The Good. A story about breaking the government's grasp on space by individuals. First published in 1998 the setting is the NEAR future and this book slightly predicted just how BAD NASA would become at just putting people into space. This was after the accident with Challenger in 1986 but before Columbia in 2008. It explores many of the other methods, and ship designs, of getting into space. Too bad most of them either are unproven at the time OR have been proven to be flawed now. Still, it was enjoyable to see how many of the spacecraft COULD have worked. At least in the mind of the author. There is more than one "Hero" which is somewhat realistic. And they are far from superheroes. They are flawed and from all walks of life.
The Bad. Outside of one of the "Villains" who seemed to be realistic to me most of the "Bad Guys" were somewhat boring to me. None of them were just Evil for Evil's Sake but their reasons for doing what they did was, in most cases, petty and cruel. But for one of them. I almost liked him. He even did a nice act before the end. I won't say which one because he is easy to spot from out of the group of "Bad Guys". I think he is the only one that does not take everything the "Heroes" do as a personal attack on him. He lacks the "ego" the others do and that makes him almost refreshing.
Also while I liked the "Heroes" they got away with too much to be believable. They would have been arrested well before the halfway point of the book.
And the Ugly. Warning. There is a rape scene in the novel and it is treated realistically and so is its aftermath. As a person who knew a victim of sexual assault I had to put the book down and recover for awhile before continuing the story.
At more than 500 pages I would suggest trying to read it all in one go is going to take up to a week. And the story comes across as realistic and idealistic and cynical all at the same time. In other words libertarian science fiction that focuses on the politics and the society as much as the science. YET I think even non-libertarians would agree with many of the points made by the author about getting into space, which are still valid, and enjoy the book as a science fiction adventure. The hardcover also has a afterword by Gregory Benford.
- Publisher: Final Frontier; Signed edition (1 August 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0966566203
- ISBN-13: 978-0966566208
- Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3.8 x 22.9 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 953 g
- Customer Reviews: 7 customer ratings