Monday, May 30, 2005

Anywhere But Here
Jerry Oltion

"In a world dominated by America's heavy hand, an independent scientist reveals the secret of fast, cheap interstellar travel, sparking an exodus like none in history. When anyone with a few hundred dollars and a little ingenuity can build his own spaceship, even American citizens can't wait to get out from under the United States's domineering thumb." Trent and Donna Stinson, of Rock Springs, Wyoming, seal up their pickup for vacuum and go looking for a better life among the stars, but they soon learn that you can't outrun your problems. America's belligerent foreign policy is expanding just as fast as the world's refugees, threatening to destroy humanity's last chance for peaceful coexistence. When their own government tries to kill them for exercising the freedoms that people once took for granted, Trent and Donna reluctantly admit that America must be stopped. But how can patriotic citizens fight their own country? And how can they succeed where the rest of the world has failed?

Yeah, okay - it is cheating to swipe the description off the B&N page - but it does a good job of summing up the book. And Oltion does a nice follow-up here on his earlier "Getaway Special." What WOULD happen if space travel were suddenly as cheap and easy as a trip to Target? Well, Oltion has some good ideas, and uses them to also deliver some good critiques of our nation's current administration. ( I'd be happier if the strong-jawed Heinlein-heroes didn't rely so much on firearms, but its a great story all the same.)