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    • I picked up the 614 page paperback edition of THE RIG months ago, and finally mustered up the tenacity to tackle this epic read. Roger Levy is a British science fiction writer, with THE RIG being his most recent (2018) book. His other titles (which I haven't read yet) include Reckless Sleep, Dark Heavens, and Icarus.

      One of the things I loved about THE RIG was that it was several different science fiction "types" combined into one: there were elements of interstellar exploration, environment, trade and politics, there was a neo-noir true crime element: there was action and intrigue; and last but not least, there was a deeper philosophical pondering of existence, meaning, and technology's role to play.

      Amongst all these disparate themes and storythreads, you could say the primary setting for the book is the planet of Bleak. It's described as:

      "It's a border planet, Bleak, and Lookout, the town where I live, is its last outpost...The seasons in Lookout are as eventful as you'd expect considering Bleak was crash-terraformed from methane to nitroxygen inside three centuries. Our longest season is between winter and summer, when the wind comes in hard off the sea, heading for the mountains, slapping thunder and rolling silverblack cloud in its wake. Anywhere else, they'd call it spring. We call it flux, and it's one grand hell of a sight."

      The roiling oceans on Bleak feature huge rigs who drill for "core", a valuable energy resource, fighting the elements at every step of the way. These roiling oceans also feature "sarcs" - self-contained sarcophogi floating in the water with individuals inside who've won a lucky lottery to have the chance to be resuscitated in the future thanks to an interstellar platform called AfterLife, where people can apply for the chance to be preserved and their stories shared forever.

      One writer, Razer who contributes to one of AfterLife's sub-websites by profiling individuals happens to be on Bleak - and she meets both a toughened cop, Bale, and a dispirited local resident, Tallen, and starts to learn more about them. After a crimespree on Bleak that irrevocably affects both of Bale and Tallen's lives, an intrigue begins to be revealed that centers on the planet - and that could could change everything.

      There are other competing storylines as well woven throughout, primarily that of Alef, a preternaturally gifted youth whose parents raised him on the isolated religious planet Gahenna, and whose world is changed forever by the arrival of another troubled boy to that community. This being sci-fi, time and space is never quite what it seems, so as you progress through the story, stay on your toes - you'll find additional details being revealed throughout.

      If you like scifi, I think you'll enjoy this book! @Apocryphal , you'll have to let me know what you think.