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Marilee J. Layman

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November 3rd, 2007

05:54 pm: I Posted Yesterday!
I don't think it was interesting, but I remember posting. Maybe it will come back to me.

It's cool enough to wear my fall coat today so I picked buttons from the bowl near the door. "All One People" on one side and "He Lied, They Died" on the other. I went to Pizza Hut where I was asked to move to the far corner (where another booth was occupied) because they had a football team coming in. The team (and families) took the rest of the restaurant and even though I had breadsticks before the footballers got there, my little personal pan pizza came out after their 12 large pizzas. There were people waiting in the lobby to be seated. If they'd just brought mine first, there'd be more room.

When I got home, I noticed the birdfeeder was mostly empty and when I looked closer, I noticed the series of rains we had left some mold on the feeder, so I scraped as much of the seeds out as I could and the feeder is now in the dishwasher (it's made of dead milk jugs).

I always skim the day's WashPost before relegating it to the bottom of the to-read newspaper stack and today's had a mention of a You Tube channel that is chronicling our county/city's assault against immigrants. Some of makes me want to shout.

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06:18 pm: Spindrift by Allen M. Steele
Allen calls this the Coyote Universe, not part of the Coyote trilogy, but it doesn't hurt to read those first. Here's my reviews: Coyote, Coyote Rising, and Coyote Frontier.

Coyote Frontier mentions a missing ship, EASS Galileo, and at the end, the three survivors arrive at Coyote in Galileo's shuttle, EAS Maria Celeste, along with an alien.

Spindrift is the story of Galileo and Maria Celeste. The European Alliance has developed starbridges and Galileo went through Earth Starbridge to the experimental bridge in the Kuiper Belt, KX-1, to explore a moving mass seen crossing a star. We meet the widely split crew and science team -- split not crew/science, but two different political systems and different beliefs on what's reasonable among them. In addition, Galileo's captain is an idiot who got his place through money and heritage (an English Lord). The first officer, Ted Harker, is very worried about how things will work out, for good reason.

Galileo safely leaves KX-1 and speeds up to sub-light then prepares for everyone to go into biostasis. The Maria Celeste pilot, Emily Collins, and a prisoner freed just for this trip, Dr. Ramirez, find that EA has surreptiously added a nuclear torpedo to the outside of Galileo. The captain acts suspiciously before they enter biostasis, so Harker gets the doctor to wake him and Collins up first, then two other crew who are worried about the captain. When they're awakened, they find out that the captain and another member of the crew have cut the comm link to Earth. Without the link, they may get back to KX-1, but they can't go through. The captain pretends it's an accident on the other end.

They proceed to the mass they've named Spindrift and find an alien starbridge in orbit around it. The captain is happy to get rid of Harker, Collins, and Ramirez, so when they and another science team member volunteer to take the shuttle and explore Spindrift, off they go. While they are exploring, an alien ship comes through the gate and the idiot captain throws the nuke at it. The alien ship sets it off near Galileo, which is destroyed. The shuttle group go into emergency biostasis. When they wake up, things are not quite right.

I liked the Coyote books, but while they're also political, they are on a new world. I loved this book because it was in space. Very minor editing problems, and there is a place near the end where one of the items that people criticize Allen for using in the near-earth books turns up, and the way it does made me laugh loud enough to bring the cats down to the bed.

Highly recommended. The sequel is running serially in Asimov's now and I'll start that tonight.

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