Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Leaving Orbit: Notes From the Last Days of American Spaceflight by Margaret Lazarus Dean

That spaceflight sendoff on the cover is now a thing of the past as the American space program has been slowly dismantled and is now a shadow of its former glory days. As she asks the question: “What does it mean that we won’t be going into space anymore,” space junkie Margaret Lazarus Dean counts down the last days of the shuttle program and describes them with bittersweet emotions. The somewhat narrow perspective, limited to fellow enthusiasts at Cape Canaveral, leaves you wanting more at times, yet Dean’s enthusiasm — mixed in with equal part outrage — ultimately shines through.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

This Is How It Really Sounds by Stuart Archer Cohen

What if you had a chance to rewrite your life? What would you choose to keep, to throw out? The path not taken is a theme often explored in fiction but Stuart Archer Cohen gives it a spanking new update for our times through the lives of three men, all named Pete Harrington. If sometimes the moral of the story comes across as too pat, Cohen makes it up by layering the plot with plenty of high-voltage action and atmosphere. Despite an occasional discordant note, readers will enjoy unlocking the interlocking chambers of this Chinese puzzle box of a novel.