Read Coyote by Allen M. Steele Online

coyote

Coyote is an astonishing discovery, a habitable moon in a solar system 40-odd light years from Earth. A despotic post-US government decides to colonise this precious find and constructs the starship Alabama. The ship is about to launch when it is hijacked by its own crew. Instead of the intended party loyalists, it is populated with malcontents and social dissidents who muCoyote is an astonishing discovery, a habitable moon in a solar system 40-odd light years from Earth. A despotic post-US government decides to colonise this precious find and constructs the starship Alabama. The ship is about to launch when it is hijacked by its own crew. Instead of the intended party loyalists, it is populated with malcontents and social dissidents who must learn to work together in the struggle to reach and then conquer their prize: Coyote. Vast in scope, passionate in its conviction, and set against a backdrop of completely plausible events, Coyote tells the story of Earth’s first extra-solar colonists, and the mysterious planet that becomes their home....

Title : Coyote
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780441011162
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 436 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Coyote Reviews

  • The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon)
    2019-06-11 23:18

    Don't you just hate those space ship thieves? Unhappy with conditions on earth, Robert E. Lee A decedent loosely related to the great Civil War General, save he's black, leads an exploratory mission to the stars. Instead of staying under the Yoke of an oppressive government, he pulls off the ultimate betrayal and fires the first shot (metaphorically speaking) of what would turn out to be a long struggle for independence.Lee and his team of handpicked colonists put themselves into cryogenic suspension for the long trip. On the way treachery had already cost them one life. When they wake up, they reached an inhabitable world waiting to be settled. Behind them, Earth has not forgotten them and ahead of them are hardships that will test every man and woman on the team.I enjoyed this book on audio tape. The narrators changed to match gender and in some cases the ages of those telling their story. Steele wove a collection of short linked tales together into a cohesive tale of courage, determination and danger. Each short section, told through the eyes of the different colonists fit together seamlessly, and they were a very interesting selection of narrators, a 16 year old girl, spunky as hell, Robert E. Lee, Carlos, the son of the first casualties on the new planet.The book read like a collection of first person tales of settling the great frontier in the New World with Daniel Boone or Davy Crocket. The characters began to feel like family as the story tackles many of the more subtle issues we face today. Teen Pregnancy, the frustration of youth to be heard over the desires of their parents, war, rebellion, first contact and learning to live in harmony with an angry, alien land. There’s even one creepy story about a crazy reverend who had been surgically altered to look like a horrid demon and secretly drank blood taken from his cult of followers. Can you say “Creeeeeepyyyy”? The entire series is good, though I didn't like the last book as much as the others and as good as the first book turned out, I think the second and third were even better. WarningsIt's a good read for anyone, though there are some hard subjects tackled here such as teen pregnancy that might not be appropriate for youth under a certain age. People do get killed and there is plenty of action and violence. Allen Steele does express his own thoughts and feelings about some political subjects, but not in a way that detracts from the story. His views are more in a take it or leave it, no penalty basis. You can disagree with him and still enjoy the story every bit as much as you would if you agreed with him. The focus is on "story," not on philosophy. I'm just saying it's there. Great read. Enjoy

  • Stephen
    2019-06-11 06:10

    4.5 to 5.0 stars. This is the first Allen Steele novel I have read and I was very impressed. I found myself engaged in the book from the very first pages all the way to the end, with no periods of boredom or loss of interest. That says something about Steele's ability to tell a good, well-developed story without getting get too bogged-down in mundane matters. In the end, I can say that it was a thouroughly enjoyable read and I will certainly read the next book in the series.

  • Jacqie
    2019-05-28 07:15

    Well, this was a book club read, I'm embarrassed to say. I got halfway through, and I just couldn't waste any more reading time on it. I have a lot of complaining to do, though, so...SPOILERS FOLLOW: IF YOU WANT TO RETAIN ANY ILLUSIONS ABOUT THIS BOOK DO NOT READ FURTHERI think perhaps what I will do is make a list of all the ridiculousness. I'm not even going to go into the politics of the book ( although I lean left myself) because the right wing villains are so very cartoonish that it's embarrassing again. Although I did like the reference to the Gingrich Moon Base (or something like it) made by the author in 2002. A bit of trivia that will undoubtedly be lost to the ages.1. Names. There's no actual physical description of anybody except for the "icy" beauty of the evil ex-wife (hey, you married her, dude! you are not the victim here- you used her for her political connections!) but it seems the default is white, because at least the oh-so-ethnic ethnic Hispanic names try so very hard to show that the author is inclusive and trying to put people who are not of western European descent in his book. We get Jorge Montero, his wife Rita, son Carlos, and daughter Maria. Then we get the Asian doctor, the only other non-white person around that we know of. Mr. Montero didn't name his son, say, Carl and his daughter Monica? I am not disparaging the fact of Hispanic names, here, but the fact that the author is taking the short-hand of using names instead of description or any other method of inclusivity. It made the book feel dated and clunky and obvious- this was the way that people introduced non-white characters when they wanted to show that they were PC in the 80's. 2. The plan is to sleep-gas all the carefully selected colonists and replace them with people who are dissidents against the fascist government who all also happen to be scientists. One scientist is much like another, I suppose, and they all would be equally ready to help with colonization. Actually, this could be true, for a more staggeringly inept group of colonists I have never seen.3. Everyone is put into cryogenic storage for about 250 years. In the book, cryogenic storage has never been attempted for longer than 18 months, but everyone assumes it will all turn out okay and no one is left to monitor the situation.4. It does not go okay. One person wakes up a few months or years ( I can't remember which and it doesn't matter) into the voyage. He can't put himself back to sleep, so he uses about 1/3 of the colonists' total food supply as he hangs out over the next 30 years. He does not spend any time trying to learn about the cryogenic system or software coding so he can put himself back to sleep, though. He _does_ find out that there is a saboteur who was supposed to be woken up in order to blow up the ship if anything happened other than a normal voyage- the fascist government didn't want anybody using their ship for non-regulation purposes. So, he decides to warn his captain about this by LEAVING HIM A NOTE. That is what he does. He leaves a note. 5. Everybody gets woken up together when they get to Planet Coyote, even though the first people woken know that 30% of their food supplies have been consumed. Oh, by the way, "everybody" includes a contingent of Marines that tried to stop the hijacking of the spacecraft and were cryogenically stored against their will, and the saboteur, which the captain knew about, because he got his note. 6. The captain persuades the loyalist Marine sergeant that he might as well go along with the colonists, because the space ship "was only made to go one way" and can't take them back, and even if it could go back, it would take another 250 years. Fair enough. Then he and the Marine captain stay behind all the other colonists to confront the saboteur, who gets shot. Fade away... in the next scene the captain muses sadly over the fact the the first BBQ party on Planet Coyote is marred by him having to tell about the "accident" the saboteur had- the first colonist death besides the guy that got woken up early. The captain thinks, " I never thought I'd have to be explaining that a man died." Dude. You set it up so the man would die. You should have expected it. Captain Robert E. Lee (yes that is his name) has a real victim complex, between his ex-wife and not understanding loyalty, even if it is misplaced.7. So, this hasn't even covered the utter stupidity of how Planet Coyote is colonized. First, they fly a surprisingly low-fueled shuttle to scope things out. Because of the surprisingly low fuel, they just pick the first flat spot near water they see and land. This is where the colony goes. Planet Coyote is amazingly hospitable. They know that it has water, oxygen, and nitrogen. So, "because they've had their shots" everyone decides that they don't need to keep on helmets or use a pressure chamber to leave the shuttle. They'll just open the big door and go on out. "After all, everyone was going to have to breathe the air eventually." Yes that was their logic. But fortunately this is a book, so they all live. 8. I get that the point of the book is to have a hardy colonization story in an earthlike world, so Planet Coyote is earthlike. The point isn't a Mars-like terraforming, but sturdy back-to-the-land colonists. Heinlein did this stuff all the time. But man, these people don't deserve to live. All the seeds they've brought will grow in defiance of any biological sanity, because this is a book. All the livestock they've brought will live, because this is a book. And even though the colonists brought only one year of food and even that was partially taken from them, they won't have too much problem with that, because this is a book. 9. Everybody leaves the ship and comes to the planet. No one remains on their STARSHIP. Hasn't anyone read the Pern books? Or any other science fiction book?10. This hasn't even considered the vanishingly small possibility that the people sent 250 years away to a different star system would even have found a planet remotely habitable, even if it was in the theoretical "habitable planet" range. The odds were so vastly against it that really, it was essentially a death sentence for anyone aboard their "one-way" ship with vanishingly small food supplies and no organized plans for leaving a minimum crew awake until favorable conditions could be ascertained.After all this, I could not take any more stupidity. God knows what the characters of this book will do once they've got an actual planet to screw around on. The fact that this author has won any awards is about as amazing an improbability as that of Planet Coyote being hospitable to human life. He has no grasp of science, of character development, or of story development. Anyone who's read any science fiction about colonization can point out dozens of gigantic plot and logic holes here. Any author who wants to write a book like this should already be miles ahead of where this author is, should have read other -any other- science fiction books about space colonization, and have something original to say. I can't find any redeeming value here.

  • David
    2019-06-23 03:24

    This is good old-fashioned hard SF space exploration yarn. The first interstellar colony ship, first people on a new planet, you've read this before — colonists figuring out the climate and ecology of a new world, improvising all the things they couldn't bring from home, having fatal encounters with the native fauna, etc. Coyote is not terribly original, but lots of people like very specific genres that make no attempt to deviate from the standard tropes - how many urban fantasies or Regency romances or mysteries truly stand out as different from the rest? Well, that's Coyote — you want a sci-fi novel about colonists settling another planet, you get a sci-fi novel about colonists settling another planet.Lest I sound too lukewarm in my praise, Coyote is quite good. The first third of the book takes place before the ship — The Alabama — leaves Earth. It is a near-future dystopia in which a right-wing United Republic of America, a single-party police state ruled by the Liberty Party, has replaced the old USA and is now building a starship as a monument to itself, to guarantee its own immortality. What they don't know is that Captain Robert Lee is planning to steal it, and replace its loyal Liberty Party crew and colonists with freed "Dissident Intellectuals" — political prisoners.The story of how he pulls this off is the first part of the book, and was originally published as a short story. The rest of the book hangs together pretty well as a single novel, but it's clearly a composite of several short stories stitched together into a linear narrative. This is a hard SF novel, so there is no FTL travel — the colonists travel 42 light years in cold sleep. The first complication is when some URA soldiers are trapped aboard when the ship launches, and go into hibernation with the colonists. Obviously this causes tension when they arrive at Coyote, knowing that they will never see Earth again and that the government they left behind is now history, centuries in the past, but they are still divided between loyalists and dissidents/"traitors."There are other complications, of course, and enough interpersonal conflicts to keep things cooking along. The second half of the book becomes more of a YA adventure when a group of teenagers, for various reasons, take off with a couple of boats and decide to explore Coyote. It's a stupid, reckless, ill-fated adventure, exactly the sort of thing teenagers would do. But it demonstrates dramatic character growth in two of the young main characters, and leads into the novel's final act, when another starship arrives at Coyote.Coyote is, perhaps, not an epic, but deserves to be regarded as a mid-level SF classic, or maybe a sci-fi "comfort read" if you will. Don't expect anything daring or unprecedented, but the writing is more than competent, the story has plenty of hooks and turns, and the characters make you care whether they'll survive. This is the first book in a series, and clearly there are loose threads left dangling, and I enjoyed it enough to put the next book on my list.

  • Casey
    2019-06-23 07:38

    I'm a sucker for some good planet colonization sci-fi and Steele has delivered ten fold in "Coyote"! The story takes some jumps in the time line, which after doing some post reading research shows that it was originally published in a series of shorts and novellas. So, it all works out good! In fact, the jumping nature of the narrative makes the story a bit less dense and plays well to the entertainment value. The characters are strong and enjoyable though Steele's politics bleed through pretty heavily. That's not to say it's a hindrance to the story; it's just very very clear where the author's thoughts lie. It doesn't dilute the solid hard science fiction edge to the books at all and the good old fashioned frontier/manifest destiny of planet colonization is at the fore front where it should be. If I had any big complaints for "Coyote", it would be for a lack of diversity for alien life forms that inhabit the moon. The critters that we were given, a rough handful of what you would expect on an alien planet, are re-used heavily throughout the book. It would have added to the high sense of adventure to come across ever stranger beasts and plant life as the crept around the planet. Then again, there's two more books in the series and our favorite characters have yet to adventure too far from home! All in all, a great sci-fi read in the vein of Heinlein and the more modern Scalzi!

  • Bettie☯
    2019-06-10 05:27

    fraudiosci fi> space operaTBR busting 2013pub 2002winter 2012/2013grand theft auto spacecraftRepublic of America with one star on the flag - supposed to denote one united people but is more akin to just one political party3* Galaxy Blues3* Coyote

  • dkoemans
    2019-05-29 07:16

    I can't believe this was rated a 4 by this community. Reads like a disjointed YA novel. The science is bad, the characters are paper thin, the drama is artificial with no real stakes. Possibly the worst part is the obvious liberal masturbation fantasy/republican bashing that opens the book. I as any good liberal I have no love for the GOP but this went to absurd lengths to demonize them to the point of it being off-putting.I'll give him credit, he hangs a lantern on every absurdity so he closes the holes but the explanation is far from satisfying. Example: they build an interstellar ship but fail to provide them with anything but the most modest of survival equipment and supplies. Reason? Republicans wouldn't pay for it because they are dumb. That is the ACTUAL explanation. Last I checked republicans like guns, they probably should have had a few more or a way to make more ammo. Also, I'm pretty sure you can't colonize another planet with 100 people. Human kind reached a bottle neck 70k years ago when the population was reduced to 10k. So eh, good luck with that.Go to your bookshelf and look around. I'm sure you have something better to read.

  • S.A. Parham
    2019-06-04 04:30

    Originally written as a series of short stories for Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, the book does have a bit of a jarring lack of continuity because of its original format. Set in a future where America's gone down the extremist right-wing toilet and speaking out against the government gets you put in internment camps, I think the author did a good job of creating believable characters who would get desperate enough to engineer a plot to steal a starship and escape to their own colony. Unfortunately, the short story origin rears its ugly head in having too many POVs for true enjoyment, but definately a good read.

  • Sushi (寿司)
    2019-05-31 01:39

    Finalmente un Urania decente. E quelli si contano sulla punta delle dita. Il 90% di solito fa schifo ma Coyote mi ha sorpreso e preso subito.

  • StarMan
    2019-06-07 04:25

    After a slightly too long setup concerning politics and deceptions, the story escapes Earth and becomes an engaging tale of adventure. However, it's often marred by logic deficits, too much incredible luck, several "yeah, right" moments, and TSTL* humans. * Too Stupid To LiveIn spite of excessive lunacies (see hidden spoilers at end of review), I can easily recommend COYOTE. This is the book for you, if you enjoy reading about impossibly lucky humans -- and their apparent death wish. Or if you want to see how a dearth of actual science or common sense can make for a laughable (yet engaging) story with zero suspension of disbelief.Would I read Book 2, Coyote Rising? YES, because Book 1 (COYOTE) ends on a minor cliffhanger, and I might want to read about more idiots dying stupidly. Or even idiots learning how to not die, if such is the plot of Book 2. VERDICT: 4 star adventure/concept, minus 2 star demerit (stupidity, too much luck, more stupidity) = 2 stars. But I'm generously giving it 2.9 stars, because I did enjoy watching things go south for the idiot humans.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~6 AMUSING TIDBITS (out of many such lunacies in this book):** will contain BIG A$$ SPOILERS **(view spoiler)[Hey! Big a$$ spoilers, I said! Ok, if you insist....1) The starship and its contents, after a quarter century in space, (view spoiler)[ arrive intact and OK at new world (Coyote, duh). Nothing aboard has rotted away, nothing has failed. No fuses blown. Computers are fine (obviously not Windows or Android-based). Food and water stores are still safe to consume. The dang coffee grounds are still fresh. WHAT MAGIC IS THIS? WHAT IS EVERYTHING MADE OF? UNOBTANIUM? IMPOSSIBILIUM? NEVERDECAYIUM?Wait, I remember now:   the captain put Saran Wrap* over 2 keyboards before he took his spacenap. Pardon my moment of doubt there. SARAN WRAP TURNS EVERYTHING INTO NEVERDECAYIUM! *ok, the actual word was "plastic." But you know it must've been Saran Wrap! (hide spoiler)]2) Upon arriving on an unexplored and unsurveyed alien world (after years of prep followed by ~250 years in space), the brilliant explorers and scientists (view spoiler)[ land the first shuttle and make a mind-boggling snap decision: in spite of all their training and education, they decide to simply open the hatch and let everyone sniff in the untested alien air. No protective suits, no filters/masks, no tests for dangerous substances or microorganisms. Wow, how brave stupid of them. And how lucky they didn't die horribly. (hide spoiler)]3) The awesomely forward-thinking explorers only bring (view spoiler)[ enough food for a few months, and water for a few weeks (to be used after waking from hibernation). This makes NO sense. They had only very vague guesses as to what the alien world would be like. Also: Our explorers also knew that NO other human-compatible world besides Earth had ever been found. They only had vague long-distance guesses about Coyote, based on telescope data and math. Yet they only bring enough food & water to survive 8 months about 2 months, due to an uh-oh along the way. And this is assuming they could keep recycling the 2-week supply of H20. GENIUSES, I SAY!(hide spoiler)]But this is all FINE, because the world o' Coyote requires *gasp* (view spoiler)[ ZERO terraforming of any kind. Gravity is kind here. The air is perfectly safe for human lungs. Earth crops grow in the magic soil in spite of NO Terran microbes there [insert head bang against wall]. Water is safely drinkable, no filtering or boiling required. The animals have DNA. The amino acids are conveniently all "left-handed" versions (digestible), just like Earth's. Fishing is easy (and the fish delicious). Insect bites merely make humans pleasantly drunk. I could go on, but you get the idea. It's all impossibly lucky, and completely unbelievable. (hide spoiler)]4) The adults -- including the captain, officers, scientists, parents, and some military dudes -- allow (view spoiler)[ the kids & teens to run roughshod over adult authority/rules/common sense. The leaders and parents also allow folks to venture alone and unprotected into dangerous areas over and over, in spite of KNOWN deadly dangers there.(hide spoiler)]5) There is NO (view spoiler)[backup plan. The ship is basically useless after arriving, as the humans did not bring enough fuel (or food/water) to travel to another star system. They cannot remain on the ship, nor can they return to Earth. For no (or very vague) reasons, they cannot go back into their hibernation pods. But it's all good, because Coyote rocks. Hell, these idiots purposely mothball the 2 landing shuttles. It would take them days or weeks to get them back into working condition, but why -- on a completely alien planet with unknown life forms and weather patterns -- would they need a WORKING EMERGENCY ESCAPE VEHICLE to take them to another part of the planet (or back to the ship, briefly)? *sigh* (hide spoiler)]6) There are some married folks among the settlers. But with the possible fate of the entire human race at stake, (view spoiler)[ the explorers made sure that they also brought plenty of fertile youngsters on this voyage. BAH! I'm kidding: they bring 4 teenage boys and ONE teen girl (age 14-ish). Wow, what could go wrong there? (hide spoiler)] (hide spoiler)]~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~MORE IDIOTS: ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Jamie Collins
    2019-06-24 03:29

    This isn’t a bad read, but a particular fondness for colonization science fiction will help to get past unexceptional writing, weak characterization and shallow world-building, not to mention many implausible aspects of the plot. It’s a collection of short stories, but they all feature the same characters and are part of the same story, so it works fine as a novel.This begins in a relatively near future where the United States has splintered into multiple countries, and the South, of course, has formed a fascist and anti-intellectual “republic”. The details are vague, but we can tell the government is evil because it has named things after Jesse Helms and George Wallace and Newt Gingrich. Somehow this republic has managed to build an interstellar spaceship, but its plan to spread fascism and anti-intellectualism to a new planet is disrupted when the ship’s crew and a handful of scientists rebel and steal the ship for themselves. (I alternated between squirming at some of the hokeyness, and being pleased that the ship is named Alabama and the “dissident intellectuals” are from Huntsville.)The first story is about the actual theft of the ship. The second is about a lone crewmember who wakes up from hibernation too early, with more than 200 years left in the ship's journey.The rest of the stories take place after the ship arrives at the new planet and everyone else wakes up. They easily locate a hospitable spot for their colony, which is fortunate since they have no plan B. There are only about 100 colonists, including children, teenagers and many scientists with no training in construction or farming or or any other skill useful for creating a new home under primitive conditions.One of the more interesting aspects is that there are a handful of people who were not a part of the conspiracy to steal the ship, and who are (were) loyal to the old government. They’re now trapped with a bunch of people they consider traitors, and they are viewed with understandable suspicion by the majority.I did not particularly like the ending, which seems forced in order to provide a balance to the ultra-conservatism of the old government; as if the author is saying, hey, you can take liberalism too far, too.

  • Dana Stabenow
    2019-06-22 01:14

    Read this straight through in one evening. A realistic, near-future take on mankind's first off-earth colony, and a great visualization of the topography, flora and fauna of a planet other than earth. Interesting construction, too, in that all of the chapters are short stories that were published first in Asimov's Science Fiction and one in an anthology of sf short fiction. This results in the stories being told in the different voices of the different colonists, the colony ship's commander, various adult colonists and two teens. Wendy, a fifteen-year old orphan from a more troubled background than even she thinks she has, witnesses the local fauna in action from the furrow she is plowing:Breathless, she watched the swoop soar away, the dead swamper clutched beneath it, for the blackwoods a couple of miles from camp...It was a bright and cloudless afternoon, the sky as blue and pure as the innocence of youth, and suddenly she felt something she had never known before: an awakening of the senses, a feeling of direct connection with the world around her. The realization that she wasn't distanced from nature, but rather an integral part of it...In that instant, Wendy arrived on Coyote.Lots more nice stuff, including a voyage of exploration by another teen that turns out better than anyone thinks, including him. The first chapter is a real nail-biter as the starship crew and the renegade colonists steal the Alabama out from under the noses of the Internal Security Agency of the United Republic, at risk of their very lives and the lives of their families. How bad is the UR?It's a distinct privilege to be allowed to view the Liberty Bell; one of the first acts the government took after the Revolution was to close the site to the public. You know any regime that closes off the Liberty Bell to anyone but the Party elite is a bad one. (I immediately thought of the Terminator's wheel crushing the toy as he pulls up to the wrong Sarah Connor's house.) It may be that colonization only ever happens as a result of political and/or religious disaffection, but just once I'd like to read a book where the impetus to expand the galactic human footprint comes from running to something, instead of running away.

  • Alex Telander
    2019-06-16 05:26

    It’s been quite a while since I’ve read any science fiction, and being normally quite picky with what I like in the science fiction world, the title of this novel was a let down, while the subtitle piqued my interest. After reading Coyote, I can say it truly is a great science fiction novel of interstellar exploration.The time is about sixty or so years in the future. The American system of government has gone to hell, and there is only one party and it’s basically one big ugly dictatorship, much like 1984. The American government has bankrupted the country to build a great spaceship which will travel across the galaxy to a distant star where there is a distant planet (much like Saturn) with a distant moon called Coyote that is just like Earth.But Captain Robert E. Lee has plans to hijack the ship and get a bunch of illegal people aboard to start a new world and life in the stars away from this terrible excuse for a nation. Everything goes according to plan and they are off on the two hundred year journey in safe biostasis. Except something goes wrong with one man whose tube opens for some unknown reason, and he is left to the horrors of living on a ghost ship for the rest of his life while the crew remain in comfortable biostasis. He does not survive.Upon arrival on the planet, the hundred or so pioneers begin to start their new lives, as they deal with this new world, new plant life, and new predators. Lives are lost and times are hard for them in the first few years. And just when a system of order is created, the greatest shock of all happens: people from Earth show up on Coyote’s doorstep.It is not surprising that Steele has won the Hugo Award two times, and after reading Coyote, I only hope there is a sequel and I will keep a lookout for one of his earlier novels, Chronospace. Coyote is what I always dreamed ideal science fiction to be like, and it happens to be one of the best science fiction books I’ve read.Originally published on February 3rd, 2003.For over 500 book reviews, and over 40 exclusive author interviews (both audio and written), visit BookBanter.

  • Jacob
    2019-05-29 04:17

    A really good story with a couple of dings (I'm calling this a 3.75 and rounding up). Basically, it's a story about a ship of humans who go to colonize another planet 46 light years away. It's told in vignettes, quite a bit like Foundation. In fact, the style is like Asimov in general, especially in the way the Eric Gunther subplot is handled.The stories told in this book are varied and interesting. From trying to alleviate boredom and lonesomeness on an interstellar ship to exploring a completely unknown and dangerous but habitable planet, there's a lot to think about. And come on; you knew the planet was going to be habitable. I didn't spoil anything! Anyway, the characters are decent and the stories are plausible yet not predictable, which I like.The dings: a very new plot begins right at the end, taking away this novel's ability to stand on its own which is a pet peeve for me. Worse is the setting on Earth when this takes place: the U.S. has fractured and the red states have become a nominal "theocracy" in the standard liberal nightmare format. One of the space centers is named after Gingrich, and a shuttle is named the Jesse Helms. Thank goodness I don't know who George Wallace (the other shuttle) is, and why am I not surprised this was written in 2001? I don't have problems with setting a story under an oppressive government, but I have never seen one modeled after the complete success of an American right-wing conspiracy that was plausible. That approach ought to come with a warning: "you can do it, but it's very hard to do it well and if you don't get it right your story will stink". At least Steele got away from it and hightailed his story into space.

  • Mary JL
    2019-06-18 02:35

    This book is actually a series of novellas and short stories about Earth's first interstellar Colony.This leads to some repetition and changes in points of view to several different narrators, but the stories still mesh well together. I had no trouble following the changing points of view.All eight stories (chapters) are well written and interesting. I found a few events slightly implausible---and a few things I would have liked clarified. But I still give it four stars and will not bother to quibble on a few items. It is definitely worth your time---I am already planning to buy more books in the series.A good readable adventure---not drowned in too much science--decent characterization and good pacing. Recommended for all science fiction fans.

  • Liam
    2019-06-17 03:37

    Why do all space colonisation books end up reading like teen dramas!?Nevertheless, rather enjoyed Coyote.

  • Michael
    2019-06-01 03:24

    This is the first book in the Coyote series by Allen Steele. This book is about man's first effort at colonizing a planet around another star. A star system 46 light years from Earth known as 47 Ursae Majoris has been found to have a gas giant with a moon that is thought to be capable of supporting human life. The government of the URA, formally The United States, has decided to build a colony ship and send a hand picked crew to colonize this moon, known as Coyote. The URA is supposed to be a free society where everyone is equal but it is in reality a repressive government. Anyone who disagrees with it is sent to re-education camps and usually never heard from again. Captain Robert E. Lee and most of the crew of the URSS Atlanta have decided to steal their starship at the last minute and replace the handpicked colonists with free thinking scientists and others to escape the repressive URA government. They narrowly succeed and after spending 240 years in biostasis they arrive at Coyote and set up their new colony. Most of the nook is about their problems surviving their first few years on a new world but there is a surprise at the end which leads to the next book in the trilogy. This book is a good read and I recommend it to fans of Allen Steele and fans of Space Opera.

  • Mark
    2019-05-27 01:26

    This one’s a bit of a late catch-up: one of those books that I’ve been wanting to read for a while and yet kept being pushed back in the pile.I have read something like eight or nine of Allen’s novels previous to this one, and so I thought I knew what I was going to read. His writing has always reminded me of early Heinlein: well written tales, smoothly put together and generally very entertaining. In short summary – real page turners.Contrariwise, there were also those concerns that I had with some Heinlein – right wing values that were often at odds to my own, and an over-enthusiasm to push the principles of freedom, liberty and the American Way at someone who wasn’t American. For the record, I have no personal issue at all with the values, and sympathise enormously, but it was the way that they were relentlessly repeated and re-emphasised that became wearying. Thus it was that I approached this one with some reservations. Initial prospects were not entirely promising. The first scene of the novel starts at the Liberty Bell, the spacecraft due to travel was called the Alabama, the first place of settlement called Liberty. One of the characters, the Captain of the Alabama, is coincidentally named the Robert E. Lee, for goodness sake! I began to feel that perhaps the heavy-handedness of such allegory would detract from my enjoyment of the novel. However, I stuck with it, and I’m pleased I did. The gift of a talented writer is to entertain, and as I continued to read, it did.The origin of the book is that it was sold as stories over a number of years to the magazines, in this case Asimov’s SF Magazine. Consequently it is one of those novels that is not a true novel – it is a ‘fix-up’, a mosaic novel made up of separate yet connected parts that produce something that is of novel length. I do like such books, usually. They were very common in the 1950’s and 60’s, but happen less these days, as less and less novel material appears anywhere else but in a novel. What such fix-ups do is allow the writer to write in different perspectives and from different character viewpoints to make a fuller, more complete picture of the tale being told. So: we have eight parts here, all originally as separate stories. Most are in the third person, others are written in the first-person, from individual perspectives through journals and records. To give credit to the author, seven of the eight have been given a complete overhaul to fit together as the fix-up. It reads as homage to exploration, to the joy of exploring previously unexplored environments and to the human capacity to grow, develop and evolve. It also reads as a distillation of those American frontier values. There’s home cooking, hunting, fishing and nights spent drinking around the bar, hardship and sacrifice, discovery and revelation.These are clearly values that make the book popular. However on reflection I think that what is clever about this novel is the way that the traditional clichés, although present, are altered.To whit: most of the colonists are actually criminals, arrested by a rigid American social and political system. The American government itself is restrictive and authoritarian, with a lack-lustre President who does not appear to be succeeding in office. The captain of the spaceship is one who sides with the dissidents. Much of the first section of the book is spent in explaining how the detainees manage to escape with a multi-million dollar spaceship.Once on the planet (or rather, satellite-moon) the traditional frontier traditions develop, with the added frisson that we now have two opposing factions – those who stole the ship and those who didn’t. Once there, the series concentrates on family and characters and what happens to them. There is eventually some travelling, though this is often unsuccessful and deadly. On the negative side there are a number of points that, if you pause to think about it, don’t make too much sense. I did find it odd that the colonists, having spent hundreds of year’s travelling, once at the planet chose to settle at the first place they found and actually travelled very little for the first four years. There are other points that are mentioned but are weak points in the plot: the fact that the colonists are still using supplies brought with them after four longer-than-Earth years, the fact that the space shuttles are still space-worthy after being sat with relatively little use for that length of time. But these are really all minor points that detract little from the sheer old-fashioned joy of wonder that the main tale evokes. Just as things seem to be settling into a cosy frontier-type scenario, the last section opens things up nicely and means that the future is not as clear as you thought it was going to be here. The arrival of another spaceship from Earth, with others along the way, is a nice revelation, more-so when we find that ne new spaceships are interestingly under the control of a Communist- style cooperative. (I pause, to stop me typing ‘The Commies are coming!’ though the parallels are there and no doubt intentional.) Nevertheless this interesting scenario leads to a cliff-hanger ending which will be dealt with in the next novel in the series, Coyote Rising. Mark Yon, August 2010.

  • Ian Prest
    2019-06-21 01:25

    Meh. This book is all over the place, mixing multiple narrative styles, and ending without a satisfying conclusion.

  • Pauline Ford
    2019-06-15 06:22

    This was a book I read for a college class. I wasn't expecting to like it in the least bit, but I actually ended up loving it. If it hadn't been for class, I would've never picked up this book (not my typical kind). But I'm so glad I did.

  • Francis Gahren
    2019-06-10 02:17

    Review #1At 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 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.Review #2Allen Steele has previously used themes similar to the near space frontier works of Arthur C. Clarke. Coyote, however, echoes several themes in Robert A. Heinlein's works, including the Second American Revolution and the theft of a starship by political refugees. The title says Coyote is a novel of interstellar exploration, but it is really a story of a great trek across 46 light years to settle a planet -- OK, a satellite -- in another solar system. Much of the novel concerns the trials and tribulations of two adolescents: Wendy and Carlos. In this sense, Coyote is a coming of age story much like Heinlein's juveniles. The story starts with the theft of the United Republic Service Ship Alabama by some of its crew and a group of "dissident intellectuals" fired from the Federation Space Agency. Since the ship can cruise at only .2c (2/10ths of light speed) the trip will take 230 years earth time. After the escape, one crew member -- Comtech Leslie Gillis -- is awakened from biostasis and is not allowed by the ship's AI to return to this preserving state. Gillis spends the next 32 years as the only awakened person on the Alabama. Sometimes sane and other times mad, Gillis leaves behind some mural paintings, an epic novel and a mysterious note. Upon reaching Coyote, the crew and passengers are awakened from biostasis, encounter the mural and novel (and note), and are much puzzled. Coyote is habitable, of course, yet greatly different from Earth. The colonists find much strangeness and danger, but are able to adapt. While the science and technology is very much 21st century, the strongest aspect of this novel is character development. Even his villains are believable. Steele deals realistically with teenage sex and pregnancy among his characters, something that Heinlein was not allowed to do until very late in his career.  Good Lines…p. 124 “Nothing changes: teenagers tend to travel in packs, whether they are in a shopping mall or aboard a shaceship.”p. 249 “If we get caught, we could always blame our elders for setting a bad example.”p. 295 “Coyote was a different place then, just as I was a different person. We make stupid mistakes when we’re young; we do our best to make amends for them as we get older. We survive by learning; by learning we survive. Such is life. So be it.”Favorite Parts…Right from the get-go, when Capt Robert E. Lee is making final plans to steal the URSS Alabama, to the Montero family’s experience through the “false” capture, to them all going into biostasis – heck of a good beginning to the story.When Gillis gets mistakenly awakened from biostatis by the ship – lives for 32 years all by himself. After almost killing himself with alcohol, he occupies his time be furiously writing and painting a prescient story about Coyote. 

  • Ben Babcock
    2019-06-06 23:38

    In Coyote, Allen Steele demonstrates the versatility of science fiction as a medium for storytelling. There are no advanced alien species (that we know of so far), no ray guns, and no evil battle droids. Instead, Coyote is a pioneer tale set in a very distant, very exotic locale. In fact, it's interesting that I chose to read it, considering my distaste for "pioneer" and "survival" type literature. Nevertheless, Steele's writing and the story kept me interested enough to see it through until the end.Still, I must confess that my favourite part of the book is the first part, which concerns the take over of the URSS Alabama by her own crew! They do this to escape a totalitarian government that now rules most of what was once the United States of America. There was considerably more tension in this part of the book, at least on a large scale, than in other parts. Once the colonists arrived on Coyote, I was fairly certain their colony would survive, since ... well, otherwise, there wouldn't have been a story. The politics of Coyote are rather two-dimensional, unfortunately; I tolerated them at first because I thought we would leave them behind once the Alabama left orbit. And we did, until the end of the book, where new developments herald the arrival of "social collectivism" on Coyote. I tried to avoid my eyes and read on....That doesn't mean the rest of the book is a disappointment. Steele continues to inject a sense of suspense and adventure, but after the departure of the Alabama, he narrows the scope to individual characters. First we watch the communications officer, Les Gillis, awaken prematurely from "biostasis" only to find he can't return to stasis--he's stuck on the ship, conscious and alone, for the rest of his life. We watch him go insane, then sane again, then grow old ... and after he is long dead, we are still present to witness the consequences of his residence on the Alabama for the rest of the colonists when they awaken 200 years later.As much as Coyote is a novel of exploration and colonization, toward the end there's less discussion of the state of the colony as Steele shifts focus to individual characters' exploits. The small size of the colony magnifies the smallest of conflicts. We grow close to Wendy and Carlos, teenagers when the Alabama leaves Earth who eventually mature into adults. Everyone on Coyote is flawed; Wendy and Carlos are no exceptions. Both of them lose their parent(s) in separate accidents shortly after the Alabama arrives at Coyote; perhaps inevitably, they grow closer and have a child. Yet Wendy seems burdened by the death of her father and a lack of close relationships with her peers and adults--she seems close only to her surrogate mother, the colony's doctor, and Carlos himself. Carlos, on the other hand, traumatized by the death of his parents and a few others close to him, sets off on an ill-advised solo journey along Coyote's unexplored equator. I enjoyed Carlos' journey as a parallel story to that of Gillis on the Alabama. However, I think I like Wendy better. She always seemed more mature.Coyote contains great storytelling with a fascinating alien setting and interesting characters. It's not perfect--its politics are somewhat shallow, and I found the first part of the story more interesting than any adventures that followed. However, it's certainly good enough that I'll read the next instalment in the series. Anyone interested in "a novel of interstellar exploration," as the cover of my edition proclaims itself, would do well to try this book.

  • Daniel (Attack of the Books!) Burton
    2019-06-13 07:39

    Allen Steele obviously has a political ax to grind. It's too bad it colors his ability to write a great story and hurts the plausibility of the characters. That's why it gets only three stars."Coyote" is, as Steele bills it, a story of interstellar colonization. Fleeing political oppression, the colonists hijack a cutting edge space ship destined for the stars, and escape to Coyote, moon of a ringed Jovian size gas giant orbiting a distant star. Although a bit disjointed because the story is really a series of short stories from the various perspectives of the colonists, the format works to build an intriguing adventure. However, as creative as his ideas are, I found the understanding and portrayal of human nature to be, at points, a thin on reality, or at least plausibility. Steele seems to get how individuals would react, interact, especially young and teens. However, his villains are caricatured, his politics lack reality, and his understanding of the nuance of human relations, as well as of the rational that motivate them are simplistic and superficial. The superficiality shakes the necessary suspension of disbelief, and I occasionally found myself saying, out loud, "yeah right."The hardest thing to swallow was the political ax/commentary that Steele seems to want to grind. The political oppression fled by the colonists is a future world where gun-toting-stay-out-of-my-business conservatives have been transformed into big-brother-is-watching dictators. In contrast, [spoiler alert:] when the second wave of colonists catch up with the first wave, several years after their arrival, it is a Utopian version of social collectivism that has overthrown the oppressive conservatives that makes it possible.Yeah, go figure. I don't know what world Steele lives in right now, either, let alone how he envisions that it gets to where it does fifty years from now.All that aside, I sure did enjoy the science and the fiction part of it. Once the opening chapter is out of the way, the story moves without more than occasional political comment, and the colonists, upon arrival on the new planet, form a more libertarian and democratic lifestyle that harks back to what might be more plausible from Steele's characters and today's reality.I'll probably read the sequels.

  • Sookie
    2019-06-06 04:26

    I went into this thinking it was going to be one of those in-the-space-ship political drama on their way to colonize some planet in outer space. The story did start out that way and held great promise. It's always interesting to read social dynamics between people from different aspects of society and the drama that follows. Unfortunately the characters here don't bring that kind of tension. USA is under a totalitarian rule of the Republic and want to immortalize their existence by colonize a distance satellite - Coyote. Scientists, marines and other personnel are carefully chosen for this operation. There are people who oppose this government and they end up in a camp as political prisoners. These folks decide to takeover the ship by putting the scientists and marines chosen by the government into a chemical/gas induced sleep and replacing them with people chosen by the opposition/rebel. The rebels have infiltrated into the government deep enough thus many of these political prisoners are brought in. The whole process seemed a bit off - no one checks for an ID when they walk-in or get their vaccination shots. Its a two fifty year cryogenic sleep which has never been tested before. The scientists assume it will work on long run too. It in fails when one of the guys wakes up and eats a third of food in the span of thirty years. The person doesn't research why his equipment failed. Eventually they do land on Coyote and everything is fine on the planet. What are the odds, really? There is no test crew who can see if the planets and seeds they have brought will grow and the livestock will live. There is no check done if the place they have landed is actually safe from environmental conditions or even suitable to live for that matter. The planet was in "habitable range". There was no proof that it could actually be habitable and could be colonized. The only explanation for all this seems to stem from the line that gets repeated several times in the book - "its a one way trip", so lets do this. The science is meh, characters are thin and there are things that doesn't follow logic. I am still not over how so many people without clearance could walk into a space ship without raising an alarm. Irrespective of how many people were on the inside.

  • Jesse
    2019-06-14 06:23

    Amazingly awesome from start to finish!!I often look up at the night sky and wonder what is really out there, all of these mysteries that we can't even begin to fathom. And since we still don't know much about potential planets/moons orbiting other stars, the next best thing (for me) is reading some really good, decent, strong fiction, based in some scientific fact but also with a good measure of wonder and adventure. Most sci-fi books on the subject leave me wanting more. There's always a portion of the beginning action that starts on Earth, setting the stage...and frequently there is a lot of emphasis on what happens in the starship itself, en route to the destination (indeed, sometimes this is the entire focus of the book and the 'getting there' is the entire story, without ever even touching on what happens once they arrive at this new, unexplored planet...) Anyway, Coyote is the perfect antidote to all of that. It is a rich story from start to finish, and plenty of all of the things I look for: plenty of exploration, mystery, surprise, unseen plot twists, shifting alliances...and a lot of adventure.I was fascinated with the descriptions from start to finish, and the actual exploration of Coyote was top notch. A little like Gary Paulsen's Hatchet, a little like LOST, but at the same time completely its own, original story.You can read the plot synopsis to get the background details...but rest assured that if you like sci-fi and reading about humankind's first exploration of other planets, this is a must read. Characterization was very good (for some reason, the sci fi genre isn't the strongest place to develop characters, at least in my opinion; but when taken in context and compared to other sci fi books, the characterization here is extremely well done.) There is slight bit of repetitive infodumping when it comes to the native flora and fauna of Coyote and references to character's personal histories, because the individual parts of the book were first written as installments for a sci-fi magazine and later put together into a book, but it wasn't that off-putting.I am immediately diving into the next book in this series, because I can't get enough of it!

  • Lis Carey
    2019-06-23 23:15

    It's 2070, the political situation in the US is appalling and the economy is no prize either, but we're finally about to launch our first interstellar mission, to colonize an Earth-like world, Coyote, a moon orbiting a superjovian planet of 47 Ursae Majoris B, 46 lightyears from Earth. The governance of the colony is carefully planned to keep it under the repressive political thumb of the current right-wing powers that be.Captain R. E. Lee, commander of the USS Alabama, and some of the other crew and colonists, have even more carefully planned a hijacking of Alabama, to leave most of the armed enforces of the political status quo at home.They succeed, but it's not smooth sailing from there. After the excitement of getting away, and the long trip in hibernation, they have a moon to colonize--and their own political structure to work out, with some of the colonists and crew strongly supportive of the regime left behind. The crew, the colonists, and the small security detachment that couldn't be ditched all have to learn to work together if they're going to survive.Because Coyote is "Earth-like," more or less, but the weather is like nothing they've dealt with before, and they arrived with no advance knowledge of what the flora and fauna would be like. They build homes, they work out a functioning government, they start to build the customs and habits that will let them survive.Then one of their teenagers decides he needs to take one of their boats and circumnavigate their gigantic island. And the follow-up expedition, that's supposed to arrest the hijackers and bring the colony back into line, arrives.This is a very well-plotted, well-written book, with excellent character development despite the large cast of characters that Steele and the reader have to keep track of. Coyote is a fascinating world, with really interesting life forms for the colonists to deal with, and some surprises lurking that will confound everyone.Recommended.I received this book from a friend.

  • Jeremy
    2019-06-17 01:26

    Not great literature by any stretch of the imagination, but "Coyote" is a well-done and somewhat addictive story of interstellar colonization. Really, it's a collection of stories. Originally what became this book was published as a series of short stories involving the same characters. Coyote collects those previously published stories in chronological order to tell the tale of the founding of the Coyote colony. It also marks the beginning of the still growing Coyote series (Coyote itself is book one of the original Coyote trilogy that continues with "Coyote Rising" and "Coyote Frontier", which is then followed by the Coyote Chronicles duology, "Coyote Horizon" and "Coyote Destiny." Allen Steele has also written several books not about Coyote but set in the same universe, "Spendthrift," "Galaxy Blues," and "Hex."Before this book, I had read none of them. But I have to say I am hooked, and, at this point at least, plan to track down all of them. "Coyote"'s plot was not groundbreaking to anyone who has read other sci-fi colonization stories. In some ways the story has been done many times before. There's also a fairly heavy-handed political theme that runs through the novel. The story begins with the characters under the yoke of a totalitarian right wing regime, and it ends with them threatened by a seemingly totalitarian collectivist force. Each of these threats are presented in fairly black and white terms. By the end of this book at least, there doesn't seem to be any question about which side is good and which side is evil. But I'm hoping subsequent novels are able to present the politics with a little more nuance. Interstellar colonization books always invite political issues and several of my favorite political science fiction books come out of that genre (the "Red Mars," "Blue Mars," "Green Mars" trilogy, "The Sparrow").Maybe the reason this book appealed to me is that I'm in the mood for a new one. I've already ordered "Coyote Rising."

  • Tomislav
    2019-06-23 05:19

    I had first read Allen Steele's Coyote stories individually as they were published in Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine during 2001 and 2002. Then in 2008, I read the trilogy that starts with this fix-up novel made from eight of the stories.Now, I have read this one book again, because it was the book of the month selection of the yahoogroups/goodreads hardsf group. It was only about three years ago that I last read this, so the book was very familiar, to the point where I remembered even minor events and dialog.On this re-read, I was interested to see the major characters back in their childhood again. It is clear that Steele already knew what he wanted to do with them eventually, as the hints are all over. I was a little irritated at the need to repeat critical items of character and event background in each of the eight stories. That made sense when I read them in different months in a magazine, but should have been cut in this fix-up novel version. The stories themselves are diverse in writing style and point of view, which remains interesting in a fix-up, and makes it difficult to rate the book as a whole. I like "Stealing Alabama" and "Across the Eastern Divide" best, but was bored by "The Days Between", "Liberty Journals", and "The Boid Hunt".Probably I will not be re-reading the rest of the trilogy at this time. I see that Steele now has more than three books in the series, so at some point I may return to read the whole thing from beginning to end. But it's too soon after my last read.

  • Christopher McKitterick
    2019-06-15 06:26

    I wasn't sure at first how I felt about the overbearing government as developed in the early part of the book, but it turns out to be necessary to the book's theme. As is the final Earthly government that we see, also overbearing, but in the opposite direction. Turns out that this is a novel about the kind of people humanity needs to strike out into the frontier and settle other worlds. In a way, the various coming-of-age stories in the book are metastories for the kind of coming-of-age our species must face before we can hope to successfully move beyond our home world. The third quarter of the book is written in journal form, which felt odd at first, but then turned out to be a great way to tell these stories. Deft and clever. I'm not sure how I feel about the use of tense throughout, but that's really just a taste issue. By the way, this is another book that kept me up until the sunrise as I was finishing it - good sign. Steele really has a solid grasp of developing the emotional scene, and uses this to good effect throughout. It's a moving novel, and is much better because of this adeptness. This is a novel about many of the things that make SF great, and it's also the kind of work that brought me into the field when I was a young reader. I feel the latter is important in this day of inaccessible SF (that is, for beginning SF readers),. It feels a bit like something Heinlein would have done in his earlier years, but it also feels thoroughly modern.

  • Kevin
    2019-06-18 01:17

    First in a trilogy I just completed. The story was pretty good but a little fragmented. It is easy to tell, even though the author says he didn't intend a trilogy, that the story couldn't be completed in the first book. In fact, there was a mention of a 'streak of light' in the first book that was never developed until the last book.Comparing this trilogy to the Kim Stanley's Mars trilogy I would say Coyote is a bit more believable in some respects. Stanley's story relied too much on the magic of machines to create bigger machines they needed right in the nick of time. In Coyote, the colonists had to roll their sleeves up to survive.Character development in Stanley's trilogy was a bit more in depth. In Coyote... most of the characters were kind of shallow. Carlos is memorable and maybe R.E. Lee and Manny. Beyond those few, the rest just seemed to play bit parts at odd times.One thing in common between Stanley's and Steele's trilogies is Earth politics. For some reason this is a turn-off for me. I'd prefer a story that involved space exploration for the sake or exploration and not political freedom. In both cases, the explorers basically declared their independence from Earth and all its political and environmental disasters. Maybe this is why I still judge all space science fiction against Star Trek. More geek... less politics.