Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Cassandra Project-Jack McDevitt and Mike Resnick

The Cassandra Project

Jack McDevitt and Mike Resnick

Ace, Nov 6 2012, $25.95

ISBN 9781937008710

In 2019, the United States remains in the throes of the Great Recession. Federal agencies are cut to the bone so that there is little strategic planning when surviving daily operations has become the norm. In that environs, NASA press director agent Jerry Culpepper is a long term thinker grounded in reality.

Jerry releases material from the 1960s Apollo mission that contains a shocking recording between Houston and Sydney Myshko, captain of the first test mission to circle the moon on which the astronaut says he is landing. In the second test mission, astronaut Aaron Walker wrote in his diary that he walked on the moon. Two now deceased men and apparently a few others claim to have taken that “… giant leap for mankind” before Armstrong did. Jerry seeks the truth while trying to contain what seems to be a scandalous cover-up that capitalist Bucky Blackstone plans to exploit for his private enterprise moon landings. President George Cunningham realizes he loses credibility no matter what happens.

This is a superb NASA thriller that works because the key players seem genuine especially in how they react to the information as it is found. With a nod to the movie Capricorn One but with realistic people and critically no odious villains, fans will want to know if Armstrong was fifth in the batting order and why the four astronauts to precede him were not acknowledged as walking on the moon.

Harriet Klausner

No comments: