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Children of Apollo Paperback – December 11, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 566 pages
  • Publisher: Xlibris (December 11, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401045928
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401045920
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.6 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,836,691 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mark Whittington is a writer and computer analyst residing in Houston, Texas. He is the co-author, along with his wife Chantal, of Nocturne, a Novel of Suspense.

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Customer Reviews

I'd give this book zero stars, were that possible.
Romantic Whiskers
Plot resolution aside, several other things detracted from my full enjoyment of the book, mostly due to the obvious lack of editing.
Alan Smithee
I loved this book it is written well and is very believable.
David B. Gillespie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Diabolik on May 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book, for me, represents the best and worst about self publishing. The best because sometimes good books simply are not picked up by publishing houses, and this one deserved to be published. The worst because a commercial publisher would have cleaned up the prose and made this book really shine.

The plot is really good. Well crafted. Exciting. Good pacing. But the text is rife with spelling and grammatical errors (I didn't count but I'm thinking on average more than one per page). Even a mediocre copy editor could have fixed 99% of the problems with the text. Now, if this book had been crappy in general, I wouldn't have cared. But it is actually a great story. Thus, my frustration stems from the fact that a very good book is dragged down by easily fixable stuff, most of which MS Word would have picked up. It's just plain sloppy.

Some examples of what I mean: Berkeley is not spelled "Berkly". Camaro is not spelled "Camero". Taut is not spelled "taunt". Aide is not spelled "Aid". Applause is not spelled "applauds". Champagne is not spelled "champaign". Asti Spumante is not spelled "Asti Spurmanti". Las Cruces is not spelled "Las Cruzus". Alan Shepard (the astronaut) is not spelled "Alan Shepherd". To add insult to injury, the author does actually spell the name correctly once... Baikonour is spelled in three ways in the book, both incorrect. Proper grammar does not include things like "going to fight for if-no when-you send me to Congress." Stylistically, there are gems like "They looked at each other in for a moment, sharing the awful truth they had just shared."

Then we have the technical errors. I will grant that the author is not an aerospace expert but for this book a modicum of research would have been required.
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26 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Brendan Curry on August 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
Such a great plot concept. The execution was very junior varsity. Countless spelling and grammar mistakes. For example, one character drives a Camaro, but in the book its constantly written as "Camero." Also, aerospace company McDonnell Douglas is constantly referred to as "MacDonell Douglas." For a book that is trying to authoritatively discuss "what if" Nixon kept Apollo going etc. etc. , to constantly make spelling errors, forget words where needed etc. etc.- works to undermine the entire story.
The characters are cartoonish. From the Soviets, to Nixon, to liberal peaceniks, to the astronauts - all coming off like a parody.
There are glimpses of excitement and interesting plotlines, but the junior varsity nature of the writing quickly diminishes it...
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Kirk Messinger on November 17, 2006
Format: Paperback
I ALMOST didn't bother to finish this book (something I almost never do). I'm a fan of "hard" sci-fi, cut my teeth on Heinlein and Clarke, and have a special love for "alternative history". Although Whittington's premise is plausible, he brings almost nothing new to the story, even throwing in some dialogue and situations from other fiction and non-fiction books about the early days of NASA. But what really got me, and I admit I'm a bit picky, was the OBVIOUS lack of editing. Not only is it filled with numerous, repeated mispellings, but even whole words used inappropriately. And it's Madalyn Murray O'Hair, not O'Hara, or O'Hare as she becomes in the end. Halfway through, I thought "This HAS to be self-published", and I was right. Both of this author's books have been published by Xlibris, and they'll publish yours, too, for $375. I'll volunteer to be your editor.

But, y'know, fatuous as I found the writing in the early going, it grew on me, and I found that I actually liked it. Probably won't read it again, but I liked it. So might you, if you can get past the lack of editing.

And to the reviewer who considered it "liberal-bashing", it didn't seem that way to me, even though one of the "heavies" is a liberal Congressman. It was that "either-or" approach to the space program espoused by the liberals of the time that killed it. Pretty hard to tell a story of an alternate history without mentioning that. It would be like writing a real history of WWII without including Neville Chamberlain. And the Speaker of the House is certainly a sympathetic character. Whittington does get in a couple of digs at some guy from Arkansas, but doesn't mention him by name. And you'd have to be in really deep denial to think that the Soviets didn't "run" Americans during the Cold War. Look up the Venona Project. I'm sure we were doing the same (I hope). "(International) Politics ain't beanbag!"
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23 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
The author of Children of Apollo has a very shrewd eye for the time period he is writing about, even though in the style of alternative history he has changed certain events of the early 1970s to suit him and his story. His slightly enhanced Apollo program seems to have altered just about everything, to the course of the Vietnam War, to the Middle East, to the fortunes of one Richard Nixon, and even popular culture (at one point he has one of Stephen King's early novels taking place on board a haunted space station.)
While Children of Apollo is primarily an adventure story about space exploration, it also has a certain element of satire. Included in the list of the author's targets for gentle (and sometimes not so gentle ribbing) are the forementioned President Nixon, a young and randy Bill Clinton, Steven Spielberg, Madeline Murray O'Hara, William Proxmire, liberal Democrats in general, the Soviet Union, and various spooks, federal agents, astronauts, and politicians.
The book is a delight to read. It has a feel of being about events that actually happened, even though they did not. I found myself sincerly wishing that a woman really had walked on the Moon around Christmas of 1975 and being sad that she did not.
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