The Glass Planet by Christopher Zyck
What’s it About?
An expansive Sci-Fi adventure that focuses heavily on the economic philosophy of mankind’s future society.
In one of my other reviews, I pondered an age old question in the world of fiction — the difference between science fiction and fantasy.
Although the discussion is still in progress — and probably will be for some time to come — the one thing that many seem to agree on is that possibility — that is whether the elements of the novel could conceivably come to pass — is a major determining factor. Science fiction explores what is possible (even if it’s improbable), while fantasy explores the impossible. As Ray Bradbury put it, “Science fiction is really sociological studies of the future, things that the writer believes are going to happen by putting two and two together, it’s a logical projection.”
The key here is the sociological study of the future. In this regard, author Christopher Zyck has done an incredible job in his novel, The Glass Planet. Zyck places modern economic, social and moral problems into an expansive galactic setting that causes the relatable issues of our modern era to take on monstrous proportions.
The story focuses heavily on the economic philosophy of mankind’s future society, which is to facilitate “the ‘wellbeing’ of the human condition.” At the story’s center are two people, a man and a woman, waking in a cave located in a dense jungle. The characters — who eventually realize they are Catherine and Jurgen — make it back to civilization only to discover a wildly technologically advanced world that has outlawed greed-based economic philosophies and has begun conquering the stars. As the story evolves however, readers learn that the seeming utopia isn’t as idyllic as it seems.
A UNIQUE TAKE
My favorite aspect of the novel is the sheer depth and creativity of the world-building, even within the realm of science fiction. Throughout the novel we are introduced to fascinating concepts such as the terraforming of Earth via revolutionary filtration and irrigation advances. These more focused, smaller scale aspects help keep the larger theme of time-travel from feeling stale and overdone as the two combine to create a unique take rather than a clone of existing stories.
The world-building exists just as much on a character level, and seamlessly melds with Zycks engaging and descriptive prose. One of my favorite passages in the novel describes the combat styles of several characters:
“Vanitha is a master of the Nunchaku with mesmerizing quickness and speed with which she can hit several vulnerable parts of the body in the blink of an eye. The gymnastic qualities of her style are unique to her design… Lily favors her katana and wakizashi, the long and short swords of Daisho… Lily’s prior training as a ballet dancer has left its mark on her combat style, allowing for efficient movements that are as graceful and mesmerizing as they are deadly.”
Zycks exposition on a small scale is just as effective as it is on the galactic scale, making for a novel that imprints the author’s vision directly into the readers’ heads.
For fans searching for a novel that will stimulate the brain as much as Asimov and enthrall readers to the degree of James S.A. Corey’s The Expanse, look no further than this stunning new novel.
About the author:
Christopher attended thirteen years of undergraduate semesters studying creative writing, American Literature, English Literature, print and broadcast Journalism, poetry intensives and dramatic arts (acting.) He obtained multiple skills engaging in producing, fundraising for not-for-profit theaters, marketing, advertising, directing and wore a few more hats, some larger than others, all of them about “The Work.” The Glass Planet is his debut novel after a long period of focus, speculation and empathy toward individuals facing trauma, abuse, neglect and desperation. “I relate the struggles of starting in an unknown world with nothing other than the ‘shirts on their backs.’”
Publish Date: 5/13/2022
Author: Christopher Zyck
Page Count: 456 pages
Publisher: CJZ Media Island