This page is moving to:

Geocities is shutting down this year. Please update any bookmarks you may have. This page will remain here until Geocities shuts down. As of today (June 25, 2009), the above link is to an identical copy, but I may be redoing things in my upcoming redesign of my website. Thank you for your patience.


By J. Stephen Bolhafner
Published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Sunday, September 27, 1992 Page 5C

THIS IS THE YEAR of the Mars novel. In the wake of the ''Case for Mars'' conferences in Colorado in the '80s, several science-fiction writers have been setting books on the Red Planet, with more to come in the next few months.

Allen Steele's "Labyrinth of Night"' (340 pages, Ace, $4.99 paperback) takes place several years after the initial exploration of Mars, with permanent bases already in place. It centers on mysterious formations photographed by NASA Viking orbiters in 1976 that some say are evidence of alien intelligence. In the pictures, one can see what looks like a face, and nearby it several pyramids.

While most scientists dismiss them as natural rock formations, Steele uses the possibility that they were produced by intelligent aliens as the jumping-off place for his novel. At the beginning of the story, one of the pyramids has been opened and discovered to be a maze of death traps. The maze seems to be an intelligence test of sorts, each room a puzzle with fatal consequences for failure to find a solution.

Steele, a St. Louisan, writes traditional ''hard-core'' science fiction, in the sense that he extrapolates from very real scientific premises to build his future world and the marvels it contains. There are no impossible gadgets here, though there are some wondrous ones. This novel is his fourth in a series set in a shared future, but is not a ''series'' novel in the sense that one needs to read the other novels to enjoy it.

Comments? Questions? Drop me a line
This page has had visitors since 09/01/2000
This page was last updated: 09/02/2000

Steve's Reads (Home)
This Week's ReadLast Week's ReadPrevious Reads
CerebusSandmanLove and Rockets
InterviewsReviewsComics & Comic Books
Good Comic BooksGood Comic MagazinesAlternative Comics

The words on this page and others maintained here are © J. Stephen Bolhafner.
Images in this webspace or pages linked here are all © their respective creators
Feel free to add add this page as a link, or to copy any of the links to your own page -- just don't copy the words themselves without my express permission, or I shall be forced to send my lawyer over to beat up your dog.