Veteran editor/writer Bova teams up with ex-astronaut Pogue for nonstop dirty doings aboard an orbiting space station while, below, the Earth of 1998 expires in a welter of pollution, drugs, and environmental collapse. Dan Tighe, commander of Trikon Station in space, has his work cut out controlling and soothing the on-board scientist factions, as European, Japanese, and American contingents research furiously into poor old Earth's problems while maintaining a fever pitch of mutual spying, deception, and data theft. Complicating this already involved picture are: the arrogant Kurt Jaeckle, leader of a separate project training astronauts for an eventual Mars trip; the mysterious scientist Hugh O'Donnell, who keeps his lab locked and his shady past concealed; and Chakra Ramsanjawi, drug-dealer and powerbroker. Eventually, drugs, rivalries, and sexual jealousies will destroy the researchers as a crewman develops religious mania, murders two people, and attempts to wreck Trikon Station. Lurid melodrama, glacially slow to develop but stuffed with authentic detail: a rather glutinously absorbing chunk of near-future hyper-reality.
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