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Pegasus in Space [Hardcover]

Anne McCaffrey
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Anne McCaffrey is best known for The Dragonriders of Pern, but her loose Talents series about superpsychics has been running almost as long. It began with the near-future To Ride Pegasus, continuing a couple of generations later in Pegasus in Flight. Book 2 introduced a crowd of new characters, notably the paralyzed boy Peter whose telekinetic talent can move not only his body without help from his ruined nervous system, but--with practice--even lift payloads into orbit.

Pegasus in Space follows directly, with mayhem and mutiny, at the opening of a manned space station, which Peter and talented friends helped build. Further hassles ensue during his training for space haulage work: obstructive bureaucrats, crooked suppliers, murder attempts, and skillful sabotage. McCaffrey specializes in feel-good adventure SF, full of romance, warm friendships, and hearty meals. Somehow her villains never quite convince, though, and their evil deeds are so rapidly annulled that the story rarely builds up much suspense. Meanwhile, the orphan girl Amiriyah who's adopted into Peter's family has a mysterious, subtle talent of her own, one that we soon guess will change his life. Our young hero's ambitions foreshadow later far-future books in the series (beginning with The Rowan) in which "kinetics" hurl cargo across huge interstellar gulfs. While most people think his talent needs careful conservation, Peter has already teleported supplies to the moon and has secret plans for Mars, the asteroids, and the moons of Jupiter. It all makes for an agreeable, lightweight read. --David Langford, Amazon.co.uk

From Publishers Weekly

The next in McCaffrey's popular Saga of the Talents series (Pegasus in Flight, To Ride Pegasus), this novel follows the adventures of a group of psychically gifted scientists who nobly improve Earth's future by making space exploration and colonization possible. Paralyzed adolescent Peter Reidinger has learned how to move himself and some amazingly heavy objects psychokinetically through space. Peter lives with the grandmotherly Rhyssa, who protects him and nurtures the growth of his psychic talents. Rhyssa also takes in prepubescent Amariyah, an orphaned girl who has a talent for plants and healing. When a group of psychically gifted people sneak onto the corruptly run Padrugoi Space Station during its inauguration, it is young Peter who saves the day by using his burgeoning psychic abilities to vanquish the comically evil Space Station Construction Manager Ludmilla Barchenka as she attempts a coup. This impresses Admiral Dirk Coetzer, whose life is saved by Peter's quick thinking. The admiral encourages Peter to consider a career in space, and he happily complies. Treachery, assassination attempts and medical disasters ensue, but the novel's primary focus is on McCaffrey's vision of science and psychic abilities meshing so that humanity can inherit the stars. Cheerful, upbeat and chock-full of fun facts on space stations and space exploration, the novel features cartoon villains and nobly one-dimensional protagonists, making the space station and colonies McCaffrey's real heroes--for they show actual growth and development as her vision of the future progresses. (Apr.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA-This series chronicles the emergence of a semi-secret society of psychically gifted humans in the late 21st century and is set in the same universe as the author's "Rowan Saga" (Ace). Based on premises and characters first introduced in McCaffrey's stories published some 30 or 40 years ago, Pegasus in Space brings the science up-to-date, and though it doesn't reach the literary standard of the originals, the wider audience it targets will enjoy it. Peter Reidinger, a young paraplegic with a strong telekinetic talent, becomes a key player in the space program of the time, working in connection with space stations in orbit and on the Moon, the establishment of the first colony on Mars, and eventually the transport of the first space pioneers to new planets. His adoptive family is warm and supportive of one another. Despite its scientific underpinnings, this is basically a "cozy" read, and will not appeal to most "hard" sci-fi readers. Those accustomed to the genre will have no difficulty starting in the middle of the saga with this novel, but mainstream readers might want to start with To Ride Pegasus (1986) and Pegasus in Flight (1991, both Del Rey), which establish the universe and introduce many of the characters.
Christine C. Menefee, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Rescued from a devastating flood in Bangladesh, young Amariyah Bantam discovers her uncanny ability to make plants grow and repair themselves. Brought to the attention of the Eastern Parapsychic Center, the child bonds with Peter Reidinger, a powerful psychic who uses his mental gifts to compensate for his total body paralysis. As a new generation of psychically talented young people learn to control their unique gifts for possible applications in the space program, other forces seek to sabotage the most gifted individuals for their own purposes. Set in the same world as her "Rowan" saga, this latest installment in McCaffrey's "Pegasus" series (e.g., Pegasus in Flight) brings together familiar series characters with an engaging cast of newcomers in a tale of sf drama and adventure that should appeal to fans of the series. For most sf collections.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"McCaffrey's world of the Talented is as vivid as that of Pern and its dragons."
--Publishers Weekly

"[McCaffrey is] a master of the well-told tale."
--Chicago Sun-Times

From the Inside Flap

In a triumphant career spanning more than thirty years, Anne McCaffrey has won the acclaim of critics, the devotion of millions of fans, and awards too numerous to mention. Her bestselling Dragonriders of Pern® series is counted among the masterpieces of modern science fiction, a work whose popularity continues to grow as new generations of readers discover the literary magic only Anne McCaffrey can provide. Now that magic is back, displayed as breathtakingly as ever in the exciting and long-awaited addition to McCaffrey's classic Pegasus series?and the perfect link to her bestselling Tower and Hive saga . . .

PEGASUS IN SPACE

For an overpopulated Earth whose resources are strained to the breaking point, there is only one place to look for relief: straight up. With the successful completion of the Padrugoi Space Station, humanity has at last achieved its first large-scale permanent presence in space. Additional bases are feverishly being built on the Moon and on Mars, stepping stones to the greatest adventure in all history: the colonization of alien worlds. Already long-range telescopes have identified a number of habitable planets orbiting the stars of distant galaxies. Now it's just a question of getting there.

But there are those who, for selfish motives of their own, want Padrugoi and the other outposts to fail. People who will stop at nothing to maintain their power or to revenge its loss. Standing in their way are the Talented, men and women gifted with extraordinary mental powers that have made them as feared as they are respected?and utterly indispensable to the colonization effort.

There is Peter Reidinger, a teenage paraplegic who happens to be the strongest telekinetic ever, his mind capable of teleporting objects and people thousands of miles in the blink of an eye. Yet all his power cannot repair his damaged spine or allow him to feel the gentle touch of a loved one . . . Rhyssa Owen, the powerful telepath and mother hen to Peter and the rest of her "children"?and a fierce, unrelenting fighter against the prejudice that would deny the Talented the right to lead happy and productive lives . . . and Amariyah, an orphan girl who loves two things in the world above all others: gardening and Peter Reidinger. And woe to anyone who harms either one of them?for the young girl's talent may prove to be the most amazing of all.

Now, as sabotage and attempted murder strike the Station, it's up to the Talented to save the day. Only who's going to save the Talented?

From the Back Cover


"McCaffrey's world of the Talented is as vivid as that of Pern and its dragons."
--Publishers Weekly

"[McCaffrey is] a master of the well-told tale."
--Chicago Sun-Times

About the Author

Anne McCaffrey is one of the world's most popular authors. Her first novel was published in 1967. Since then, she was written dozens of books, of which there are more then twelve million copies in print. She is best known for her Dragonriders of Pern® series, as well as her books about the Talents. Before her success as a writer, she was involved in theater. She directed the American premiere of Carl Orff's Ludus de Nato Infante Mirificus, in which she also played a witch.

McCaffrey lives in County Wicklow, Ireland, in a house of her own design, named after the bestselling series that paid for it: Dragonhold-Underhill.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

As Peter Reidinger was teleporting in gestalt with the huge Jerhattan Power Station to bring the kinetics down from Padrugoi Space Station to Dhaka, an exhausted group of men and women were trying to reach the shelter of the nearest shomiti. With the bundles they had snatched from their homes before escaping the breached levees, they staggered to higher ground along the muddy banks of the Jamuna River. They had to scramble to bridge the gaps in the levee mounds that, in places, were sliding into the Jamuna's torrent. Despite Herculean efforts by the government and the local administrators in the Rajshahi Division, the levees had not supplied the longed-for protection to those living along its banks.

Anger at the "authorities" consumed Zahid Idris Miah and sustained him as he slogged at the head of the group from his bari, flashing the long-life light ahead of him. In the gloom of this monsoon, the tool at least kept them from slithering into places where the Jamuna had chewed ravines into the levee bank in its rush to the sea. He devoutly mumbled prayers to Iswah that this tool was truly a "long-life" torch. He half expected it to fade out now, when it was most needed, like so many other items that came to his small bari south of Sir¯ajganj as Rajshahi Division tried to--what was the ingraji word?--"upgrade" him and the other jute farmers.

They should have kept a close watch on the levees in this storm. They should have worked more diligently to reinforce the collecting lakes along the Jamuna River. They had promised to do so, to keep more of Bangladesh from sliding beneath the Bay. He vaguely knew that a great new engineering process that had kept some city in Italia from drowning had been adapted to keep the Bay of Bengal from inundating the coastal regions near the mouth of the Padma. Much land had been lost along the seacoast in spite of the efforts of many, very gifted engineers. The once inland city of Khulna was now protected by the great Dike, which had been erected three decades ago. Barisal City was also ringed south and east by the Ocean Dikes, invented by yet other westerners who had been determined to keep their land from drowning. Those islands that had once dotted the Bay of Bengal: Bhola, Hatiya, and Sondwip--where the Meghna River flowed into the Bay--had been inundated and the people saved only by the massive efforts of the World Relief Organization.

He had heard that the islands of Kutubdia and Maheskhali, near Cox's Bazar were also gone, and the tip of Chittagong. As Zahid had never been farther from his bari than Sir¯ajganj, these places might as well have been in Great India or Meriki. What had happened to those who had helped before? Had they, like so many others, deserted the Bangla in their hours of need? He wiped the sudden spurt of wind-driven rain from his face. Were they tired of rescuing poor Bangladeshi? He wasn't surprised; who cared, but Iswah, what happened to the poor? The wind smacked at his lean, work-honed frame again and he slid on the mud, the light briefly aimed to his right.

Was that debris now bobbing along on the swift flowing current the plants he had struggled so to keep watered during the dry season? There was always too much of everything--Iswah be praised, he added quickly--when it wasn't needed. The Jamuna had irrigated his fields but this was overdoing it.

"Where be those who aid? Curses be on their names and every generation of them!" Zahid roared above the wind, waving about both hands, making the torchlight stab about the darkness.

Behind him, Jamila wailed, berating her husband. "Do not wave our light about so! How am I seeing where to put my feet? If it falls from your hand, how will we be seeing where dry land is?" She had hiked up her sari, its sodden, muddy hem banging against her thin calves. He had already reprimanded her several times for her immodesty.

"Hush, woman. Rafiq and Rahim have torches. Watch your sari that you do not tempt Ayud Bondha." To emphasize his displeasure in her demeanor, he lengthened his stride, sweeping the ray of light in front of him to see where he was going. This disgruntled him more, for it might appear to her that he was heeding her complaint.

"How far to go now, Zahid?" Salma, Ayud Bondha's young wife, cried in ragged gasps. She had to shout above the wind noise. She was many months pregnant with her firstborn, and clumsy. Ayud was half carrying her, both of them slipping about in the thick mud.

Zahid didn't like Salma. As a young girl, she had been chosen from her village to go to the school to learn to read and write and do sums. Because of that, she did not efface herself, as a proper woman should, speaking out often in the shomiti with unseemly disregard of custom. Ayud Bondha always indulged her, smiling and doing nothing to discipline her, as a husband should.

"We will be seeing shomiti lights soon," Zahid said and sent his beam ahead of them, squinting to see any glimmer from their destination. Shomiti were still built on heavy concrete pillars, thanks be to Iswah, so their shelter remained above the flooded lands. There would be light cylinders--also of the long-life variety--hung on the corners of the covered veranda to show refugees their way through the day's darkness, wind, and rain.
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