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The Outback Stars

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Home » Books » Fiction & Literature » Science Fiction » Military

The Outback Stars

By Sandra McDonald

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Format: Paperback, 400 pages
Published In: United States, 01 February 2008
Lieutenant Jodenny Scott is a hero. She has the medals and the scars to prove it. She's cooling her heels on Kookaburra, recovering from injuries sustained during the fiery loss of her last ship, the "Yangtze, " and she's bored -- so bored, in fact, that she takes a berth on the next ship out. That's a mistake. The "Aral Sea"""isn't anyone's idea of a get-well tour. Jodenny 's handed a division full of misfits, incompetents, and criminals. She's a squared-away officer. She thinks she can handle it all. She's wrong. "Aral Sea"""isn't a happy ship. And it's about to get a lot unhappier. As "Aral Sea" enters the Alcheringa -- the alien-constructed space warp that allows giant settler-ships to travel between worlds, away from all help or hope -- Jodenny comes face to face with something powerful enough to dwarf even the unknown force that destroyed her last ship and left her with missing memories and bloody nightmares. Lieutenant Jodenny Scott is about to be introduced to love. Author Sandra McDonald brings her personal knowledge of the military, and of the subtle interplay between men and women on deployment, to a stirring tale that mixes ancient Australian folklore with the colonization of the stars.

About the Author

Sandra McDonald has been a Hollywood assistant, a software instructor, a bureaucrat, and an officer in the United States Navy. Her short fiction has appeared in "Realms of Fantasy, Strange Horizons, " and elsewhere. She lives in Jacksonville, Florida.

Reviews

"Likeable characters, excellent development, and a series of interlocking puzzles worked out against Australian culture that most Americans will find exotic. A smart, fun, read."--David Drake on "The Outback Stars"" """The Outback Stars "takes a number of interesting ideas and weaves them into a fast-moving page-turner--rivalry aboard a large naval vessel, surviving a terrible accident, mysterious deaths, among other things. But what really sets it apart is the introduction of Australasian Aboriginal myth and cosmology as an integral part of the ways and means of interstellar travel. The author shows intimate knowledge of the nuts and bolts of what "really" makes big ships tick--and her careful attention to the elements of Aboriginal culture makes this even more worthy of a reader's time."--Walter Hunt, author of "The Dark Ascent" "Sandra McDonald knows the Navy, what makes a ship run well and what can make it run badly. Lieutenant Jodenny Scott is the sort of tough, smart but thoroughly human officer we'd all like alongside us in an emergency. She and the other vivid characters in "The Outback Stars "propel forward a great story combining military fiction and criminal investigation in space."--John G. Hemry, author of "Against All Enemies" and (as Jack Campbell) "The Lost Fleet: Dauntless"

EAN: 9780765355553
ISBN: 0765355558
Publisher: Tor Books
Dimensions: 17.1 x 10.6 centimetres (0.20 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years

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2 review(s)
All Reviews
2
2
on
 
This story, "The Outback Stars" is the first of a series, and is followed by "The Stars Down Under", but works well as a stand-alone story. The story has many original aspects, which by itself, is a recommendation. The writer leaves some of the back-story out, leaving the readers to fill this in for themselves, which is no bad thing. Intriguingly, the spaceships and colonies on other planets are heavily influenced by Australian Aborigine motifs, which is refreshing, and there is also an interesting spiritual dimension described, which is often lacking from science fiction stories. However, this is a story about a number of crewmembers on a giant transport ship (more than one actually) that travel between colony planets. Various interpersonal problems arise between the crew, with a backdrop of the working of the giant spaceship, adding to the interest. There is even a romantic sub-plot, also a rare and welcome feature in a science fiction story. Well worth reading, for a surprising and novel reworking on a space opera.
on
 
This story, "The Outback Stars" is the first of a series, and if followed by "The Stars Down Under", but works well as a stand-alone story. The story has many original aspects, which by itself, is a recommendation. The writer leaves some of the back-story out, leaving the readers to fill this in for themselves, which is no bad thing. Intriguingly, the spaceships and colonies on other planets are heavily influenced by Australian Aborigine motifs, which is refreshing, and there is also an interesting spiritual dimension described, which is often lacking from science fiction stories. However, this is a story about a number of crewmembers on a giant transport ship (more than one actually) that travel between colony planets. Various interpersonal problems arise between the crew, with a backdrop of the working of the giant spaceship, adding to the interest. There is even a romantic sub-plot, also a rare and welcome feature in a science fiction story. Well worth reading, for a surprising and novel reworking on a space opera.

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