Have You Read Outland or Earthside? (My Thoughts)

I was delighted recently to learn that the author of the excellent Bobiverse series (which sounds silly but is actually excellent sci-fi), Dennis E. Taylor, had another series with two books already available. Outland is a revised edition of a book he wrote a long time ago, and Earthside is the recently published sequel. I greatly enjoyed both and am hoping for more.

The premise of the series is about the confluence of two somewhat unrelated events: One, Yellowstone turns into a mega-volcano and devastates the world. Two, some college kids discover a way to look into and even enter alternate versions of Earth, including one that appears untouched by humans. Given the Yellowstone event, the timing couldn’t be better.

Here’s the particularly great thing about Taylor’s books: Bad things happen, but the heroes are always prepared. The main characters consistently outsmart everything thrown their way. They definitely make mistakes and face extremely difficult decisions and antagonists, but instead of dreading the worst, readers know that the protagonists will pull through in the end through smarts (not luck). I find this a rarity in books–even books I love–and it makes for such a relaxing read instead of a tense, stressful one.

If that’s what you’re looking for, I highly recommend Outland and Earthside. Can you think of other books where you can consistently count on the heroes to make smart decisions that let good prevail?

1 thought on “Have You Read Outland or Earthside? (My Thoughts)”

  1. The Bobiverse is probably my favorite sci fi book series, even though the fourth book was a bit weaker than the rest, but eagerly waiting for the next one! I read both Outland and Earthside, here’ how I summarized the later after finished reading it last year:

    “Finished Earthside, and you know why this is a 5/5 book for me? It’s perfectly cozy and I love it. There’s no high drama, no super crazy action sequences, it’s just a bunch of people trying to live and build something. Stuff of course is happening, good and bad but at no point I felt that it’s written for the sake of fighting some overarching evil or I need to follow some convoluted story line. It was just perfect. Next one please.”

    I feel this summary resonates with your description of the book. Really a fantastic series.

    Two more books I would recommend from Dennis E. Taylor are Singularity Trap which is a more serious sci fi book and Roadkill which reads more like a youth fiction book but it’s really good. Also I don’t know if you are reading or listening to your books but Ray Porter who narrates Dennis’ books is absolutely fantastic.

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