Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Spindrift (Coyote), by Allen Steele (author), Andy Caploe (narrator)

Audible Frontiers, March 2009

This is kind of a sidebar to the main Coyote story, and you don't need to have read the other Coyote books to follow the story and enjoy it.

After a couple of centuries of listening, Earth has finally detected an object that might be natural--just another rogue asteroid--but a signal that is clearly artificial. It's the Western Hemisphere Union that has detected the signal, but they're too bankrupt and exhausted to mount an expedition on their own. Reluctantly, they partner with the European Federation.

The very recent invention of the stargate gives the expedition a boost on the way--the first stargate, in orbit around Earth, and the second, in the outer reaches of the solar system, were ready for their first serious test, and EASS Galileo is ready to go. It will get them about halfway to their goal. Changes are made to put a science team aboard, and a politically connected captain now that it's likely to be a First Contact mission. There are some major personal and political conflicts built in because of joint nature of the mission, but they're all professionals and (mostly) serious about the mission.

Things get ramped up a bit more when a few, two of the crew and one of the scientists, not naturally inclined to trust each other, discover there's been a last-minute addition to the equipment that might make first contact even more dangerous.

When they reach their destination, and discover a colony sleeper ship with a starbridge in orbit around it, the mystery gets deeper and deeper. Why build a sleeper ship if you have starbridge technology?

Recommended.

I borrowed this book from a friend.