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Excerpted from The Return by Aldrin, Buzz Copyright © 2001 by Aldrin, Buzz. Excerpted by permission.
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Posted March 30, 2003
I would have to say it is the best book i have ever read.The story is outstanding and true to life.The people and events are one of a kind.To me the flash backs make you more in touch with the importance of 'The Cast'as i call them.And every thing adds up to its end.To tell the truth i wish it was a book series orat least hd a 'part two'.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 12, 2000
This book was written to give a look into Buzz Aldrins views into what should happend in the space flight industry, to say the least he has inspired me. The combination of a doctorate in engenieering and incredible authoring skills of Buzz and John this book provided a great look into the future. To me the ideas and events in this book were so realistice I was expecting to turn on CNN and see a picture of the Blackstone family being intervied. So many possibilties of what can happen in the future are presented with detail and experties. This book is a must read for the stoy, the science or just a really exciting well done book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 28, 2000
The Return covers techno thriller territory familiar for readers of Encounter With Tiber. Many of the same elements are in both hard science-fiction novels: a family involved for generations in spaceflight, a divorced couple driven apart by the demands of aeronautics, a disaster aboard an American space shuttle, an emergency on an orbiting outpost, bad guy communists. Some ideas are identical: realistic rocketry, an evaluation and projection of the next decade of manned exploration, ShareSpace as a advocate for civilian space travel, the struggle for the soul of the space program. Some plot devices are new: a courtroom drama, an international nuclear incident, and covert operations. The result is something of a storytelling salad - a little of everything is thrown into the bowl, and it's all good for you. After a slow start, The Return becomes a quick, exciting read, with technical details explained in simple terms and characters given human dimensions. But unlike Tiber, which literally spanned time and space in first person narratives, Return follows a more constrained literary approach. Only three narrators are used, childhood friends who have drifted apart and reunite as adults. As a result the overall scope of Return is less grand than Tiber, but certainly more readable. Aldrin is at his best with the details of the space exploration business, with the lift capabilities, PR coups, long hours, and exhilaration and exhaustion. Barnes does an outstanding job in taking Aldrin's space strategies and spinning them into the story, around the high cost of machines and the higher costs to men and women as marriages fail and friendships are sacrificed. The authors are unique in their qualifications to comment on the current state of the space program and to speculate with fictional events on what politics or profit-margins will be prophetic. There have been crises large and small to test the confidence and commitment to an American space program: the Apollo 1 fire, the Apollo 13 'successful failure,' the Challenger explosion, the troubles of the Hubble Space Telescope, the problematic space stations Skylab, Mir and ISS, the disappearance of Mars probes. These historical hardships lend credence to the reaction surrounding the untimely tragedy in chapter two of The Return _- the death of basketball superstar MJ on orbit. Our protagonist, former astronaut Scott Blackstone and CEO of ShareSpace, is set up to take the blame. In short order, Scott is fired and sued by MJ's mother for $1 billion, while a nation grieves a slain celebrity and debates the risks of the conquest of space. The 'Citizen Observer' program was to bring Americans from all walks of life along on selected shuttle missions, so that schoolteachers, shop mechanics and newscasters who dreamed of flying could go where senators, Saudi princes, and Scott Blackstone have been. There are those who do not want it to succeed for a variety of reasons: some sinister, some short-sighted. When no legal eagles will mount a defense for Scott, his older brother Nick pulls strings at aerospace company Republic Wright to dig deeper lest the well get poisoned for any rocket builder. This brings Nick back into contact his childhood clique of Eddie Killeret, now at competitor Curtiss Aerospace, and Scott's ex-wife, attorney Thalia 'Thally' Pendergast. Scott, Nick, Thally and Eddie are preteen pals who dubbed themselves the Mars Four, vowing to get to the red planet by the year 2019. Nick hires Thalia to represent Scott and works surreptitiously to re-unite the couple as a family with their 10-year-old son, Amos. But the family's safety is threatened by anonymous threats, mourners, sabotage and security breaches. When a preliminary NASA report would acquit Scott, a cover-up begins that culminates with a communist Chinese conspiracy detonating a proton bomb. The bomb unleashes enough hard radiation to fry every satellite in low-earth orbit, including the International Space Station. AWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 17, 2000
This book contains a very interesting and thought-provoking story. It is set in the very near future and the space program is on the edge of commercialization. Childhood friends (the cast), now adults, play a key role in the current success of the space program. Political unrest and greed turns that world upside. Will they save the program? Read the book!!!!!!! The author's understanding of the space exploration business, makes the events of the book frighteningly possible. Enjoy this winner.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.