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Orbital Decay

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Description

Winner of the Locus Award: Space-station workers discover a shocking global surveillance plot in this novel from “the master of science-fiction intrigue” (The Washington Post).

Popeye Hooker knows that space isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. A former fisherman who takes a job building low orbital stations to escape a failed relationship, he finds that in space, construction work is still a grind. And when they aren’t building the space stations that will usher humanity into the stars, Sam Sloane and the rest of the beamjacks get high, blast the Grateful Dead, and stare through telescopes at the world they left behind. But life in orbit is about to get much more interesting.
 
Nestled among the life support equipment that keeps them alive and the entertainment systems that keep them happy, the beamjacks find something astonishing. Turns out, their home isn’t just a space station—it’s a giant antenna designed to spy on every inhabitant of Earth. It’s the greatest privacy invasion ever perpetrated, and the beamjacks won’t stand for it.
 
They may not be pioneers, but these roughnecks are about to become revolutionaries.
 
Timely—and with Orwellian undertones, Allen Steele’s debut won the Locus Award for Best First Novel. Perfect for fans of Robert Heinlein, Robert J. Sawyer, and Greg Bear, Orbital Decay blends fantasy and science fiction with a prescient attention paid to the dangers of government surveillance.

“Stunning.” —Chicago Sun-Times

“An ambitious science fiction thriller. . . skillfully plotted and written with gusto.” —Publishers Weekly

“[Steele is] the master of science-fiction intrigue.” —The Washington Post

“Allen Steele is among the best.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Reads like golden-age Heinlein.” —Gregory Benford, author of Beyond Infinity

“Brings the thrill back to realistic space exploration. It reads like a mainstream novel written in 2016 A.D.” —The New York Review of Science Fiction

Before becoming a science fiction writer, Allen Steele was a journalist for newspapers and magazines in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Missouri, and his home state of Tennessee. But science fiction was his first love, so he eventually ditched journalism and began producing that which had made him decide to become a writer in the first place.Since then, Steele has published eighteen novels and nearly one hundred short stories.

His work has received numerous accolades, including three Hugo Awards, and has been translated worldwide, mainly into languages he can’t read. He serves on the board of advisors for the Space Frontier Foundation and is a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. He also belongs to Sigma, a group of science fiction writers who frequently serve as unpaid consultants on matters regarding technology and security.
Allen Steele is a lifelong space buff, and this interest has not only influenced his writing, it has taken him to some interesting places. He has witnessed numerous space shuttle launches from Kennedy Space Center and has flown NASA’s shuttle cockpit simulator at the Johnson Space Center. In 2001, he testified before the US House of Representatives in hearings regarding the future of space exploration. He would like very much to go into orbit, and hopes that one day he’ll be able to afford to do so.

Steele lives in western Massachusetts with his wife, Linda, and a continual procession of adopted dogs. He collects vintage science fiction books and magazines, spacecraft model kits, and dreams.

From Publishers Weekly

Nov 01, 1989 – Steele's debut is an ambitious science fiction thriller somewhat marred by amateurish technique. The central story is skillfully plotted and written with gusto: narrator Sam Sloane and a group of 21st-century hard hats called ``beamjacks'' foil an Orwellian venture into global wiretapping by the U.S. National Security Agency. The author uses a familiar device effectively by setting his story in the near future, 2016, with the culture of the 1980s serving as a believable past. But his straightforward adventure tale is encumbered by two unconvincing and poorly integrated complications: a clumsy narrative framework consisting of memoirs dictated by Sloane, stranded in space without the likelihood of rescue; and a series of flashbacks recounting a crime of passion committed by Sloane's buddy, who eventually becomes part of the space-station work crew. In addition, the narration alternates confusingly between the first and third person.
Orbital Decay
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  • $6.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Science Fiction
  • Published: Sep 03, 2013
  • Publisher: Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy
  • Seller: OpenRoad Integrated Media, LLC
  • Print Length: 324 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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