FROZEN ORBIT Review Thread

Today was a good day. Saw Frozen Orbit in a bookstore for the first time, which floored me. Even though I knew it was there, the feeling of finally seeing it for sale out there in the big old world next to my favorites like James S. A. Corey and Larry Correia is, well…wow. I should be able to find words but I Just. Can’t. Even.

Hot on the heels of that experience, it garnered this mention from Booklist:

The story moves quickly with elements of both a spy thriller and a space race, and never seems to drag, though years pass during the telling of it. Readers are given glimpses of Russia’s Cold War space secrets as astronaut Jack Templeton pores through a long-dead cosmonaut’s journal on the lengthy space flight to the lonely Kuiper belt. A mystery about a crew driven to mutiny at the very edge of nothingness needs to be solved, and questions about humanity’s very existence are asked. Frozen Orbit could make for an impressive movie, one that would stand with greats such as Contact or Interstellar.

I’ll take that all day long, especially the movie part.

UPDATE: From Amazing Stories:

If you’re looking for a hard-core space-hardware saga in the vein of Clarke, Baxter, Mary Robinette Kowal (The Calculating Stars, The Fated Sky), or the recent Last Astronaut (David Wellington), you’ve come to the right place…There’s enough character drama to pull the story along (with a married couple and two single astronauts aboard) but the real story here is on the science side…The author covers a lot of ground in this space procedural, and you’ll see a reexamination of the themes in Clarke’s 2001 a Space Odyssey here, but with technology and concepts informed by the five decades that separate the two works.

I’ll update and bump this post as new reviews arrive. In the meantime, you can help a brother out–if you liked it, please consider leaving a review or at least rating it on the Amazon page. That helps make it more visible, which is yuuge.

P.S. There are now signed copies of Frozen Orbit at Barnes & Noble in Hendersonville and Brentwood, TN. Act fast!

Isn’t That Special?

Woke up this morning to a couple of challenging pieces linked by Ace of Spades. First up, an Atlanta rabbi on the Question That Must Not Be Asked

Connect the dots. There is a pattern. A direction. An ugly revolution churning in this country.

America has done more uplifting of humanity and promotion of freedom than any other country in the history of this planet. We Jews have been blessed beyond our wildest fantasies, enjoying her gifts, her bounty, her grace but we must step away from what is happening and not be seduced by a deceitful, pandering mirage. The Left is not our friend, not as Americans and not as Jews. 

That one’s gonna leave a mark. It’s from FrontpageMag, so I doubt too many of the people who need to see it most actually will. Could be wrong. Hope I am. Read the whole thing and decide for yourself.

The next piece from American Spectator wraps the whole thing up with a nice little bow: It’s time we had a talk about…hmm…I don’t know…maybe…

Come to think of it, this might just become a recurring theme around here.

The Measure of a Man

Sarah Hoyt describes her struggle to reconcile competing views on one of the 20th century’s visionaries. Her perspective is unique: having experienced the Portugese Revolution as a young girl, she knows of what she speaks.

Von Braun exhibit at NASA Marshall’s Space and Rocket Center

Having also just recently toured Marshall Space Center, this has been on my mind as well. I’ve always wondered how normal people, just trying to live their lives, perceive a national descent into hell like Nazism or Communism as it’s happening. How many tiny compromises does one make each day just so it’s possible to see the next?

I suppose the only cut-and-dried solution would’ve been mass execution of all captured Germans: kill ’em all, let God sort ’em out. Good thing we didn’t, likewise a good thing that we picked him up before the Red Army got to him.

Welcome display at Huntsville International Airport. They know how their bread got buttered…

According To Hoyt

As you guys know I’ve been reading about von Braun.  Mostly I’ve been reading about Von Braun because I visited Huntsville for TVIW and got curious.  Before that all I’d heard bout him, as a person, was, dropped in a conversation “I figure he was a true psychopath who didn’t care, so long as he got to space.”

After reading four biographies (two for, two against) I regret to tell you that I’m not sure that was true.

I come neither to bury Von Braun not to praise him.  I doubt if he knew, in himself, if he was a villain or a hero.  And I doubt he was a psychopath.  The reason I doubt he was the later is that he didn’t take to a totalitarian regime like a duck to water.  Instead he tried to compromise his soul a little at a time, a vestige of humanity and…

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Las Vegas Shooting

David Burkhead, the Writer in Black, on some sickening reactions to the Vegas shooting. The implications are perhaps as frightening as the event itself:

The Writer in Black

I’m a little too angry to write much here.  I’m not going to go into the shooting itself.  For one thing, for the first 2-3 days you usually have more speculation and made-up nonsense than actual facts.  Instead, I’m going to go into the responses of some people to this tragedy.  So, let’s see that folk had to say:


Isn’t that just charming?

Let’s see what else is out there.  Oh, there’s this gem:


Leaving aside the factual errors (giving her the benefit of the doubt) in the statements look at the line “I don’t feel sorry or feel bad about what happened in Las Vegas”.


Only counting those who voted not those supporters who, for whatever reason, didn’t make it to the polls, that’s just under 63 million people “i am cassie” wants dead–over political differences.  Five times the total killed in the Holocaust, she wants dead because she…

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Just a Thought

Cribbed from Ace of Spades (and no doubt cribbed from somewhere else):

An easily understood view of the Four Turnings hypothesis. A lot of historians turn up their noses at it but American history has, at least, clearly fit the pattern well. A useful perspective, if nothing else.

Pilot Freakout

I’ll take “Days That End in Y” for 500, Alex…

This amusing little gem from the NY Post just popped up in my news feed:

Pilot freaks out passengers with ‘horrific’ tornado warning.

“He seemed angry,” said Pamela Kent, a Princeton resident who was traveling with her daughter Jessica. “He said, ‘We’re going to be flying through horrific storms, including tornadoes.’”

Another PR victory for United!

Any of my readers in the biz will recognize the rest of the story embedded here:

There were tornado warnings across Warren County in New Jersey and in parts of Pennsylvania late Tuesday as heavy rain pummeled the mid-Atlantic region. When the plane finally prepared to taxi, the pilot got back on the intercom to notify the passengers that the plane had to return to the gate because of a maintenance issue, Kent said.

Let me break this down, inside-baseball style (assuming the story isn’t #FakeNews):

The Captain is probably Chicago-based, running a couple of round trips a day to EWR. The crowded airspace and concentration of busy airports in the NY area makes it notoriously sensitive to weather delays. The slightest threat of thunderstorms in the morning will start ground delays to NY by lunchtime.

I’m sure the weather was dog crap. I’m equally sure his dispatcher planned his route, fuel, and alternate(s) accordingly. And I’m dead certain that if he had any disagreements with his release, he could either work out a better plan with his dispatcher or refuse to take the flight. Either one of them has the authority to do so.

In reality? Airlines can be stingy with contingency fuel, and nobody wants to be “that guy” who refuses a legal trip. So in classic passive-aggressive style, he decides to frighten the passengers so everyone can share in the misery.

Meanwhile, he’s looking at his watch and waiting for his duty clock to run out, thus forcing the company to take him off the schedule and send him home. So, push off blocks and boom (cue Chuck Yeager drawl): “Well folks, this here pesky indicator light that’s been a known nuisance for the past month just twinkled again. We’re gonna have to return to the gate for maintenance (and where I know scheduling can probably scare up a relief crew from the bullpen because – gee whiz – we just hit our 10-in-24 limit for today and the only thing I want to do less than spending a couple hours in the spin cycle over EWR is to actually spend the night in that hellhole). Sorry folks, and thanks for flying the friendly skies.”

Just my two cents. Could be wrong.

Dogs and Cats Living Together

Mass Hysteria!

Here’s a perfect (and perfectly awful) example of what I was talking about yesterday:

Antifa stabs man for his “Neo-Nazi” haircut.

Because his hipster ‘do looked Alt-Reich.

A handy rule of thumb: if you’re randomly assaulting people for suspected Fascism, surprise! You’re the Fascist!

I’m convinced that we’ve become so hopelessly polarized that the only thing to snap us out of it will be some kind of national cataclysm.

The problem with cataclysms is they’re, well, cataclysmic. You can’t know what form they might take and there’s no guarantee of a happy ending. And for certain groups, it’s exactly what they want.

Decline and Fall: Threats Unmasked

So I take a few months off from the blog to finish Frozen Orbit, and you guys just up and trash the place. Seriously, is everybody a Nazi now?

Apparently so, if by “Nazi” you mean “anyone who disagrees with the received leftist wisdom.” This is something we’ve always suspected, of course, but now one of their former leading lights finally burps up the truth in The UK Guardian:

“The lesson from Charlottesville is not how dangerous the neo-Nazis are. It is the unmasking of the Republican party leadership. In the wake of last weekend’s horror and tragedy, let us finally, finally rip off the veneer that Trump’s affinity for white supremacy is distinct from the Republican agenda of voter suppression, renewed mass incarceration and the expulsion of immigrants.”

Continue reading “Decline and Fall: Threats Unmasked”

Decline of the West

This piece in PJ Media set my blood boiling. Read at your own risk, but here’s the takeaway:

…the Islamic Republic of Iran:

  • Helped design the 9/11 plot
  • Provided intelligence support to identify and train the operatives who carried it out
  • Allowed the future hijackers to evade U.S. and Pakistani surveillance on key trips to Afghanistan — where they received the final order of mission from Osama bin Laden — by escorting them through Iranian borders without passport stamps
  • Evacuated hundreds of top al-Qaeda operatives from Afghanistan to Iran after 9/11 just as U.S. forces launched their offensive
  • Provided safe haven and continued financial support to al-Qaeda cadres for years after 9/11
  • Allowed al-Qaeda to use Iran as an operational base for additional terror attacks, in particular the May 2003 bombings in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Iran? Really? Color me unsurprised.

After 9/11, the U.S. declared war on terror and entered Afghanistan and Iraq. But if Bush had really been serious about attacking jihad terror at its root, he would have invaded Saudi Arabia and Iran instead. Under Obama, the denial and willful ignorance have only gotten exponentially worse.

So one President lets them off the hook while the next gives them free license to build nukes. Yeah, this’ll turn out just peachy.

I’m done with these damned fools. Elect whoever you want, I’ll be stocking up on canned food and ammo. If our government won’t defend us, then we’ll just have to be prepared to do it ourselves.