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A trust fund brat dies, wakes up a hundred years later, and finds out the future sucks.


A King of Infinite Space

Harper Prism, 1997, 312 pages




"This is the story of the last day of my life, and everything that happened after that."

Back in print after a decade, A King of Infinite Space is the final volume of Allen Steele's award-winning Near-Space series, and a cult-favorite among readers. Ranging from a Lollapalooza concert of 1995 to the asteroid belt of 2099, it's the tale of a young man who dies, becomes reborn, and crosses the solar system in search of his lost love... and grows to be a better man, despite himself.


A great space adventure if you can get past the douchebag protagonist. )

Verdict: Allen Steele is a reliable hard SF fix for those who like modern science fiction in the spirit of Heinlein. A King of Infinite Space stands alone well, but is even better following the rest of his Near-Space stories. 9/10.

Also by Allen Steele: My reviews of Coyote, Apollo's Outcasts, and Sex and Violence in Zero-G: The Complete "Near Space" Stories, Expanded Edition.




My complete list of book reviews.
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A collection of hard SF short stories spanning an entire century of near-future history.


Sex and Violence in Zero-G: The Complete Near Space Stories, Expanded Edition

Fantastic Books, 2012, 514 pages




All the stories of Allen Steele's award-winning "Near Space" series--now in an expanded and revised second edition!

Since its first publication in 1999, "Sex and Violence in Zero-G" has become one of the most long-sought and hard-to-find of Steele's books. At last, this massive collection is back in print--complete with a new introduction, five additional stories, and a revised timeline.

Includes the Hugo Award-winning novella "The Death of Captain Future" and the Hugo Award-winning novelette "The Emperor of Mars."


For astronauts, beamjacks, prospectors and colonists, soldiers and gangsters and rebels in space... )

Verdict: These stories are all love letters to an earlier generation of science fiction, but the Near Space series is thoroughly modern SF. I think Allen Steele is underrated, and since I have always loved space adventures and short stories that all fit into an epic arc, this collection gets my Highly Recommended tag.

Also by Allen Steele: My reviews of Coyote and Apollo's Outcasts.




My complete list of book reviews.
inverarity: (inverarity)
A fresh Heinleinesque juvenile, a boy's adventure on the Moon.


Apollo's Outcasts

Prometheus Books, 2012, 311 pages




Jamey Barlowe has been crippled since childhood, the result of being born on the Moon. He lives his life in a wheelchair, only truly free when he is in the water. But then Jamey's father sends him, along with five other kids, back to the Moon to escape a political coup d'etat that has occurred overnight in the United States. Moreover, one of the other five refugees is more than she appears. Their destination is the mining colony, Apollo. Jamey will have to learn a whole new way to live, one that entails walking for the first time in his life.

It won't be easy and it won't be safe. But Jamey is determined to make it as a member of Lunar Search and Rescue, also known as the Rangers. This job is always risky but could be even more dangerous if the new US president makes good on her threat to launch a military invasion. Soon Jamey is front and center in a political and military struggle stretching from the Earth to the Moon.


Teens in space! Maybe YA isn't hopeless after all. )

Verdict: A damn fun novel for anyone nostalgic for old Heinlein juveniles. Highly recommended for anyone fond of YA SF, or looking for some good YA for boys.


Also by Allen Steele: My review of Coyote.




My complete list of book reviews.
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A novel of interstellar exploration.


Coyote

Ace Books, 2002, 400 pages




Coyote marks a dramatic new turn in the career of Allen Steele, Hugo Award-winning author of Chronospace. Epic in scope, passionate in its conviction, and set against a backdrop of plausible events, it tells the brilliant story of Earth's first interstellar colonists - and the mysterious planet that becomes their home...

The crime of the century begins without a hitch. On July 5th, 2070, as it's about to be launched, the starship Alabama is hijacked - by her captain and crew. In defiance of the repressive government of The United Republic of Earth, they replace her handpicked passengers with political dissidents and their families. These become Earth's first pioneers in the exploration of space...

Captain R. E. Lee, their leader. Colonel Gill Reese, the soldier sent to stop Lee. Les Gilles, the senior communications officer, a victim of a mistake that will threaten the entire mission. Crewman Eric Gunther, who has his own agenda for being aboard. His daughter, Wendy, a teenager who will grow up too quickly. Jorge and Rita Montero, ordinary people caught up in extraordinary circumstances. And their son Carlos, who will become a hero in spite of himself.

After almost two-and-a-half centuries in cold sleep, they will awaken above their destination: a habitable world named Coyote. A planet that will test their strength, their beliefs, and their very humanity...

In Coyote, Allen Steele delivers a grand novel of galactic adventure - a tale of life on the newest of frontiers.


Not quite a SF classic, but deserves to be well-regarded. )

Verdict: Coyote is exactly what it says on the cover. Allen Steele writes good solid hard SF without being a crank or exercising his fetishes (how sad is it that this makes him above average for SF writers?) and this first interstellar colony offers challenges, surprises, and a decent cast of characters.




My complete list of book reviews.

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