“There’s a crushing silence when moving through the void of space. The night sky paints a false picture of the cosmos, giving the impression that reality is filled with objects and phenomena. Truthfully it’s more empty than full. Nothing but seemingly unending blackness in all directions, punctuated by brief flashes of deadly light.”
This excerpt was taken from chapter two of Ty Arthur’s wonderful scifi/horror novella, Empty. The writing is this strong throughout the piece. At no point did the tension waver. From beginning to end, you feel Junior Engineer 3rd class Hansen’s claustrophobia and isolation–his sense of existential despair coupled with a crawling anticipation.
There are terrors still waiting to be discovered out in the vast emptiness of space. After millennia of travel through the void, man has convinced himself he is master of the stars.
Down-on-his-luck, stuck performing punishment duty in the lower levels of the Penrose, Junior Engineer 3rd Class Hansen wants nothing more than to see the wreckage of a newly discovered ship dating back to man’s earliest deep space explorations.
The engineer is about to get his wish, and in the process come face-to-face with a long-dormant horror waiting patiently for the perfect vessel. What he’ll uncover in the darkness will threaten to consume him, body and soul.
I loved this little book. Clocking in at seventy-seven pages, Arthur manages to create a world worthy of seven hundred. Although, despite what many readers have suggested, I think the book is perfect at its current length. The pacing and the flow of the prose just feel right. I would love to see a follow-up novel, however, that lingers a little longer and expands on the idea presented here.
If you’re a fan of Alien or the Dead Space video games, you will probably enjoy this book. But one of the things I truly enjoyed most about it was Ty’s prose. He manages to combine elegance with bluntness, and insight with action in a way that keeps you thinking about the story even after you have stepped away from it.
You can purchase Empty here!