The Enceladus Mission

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 28 Feb 2019

Member Reviews

Basically, a probe flies through the material erupted from a geyser on Enceladus, one of the moons of Saturn. The tests done on the ejecta finds materials that imply that there might be life there. NASA and various governments put together a manned mission that will go to Enceladus and melt/drill their way through the ice to see if there is actually life.

The book covers the prep for the mission, the travel to Saturn, and what happens when they get there, and all of that was fascinating.

Unfortunately, the characters did not live up to the plot they are hanging off of. Martin, the POV character, is presented as a man so smart that he absolutely has to be part of the mission, despite his own misgivings, but he has almost no emotional depth. Okay, that's not terribly unusual, so that I gave a pass to that. However, the other characters introduced (the bitter astronaut assigned to train him, the survivalist trainer, the other members of the expedition, etc) are also paper thin.

The point I almost gave up (and if the book had been paper format, I probably would have thrown it across the room) was partway into the mission when the female commander announces that she is pregnant. First of all, why the hell would a mixed-gender crew be sent on a long space mission without the women all having IUDs? And then she sensibly decides to arrange for the mission doctor to give her an abortion. Only problem is, the crew decides to *vote* on it! Vote on whether or not to *force* her to go through with the pregnancy. And they do! There's no discussion on body autonomy!

After that, they seem to jump straight to 'how to baby-proof a spaceship' and 'how to create diapers'. No thought to avoiding radiation, creating pre-natal vitamins, dealing with a higher-risk pregnancy (the mother's age), the unknown elements of a low-gravity pregnancy and delivery. Nope, everything goes fine and dandy and there is a bouncing baby boy. But what about when they get back to earth? How will a baby conceived, gestated, born, and spending the first number of months is low gravity survive a landing and adjusting to full Earth gravity?

The pregnancy was completely unnecessary, and should have been run past a few female readers before the book was finalised.

Still, I pushed on despite the rage induced by that idiotic vote, and I did find the time on Enceladus interesting, and the alien life was satisfyingly alien. I just wouldn't recommend this book to female readers unless they are vehemently pro-life.


Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for letting me read this
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4 stars for the hardcore sci fi aspect and impressive research that went into this story. 2 stars for the writing and plot development. A little too long in words and short in depth  for my liking but perhaps sci fi enthusiasts might get more from it. Thank you to publisher and Netgalley for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
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I am a former aerospace engineer, so I can handle hard core science fiction. I actually enjoy super science-y science fiction. But there also has to be character growth and some emotion on the page and Enceladus lacked that, so I found it a struggle to read. The story is clearly well researched, but - I'm not sure all of that detail needed to be on the page, often it didn't advance the plot in any way. This one wasn't to my taste, but for folks that want a lot of technical detail and no emotions or description bogging down a story - this is right up your alley!
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The Enceladus Mission is a well researched hard sci-fi book, of which nowadays not many are easy to find. At first, I was a bit pertubed by the very emotionally distant style the book is set in, but since this reflects the emotional inner life of the main character, I was able to accept it as a writer's quirk. Every detail seems somewhat possible - not now, but maybe in ten or twenty years, and even the question of extraterrestial life is answered quite elegantly. There was one incident in the middle of the book concerning a trope that a lot of (mostly male) sci-fi writers fall trap to, and at first I wanted to discontinue reading - this was, however, handled acceptably and did not resurface as a cheap plot twist again. 

I would reccomend this book to everyone who enjoys science fiction or has a healthy interest in science. The Enceladus Mission opens up new questions of what may or may not be possible in a future not so far away.
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In the year 2031, an human delegation is going to Enceladus, one of Saturn’s moons. The narrative is very fluid and the author added a realistic way to describe the events and add some humor. I liked the annex which includes a guided tour to Enceladus. I hope this book will be transformed into a movie soon.
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What to say about Brandon Q. Morris's science fiction story, The Enceladus Mission?

Alright, let’s see.

When I say this is a science fiction story, I by no means am saying this is in the sci-fi category. This is in the SCIENCE fiction category.

I never put too much thought into this but there is a difference. The Enceladus Mission is a reality based fiction story about a crew of realistic characters taking a road trip to Saturn’s little frozen moon...sorry “satellite.”

This story, written by a guy who knows his stuff (Brandon) is then proofed and edited by engineers and doctors. Me, being none of these things find myself reading along as if I am holding a historical biography of events. Basically, I may as well be thinking, “oh, okay that’s how we made it to one of Saturn’s moons.”

The premise is, us humans sent a probe out to Enceladus and found a few clues that could possibly point to the existence of life there in one form or another. As humans do, we make a big scene, push some propaganda, and begin a worldwide fundraising campaign to start the process of sending some men and women to go in person and confirm or not, whether we are alone...or not. Seemingly, in the near future, Kickstarter no longer exists so countries got to pay up. The more you give, the better chance that one of your astronauts will get the honour of going.

Martin, the main protagonist, is not an astronaut. Unfortunately for him though, while troubleshooting computer programming glitches during some equipment testing he puts a spotlight on himself. This leads to his superiors at the space agency volun-telling him that he will be replacing a crew member who was injured during training.

There's something familiar with the way Brandon tells this part of the story. We see Martin in his element, troubleshooting and engineering his way through the problem. Cocky in a respectful way, mindful of his emotions with the stress of others' lives depending on him. As I enjoy the pages, I realize I’m starting to see a resemblance to the first few stories of Asimov's I, Robot and I’ll admit I get excited about what's coming.

I shouldn’t have.

As stated above this is a scientific fiction, and Asimov had always swayed to Sci.

No matter!

Martin is scared poopless for the first half of the story. I always fall for these characters, not because I relate...no definitely not that.

It’s not until his mission is on the way that we see him take shape as an essential member of the crew. The crew of 6. The commander Amy, ship doctor Marchenko, biologist Jiaying, pilot Francesca, and engineers Hayato and Martin. Three Male and three female. Works out well for ship morale later. I’m sincerely curious if this would be standard procedure on a two year trip, or if it’s just something the author did on his own.

Now, any other author that threw six characters in a metal tube for a year or two would probably make this crucible the main antagonistic force. There would be all the basic cliché cabin fever symptoms nagging us all the way to Saturn.

Not this author.

Faulty equipment and the vacuum of space is all we will contend with. I’m not saying I missed it personally, but I will say 9 out of 10 people I give this book to will use it as a sleep aid.

(Though, I will admit that may also be the case because 9 out of 10 people I call friends are action mongers.)

There was one slight bump in drama however, when commander Amy tells the crew that she is pregnant thanks to Hayato. Great job. Very professional. I wonder at this point if this will turn into some type of Lost in Space series but Amy does not end up naming the child Will.

As events unfold, Martin watches from the sidelines; he is our accidental hero. The best kind in my opinion. All the action comes in the form of problem-solving and engineering on the fly, which adds to the realism. Whenever I start to question this realism, Brandon throws some math at me.

Dumb me responds with "yup this seems right…science..." 

If you think you are comfortable orbiting a plot where nothing fantastic will occur—at least not until the end—then this may be a title for you. If you like the idea (as I definitely do) of going through a realistic yet impossible story of travelling to another world then download this one. I relish reading characters who use their wits to save the day because as I’m living vicariously through them, at that moment, I too am a genius.

If you don’t gravitate to a story where it’s just one equipment failure getting fixed after an other, you may want to skip. I warn you there is an abundance of telling and not tons of feeling, if your expecting a beautiful description of the endless oppressive presence of the void for example you will not find it here. It may be reasonable to just over shoot this books mass.

Now is there life out there?

Could you imagine if you went through a whole bloody novel where every obstacle is a busted doohickey or doodad (over and over) and when the crew finally gets there they find nothing?!

Well, If that were the case, I would lie my way through this whole thing with the intent to make sure as many people read this book as possible so that I would not be alone in such a cruel joke.

Have a nice day!

5 out of 10 stars (Hey! I actually can use stars for this one. That’s kind of nice.)
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This book was an adventure!   This could actually happen.  The twist in the story , i didnt see coming. There was  Well developed characters in my opinion and it keep my attention the whole entire book.
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The beginning of this book was great but it quickly spirals from one improbable scenario to another i found it very hard to finish
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Wow what an adventur!!! I was really impressed with what this book had to offer me, and shocked with how it continually kept me guessing :D. To be honest I have not read a space book in a vet long time. So I didn't know what was in store for me when I decided to give this one a try. Loved it!! All though this is a review so I guess I should tell you my exact thoughts.
 As I said before this book kept me guessing tell the very end hand had me hooked from the very begging. There were a few health critasisms I have for it though. Like at the beginning it seemed to go from one section of story telling to the next to soon. In fact I found my self getting confused as to what was really going on lol. Soon after though I got right back into the story and mad spence of it! So it definitely wasn't a bad thing. When they were traveling to the moon it got a bit boring but then the whole baby thing came into play and things definitely got more interesting!! Kinda wish the book would have been more detailed into how a birth in space worked but what can you do lol :P also I thought the ending was a bit rushed but that's ok it left me wanting way way more!!!
 Over all loved the book like I said it always kept me on my toes. Right when. Thought things couldn't get more interesting it always did. And I am for sure going to purchase this book for my self and put it on my shelf !! I can see my self reading this over and over again!!
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Okay, so I have to tell you first and foremost that this is hard sci-fi, and I mean HARD. I mean its in the publisher's name (haha). Anyway, I found this to be a compelling read. Although the info dump at the beginning was unnecessary, I really enjoyed the premise of this book. The story revolves around a planned mission to Saturn's moon, fifteen years after a probe proves that life does indeed exist here. And the story just follows on form there. After one of the pilots is injured, Martin is the only one that can carry it on, even though he is basically attached to his desk and couldn't care less about who going on this mission.

But nonetheless, I loved Martin's character. he is so knowledgable and witty.

I highly recommend this book to sci-fi fans for a taste for something fresh!
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In a sentence the novel is about how a remote probe detected definitive proof of life within the Saturnian moon of Enceladus and the following manned mission to confirm the probes results. 
I initially found the writing style difficult to read, the chapters didn’t particularly flow into each other as they jump over significant time periods and seemingly important events, such as astronaut training. Although once the actual mission is underway the story flows and becomes a lot more engaging and fun to read. This is the reason why I’ve rated this novel a 4/5. The characters were well fleshed out and different while the setting and concepts were well thought through and researched.
The narrative revolves around the viewpoint of Martin Neumeier, a computer programmer and former contractor to JPL. After finding his way onto the crew heading to the distant moon the story takes off, pun intended. It follows his experiences being confined to a claustrophobic spaceship for over a year and the relationships built between the small multinational crew along with several other trials and tribulations. 
If you enjoy reading science fiction that follows realistic scientific principals and concepts, then you will enjoy reading The Enceladus Mission. Although towards the ending of the book its realism is stretched to a degree but overall it didn’t undermine the theme of the novel.
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I couldn't put this book down! Besides the suspenseful plot and rich characters, I really liked the technical plausibility of everything that happens. The author's writing style ensured that technical details didn't interfere with the flow of the narrative. I even enjoyed reading the "Guided Tour of Enceladus" section at the end which provides a more detailed technical background.
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Interesting story. However, there was so much info given that it felt heavily bogged down. I just couldn't find a groove and it took me weeks to finish reading it. Good book, but I didn't love it.
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Publishing Date: October 2018

Publisher: Hard Science Fiction

ISBN: 9783947283293

Genre: SciFI

Rating: 4.2/5

Publisher’s Description: In the year 2031, a robot probe detects traces of biological activity on Enceladus, one of Saturn’s moons. This sensational discovery shows that there is indeed evidence of extraterrestrial life. Fifteen years later, a hurriedly built spacecraft sets out on the long journey to the ringed planet and its moon.

Review: Reviewers on the down side of this novel said there was too much info-dumping or too much hard science. Well la-ti-da. Hard science fiction is what built the genre. Remember Ringworld? It is really a waste of time to consider reviews that lack an awareness of the principal aspects that founded their current interest.  If it is not romance slathered scifi or concepts that verge on Fantasy without explanation, then millennial readers quickly lose interest. Yeah, thinking is just soooo hard.

Even if hard Sci-fi is not your cuppa joe, there is some really good character development and world building to ease the headache in your brain. Most of the novel is viewed through the eyes of Martin. Martin is a bit socially inept and lacks a certain depth in the compassion department. He grows emotionally through the rigors of a long journey and that is a testament to the writer’s skill.

I am really looking forward to the next installment if only to see what happens to Marchenko.
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I read a digital copy of this book I received via Netgalley.

There was a bit too much information in this one - too much focus on minutiae and 'we did this then we did that' for my taste.

The communication thing on Enceladus was fascinating, but it lasted about twelve seconds. I would have loved more depth with regard to that. It was actually the most interesting part of the book for me.

There is a huge twist in the early bits of the following book, so if you're not ready to be spoiled, avoid reading it.
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This is a story for hardcore space fans, or those who want/need a grounding in hard sci-fi.

Through probably the first quarter of the book I never really seemed to get over the fact that Martin ended up on a manned  crew two Enceladus. I really had a hard time biting that off, but at the same time, this book is supposed to be a work of fiction and fun. How many space geeks out there who are technically unqualified to be astronauts wouldn’t give their right leg (or any other limb) to become an astronaut? I know I would. 

From that point, it really seemed to capture the focus on the mundane, and how everything trivial isn’t trivial.  That helped solidify the isolation piece for me. That said, I do really enjoy that aspect, but that really messed with the pacing.  Even after arrival at Enceladus, the pacing seemed a bit off. That’s honestly what took me so long to read this book, otherwise I would’ve finished it in two days.

One thing I really wish would have been explored in greater detail was the potential “hive-like” extraterrestrial.  Hopefully, from what I gathered in the Author’s Note, the next book titled The Titan Probe will answer this question, and whether or not it tries to communicate thanks to Martin’s last minute idea. It’s a shame that it just fell really flat for me though. Anticlimactic. Reminded me of a weekly TV series...”tune in next week to see if So-and-So survived!”

Overall, I enjoyed the book. Definitely worth the read for hard sci-fi fans.

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2577744187

https://astrogeek.wixsite.com/localgroup/home/the-enceladus-mission-by-brandon-g-morris
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The Enceladus Mission tells the story of the first manned trip to a moon of Saturn. It develops nicely from the beginning exploring why it was chosen as the destination for the trip. The story is told at a really good pace. Seemed like just the right amount of time on each section of the trip from crew selection and training, to prep work, travel to the moon, time on the moon, and leaving. Overall I enjoyed the book very much and look forward to reading the sequel.
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The Enceladus Mission 
by Brandon Q. Morris 
Just the book for the times, with First Man in the theaters a realistic fiction story about space exploration is the key. The problems and frustrations in developing new technology and machinery that will allow us to explore other world is not simple. This book shows the personal struggles, and risks that explorers have face in every new endeavor. 
The personal story is enthralling, the dynamic scope and picture is astounding, what they find on Enceladus is a Science Fiction daydream. I recommend this book to all explorers, adventurers and just science fiction readers.
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The story begins with a planned mission to one of Saturn's moon's, Enceladus. This is 15 years after a robot probe finds traces of biological activity, proving there's is indeed extraterrestial life on Enceladus. 

The first opportunity we get to meet our main protagonist, Martin, is during a practice mission using the new Valkyrie machine built specifically for this mission. Martin works for NASA and is comfortable with his desk job and not at all envious of those who will be going into space on the Enceladus Mission. Well, fate comes into play and one of the pilots of the machine, Valkyrie, gets injured, leaving only one person who knows the systems and the machines inside out, Martin Neumaier. 

Martin is taken down to Texas to complete a fast track training program to get him ready for the mission to Enceladus. Here he endures gruelling training that most astronauts complete over years. Before he knows it, Martin is buckling up and ready to take off. Deep down, Martin knows this could be a suicide mission. 

I have massive respect for Brandon Q. Morris and his knowledge when it comes to technology and science. Early on you can see that the author has done a ton of research in preparation for this book. Although I enjoyed reading about all the future technology, I did have an issue with the amount of information dumping. The first 60% of the book (and this is a mountain of a book) is information, most of the time repeating itself. For me, this slowed the story down and made it a bit boring at times if truth be told. I found that as soon as the story got really good, the author tended to go off on another 5/6 chapters of nothing but information which becomes a bit frustrating.

As I've said above, when the story gets going, it's good. Really good in fact. The characters were all interesting people with completely different backgrounds, ranging from a tough Italian pilot to a funny Russian doctor. My favourite character was definitely marchenko, hes funny but also quite strict, I found myself having a huge amount of respect for marchenko. He reminded me of my favourite school teacher. 

Now, theres a plot twist in this book that I can only describe as being marmite. You're either going to love it and think it's brilliant or you're going to hate it. For me it was a bit random and kind of threw me off. 

Although this wasn't my cup of tea, I can see it being a hit with those who love hard science fiction and solid facts mixed in with the actual story. 

I would like to thank Brandon Q. Morris, Hard-ST.com and Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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The Enceladus Mission begins with a robot probe finding evidence of single celled organisms on Enceladus. A mission is then created to explore Enceladus and it's ocean, under the ice. The story covers the design of the mission, problems beforehand, the mission itself, as well as the protagonists's obvious personal problems. Although it seemed slow in places, I really enjoyed the science fiction based on current science. It also shows the people on the mission as people, including an unplanned addition. I liked the undersea exploration and the results.
Overall, a good read! I look forward to more in this series.
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