James Smythe has written a haunting science fiction thriller, "The Explorer." (Harper Voyager Books/266 pages)
The nightmare begins when journalist Cormac Easton is picked to document the first manned mission to deep space. But things go very wrong from the beginning.
The chief pilot, Arlen, fails to revive from his stasis pod. Another crew member, Wanda, dies during a space walk when her space suit ripped.
Much like the Agatha Christie classic, "Ten Little Indians," the crew members are dying one by one. Just before his death, the chief technician reveals that they were meant to perish; that a doomed space flight might spur governments to invest in space flight which had been taken over by private investors.
The horrible truth that their ship, the Ishiguro, was to become "the Marie Celeste of the mid-21st Century," closes in on the ill-fated scribe, Cormac, as the vessel's life support dwindles and the crew members perish in a story eerily reminiscent of the imagination of the great Rod Serling and his classic "Twilight Zone" series.