The EASS Galileo disappeared decades ago while investigating an unidentified object, code-named Spindrift. Now the Galileo's shuttle has returned carrying three surviving expedition members, who still appear to be the same age they were when they departed. They report that they have, indeed, made contact with an extraterrestrial race-and become enmeshed in a conflict that brought them face to face with the most apocalyptic force in the galaxy.
Starred Review. Set in the same universe as Hugo-winner Steele's popular trilogy that began with Coyote (2002), this fascinating supplement concentrates on events that happen offstage after Coyote Rising (2004). When Earth detected a large alien artifact drifting past a distant star, a hastily organized and fractious expedition was sent to investigate. Communication failed just after the Earth crew arrived on the scene and began exploring, so everyone was presumed lost--until decades later, when three survivors and an alien envoy turned up at the end of Coyote Frontier (2005). This latest installment describes what the ill-fated expedition discovers, what goes wrong and how a few people save themselves by recognizing their ignorance and isolation, then resolving to work past those limitations. Though readers of the trilogy already know the basic story--and the novel's opening also gives away most of the outcome--Steele delivers a gripping saga of humanity on the verge of exploring the larger universe. (Apr.)
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March 24, 2008
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