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.