A Uniquely Qualified and at Least PARTIALLY Unbiased Review of Salvation (on CBS)

First off let me jump right in here and say that CBS’s new sci fi series Salvation feels MORE than a little familiar to me. (Here is the official CBS website)

Considering that I wrote the original version of a very similar story, Atlas and the Winds, starting in 2005 and then published that epic tome (325K words) in April of 2012, I have to say that the similarities between this series and my original novel, are rather profound.

To give an idea of how close the stories are, I’ve actually been contacted (unsolicited) by people who have read Stormhaven Rising and Prometheus and the Dragon, asking why I didn’t announce that I had sold the rights to CBS.  (Unfortunately, I didn’t.) In the case of one of these people, she was able to describe coming events in the story to other people who were watching it with her, well before they’d played out on the screen.

In its original incarnation, Atlas predates the development of  Salvation by more than a year.  I left that book up on Amazon while I re-edited the story and split it into the two novels that are now Book One and Two of the four-novel series I am still working to complete. I did not remove Atlas from publication until I re-released Stormhaven Rising in its current form. (You can get the current version of the story by following the links to the right >>>)

Interesting how that works isn’t it? Anyway, before I go too far down the merry path of potential litigation, let me give a bit of background …

Salvation is a story about a massive coverup of an asteroid coming to wipe out mankind. The American government is afraid of panic if word gets out, so the whole idea of a coverup makes some sense. This is based on a fairly common trope with just a bit of the paranoid conspiracy mentality thrown in to give it spice.

Where this story gets its legs, is when one of the asteroid’s discoverers gets word to a rich and eccentric entrepreneur who then starts playing out his own plans to save humanity (against the government’s wishes).  There’s a lot of political machination behind the scenes, and even the threat of war between the world’s superpowers.

After the first US mitigation effort tanks out in a violent explosion, the best hope to save the world is the wealthy entrepreneur and his miraculous improvement on the EM drive (if you don’t know what the EM Drive is, here’s a link).

So there you have the basic premise of Salvation in a nutshell (and the basic premise of Stormhaven Rising and Prometheus and the Dragon in a slightly less well-known nutshell). For those who’ve read my books, feel free to scream, rant, and jump up and down to your heart’s content!

To write my books I did years of research on asteroid impact, orbital mechanics, political dynamics, and then I had the advantage of coming from a background of science and engineering where I actually built prototypes of a technology very similar to the EM drive.

I think it’s fair to say that I might have a bit more insight into the story, and the science behind Salvation, than your average critic.  So I’ve decided to spend some time going over the good, the bad, and the flat-out ugly things that they’re calling “Hard Sci Fi” as Salvation plays out in its first 13 episodes (I’ll post a couple reviews a week until I catch up with the current episode).

  • Sadly, I don’t think Salvation stands much of a chance to get picked up for another season, because it has done so many things wrong with what was a great concept. So far its ratings have slipped steadily (from 4.9 Million viewers down to 3.1 million last week), so even with a lot of sexy bodies to help sell it, you can’t make up for not understanding the core principles of the story. There is so much potential there if they can just figure out what to do with it.

Give it a watch, and then let me know what YOU think.

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