Book Review: “A Dark Genesis” by Cheryl Lawson

This is a sci-fi horror novella. The setting is a ship on a deep space voyage, which is temporarily knocked off course by a collision with an asteroid.

I can’t say too much more about the plot, because this is a short book, and if I say much, I’ll spoil everything. All I’ll say is if you enjoy stories like Who Goes There? or Alien, you’ll enjoy this one.

What I want to talk about instead are the setting and the characters. Especially one character, Sage, a scientist whose knowledge of chemistry becomes very important in the second half of the story. Despite her brilliance, she’s rather prickly and a little paranoid. (The latter quality ultimately serves her well.)

Nor can I blame her, because there are aspects of the society on the ship that are somewhat creepy. There is an A.I. that is designed to keep the peace among the crew members. One of the ways it does this is by deploying drones that fine people for displays of anger, including even very mild profanity.

I expected this would play a bigger part in the story, although it sort of disappears (for logical reasons) about halfway through. But I would be curious to see this aspect of society on the ship explored in more detail.

All in all, this is a good scary story that blends the science-fiction and the horror elements well and builds to a satisfying conclusion.

[Audio version of this post available below.]


  1. A novella? Hmmm… something short like this has got to go on my to-be-read list… You keep destroying my timelines, Gambrel!

    It’s a good thing there are no robots that fine us for cursing; I’d have no money for books (or keeping myself alive) if there were!

    1. I think you’ll enjoy it. 🙂

      Yeah, if there were fussy robots like that, I’d be ****ed. 🙂

  2. I’m super conflicted about this one. I saw Alien in the cinema when it first came out – yes, I’m /that/ old – and I’ve never been so scared in my life. I’ve since watched every Alien movie ever made, ever the crud ones, but I still hate the horror aspect. -sigh- Do I really want to be scared?

    1. Hmm, it’s a tough call for sure. I think you’d enjoy the sci-fi elements, but the horror side is pretty strong.

What's your stake in this, cowboy?