The following are reviews of ANTARES VICTORY that readers have left at Amazon.com. None of the reviews were written by the author, or to my knowledge, any of my relatives. -- Michael McCollum
Michael McCollum wrote the first volume in this trilogy - "Antares Dawn" back in 1986. The second volume "Antares Passage" came out in 1987. Fans had to hold out until 2002 when the third and final volume "Antares Victory" completed the series.
I'm happy to say it was worth the wait. Michael McCollum has finished the tale on a high note (sky high anyone ;-). Bringing back our favorite charactErs (Richard Drake & his wife Bethany) from the first two novels, for one last adventure - this one combining a facinating look into the complexities of a totally alien civilization with his usual flair for military science fiction.
The trilogy involves a great war between the far flung human worlds and a race of xenophobic aliens - the Ryall.
The whim of fate disrupted our heroes sole means of faster-then-light travel (a "fold link") to the rest of the galaxy, isolating their third generation colony world of Alta, for 125 years. Their star Valaria, being 125 light years from Antares; the wave front from the explosion at Antares finally swept past and their fold link was re-established (without anyone noticing it).
The mysterious appearance of a badly damaged giant battle ship of the Earth Navy signals both an end to their isolation and the first clue that things may not be going so well "out there"
One of this writer’s best strengths is his crafting of a highly believable tale. The careful preparations, the cautious explorations that unfold in the first book, set the tone for the rest of the series.
Fans of military science fiction will enjoy the very realistic battle scenes (given the technological assumptions - no gravity control for example). For hard science fiction fans - this is The Real Thing, without the dark cyberpunk overlay that some people assume the future must hold.
I recommend it to all the fans of those types of Sci-Fi.
I also highly recommend his Life Probe / Procyon’s Promise series for those that enjoy a good Artificial Intelligence story.
Finally check out my favorite of his works: "The Clouds of Saturn" - a taut, swashbuckler of a Sci Fi novel.
This book has an interesting history and provenance. Antares Victory is the last book of a space opera trilogy started by McCollum in the mid-1980s. The first 2 books appeared under the Del Ray imprint, McCollum produced some other solid books, notably the imaginative The Clouds of Saturn, and then silence. McCollum appears to have returned to writing in the early 2000s, and produced Antares Victory. This book and his others are now self published and can be ordered in either trade paperback versions or as PDF downloads from McCollum's website. I obtained Antares Victory as the latter and found the experience to be inexpensive and painless.
The Antares trilogy has many of the standard space opera devices. Wormhole type interstellar transport, major interstellar space battles, humanity versus implacable alien (as is typical, a non-mammaloid species) foes, and plucky human heroes. The plotting, based on a variant of the wormhole idea and a postulated effect of supernovas on wormholes, is clever. The quality of writing and characterization is decent.