A Ruby Beam of Light
Review by Harvey Ardman (Author of Re-Union)
If your science fiction taste runs to Cyberpunk and wars between aliens on distant worlds, A Ruby Beam of Light by Tom DeMarco is not for you. However, if you love the classic sci fi of Asimov, Frederick Pohl or J.G. Ballard, this novel is a real treat--a delicious scientific premise, some endearing characters (and dastardly villains), and enough conflict and suspense to keep you speeding through the pages as fast as you can read them.
I don't want to spoil the story by saying too much about it--but here's a little tidbit to chew on: the hero stumbles across a simple physics trick that, when employed properly, can temporarily or even permanently stop all combustion of any kind on Planet Earth.
This little trick gives birth to a story that includes not only the scientists who discovered it--and, of course, their girlfriends--but the President of the United States and a panoply of manipulative underlings, as well as well as bumbling Generals and other characters right out of Dr. Strangelove, and some religious figures whose beliefs do them no credit.
In the process, we are treated to Hornblower-like naval battles, enough scientific ingenuity to awe McGiver, some sexual encounters that are bound to raise the most jaded eyebrow, the birth of an entirely new and quite glorious society and way of living, and the quite satisfying but not easily won victory of good over evil.
What we have here is a damn good read that is not only exciting--and frequently thrilling--but filled with thought-provoking insights about our current society. Highly recommended.