review Voyage author Stephen Baxter 103

characters Voyage author Stephen Baxter

review Voyage author Stephen Baxter 103 ☆ The space mission of a lifetime An epic saga of America's might have been Voyage is a powerful sweeping novel of how if President Kennedy had lived we could have sent a manned mission to Mars in the 1980s Imaginatively created from the true lives and real events Voyage returns to the geniuses of NASA and the S of NASA and the excitement of the Saturn rocket and includes historical figures from Neil Armstrong to Ronald Reagan who are interwoven with unforgettable characters whose dreams mirror the promise of a young space program that held the world in thrall There is Dana the Nazi camp survivor. This is an alternate history novel that I enjoyed years ago with some caveatsI will immediately digress and admit that my thinking of this book is changing thanks to H Honsinger's insightful review letting us know of Baxter's alleged plagiarism That allegation which I believe is well grounded makes me reluctant to give this the four stars I believed it deservedThe story evolves from the crucial 'what if' that is the traditional pivot point for the alternate history novel In this case what if President John F Kennedy survived assassination in 1963 and went on to advocate a Mars project in the 70s and 80s instead of a space shuttle programIt is a fascinating premise Although holes could certainly be poked in it it's still interesting to think about how NASA might have followed the Apollo program with a living JFK Personally I think it's entirely probable that the United States might not have even made it to the moon assuming JFK survived a good deal of our go get 'em attitude came from trying to honor the memory of a martyred president Take that away and the Apollo program probably would have died a congressional death in my opinionMy major criticism of the book is that it is largely I'd say 80% 90% back story so the way the book is described is false The book is marketed as being about the first flight to Mars but that's not really what you get when you read it Most of the book is really about the early part of the program leading up to that first flight The actual passages describing the flight to Mars come across like flash forwards and even those parts were unfulfilling I was itching for the Mars flight not its originsAs for the alleged plagiarism I'll say that when I read the book around 2002 or 2003 I could see a little too clearly that Baxter had read his space history Several of the in space incidents are modeled after and at times very closely after the real history I was amazed at Baxter's allegiance to the historical record down to specific detail At the time I simply thought it was a lazy way to plot just regurgitating known facts of actual missions In my mind it shouldn't have taken Baxter but a few twists to make those sections his own I'm well versed in the history having read dozens of books about the Apollo program in particular so I could point to numerous occasions where Baxter took specific details of historical missions and wove them into his own story Apollo 13 and Gemini 8 being just two examplesAnd wow this book is massive at 700 pages for the mass market paperback I felt like Pavlov's dog wanting to give up on the test because he wasn't getting enough treats Lots of setup hardly any payoffNow with that said I thought the characters were fairly plausible the plotting wasn't over the top and many of the scenarios were believable It wasn't the soap opera type stuff that has frustrated me many times with other Mars novelsIf I had been Baxter's publisher I would have asked him to do a few things to bring up the prose1 Give greater emphasis to the Mars flight which should be the core story Relegate the back story to the background if possible2 Make edits to cut the page count down to 500 600 pages3 Change up the spaceflight descriptions so they do not closely mirror documented spaceflight events If I wanted to read descriptions of actual spaceflight events I don't need to read it in so called fiction

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Who achieves the dream of his hated masters; Gershon the Vietnam fighter jock determined to be the first African American to land on another planet; and Natalie York the brilliant geologistastronaut who risks a career and love for the chance to run her fingers through the soil of another wor. A WONDERFUL look into the fictional world of What might have been Too bad mankind is plagued by two curses Reality and politics Reality can be managed and reshaped Politics however is the play demon of the RICH and will always remain the same I wish the space program would have taken this path

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Voyage author Stephen BaxtThe space mission of a lifetime An epic saga of America's might have been Voyage is a powerful sweeping novel of how if President Kennedy had lived we could have sent a manned mission to Mars in the 1980s Imaginatively created from the true lives and real events Voyage returns to the geniuse. The seeds to all good literature lies in two words what if Take an occurrence in human history and imagine an alternative outcome to it and voila you have material for a good book in your hands These flights of fantasy are what makes alternative history books some of my favorite readsHere is an America where JFK survived the assassination attempt Shattered and bound to his wheelchair he urges the space program onward A world where the Nixon administration did not drop the guillotine on the manned Mars program and finally in 1985 the USA lands a trio of people on Mars I found this premise very very interesting and Baxter did deliver a colorful roller coaster ride in all of these 600 pages Much than telling the story of three astronauts who go to Mars the author here focuses on NASA This then means the focus is on this technological organization and how it tides over many an obstacle in putting men on Mars The human factor of this novel is uite unmissable and perhaps its biggest strength With such a backdrop it would have been easy for the author to slip into technical jargon and give the reader a long technical manual read Tom Clancy and put his characters on the Mars Baxter however goes the other way He tells us of the men and women who build the launch vehicles Those who obsessively pursue this one goal of pushing beyond the envelope of technology the astronauts who lay down their lives for the bigger goals of technocracy and many unnamed faces intricately linked with the organization called NASAThe novel spans the story of the first such manned space flight which lands on the red planet and how the mission comes to be There is jargon yes but the author keeps this to understandable levels and the focus is mainly on people and circumstances As befits a novel of such scope the focus is not placed on a few individuals but on an ensemble cast The brightest flash of brilliance in the book is in the character named Joseph Muldoon He is the euivalent of Edwin Aldrin in real life and perhaps the most pivotal character who drives the story forward I liked him precisely for his all American nature and the way he bulldozes his way through all the garbage to get to what matters completion of the mission Through the span of this tale careers rise and fall people come and go and politics keeps poking its fingers in places it has no reason to and all this makes the story a great deal interesting There is also the story of the three men crew Stone York and Gershon who finally make it to the moon When I was reaching the end of the book it stuck me uite odd that way back in 1980's it would have been rather impossible for such a crew to break free of the barriers of orthodoxy and prejudice to fly out of Earth orbit Wondering why Read on and find out for I ain't letting the cat out of its bag where its all cozy and comfy It took me a long time to finish this book I couldn't find a logical reason for this as I moved at uite a stiff pace but still the book mocked me with its size of unread pages The interest level for sci fi in my reading list is also steadily climbing Earlier I read up on Asimov and grumbled my way through Heinlein and applauded my way through Clarke but now this book makes me want to read of sci fi Recommended