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Children of Apollo by [Whittington, Mark R.]
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Children of Apollo Kindle Edition

3.2 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Length: 566 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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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.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1027 KB
  • Print Length: 566 pages
  • Publication Date: March 31, 2002
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0011FCUSS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,226,410 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Paperback
When I found Children of Apollo in a used bookshop a few years ago, I had high expectations. The idea of what if the US space program had been continued in anything like it's Moon Race mode had enormous potential. Unfortunately, Whittington actually did worse than merely failing to realize that potential. I'd give this book zero stars, were that possible.

Leaving aside bad plotting, bad writing, and the many serious technical quibbles, all of which would be bad enough but still only subjective, the book is also marred by numerous factual errors. The proofing is also terrible, with spelling and grammatical mistakes making the text almost unreadable.

Then there is Whittington's very open political agenda, namely whitewashing Nixon and demonizing Democrats. If I had been his editor (and if he had one for his long ago self-published book, that editor didn't do his/her job), I would have told him that making Walter Mondale into a villain is a great idea, since historically "Moondale" wanted to gut NASA and spend the money on social programs before we even got to the moon. Beyond that, Whittington's political agenda not only makes the book too implausible to believe, but manages to alienate what would be at least half its intended audience. Anyone who isn't a card carrying Republican ought to come away at least annoyed, if not downright offended.

So, my hope is that someone with a better sense of what it takes to write a proper book will tackle this subject. It certainly deserves a better treatment than Children of Apollo.
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