We Chose to Go

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With NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft recently returning the most detailed pictures of Pluto in recorded history, Charles B. Smith’s We Chose to Go, about a signal that reaches mankind from deep space and how it affects the young protagonist, Rae Francis, may have been written at just the right time. Smith’s book explores the possibilities behind this sort of disposition—and how humanity would react—and it’s clear, early on, and throughout the novel, that he’s done his homework. With shades of Ender’s Game and Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, We Chose to Go is an outstanding exploration into: “What else dwells in the universe besides us?”

With the book’s main topics dealing with the greater good of the whole, it’s surprising that it’s written for such a specific audience. While the premise of following protagonist Rae Francis as she’s selected for the elite Bright Futures Academy and beyond is intriguing, the book is loaded with acronyms—SNGTA, TNGTA, NGTA, SETI, MIND…and that’s on page six alone—and space/astronomy jargon. It’s also hard to believe that our protagonist, heralded as one of the brightest young minds in the world, would utter the following: “The average person is too retarded to be trusted to pilot [flying cars]!” Tonal issues chime throughout, and I wonder what could’ve been with some editorial overview.

Despite its flaws, We Chose to Go is certainly fascinating—especially at a time where space exploration is revealing an ever-increasing amount about the galaxy we live in. If you’re unfamiliar with the language and theories of the current day, Smith’s musings and explanations might be over your head—but it’s clear that Smith knows what he’s talking about. For fans of space exploration and astronomy, with a craving for fiction on the subject, or people simply wondering, “What’s next for human kind?” this is the book for you.

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Star Count 3/5
Format Trade
Page Count 296 pages
Publisher CreateSpace
Publish Date 02-May-2015
ISBN 9781511701013
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue July 2015
Category Science Fiction & Fantasy


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