of this quantum stuff is even weirder. So maybe, some how, we learn how to shift our state to the other universe, go a couple of feet and then shift back and be light years away from where we started. Probably lose a few probes the first time we try it.