I’m glad I picked up Heaven’sShadow at a local book fair because it was a great scifi read. The 2011 novel is co-written by David S. Goyer and Michael Cassutt. While Goyer has made his mark in comics and movies such as Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, Cassutt has worked on TV shows like The Twilight Zone and Eerie Indiana.
In Heaven’s Shadow, a near-Earth object (NEO) named Keanu for a certain actor is going to zip by Earth and rival teams of astronauts are set to rendezvous with it. Soon both the American team and the Russian-Indian-Brazilian Coalition (that would make a fun multi cultural party) find way more than they bargained for. The NEO hits the brakes and goes into orbit around earth. What looked like a frozen asteroid was really an alien craft with a small world inside.
The premise is similar to Arthur C. Clarke’s Rama series, where humans hitch a ride on a space ship cloaked as an asteroid that turns out to be a great social experiment to see if they can get along with alien races. In Heaven’s Shadow, there is also a great sense of adventure and some big surprises, “space zombies” among them. The characters have touching back stories as that come into play well. This includes the relationship between the lead astronauts and his daughter awaiting his return.
I know Goyer and Cassutt have successful careers in TV and film, but I hope they find time to collaborate on another fine novel.