In 2070, a group of political dissidents and their families escape the repressive world of twenty-first-century Earth to seek new lives as interstellar colonists, placing themselves in cold sleep for a more than two-hundred-year odyssey to the habitable world of Coyote, where they hope to build new lives for themselves.
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Allen Steele was born in Nashville, Tennessee, and received his B.A. in Communications from New England College and a Masters Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri. Before turning to science fiction, he worked as a staff writer for newspapers in Tennessee, Missouri, and Massachusetts, as well as Washington, D.C. His previous novels include Orbital Decay; Lunar Descent; Clarke County, Space; Labyrinth of Night; Jericho Iteration; The Tranquility Alternative; Oceanspace, and Chronospace (all available from Ace). He is a two-time winner of the Hugo Award in the novella category. He lives with his wife, Linda, in Whately, Massachusetts.From Publishers Weekly:
At first, this novel from Hugo winner Steele looks like a fairly conventional tale of high-tech intrigue-in this case, rebels against a right-wing American dictatorship plot to steal the prototype interstellar spaceship built to immortalize the government's ideology by planting a colony of fanatics on another star's planet. However, once the freedom seekers arrive on the new world, Coyote, things get a lot more interesting. Coyote is habitable but alien, full of flora and fauna that upset the colonists' easy preconceptions. The young people, in particular, have to find their identities in a dangerous but wonderful environment; their discovery of what they can do individually as well as what they owe to the group nicely illustrates the name the starship's captain, R.E. Lee, has given their settlement: Liberty. That Steele's novel has been stitched together out of a series of short stories has advantages and disadvantages. The jumping around can be repetitious, but it also lets readers see the same events from different angles. By the same token, the narrative doesn't stay with individual characters, especially adults, long enough for the reader to get to know them, but it does give a panorama of the developing community. By the end, when an especially big challenge appears, the colonists are ready to face it confidently. The discovery of a new world is one of SF's most potent themes, and Steele handles it well.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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