Transgalactic by James Gunn (book review).

May 7, 2016 | By | Reply More

Unlike the first book, ‘Transdimensional’ with its multi-alien involvement where you see all the characters’ individual stories, written three years later, James Gunn’s sequel, ‘Transgalactic’, strips all of this away and focuses on just Riley and Asha. To survive being attacked by the local inhabitants, they both step through the Transcendental Machine, in reality a purifying teleporter.

It removes the pedia from Riley’s brain and makes him physically better. As it does with Asha for the second time. One small difference, both are teleported to different planets many light years apart and we follow their adventures in alternating chapters to find each other. However, there is an underlying purpose in all of this that we aren’t really given any knowledge of until the final chapters and much of which would be spoiler to reveal. Both characters are nicely rounded but we don’t really share much of them to really share their lives as such.


Jim Gunn continues to do his text in slightly past tense which doesn’t really help. Oddly, when they arrive on Earth, he references names of places from our time period. Although how far into the future this is set isn’t revealed, you would have thought many centuries hence, the use of them would surely have changed by now, let alone their original purpose.

This doesn’t mean this novel isn’t a bad read, just not depthy as it could be and you don’t really see the big picture of what is really going on until the last, which is a shame.

GF Willmetts

May 2016

(pub: TOR/Forge. 217 page hardback. Price: $26.99 (US), $31.50 (CAN). ISBN: 978-0-7653-8092-0)

check out website: www.tor-forge.com

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Category: Books, Scifi

About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 15 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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