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Allen M. Steele

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Ace Books

Published : 2002

Copyright : Allen M. Steele 2002

ISBN-10 : HB 0-441-00974-3
ISBN-13 : HB 978-0-441-00974-9

Publisher's Write-Up

Coyote marks a dramatic new turn in the career of Allen Steele, Hugo Award-winning author of Chronospace. Epic in scope, passionate in its conviction, and set against a backdrop of plausible events, it tells the brilliant story of Earth’s first interstellar colonists - and the mysterious planet that becomes their home…

The crime of the century begins without a hitch. On July 5th, 2070, as it’s about to be launched, the starship Alabama is hijacked - by her captain and crew. In defiance of the repressive government of The United Republic of Earth, they replace her handpicked passengers with political dissidents and their families. These become Earth’s first pioneers in the exploration of space…

Captain R.E. Lee, their leader. Colonel Gill Reese, the soldier sent to stop Lee. Les Gilles, the senior communications officer, a victim of a mistake that will threaten the entire mission. Crewman Eric Gunther, who has his own agenda for being aboard. His daughter, Wendy, a teenager who will grow up too quickly. Jorge and Rita Montero, ordinary people caught up in extraordinary circumstances. And their son Carlos, who will become a hero in spite of himself.

After almost two-and-a-half centuries in cold sleep, they will awaken above their destination: a habitable world named Coyote. A planet that will test their strength, their beliefs, and their very humanity...

In Coyote, Allen Steele delivers a grand novel of galactic adventure - a tale of life on the newest of frontiers.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Paul Lappen (140803) Rating (8/10)

Review by Paul Lappen
Rating 8/10
In the year 2070, the repressive United Republic of America is about to launch the starship Alabama. Its destination is Ursa Major, approximately 50 light years away; there the passengers and crew will set up the first human colony. At the last minute, the ship is hijacked by its captain and crew and the hand-picked colonists are replaced by a group of Dissident Intellectuals and their families.

America in 2070 is not a pleasant place. Any sort of dissent can earn a person a one-way trip to a re-education camp. The public face of the camps show them as happy places full of well-fed people. The reality is very different. Midnight arrests inside one's own home are common. As part of the plot, a group of D.I.'s are intercepted on their way to a re-education camp and put aboard the starship.

Travelling at 20 percent of the speed of light, the trip will take over 200 years. Through a computer malfunction (or is it?), one of the crew, Leslie Gillis, is prematurely brought out of stasis. The computer will not let him return to stasis. To keep from going insane, he plays chess against the computer, he writes a magnum opus of a fantasy novel and he finds some art supplies and paints giant murals all over the ship. He spends the next 32 years totally alone, until he dies in a fall.

Their new home, Coyote (actually a moon of a gas giant planet) doesn't have separate continents like Earth, but is all land, crisscrossed by rivers. The native plants and animals are edible, but hardly delicious. The colonists find out, the hard way, that they are not top of the food chain. In a bit of adolescent rebellion, a group of teenagers go off on an expedition of their own. There is tension among the colonists between those loyal and not loyal to the Republic.

Many years later, several ships full of colonists from Earth arrive, but this is not an occasion for celebrating. The hijacking of the Alabama was the beginning of the end for the Republic, but it has been replaced with something equally repugnant. The original colonists have a hard choice: accept 5,000 new neighbours or fight.

Told in a series of unconnected novelettes, this is a strong, well-done piece of writing. It works as a political novel and as a planetary exploration novel. You won't go wrong reading Coyote.
Paul Lappen (14th August 2003)

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