Our hero is a teenager who once dreamed of being an astronaut, but his life in a small town is not conducive to such dreams. His father was killed in Iraq, his mother is working two jobs and his older brother is a petty criminal. Life isn’t looking to go anywhere. Then one day he has a […]
After a serious accident early in the first Jupiter expedition, Otto Danzig was put into medical hibernation to allow him to heal. Now, months later and at Jupiter, he has been woken up to investigate the possible murder of two crew members while exploring the subsurface ocean of Europa. The nicest thing I can say about […]
(Fictional) great science fiction Nathan Arkwright started his career during the Golden Age of Science Fiction, and now he is is dying. In the course of his long career and long retirement, he has seen humanity go from being optimistic and visionary, dreaming of a bright future among the stars, to altogether more introverted and seemingly lacking in outward ambition. He decides to […]
In this alternate history novel, Nazi Germany is building Silbervogel, Eugen Sänger‘s proposed “antipodal bomber”, in an attempt to firebomb New York during WWII. Learning about the work from spy efforts, a US team led by Robert Goddard builds a counter-weapon, an American suborbital interceptor. For a fan of the history of astronautics, this novel is a […]
Jamey Barlowe is a teenager with such weak bone structure that he cannot walk unsupported. This is because he was born on the Moon. He is roused from sleep and hurriedly taken to a space launch facility along with his sisters. The Vice President of the United States has come to power due to the […]
This is yet another novel set in the Coyote universe. It is about a defector from the Western Hemisphere Union who makes his way to Coyote. He is then hired/drafted for a trade mission to the aliens discovered in Spindrift. This is a lightweight tale of adventure and redemption. Very plain vanilla in concept. Competent […]
Spindrift is a spinoff of the Coyote series, dealing with first contact. The ending, where the survivors of the Galileo expedition arrive in Coyote, is already predetermined, if you will, by the epilogue of Coyote Frontier and the prologue of Spindrift itself. To arrive at this conclusion, Steele sends the Galileo and its crew on […]
Book three in the Coyote series, this novel takes us once more to the colony planet Coyote. But there’s a new twist. Earth has developed a technology for instantaneous travel between stars, meaning close contact with Earth is possible once more. Coyote seems like paradise to inhabitants of Earth wracked with overcrowding and catastrophic climate […]
The sequel to Coyote, picks up where the previous one left off, thus mitigating some of my annoyance with the ending of the previous book. Coyote has been invaded by the Western Hemisphere Union, a major power on Earth, and the original colonists have to fight a guerilla war against an increasingly despotic post-socialist regime. […]
This novel goes beyond Steele’s typical near-future, near-Earth fare and describes the creation of the first interstellar colony. The novel has previously been published in the form of a series of short stories, and suffers from it, feeling cobbled together. The characters are interesting and I was drawn in by the narrative. Steele readily manages […]
In this novel, UFOs are actually time traveling craft from our future. A study group goes back in time to witness the crash of the Hindenburg. “Unfortunately”, the airship lands safely. They have altered the past. As time-travel stories go, this is a pretty good one. Steele avoids getting stuck in the scientific debate and […]
This novel is about a monster in the depths of the ocean. Somewhat stereotypically, the setting is a big underwater construction. An entertaining read but nothing memorable.
A rich young man wakes up from cryogenic suspension. He has to work for a living now, by mopping floors. This novel has it’s bright points, and is a pleasant read, but it doesn’t really grab the imagination. And the twist at the end left me a little annoyed.
This short novel is a well thought out tale of a journey through the Solar System on a commercial spaceship. Unfortunately it is too short to really develop and lacking in depth.
This is a collection of short stories and articles. Steele’s has a journalistic style and tends to describe the actual “normal people” protagonists of an event as opposed to the powers that be. He is seldom grandiose, but his stories tend to be very crisp and relatable. The articles are from Steele’s time as a […]
The premise of this alternate history novel is that the USA established a permanent presence on the Moon in the 1960s, even basing nuclear missiles there. History has caught up, though, and an expedition is sent to hand over the moon base to a European corporation, as well as deactivate the missiles. A mini technothriller […]
Novel about a computer system that becomes intelligent. Nothing that really sticks in your mind.
Unfocused effort set on Mars, as humans try to solve the riddle of the Cydonia pyramids and the Face of Mars (no, they don’t exist in reality). While the writing is good, and some parts are pretty decent, the whole novel doesn’t really go anywhere.
Set in the same universe as Orbital Decay and Lunar Descent, this novel is set in an orbital habitat. It lacks any of the things that made the first two books good.
These two near future novels are about workers in Earth orbit and on the Moon respectively. Not spectacular, but solidly enjoyable, especially Lunar Descent. The authenticity of the characters is great. These are not “Roger Ramjet” astronaut heroes, but working class Joes trying to make it work.
Jeff, a contract worker on Mars, is told that his parents, his fiance and his unborn child have died. He cannot return home for another eighteen months. He descends into a special form of insanity. While he has written several good novels, Steele is at his best in the shorter forms, and this novelette is […]
Short story about a ship’s officer who ends up on the same ship as an unhinged captain-owner who thinks he is “Captain Future”, a fictional hero of the pulp SciFi era. Cute idea and well executed, but not much more.
The fourth book in the Coyote series seems a bit scatterbrained. Various linked stories about a group who “find god” and others. I got about half way through, then couldn’t finish it. Boooooooring!