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V-S Day: A Novel of Alternate History Hardcover – February 4, 2014
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An accomplished author of space-advocacy fiction now combines his favorite material with alternate history. It is 1941, and, thanks to one of Hitler’s whims, the German rocket program changes its goals. Instead of the unmanned ballistic V-2, it is now tasked to produce Eugene Sanger’s hypersonic glider, launched by rockets but able to bomb New York by skipping off the atmosphere. British intelligence uncovers the secret, and a young Ian Fleming brings it to the U.S. A space race is on, with the U.S. striving to produce a rocket interceptor before the Germans produce Sanger’s Silver Bird. The book is filled with fascinating minutiae of the early days of modern rocketry and exceptional characterization, particularly the portrait of the complex, troubled, and ailing Robert Goddard, father of the liquid-fueled rocket and a key figure in the American program. A well-told tale. --Roland Green
Praise for Allen Steele and His Novels
“Bears evidence of fresh thought about the opportunities inherent in science fiction to take the familiar and make it new.”—The New York Times Book Review
“A rich blend of personal and political storytelling.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Vivid realism.”—USA Today
“The closest thing the science fiction world now has to Robert A. Heinlein.”—SFRevu
“Allen Steele is always good.”—Kevin J. Anderson, New York Times bestselling author
Top customer reviews
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Update: It occurs to me that this is, in its own way, a lot like "October Sky", the film about Homer Hickam(sp?). It's not bad, but it doesn't quite cut the mustard in terms of making the characters really interesting. It does a competent job with them, but that's all it is, "competently done".
Minor quibble: Heinlein's "Beyond This Horizon" wasn't published in Feb 1942, but a few months after. Forgivable, since it brought Heinlein into the discussion, and that's always good. :-)
Mr. Steele has a good writing style, and the book moved along well except for a little dragging about 2/3 of the way through. If he took a crack at other alternate history works dealing with the 20th century, I'd definitely take a look.
This book posits that the Nazis (and then the Allies) decide to build a space ship (more an exo-atmospheric hopper really) to bomb Washingon DC. The idea is that this ship could whip around the planet from the West and fly so high that when it does deliver its payload it would prove devastatingly effective. The Allies catch wind of this plan and build another such ship to counter and intercept the Axis one.
The race is on as the story alternates back and forth between the two teams working on their ships. The Axis ship is built in a mountain with mostly slave camp labor whereas the Allied ship is built on a couple of sites with the standard hired labor, but it's interesting to see how both teams deal with the problems they encounter. The story builds to an ultimate climax when the Axis launches and the Allies must try to stop them.
Not much characterization and the story feels a bit like a short story expanded out to a novel. There are little intersperses throughout with varoius major world figures at the time though they don't really DO all that much, and I finger these additions as the most likely "padding" to get the short story up to novel size.
Fun if a bit lacking in much depth. Recommended for fans of alternate history.
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In this novel, Robert H.Near-space and CoyoteRead more