This expanded edition contains all previously published Near Space short stories and novelettes. The stories range from action to reflection, from joy to melancholy. The stories are presented chronologically, starting from the beginning of the Near Space timeline, in more or less the present era, and ending with the advanced colonised solar system of Mr. Chicago.
As he mentions in the introduction, Mr. Steele has been labelled a “Space Romantic”, and this is rather accurate. His stories are infused with an infectious sense of wonder about space exploration in the near future. His focus on the working stiff rather than the movers and shakers gives rise to interesting reflections and themes. Having read all or some of the Near Space long fiction is not a pre-requisite for reading this collection, though it will fill in some of the background.
A collection of short stories, with several set in Allen Steele‘s Coyote, Near Space and Chronospace universes.
Fans of Mr. Steele will enjoy this collection. The stories vary dramatically in tone and theme, but the quality is characteristically solid. The author’s affection for American mid-20th Century culture helps bring colour to the collection, and a hint of nostalgia.
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.
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.