Storming Intrepid

Payne Harrison, Author Crown Publishers $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-517-57133-0
With its evil-empire depiction of the Soviet Union and obsessive emphasis on the latest and best American military equipment, this first novel owes a heavy debt to Tom Clancy, but manages to carve out its own niche in the technothriller genre. In the author's version of the near-future, the lame duck American president (all but identified as Lee Iacocca) is using the revived space shuttle program to deploy the ``Star Wars'' defense system. Meanwhile, certain powers in Moscow, beset by Kremlin infighting and conspiracy, see their government's chance for military parity eroding and resort to a desperate measureplanting a psychotic Soviet-trained agent on the U.S. shuttle crew delivering the Star Wars payload. When the spy murders his fellow astronauts and radios Russia, NASA begins a race into space to destroy the shuttle before it reaches enemy hands. Harrison's prose is only serviceable and often much worse; he runs on for pages about a telescope or a bomber, but doesn't describe a major character beyond calling him ``very big, very black and very, very smart.'' But his plotting is better, gathering speed as it goes and saving some effective surprises for the end. 100,000 first printing; $100,000 ad/promo. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-394-57934-4
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-8041-9978-0
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