- File Size: 2338 KB
- Print Length: 240 pages
- Publisher: Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy (April 1, 2014)
- Publication Date: April 1, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00J90BWLI
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,357,543 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Brute Orbits Kindle Edition
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|Length: 240 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
"Boldly speculative. . . . Zebrowski argues his points with conviction." -- -- Publishers Weekly --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
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An answer comes in the form of an asteroid that narrowly misses hitting the Earth. While it didn't hit the Earth it was close enough were it could be easily caught and mined. This led to a faster expansion into near earth space and more asteroids were captured that could be "near misses" . Eventually someone had the idea of moving prisons up to the moon and then to the asteroids themselves. This allowed the governments of the world to ship their criminals somewhere "out of sight and out of mind".
The idea of the "long orbit" sentences met little resistance and the first Rock was launched outward with a group of all male prisoners that were convicted of violent offenses such as assault and murder. Their sentence was a fifty year orbit. Unknown to the prisoners, and the general populace, there orbit is miscalculated and these men are given a death sentence. With only a few knowing this however the Rocks continue to be launched. Some adhere to the to the original idea, some are used to get rid of those who disagree with various administrations and some are used to get rid of those that have mental problems. For the most part these Rocks have a miscalculated orbit.
Fast forward in time and the first Rock comes back fifty years after it was supposed to. Only ghosts observe a earth that has changed so much from the planet they left over a hundred years before and only silent remains greet those who come to investigate the fate of those on the Rock.
The peoples of Earth have come far in dealing with the issues that those sentenced to the Rocks represented. While not a perfect future for the most part a squabbling humanity has settled down and now focuses more finding ways to get along and expanding humanity's knowledge. There are those who wonder though what happened to the populace on other Rocks and whether they now differ greatly from the main branch of humanity.
Soon a expedition is created to find the remaining rocks and determine what happened to the prisoners on board. What they find will show them that the human race may not have made as much progress as it thought.
I've had this book for a while, but for some reason or another I never got around to reading it until now. In a way though I'm glad I didn't read it when I got as I was more into to action heavy books and would have probably skimmed through it without really reading the story. Don't get me wrong though, there are still a few parts that I skimmed through that were kind of dense but over all the story moves at a good pace as it bounces between the different characters that end up on the rocks and the guy who for the most part ends up putting them there. The really interesting part of the story comes toward the middle when a hundred years have passed and Earth rediscovers the Rock's and starts to investigate the fate of the prisoners.
The story does ask some interesting questions and it's conceivable that one day we will have "space prisons" of some sort. It also makes sense that some people would decide that out of sight is better coupled with out of mind. At the end of the book the author also discusses the research that he did for the book and gives references for several books that examine ideas that are presented in the story and also gives several examples of similar situations throughout history that are similar to the story. If your looking for a sci-fi book that asks some interesting questions and is not entirely reliant on violence and explosions and takes a futuristic look at an idea / practice that has been around for a while then you might enjoy giving this a read. m.a.c
Most of the book works well as social and political commentary, with a series of vignettes about future prisoners and all of their ugliest behavior. This future society has found a way to conveniently get rid of not just hardened criminals but an expanding palette of political and social undesirables, by putting them in hollow asteroids and launching them into deep space. Most of the story is shocking and provocative, and the behavior of the criminals and the authorities is often hideous, allowing Zebrowski to really explore the ramifications of his philosophical treatise. Critics of this book have perfectly valid points, but readers looking for uncompromising allegorical commentary could enjoy it if they're willing to sacrifice logical development of characters and themes. But there is still a problem with inconsistency, as the conclusion falls into a type of quaint and unrealistic future humanism that contrasts sharply with the rest of the book. It's also too short, as Zebrowski could have devoted much more space to both the philosophy and the development of his characters, but here such matters surge ahead at a very awkward pace. [~doomsdayer520~]
This is a super concept for a science fiction novel . . . convicts are banished to an asteroid, with a scheduled return when their sentence is up (which may possibly be in excess of their expected lifetime). But author George Zebrowski spends way too much time pontificating on the philosophy of crime and punishment. Rather than cleverly hiding his message within an engaging novel (ala' Dostoyevsky), Zebrowski just straight out shoves it in your face, ad nauseum. And not in a clearly stated manner. It made my head hurt. I thumbed ahead in the novel and found little relief in sight.
So, I gave up in less than 50 pages. There are way too many GOOD books to spend one's reading time and effort on. Suggest skipping this one.