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by Allen Steele
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United States
  • Author:
    Allen Steele
  • ISBN:
    0441002994
  • ISBN13:
    978-0441002993
  • Genre:
  • Publisher:
    Ace Hardcover; 1st edition (March 1, 1996)
  • Pages:
    306 pages
  • Subcategory:
    United States
  • Language:
  • FB2 format
    1229 kb
  • ePUB format
    1417 kb
  • DJVU format
    1638 kb
  • Rating:
    4.9
  • Votes:
    167
  • Formats:
    rtf docx mobi lit


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.

Allen Steele is a lifelong space buff, and this interest has not only influenced his writing, it has taken him to some interesting places. In 2001, he testified before the US House of Representatives in hearings regarding the future of space exploration.

The "space geek" will immediately feel right at home in Mr. Steele's alternate universe. The Tranquillity Alternative" features interesting, well-defined characters, realistic dialogue and a strong story line involving the pending transfer of the abandoned Tranquillity Base from the . government to a private German space corporation. Mr. Steele keeps the action going at fever pitch as the scene shifts from Earth to the Space Wheel and on to the Moon.

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a den, and a small walk-in kitchen on the second floor. A TV antenna rose from the slanted flat roof; sliding glass doors led to a wide porch elevated on stilts above a crushed-seashell driveway. The house was isolated from the rest of the island by low marshlands, and the white sands and dunes of the vacant beach lay only a few yards away from the back door.

Allen Steele is the best hard SF writer to come along in tl~-Ile last decade," -JOHN VARLEY. L, L I ITRAN ALLEN STEEL Bestselling Author of The Jericho fterartion. 11 'It 'It '1! 11. ISBN 0-441-00299- 21-95 . ( 35 can. 77iii"TEPNATIVE ALLEN STEELE. Hailed as "a worthy successor to Robert Heinlein" (The Washington Post) bestselling author Allen Steele has captivated science fiction readers with his novels including The Jericho Iteration and Labyrinth of Night

The Tranquillity Alternative book. I especially liked the alternate history presented here by Steele. The US has pushed further ahead in the space race, closer to Von Braun's vision.

The Tranquillity Alternative book. On the dark side of the moon, six missile silos stand. In fact, a lunar base armed with nuclear weapons is established in the 60s. But by the 90s, the US has lost interest in space and the base is to be sold to a private European corporation. and a terrorist has been sent to get to them Hard science fiction which is also a thriller.

The Tranquillity Alternative - Allen Steele. Both the book and the motion picture you mentioned presuppose the existence of atomic-powered rockets, and we simply do not have those yet. But even at our current stage of astronautical know-how, we do believe it is possible to build a fleet of large, three-stage manned rockets, which in turn could be used to build a permanent orbital platform-a space station, if you will-which would enable us to construct vessels to take men to the Moon at some point in the.

It will be a two-day flight to the Moon, with touchdown at Tranquillity Base posted for Sunday, February 19, at approximately 0700 GMT. Following successful landing, the crew will enter the base, where Commander Parnell and Lieutenant Lewitt will reactivate the base’s CLLS. h, closed-loop life-support systems.

One problem remains: A US silo on the Moon contains nuclear missiles that must be deactivated before the Germans take over. So the US Space Agency organizes one last mission, comprising pilot Gene Parnell, co-pilot Cris Ryer (a lesbian and thus despised by most of her colleagues), flight engineer Jay Lewitt-plus one British and two German astronauts, a couple of video journalists, and computer whiz Paul Dooley

In an effort to promote world peace, America embarks on its final lunar mission, to retrieve nuclear warheads placed on the moon during the 1960s at the height of the Cold War.

Beahelm
In this novel of alternate history, the United States has gone further in the exploration of space than in reality, yet at the same time has taken several steps back. The story is told through a series of interviews and news stories sprinkled throughout the events that occur as the US sends its last manned mission to the moon. Some different politicians have been elected, altering the course of history just enough to affect the space race.

During the Cold War, the United States built Tranquillity Base on the moon, mainly for scientific purposes, but there were also six nukes stashed a few miles away in another crater, called Teal Falcon. The government had managed to keep the nukes a secret for awhile, until outed by the media. The United States experienced a second wave of flak when it was discovered President Dole authorized their use during Desert Storm. In a symbolic gesture, just before the USA sells Tranquillity Base to a German company, it sends one last manned mission to the moon to fire the Teal Falcon missiles harmlessly into the sun.

Unbeknownst to the crew of the Conestoga, the rocket ship taking them to the moon, one of them is an impostor, his agenda unknown. While his identity is no secret, his back-up is another, unknown member of the crew. It's not Commander Gene Parnell, who had helped install Tranquillity Base all those years ago, but there is reason to suspect the two German astronauts who rendezvous with the Conestoga at a low orbit space station. Also suspect is second in command Cris Ryer, a lesbian who is being shoved out of NASA for her sexual preference, a cause of great bitterness. Along for the ride are an annoying team of journalists, Rhodes and Bromleigh, Leamore, the token Brit who works for the Germans, and Lewitt, who Commander Parnell takes into his confidence, as he can't seem to trust anyone else. Commander Parnell has only one chance to stop the unknown plot involving Teal Falcon from unfolding and creating unknown havoc, and makes a few mistakes until he figures out who his enemies really are.

Compared to other Steele novels I've read, the pace of this one is a little slow, merely meandering along until the Conestoga reaches the moon and then getting page-turningly exciting when things start to happen. It seems to be more of a sad commentary on what could happen if we lost our interest in space and its exploration than a story about bad guys trying to get their hands on nuclear weapons. Though not as gripping as some of Steele's others, this is still a good novel with a unique spin.
Rexfire
Nice book, fast shipping, A+++
Silly Dog
I had a lot of problems with this novel. I won't (since other reviewers already have) go into the details of the alternative-history plot. I picked this up at a used book store owned by a friend, and was looking forward to a well-crafted alternative-history, sci-fi story. Some parts, were, in fact, well crafted, but in general I found the craftsmanship clumsy. Early in the novel, on one page, a character is watching a scene on a monitor crawl it's way to the top of a screen, and on the next page, it's disappearing off the bottom. Many, many descriptions and pseudo-historical "facts" are repeated over and over. Turns of phrase are used far too often in the narrative voice. And, finally, there is far too much description of space environment and equipment. It's the hard-science equivalent of a mainstream novel that presents a 40-page description of a garden that a character is walking through. It might be vivid, but who cares? It is true that the very end has some extremely well-crafted action, but the characters are one- and two-dimensional, and the ending was predictable enough that I had it in hand a hundred pages from the end. The author's technique in misdirection was so obvious that it was clear where he wanted me to look, and that what was actually true was the opposite. A disappointment.
Gribandis
I have a soft spot for "alternate history" stories. Philip K. Dick's "The Man in the High Castle," which posits that the Axis powers win World War II and occupy the United States, and Len Deighton's "SS-GB," which looks at England under Nazi German occupation, are two of the best of the genre (Harry Turtledove's many such tales notwithstanding). Now I must add Allen Steele's "The Tranquillity Alternative" to the short-list of alternate history novels that I have most enjoyed.

The "space geek" will immediately feel right at home in Mr. Steele's alternate universe. This is a universe in which the first manned spaceflight, in Nazi Germany's "Amerika Bomber," takes place in 1944. It is a universe (in this way like our real one) in which NASA is in serious decline due to slashed funding, personnel cutbacks and the lack of a meaningful mission. And, most intriguing of all, it is a universe in which Dr. Wernher von Braun's early-1950's vision of a major space exploration program comes to pass. You'll find in "The Tranquillity Alternative" all of the hardware that Dr. von Braun conceived and presented to the American public via a series of stunningly illustrated articles in "Collier's Magazine" starting in 1952. The "Space Wheel" is here in all of its full rotating glory, along with the enormous three-stage reusable "ferry rocket," the "lunar reconnaissance vehicle" and the classic "moonship" that fans of Chesley Bonestell will instantly recognize. There is a U.S. lunar base under the Sea of Tranquillity. Ominously, it houses six "interplanetary" ballistic missiles, relics of the time when U.S. military planners thought that basing nuclear weapons on the moon would deter Soviet aggression on Earth (they really did believe this at one time). And there is even a nuclear-powered rocket straight out of George Pal's 1950 film "Destination Moon."

"The Tranquillity Alternative" features interesting, well-defined characters, realistic dialogue and a strong story line involving the pending transfer of the abandoned Tranquillity Base from the U.S. government to a private German space corporation. Mr. Steele keeps the action going at fever pitch as the scene shifts from Earth to the Space Wheel and on to the Moon. He throws in fascinating glimpses of everyday life that add depth and texture to his alternate universe. For example, the Kennedy Space Center is named after President Robert F. Kennedy. Elvis Presley is on tour with U2. Chuck Yeager pilots the maiden flight of NASA's giant new passenger rocket in 1956. And Irwin Allen's "Star Trek" is a top-rated television show for eight seasons between 1958 and 1966. These little throw-away hints of a very different universe from our own are jarringly unfamiliar but logically and internally consistent. They show well the amount of research, thought and hard work that Mr. Steele put into "The Tranquillity Alternative." This is fun stuff. I highly recommend it to all sci-fi readers and to anyone interested in exploring a little of "what might have been."