Hugo Award ' winning author Allen Steele ' s critically acclaimed Coyote was a dramatic new departure ' ' a terrific, break ' out book ' (Robert J. Sawyer) of ' classic science ' fiction ' (Orlando Sentinel). But if Coyote was a grand novel of interstellar exploration, then Coyote Rising is the bold next step ' a novel of interstellar revolution. The crew of the hijacked starship Alabama fled their colony on Coyote after more colonists arrived ' along with a new, repressive government and all of Earth ' s social ills. Now, the iron ' fisted colonial governor is building a bridge to exploit the virgin territory where the Alabama ' s crew are believed to have resettled. But a movement is underway to reclaim Coyote for those who truly love freedom ' a full ' scale rebellion in which the men and women on both sides of the fight will learn the true price of liberty.
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November 29, 2005
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Excerpt from Coyote Rising by Allen M. Steele
THE MADWOMAN OF SHUTTLEFIELD
The first night Allegra DiSilvio spent on Coyote, she met the madwoman of Shuttlefield. It seemed like an accident at the time, but in the weeks and months to follow she'd come to realize that it was much more, that their fates were linked by forces beyond their control.
The shuttle from the Long Journey touched down in a broad meadow just outside the town of Liberty. The high grass had been cleared from the landing pad, burned by controlled fires to create a flat expanse nearly a half mile in diameter, upon which the gull-winged spacecraft settled after making its long fall from orbit. As she descended the gangway ramp and walked out from beneath the hull, Allegra looked up to catch her first sight of Bear: a giant blue planet encircled by silver rings, hovering in an azure sky. The air was fresh, scented with midsummer sourgrass; a warm breeze caressed the dark stubble of her shaved scalp, and it was in that moment she knew she'd made it. The journey was over; she was on Coyote.
Dropping the single bag she had been allowed to bring with her from Earth, Allegra fell to her hands and knees and wept.
Eight months of waiting to hear whether she'd won the lottery, two more months of nervous anticipation before she was assigned a berth aboard the next starship to 47 Ursae Majoris, a week of sitting in Quito before boarding the Union Astronautica space elevator in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador, three days spent traveling to lunar orbit, where she boarded the Long Journey . . . then, forty-eight years in dreamless biostasis, to wake up cold, naked, and bald, forty-six light-years from everything familiar, with everyone she had ever known either long dead or irrevocably out of her reach.
She was so happy, she could cry. Thank you, God, she thought. Thank you, thank you . . . I'm here, and I'm free, and the worst is over.
She had no idea just how wrong she was. And it wasn't until after she'd made friends with a crazy old lady that she'd thank anyone again.
Liberty was the first colony on Coyote, established by the crew of the URSS Alabama in A.D. 2300, or C.Y. 01 by the Lemarean calendar. It was now 2306 by Gregorian reckoning, though, and the original colonists had long since abandoned their settlement, disappearing into the wilderness just days after the arrival of WHSS Seeking Glorious Destiny Among the Stars for the Greater Good of Social Collectivism, the next ship from Earth. No one knew why they'd fled-or at least those who knew weren't saying-but the fact remained that Liberty had been built to house only a hundred people. Glorious Destiny brought a thousand people to the new world, and the third ship-Traveling Forth to Spread Social Collectivism to New Frontiers-had brought a thousand more, and so by the time the Long Journey to the Galaxy in the Spirit of Social Collectivism reached Coyote, the population of New Florida had swelled to drastic proportions.