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🌟 Friends this was such an amazing read! Set billions of years in the future, the last of humanity races against the Big Crunch (think of the big bang in reverse where the universe shrinks back up) in huge space ships called lifeboats to hopefully outrace the Big Crunch and recolonize, saving the human race.
In a desperate attempt to outrun the Big Crunch and recolonise the resulting new Universe, Humanity sends huge ships stocked with millions of people in hibernation racing at relativistic speeds for the edges of space.
One Lifeboat finds itself in crisis when strange events start to occur and Tom, the crew’s Astrophysicist, starts to suspect that all is not quite as it seems or as they have been told.
A main theme of this book revolves around putting off solutions for future problems under the guise of “plenty of time to work on it.” This has direct parallels to how we as a planet tend to address issues that are coming up but will have no impact on the current generations… it is the problem for Future Generations to deal with and in that respect the story feels incredibly plausible.
“Basically, they’ve told me we’re coming to the end of our stay in this universe. They say that it’s collapsing at a quicker rate all the time and that’s why we’ve been having all these quakes and freaky weather and stuff everywhere.”
The Lifeboat at the End of the Universe is excellently paced and still manages to describe in depth the world (er, ship) around the characters, as well as giving the characters a lot of depth – no small feat given this short story is all of 131 pages and many novels take this long to develop characters! Brading’s writing is succinct but descriptive and mesmerizing, and once I picked up the book I was not able to put it down. Seriously this is written so well with the suspense of a thriller. There’s not much that I am able to say without spoilers, but this is a riveting read and I highly encourage it to lovers of science fiction. 🚀
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