Sep 6, 2007
File this under a novel I'm almost positive you never heard of. But I thought I'd mention it here because, who knows, maybe years from now, someone will read this and look further into one of the best unknown science fiction mystery novels I've ever read.
Redshift Rendezvous by John Stith was published in 1990. It wasn't his first or his last novel. But it's his best. It tells the story of a murder and subsequent investigation on an interstellar space ship.
Nothing so extraordinary about that. But the ship is traveling faster than the speed of light, and Stith posits that the speed of light inside the ship is therefore reduced to about ten meters per second, which would be about 30 million times slower than its usual speed - or the speed we're used to.
The murder investigation must take this incredibly slow-moving situation into account... Can eyewitness testimony be trusted? What is evidence when light bouncing off objects moves so slowly...
Most science fiction/mystery hybrids take place in worlds with alien names, or space ships, in environments which are otherwise pretty much like ours. Redshift Rendezvous makes the speed of light and its bending an indispensable part of the puzzle, and thus is one of the truest - and most satisfying - hybrids ever written.
If you like your science fiction rigorous, and your rigor mortis mysteries exotic, grab this novel if you can.