In a world dominated by America's heavy hand, an independent scientist reveals the secret of fast, cheap interstellar travel, sparking an exodus like none in history. When anyone with a few hundred dollars and a little ingenuity can build their own spaceship, even American citizens can't wait to get out from under the United States's domineering thumb.
Trent and Donna Stinson, of Rock Springs, Wyoming, seal up their pickup for vacuum and go looking for a better life among the stars, but they soon learn that you can't outrun your problems. America's belligerent foreign policy is expanding just as fast as the world's refugees, threatening to destroy humanity's last chance for peaceful coexistence. When their own government tries to kill them for exercising the freedoms that people once took for granted, Trent and Donna reluctantly admit that America must be stopped. But how can patriotic citizens fight their own country? And how can they succeed where the rest of the world has failed?
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Jerry Oltion has been a gardener, stone mason, carpenter, oilfield worker, forester, land surveyor, rock 'n' roll deejay, printer, proofreader, editor, publisher, computer consultant, movie extra, corporate secretary, and garbage truck driver.
He is also the author of over 100 published short stories and over a dozen novels, including the Tor books Abandon in Place, The Getaway Special, and Anywhere But Here. His work has won the Nebula Award and has been nominated for the Hugo award. Born and raised in Wyoming, he now lives in Eugene, Oregon, with his wife, Kathy, and the obligatory writer's cat, Ginger.
Nebula-winner Oltion's 2001 novel, The Getaway Special, explored how the near-future discovery of a cheap, simple interstellar drive prompted anyone on Earth with enough nerve to take off for the stars, leaving terrestrial governments fuming at the loss of their renegade citizens. In this meandering but satisfying sequel, things have gotten worse, especially in an increasingly paranoid America. Trent and Donna Stinson, of Rock Springs, Wyo., decide to climb into their pickup truck and head for Alpha Centauri. They're a laid-back couple, perfectly willing to share new planets with aliens as long as they can earn enough to live and then relax with a few beers. When the U.S. government interferes and they wind up lost in space, Trent and Donna start working hard to find their way home and clean up the mess back on Earth. There's not much glamour in this space opera, as shown by a weightless Trent struggling to take off lug nuts so he can remove truck tires in interplanetary space. Oltion has carefully thought out the mechanics of such situations, which serve to support the book's upbeat message: If you keep cool, you probably can get out of whatever trouble you've gotten yourself into.
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