COYOTE: A Novel of Interstellar Exploration

Allen Steele, Author . Ace $23.95 (400p) ISBN 978-0-441-00974-9

At first, this novel from Hugo winner Steele looks like a fairly conventional tale of high-tech intrigue—in this case, rebels against a right-wing American dictatorship plot to steal the prototype interstellar spaceship built to immortalize the government's ideology by planting a colony of fanatics on another star's planet. However, once the freedom seekers arrive on the new world, Coyote, things get a lot more interesting. Coyote is habitable but alien, full of flora and fauna that upset the colonists' easy preconceptions. The young people, in particular, have to find their identities in a dangerous but wonderful environment; their discovery of what they can do individually as well as what they owe to the group nicely illustrates the name the starship's captain, R.E. Lee, has given their settlement: Liberty. That Steele's novel has been stitched together out of a series of short stories has advantages and disadvantages. The jumping around can be repetitious, but it also lets readers see the same events from different angles. By the same token, the narrative doesn't stay with individual characters, especially adults, long enough for the reader to get to know them, but it does give a panorama of the developing community. By the end, when an especially big challenge appears, the colonists are ready to face it confidently. The discovery of a new world is one of SF's most potent themes, and Steele handles it well. (Nov. 5)

Reviewed on: 10/21/2002
Release date: 11/01/2002
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 400 pages - 978-0-7865-3732-7
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Mass Market Paperbound - 436 pages - 978-0-441-01116-2
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