Spacetug Copenhagen (Steps to Space #1)

Posted 7th April 2015 by IndieSFfantasy in Books / 0 Comments

Spacetug Copenhagen (Steps to Space #1)Spacetug Copenhagen by Richard Penn

Series: Steps to Space
Genres: Science Fiction (Hard)
Published on November, 2014

It seems like a routine tourist trip, taking wealthy guests to the luxury hotel in orbit. But Danish engineers Marius and Abby do not look like tourists, in their plain coveralls. The rich industrialist and his family seem to fit the part better. But everyone on this trip has other plans in mind, plans that will lead to the next big step in humanity’s spread beyond our home planet.

This book, set only fifteen years in the future and involving only realistic technology, is founded on the belief that humanity's future in space depends on proper engineering. Inspired the the engineering cooperative Copenhagen Suborbitals, the author hopes it will encourage young people to become engineers and scientists.

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My thoughts:

Another book quite unlike anything I’ve read before. Spacetug Copenhagen, in my opinion, is a better starting point if you intend to read Richard Penn’s series’ of hard science fiction books. Spacetug Copenhagen has a great premise, is an addictive read and is a gentle introduction into how real science and engineering can be incorporated into fiction.

As stated in the synopsis, there is a luxurious hotel on the outskirts of the atmosphere, providing wealthy guests with the ultimate holiday destination. The story takes place just fifteen years in the future, and wastes no time getting started. Main characters are introduced early on, key concepts and motives are explained through narration and character interaction, and by the end  of the first chapter the reader is heading through the stratosphere and into space.

The wealthy Peters family look suited to a trip up to the orbiting hotel, while Marius and Abbey – two Danish engineers – look completely out of place in their attire, and it doesn’t take the reader long to find out why.

I can’t really say anymore about the story without giving the details away, except to say that I finished this book feeling very positive about just how close to colonisation in space we are. What made this book for me was the descriptions of ‘how’ things could be done, especially when you consider one of Penn’s inspirations is the Copenhagen Suborbitals, an independent engineering collective running their own space program. Throw in an interesting array of characters, a little bit of politics, and lose yourself to the 64 pages on offer, just don’t expect to take a break – it really is a fascinating read.

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