Orphanage (Jason Wander Series #1)

Orphanage (Jason Wander Series #1)

4.6 70
by Robert Buettner
     
 

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Mankind's first alien contact tears into Earth: projectiles launched from Jupiter's moon, Ganymede, vaporize whole cities. Under siege, humanity gambles on one desperate counterstrike. In a spacecraft scavenged from scraps and armed with Vietnam-era weapons, foot soldiers like eighteen-year-old Jason Wander-orphans that no one will miss-must dare man's first

Overview

Mankind's first alien contact tears into Earth: projectiles launched from Jupiter's moon, Ganymede, vaporize whole cities. Under siege, humanity gambles on one desperate counterstrike. In a spacecraft scavenged from scraps and armed with Vietnam-era weapons, foot soldiers like eighteen-year-old Jason Wander-orphans that no one will miss-must dare man's first interplanetary voyage and invade Ganymede.


They have one chance to attack, one ship to attack with. Their failure is our extinction.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316019125
Publisher:
Orbit
Publication date:
04/01/2008
Series:
Jason Wander Series, #1
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
270,138
Product dimensions:
4.25(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.00(d)

Read an Excerpt

Orphanage


By Robert Buettner

Warner Faith

Copyright © 2004 Robert Buettner
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-446-61429-7


Chapter One

"THE SUN WILL COME OUT ... TOMORROW ..." Our pilot hums through her open mike into zero-Fahrenheit cabin air fogged with four hundred GIs' breath. And fat with smells of gun oil, vomit, and fear. The sun never comes out here. In Jupiter's orbit, Sol is a pale dot. It's joke enough that I smile even as my hands shake the rifle propped between my knees. I'm Specialist Fourth Class Jason Wander, one of the lucky orphans who in one hour will save the human race or die trying.

We sit helmeted in paired, facing rows, so red cabin light paints us like eggs cartoned in the devil's incubator. Eternad-battery-heated fatigues warm us against a cabin cooled to the surface temperature our enemy manufactures a hundred miles below.

Our backs mold against the ship's "pressure hull" that seals out space's vacuum. "Ship" my ass. It's a 767 fuselage looted from some airplane graveyard in the Arizona desert, tacked to a streamlined parachute and reinforced to drop us from the mother ship to the surface. Like most of the 1900s antiques we have to fight this 2040 war with, it was built when Annie was a live-acted musical, back before the Millennium turned.

That red cabin light preserves night vision. A hundred miles below our parking orbit, it's always night on Ganymede. Or so the astronomers say.

We'll be the first humans to see it. If our groaning hull doesn't pop when we fall through vacuum or melt as we thunder through the artificial atmosphere the Slugs have slathered around the rock below. If we don't slam into Ganymede like crash-test dummies. If our demothballed weapons can kill the Slugs waiting down there.

And who knows, since I'm the only human who's ever seen Slugs alive?

My gunner shivers warm against my shoulder clicking her Muslim beads, praying like her hair was on fire. Yeah. My boss is a four-foot-eleven Egyptian girl. But Munchkin can shoot.

My teeth grind, I close my hand over her beads, and she stops clicking. Divine help's improbable for agnostic me.

As improbable, I suppose, as Pseudocephalopod Slugs from beyond the Solar System camping on Jupiter's largest moon and killing millions by bombing Earth from out here.

They say that an infantryman's life is boredom punctuated by intervals of sheer terror. After six hundred days traveling in the mother ship's mile-long steel tube, finally being in the dropship liquefies my guts even though I asked to be here.

We all asked. So many volunteered for the Ganymede Expeditionary Force that they only accepted ten thousand soldiers who'd lost entire families. Munchkin lost parents and six sisters to the Cairo Projectile. I'm an only child, and the Indianapolis Projectile took my living parent. Such things now pass for luck.

So the media calls us the Orphans' Crusade. Munchkin hates "Crusade" because she's Muslim. So she calls us Humanity's Last Hope.

Our platoon sergeant's seen combat. So he calls us meat. He says "Orphanage" is true because in combat your only family is these government-issued strangers. Intercoms crackle. "Begin drop sequence on my mark ... now!"

Somebody sobs.

The mother ship releases all twenty dropships like dandelion seed. Red light flicks black for a skipped heartbeat as electricity switches to internal. Our cut umbilical scrapes our hull like a handcuff unlocked.

Which is how this started for me three years ago, a week after my eighteenth birthday.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Orphanage by Robert Buettner Copyright © 2004 by Robert Buettner. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Robert Buettner is a former Military Intelligence Officer, National Science Foundation Fellow in Paleontology, and has been published in the field of Natural Resources Law. He lives in Georgia, creating the sequel to ORPHAN'S ALLIANCE and snowboarding passably. His website is: www.RobertBuettner.com.

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Orphanage (Jason Wander Series #1) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 70 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Those of us who read ¿genre¿ fiction choose these books because of the familiar stories, plot devices, people types, and, well, all the ingredients that make it a Romance, a Western, a Mystery and yes, even Science Fiction novel. We love to revisit these familiar stories and search for new authors who can transport us from our reality to their ¿worlds¿. Science Fiction has many genres within its broad scope space opera, hard science, first contact, alien invasions, discovering that big thing in the sky and, of course, military fiction. Which brings us to ¿Orphanage¿ the main reason I enjoyed this book so much, besides being just a good ol¿ fun read, is the story is about imperfect people repeatedly overcoming extraordinary odds 'not always with the best ¿final reel¿ outcome' and grow with each experience. Being a former Military Intelligence Officer, Mr. Buettner brings to his books a military reality to give the stories some real bite. And, gosh, I like Jason Wander he makes wrong decisions 'for the right reasons', follows his heart 'a bit too much for a soldier' and is constantly putting his booted foot in his mouth. In other words, Jason is a human just like you and me, and we can relate to his troubles AND triumphs! Robert Buettner is a wonderful new voice in Science Fiction and I hope to be reading his books far into the future!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I actually had to email the author to tell him how great his book was. Even my friend who is not much into reading, said he found it hard to put this book down. WE BOTH agreed, when we were finished reading, we WANTED MORE! I actually got mad at myself for reading this book to fast!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The reviewers are calling Orphanage the best of the year, the decade, maybe to this generation what Starship Troopers and Forever War were to theirs. It's all of that. Fast, funny, moving and authentic . You'll wish it was longer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Reallu
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She smiles.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good girl
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author wanted to be Robert A. Heinlein and write Starship Troopers. He isn't and didn't. Too over the top to be enjoyable and, although I expect and enjoy tropes in my genre fiction this one just never connected.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
:p
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pads in
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I mean like how some kits get naming seramony so thay have there name
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoy your stay!
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