Grand Central Arena

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9781439133552: Grand Central Arena

It Was Supposed to be a Routine Test of a New Ship—but They Landed in a Alien Arena Where the Stakes Were Life or Death.  A New Paperback Original by the Co-Author of Boundary.

It was supposed to be a simple test flight, one that pilot Ariane Austin was on only as a last-ditch backup; intelligent, superhumanly fast automation would handle the test activation and flight of humanity's first faster-than-light vessel. But when the Sandrisson Drive activated, every automated system crashed, the nuclear reactor itself shut down, and only the reflexes and training of a racing pilot saved the test vessel Holy Grail from crashing into the impossible wall that had appeared before them, a wall which is just part of a monstrous enclosure surrounding a space twenty thousand kilometers across. With all artificial intelligences inert and their reactor dead, they had to find some other source of power to reactivate the Sandrisson Drive and—hopefully—take them home.
            And that was only the beginning. As Ariane, Dr. Simon Sandrisson, darkly enigmatic power engineer Marc C. DuQuesne, and the rest of the Holy Grail's crew explore the immense artifact, they discover that they are not alone; they have entered a place the alien inhabitants call “The Arena,” and there is no way out without joining one of the alien factions . . . or winning recognition as a faction in their own right, playing by the Arena's rules – and by the Arena's rules, one failed challenge could mean death or worse – perhaps for the entire human race.
            Surrounded by alien factions, each with its own secret plans and motivations, some wielding powers so strange as to be magical, Ariane sets out to beat the Arena at its own game. With DuQuesne's strategies, Sandrisson's genius, and her own unyielding determination, she's going to bring the Holy Grail home – even if she has to beat every faction in the Arena to do it!

 

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From the Author:

Grand Central Arena is my salute and homage to the Golden Age of science fiction, hopefully with enough modern twists to make it interesting and fun even today. While the novel is dedicated to the memory of the true father of Space Opera, E.E. "Doc" Smith, many other inspirations -- both old and new -- have their moments in GCA, ranging from the Six Million Dollar Man to Vernor Vinge's A Fire Upon the Deep and anime such as Giant Robo.

At the same time it is its own story, one that -- in all honesty -- has only just begun by the time the novel ends. The adventures of Ariane Austin, Marc DuQuesne, and Simon Sandrisson have only gotten humanity to the point of knowing some of the questions to ask -- and some of the dangers they'll face in getting those answers. I hope you enjoy a visit to the Arena; I sure had a lot of fun making it, and hope to bring you on many more trips there!

About the Author:

Ryk E. Spoor, while earning his Master’s degree in Pittsburgh, became a playtesting consultant and writer for the Wizards of the Coast, the leading publisher of role-playing games and related novels. He now lives in East Greenbush, NY, working as a technical proposal writer for a high-tech R&D firm, and spending his non-writing time with his wife and sons. Baen published his first novel, Digital Knight, in 2003.

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