Amph Coyote: A Story of Interstellar Exploration

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Books and Comics' started by JediTrilobite, Mar 19, 2006.

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  1. JediTrilobite Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 1999
    star 7
    Has anyone ever read a series of books by Allen Steele called Coyote?
    Originally printed in Asimovs Science Fiction magazine, Coyote is a series of stories about human exploration on a far off moon called Coyote. There are three books in the series, Coyote, Coyote Frontier and Coyote Rising.

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    Coyote is an astonishing discovery, a habitable moon in a solar system 40-odd light years from Earth. A despotic post-US government decides to colonise this precious find and constructs the starship Alabama. The ship is about to launch when it is hijacked by its own crew. Instead of the intended party loyalists it is populated with malcontents and social dissidents who must learn to work together in the struggle to reach and then conquer their prize: Coyote. Vast in scope, passionate in its conviction, and set against a backdrop of completely plausible events, Coyote tells the story of Earth's first extra-solar colonists, and the mysterious planet that becomes their home.


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    "Coyote Rising" is the dramatic sequel to "Coyote", the story of Earth's first extra-solar colonists. The starship Alabama, bound for the new world of Coyote, was hijacked by it's crew in a desperate bid for freedom from the repression of a post-US world order on earth. They then had to flee their homes with the arrival of a new batch of colonists, this time ruled by a repressive government embodying all of Earth's problems and prejudices. Now, the iron-fisted colonial governor is building a bridge to exploit the virgin territory where the Alabama's crew are believed to have resettled. But a movement is underway to reclaim Coyote for those who truly love freedom - a full-scale rebellion in which the men and women on both sides of the fight will learn the true price of liberty.

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    Two decades have passed since the revolution that won Coyote's independence from Earth. The colony may be free, but its aging computers, aircraft, and medical equipment are badly in need of replacement. The colony's survival is now in question, and help from Earth is imminent. But there are those who fear that aid from the mother world may be more hindrance than help...As the second generation of colonists prepare to face the prospect of another battle with Earth's forces, a larger question looms: can humanity settle a new planet without repeating the problems of the world it left behind? An answer must be found soon. Coyote's future hangs in the balance...




    If you haven't picked these up, Coyote doesn't come recommended highly enough. It's an outstanding read.
  2. LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Games Mod

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 8
    I read the first one. It was OK but I haven't picked up the second one yet. Too many other books in the 'to-read' pile!
  3. JediTrilobite Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 1999
    star 7
    I've actually only read the first one. The second book, I've read all the short stories that make it up, and they've since been edited for the paperback edition. I'll get to it, and the final one soon. Oddly, the UK has Frontier out in paperback before the US.
  4. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    Just a quick couple of questions. Is there FTL travel? Do they control gravity or must a portion of the Alabama rotate for gravity?
  5. JediTrilobite Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 1999
    star 7
    No, there is no FTL and the ship doesn't have gravity. The journey's something like 200 + years, so everyone on board is cryogenically frozen for the time.

    The book's fairly scientifically minded, and it works well in the story. One story actually deals with this when one crewmember is awoken by mistake, and lives out his natural life on board.
  6. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    Rare is hard science fiction. I am interested.
  7. JediTrilobite Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 1999
    star 7
    There's a lot of it in it, especially in the beginning, when the planet that they find is talked about, lots of hard, real science there. It's very good in that regard.
  8. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    I just picked up the first book and read the first 22 pages. The writing is good, the setup is good, and in just those few pages I see the world has taken a severe right wing tunr for the worst and everybody is on the verge of all out war. Good reason to want to leave.
    I have one little nitpick, it is a mistake that even leading SETI scientists make. "...although the Drake equation maintained that the universe was filled with life..." No. Good for the laymen reader but not for me. The Drake Equaion maintains no such thing. It is nothing more than a guide.
  9. JediTrilobite Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 1999
    star 7
    Just keep reading. :p

    Picked up Coyote Rising today. I've only read the short stories, but it's a great followup to the first one. Can't wait to get #2.
  10. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    I just finished Part One. This is a pretty good so far, I like it. I hope something is addressed to the effect that instead of spending huge sums of money which nearly break the country on a ramscoop to another solar system why they just didn't spend that money on off-Earth colonies throughout the solar system instead while maintaining their iron grip of rulership.
  11. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    I've just gotten to the part where the kids and Kuniko set out for the Equatorial River. Allen Steele is a good writer and the characters are well written. I will definitely pick up the rest of the series.

    I do have one more science gripe. :) The ramscoop in this book is pushed up to .2C via a nuclear engine, then the ramscoop kicks in to do...well...nothing. He writes that the ramscoop maintains the .2C velocity. This is incorrect because once you reach a given velocity your spaceship will just coast along at that velocity if no further energy pushes it faster. I don't know what the hypothetical minimum velocity is for a ramscoop to turn on is, but he could have had the nuclear rocket put it up to .1C then have the ramscoop shoot them up to .2C for his story purposes. Or he could have had the ramscoop portion kick them up to .3C or even higher. Asimov once calculated that .3C would be a safe speed limit for conventional transit since higher velocities would make even dust particles very dangerous to collide with.

    Ok, gripe over.
  12. JediTrilobite Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 1999
    star 7
    Later in the book, you find out a little more about the effects of the cost of the project, although it's just briefly mentioned.
  13. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    I just finished today, and it was a page turner at the end. Social Collectivism reminds me of The Borg from Star Trek. I had to look it up to get a better grasp. Collectivism vs Individualism

    "A social system is a code of laws which men observe in order to live together. Such a code must have a basic principle, a starting point, or it cannot be devised. The starting point is the question: Is the power of society limited or unlimited?
    "Individualism answers: The power of society is limited by the inalienable, individual rights of man. Society may make only such laws as do not violate these rights.
    "Collectivism answers: The power of society is unlimited. Society may make any laws it wishes, and force them upon anyone in any manner it wishes." -- Ayn Rand, Textbook of Americanism


    A form of tyrrany really. In a non-fiction book I read once it describes that with better technology direct voting on many matters could take place rather than representative legislation. Such a thing could work but only if individualism is not dismantled in the process. Most any society type can work as long as their is stability, but ultimately the only way to truly have a Individualized Collective if if everyone has the power to destroy everyone else with no one in power over the other(just for an extreme example).

    The disjunction drive is something NASA was looking into but was cancelled. There are many concepts out there for not only "warping" through space at either FTL oo near-light speeds and the idea of a field that simulates gravity is within those realms as well. The problem is energy. I read just this past week that a magnetic field of 10^19 Tesla could cause an effect like a warp drive while providing gravity for the crew. I have no idea how many watts of power equates to 10^19 Tesla, but the most pwerful mganetic fields we can currently make are 10 or 11 Tesla.

    In short, this book made me think which is always welcome. I will get Coyote Rising tomorrow.
  14. JediTrilobite Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 1999
    star 7
    Very interesting political commentary on that.
  15. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    Thanks.

    I LOVE the Savants. They had a sort of horror to the WHU and make them a better antagonist. They also(And I'm sure you noticed this)remind me of General Grievous. I wonder if when they download into the robot bodies if they are assumed to be indoctrinated enough or if whatever it is that contains their mind has some extra programming to ensure their loyalty?
  16. JediTrilobite Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 1999
    star 7
    I didn't get that impression from reading it. I mean, they've lived with the system long enough that they'd believe in it. It'd be like taking a ship like that today, and bringing them into the future, with Collectivism. They'd think that Capitalism is better, hands down, any day.
  17. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    I just finished Coyote Rising and loved it.

    Now I see what the Savants do. They are truly neutral, adapting to whatever the staus quo that they find themselves in. I assumed Castro would be an enemy after he crawled out of the river, but it was really Hernandez that held all the antagonism. I liked Hull's line to Lee, "Well played sir."
  18. Independence1776 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2006
    star 3
    I've read the first two and the third is currently sitting on my desk waiting to be read. The political commentaries are just one of the many reasons I love these books. The fact that they're good writing and hard science fiction are some of the others.
  19. JediTrilobite Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 1999
    star 7
    I'm going to pick up the third one when I get a chance, but I'm taking a break to read Sherlock Homes, which is something that's been on my reading list for a while.

    The politics was one of the things that really made the book- really added some depth to it.
  20. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    A few reviews I've read had negative comments about the politics in these books, mostly concerning what they call shots taken at current forms of government. I don't agree with these comments but to each his own.

  21. JediTrilobite Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 1999
    star 7
    I can see how they made the connection. It's an extreme right wing government in the future there, and we've got a right wing government that supports a number of the same things that the Republic believed in, with Abortion and Firearms. Is it a shot? Possibly. Coincidence? Probably not.
  22. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    Could you do it? The Earth's environment is falling apart and the government goes beyond hardcore right-wing oppressors. Could you join a 230 mission to another star? What if the Earth's environment were good but you still have a horrid rulership?
  23. JediTrilobite Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 1999
    star 7
    What do you mean? Could I be involved with a conspiracy to take control of a large space ship and go 230 years into the future because of the government? If the government got as bad as the one in the book, yes. I'm from Vermont, and from the looks of it, they split off from the Union - I laughed when I read that.
    But I would join up on a mission like that in a heart beat.
  24. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    The paperback for Coyote Frontier doesn't come out until November. Ouch. I ordered the hardback today from B&N.
  25. JediTrilobite Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 1999
    star 7
    It's out in paperback here. :)
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