Abandon In Place

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Overview

Based on the Nebula Award–winning novella

The morning after Neil Armstrong's funeral, a ghostly Saturn V rocket launches from Cape Canaveral. It shakes the ground and rumbles with all the fury of a real launch, sending back telemetry all the way to the moon, stopping at the point where a human would have to take control to land. NASA is shocked when this ghost launch becomes a monthly experience. When humanity loses interest, the rocket becomes near invisible. When we pay ...

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Overview

Based on the Nebula Award–winning novella

The morning after Neil Armstrong's funeral, a ghostly Saturn V rocket launches from Cape Canaveral. It shakes the ground and rumbles with all the fury of a real launch, sending back telemetry all the way to the moon, stopping at the point where a human would have to take control to land. NASA is shocked when this ghost launch becomes a monthly experience. When humanity loses interest, the rocket becomes near invisible. When we pay attention, Jerry Oltion's expanded Nebula Award-winning novella shows us that reality is what we make of it.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Nebula Award-winner Oltion (Frame of Reference, etc.) delivers a packed premise that never achieves its potential in this story of a young astronaut who makes a subconscious bid to renew America's space program. Shortly after Neil Armstrong's death, a phantom Saturn V appears on an abandoned NASA pad and launches itself to the moon. After two such supernatural launches, NASA puts astronaut Rick Spencer into the next ghost rocket with orders to decommission its engines on leaving the atmosphere and hitch a ride home with a passing shuttle. Once in space, however, Spencer abandons his flight plan and with two shuttle astronauts and the help of Russian mission control lands on the moon. When Spencer and his team return to Earth, they learn to harness the psychic power of the multitudes who have been following their lunar flight on TV. Oltion tries to explore the minutiae of the science and culture underlying the space program and to investigate collective paranormal psychology; unfortunately, he succeeds at neither. Though the protagonists are NASA-trained astronauts, they describe the most remarkable phenomena in unscientific layman's language. For all its ambitions, this novel never manages to create a single fully fleshed character, much less reach the overarching mysteries at its heart. (Nov.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
When a ghost rocket launches from NASA's Pad 34, the space agency has no explanation for the phenomenon. A trio of astronauts decide to take a ride on the next "ghost" launching and find themselves on a phantom ship bound for the moon. Oltion (An Alien Darkness) has expanded his previously published novella into a full-length novel to tell a tale of positive reinforcement and dreams come true. For large sf collections. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-Rick, a young astronaut in an aging Shuttle program, is mourning the loss of NASA's glory days of manned space exploration when he sees something impossible-a new Saturn V rocket blasting off from a derelict Apollo launch site long designated "abandon in place." Soon ghost rockets are embarking regularly from it. The space agency orders Rick to destroy the next Saturn, but he takes control of the mystery ship instead. With two other astronauts-his girlfriend and a Japanese scientist-he completes the ship's mission to the moon's south pole. The three return to the Earth as heroes, hoping their exploit has rekindled the public's dream of space exploration. However, the world is more interested in the occult nature of the event-especially when it becomes apparent that the odd voyage has awakened paranormal powers in Rick and Tessa. After a thrilling escape from the CIA, followed by a hilariously hyperbolic wedding, the couple settles down to explore their new psychic powers in a reinvented space program. Based on a Nebula Award-winning novella, this fast-paced adventure has humor, strong characterizations, sharp contemporary insights, and real vision. Equal parts hard science and ghost story, New Physics and New Age, it has a cheeky disregard for the traditional boundaries of the genre that will infuriate some SF fans as much as it will delight others. General readers with a taste for the unusual can also appreciate this yarn.-Christine C. Menefee, Fairfax County Public Library, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Expansion of the Nebula Award—winning story. With the space program all but dead, shuttle astronaut Rick Spencer witnesses the launch from Cape Canaveral of what appears to be an old Saturn V moon rocket. The ghostly spacecraft reaches Moon orbit, then vanishes. When the phantom launch turns into a regular event, NASA blusters, then reluctantly agrees to let Rick try to climb aboard. The ghostly spaceship conveys him to a rendezvous with a shuttle piloted by his girlfriend, Tessa McClain. On impulse, and against NASA's orders, Rick decides to try to visit the Moon, along with Tessa and mission astronomer Yoshiko Sugano. NASA refuses support, so Russia volunteers to handle mission control. On the trip, Rick finds that as long as he fears that the space program will die, the ship stays solid, but as soon as he imagines the program redeveloping, the ship begins to disappear! After a successful Moon landing, the astronauts return to Earth—but the capsule vanishes before splashdown. Quarantined by their vengeful NASA boss, and interrogated by CIA spooks (the agency has secretly been running psychic investigations for years), Rick and Tessa find they have powerful psychic powers—but only as long as many others believe they do. What, then, of a future where reality is mutable, entirely dependent on belief? What starts out as a pleasant, nostalgic fable grows steadily less amenable, and the mingling of ghosts, religion, and technology just grates.Saberhagen, Fred THE ARMS OF HERCULES: The Third Book of the Gods Tor (384 pp.) paper Dec. 2000
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312873165
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 1/8/2003
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 5.52 (w) x 8.28 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    weird to the moon and back science fiction

    NASA is in deep decline especially looking back to its glory days of Mercury, Gemini, and the Apollo missions. As the astronaut and cosmonaut pioneers of space die, Elvis-like sightings are reported, but most rationale folks write them off as too much moonshine. However, when Neil Armstrong passes away, a Saturn V moon rocket launches from the Cape Canaveral pad witnessed by shuttle astronaut Rick Spencer. The ghostly spacecraft reaches Moon orbit, then vanishes. This phenomenon repeats itself several times. Rick persuades the NASA brass to allow him to travel with the phantom ship, which takes him to the shuttle piloted by his girlfriend, Tessa McClain. Rick, Tessa, and astronomer-astronaut Yoshiko Sugano ignore their superiors and ride the ghost ship to the Moon with the Russians providing mission control support from earth. Rick soon learns that if he fears that the space program will end, the ship remains solid, but if he believes that the space program will recover, the ship begins to vanish. The team lands on the Moon and successfully returns to Earth only to have the CIA interrogate them to learn more about psychic powers. ABANDON IN PLACE is a full-length novelization of an award-winning novella. The story line is exciting as Jerry Oltion uses New Age elements combined with scientific information tat tuns into an excellent paranormal tale. The novel is at its best during the space scenes, but loses thrust when the CIA enters the picture. Though the NASA leaders seem stilted, fans of preternatural science fiction will relish this weird to the moon and back thriller. Harriet Klausner

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